Archive for September, 2010


Keep Austin Weird

Guess who was in the dirty south this past weekend? Besides the Kernel, me! I was visiting the great country state of Texas. Austin, Texas to be more precise.

I did some tubing down Lake Guadalupe, made some friends with the Alpha Delta Gama Pi and some other fraternities. (a toga party was in store – in my honor I presume).

After my long weekend there, I now understand why the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” is  plastered on tie dyed t-shirts at every souvineir shop and kiosk.

Austin…is….well….different. Come journey with me:

More cowboys after the jump……….. Continue reading ‘Keep Austin Weird’


Trick or Buzz

may the graphic never die

So there’s this little thing called Trick or Vote coming up, you may have heard something about it.  The Bus is so excited we can’t wait for the afterparty.  Literally.  We’re throwing the monthly Washington Buzz on Thursday just so we can hang out with y’all ahead of time.  Come relax with a fine beverage and shoot the fall breeze with your favorite Bus pals!  Costumes are encouraged – in fact the best one will get an extra drink courtesy of the Bus!

As always,  we’ll be meeting at the Bus’ favorite haunt – Moe Bar (1425 10th Ave) at 6 pm on Thursday.  Come kick it!


R-52uesday – Kids Need Oxygen?!?

Hello Bus People! Welcome to R-52uesday, the Bus’ new weekly column on our valiant hero, Referendum 52.



I love R-52sday! I don't even wrestle on Tuesdays anymore


Last week in my intro to R52, I mentioned that if this ish passed, kids in Washington are going to become smarter. When I first read that claim elsewhere I took it with a big ol’ boulder of salt (kosher variety). I assumed it was the kind of unwarranted promise we often get out of politicians, like when Dubya told us we could lower taxes and still give our grandparents lots of free drugs. Or better yet, in this past election season when a recently popularized Mike McGinn was telling us that a tunnel solution would be like frolicking in a field of daisies. To be true to my discerning Bus generation, I looked into the claim.

It turns out its not just politicos telling us that R52 is a force for good. The claim that repairs for energy efficiency lead to increased student performance is supported by more studies than cups of coffee I’ve had today (I wish that comparison wasn’t worth so much). Trusting in that thing we call “the scientific method”, lets assume for a moment that Washington students will benefit just like kids from places as wide and far Chicago, DC, Florida, and Canada where similar measures have been implemented. Perhaps the most interesting study I found was a 2002 paper by Mark Schneider titled “Do School Facilities Affect Academic Outcomes?”, and that paper alone has a whole stack of references to back it up (this explains all the coffee). The answer was a resounding YES.  Check out a bit of what the study concludes:

School facilities affect learning. Spatial configurations, noise, heat, cold, light, and air quality obviously bear on students’ and teachers’ ability to perform…But we already know what is needed: clean air, good light, and a quiet, comfortable, and safe learning environment…It simply requires adequate funding and competent design, construction, and maintenance.

One reason R52 is so prime for our support is that it should be absolutely the least contentious route to improving the quality of education in Washington. This is not about what we teach; we need not decide whether math or music is more important. We don’t need to create convoluted and often misdirected incentive schemes for our teachers. We don’t need to obsess over what style of standardized test is going to kick kids into gear. The solution R52 offers is beautifully simple: let the kids breathe. When classrooms are full of clean and oxygen-rich air, young brains will eat it up and stay awake and alert.

Classrooms with poor air circulation (what we have now) allow a buildup of the CO2 that we exhale, which can straight knock kids out (maybe it wasn’t the sound of your teacher’s voice). Washington is in desperate need for such a breath of fresh air; high school drop out rates hover around 20%, which I think we can all agree is lousy. More to the point, over 45% of Washington State’s school spaces were built or last remodeled prior to 1969 so we REALLY need this freshness.  When we pass Referendum 52 it will quietly work its magic and leave us with classrooms worth learning in.

So how do we get this thing passed?!?

  1. CALL SOME PEEPS and tell the whole city that R52 is Washington’s hero waiting to strike. The campaign to Approve R52 holds phonebanks every TUESDAY from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the Washington Environmental Council office (1402 3rd Ave, #1400). Sign up here.
  2. Watch this VIDEO of our WA Bus homie, Isaiah, speaking about the need for healthy schools in Washington.
  3. Tune in to R52sday every week until the election.

See the other posts on R-52: Introduction, Saving the Future, Saving Scrilla


A simple equation

Claudia Kauffman


= Best Bus Trip Ever (and limited web-graphic ability).  That’s right folks, the Bus dance party people (i.e. you) will be assembling on Saturday, October 16th to Bus(t) a move for Senator Claudia Kauffman!  There shall be food, there shall be friends, there shall be a great cause, and there shall be an elaborately choreographed group dance exhibition performed by the Bus staff – life is complete. RSVP right here!

Claudia is an all-star legislator in Washington’s all-star 47th district (Kent/Auburn) and we’ve got a great opportunity to help her out.  She is also the highest ranking female Native American elected official in the US of A!  That right there is worth a dance party.  Sign up and break it down!

Here’s what to do:

1) Sign up (above)

2) Count the days until October 16th

3) Change out of your blog reading clothes (jorts and a cowboy hat)

4) Put on your dancing clothes (morphsuits encouraged)

5) Bus(t) a Move and help an amazing legislator move Washington forward!

Here’s a little warmup for you:


Look what’s coming…

Each and every year, the Bus asks you one all-important, vital-to-the-good-of-society question: do you like candy? And the answer is, of course, yes. You love candy. You also love getting it for free… and also getting thousands of young people to vote.

All this can add up to only one thing: Trick or Vote is lurking just around the corner!

‘Tis true. The biggest non-partisan costumed get-out-the-vote canvass/candy party in Washington is back in action! This year is going to be the biggest, best, and all-around spookiest (here we go with Halloween puns, yes, already) Trick or Vote Washington has ever seen – no matter where you live in Washington, you’re near a Trick or Vote! Spokane? Hell yeah. Vancouver? Believe it. Seattle? Trick or Voting like a boss.

That means you and this year, you’ve got tons of options! Want to find the nearest Trick or Vote to you? Just go here and enter your zip code – you can RSVP right then and there. Want to be a Trick or Vote Captain or a Trick or Trainer? Most excellent! We want you too! RSVP just the same, and we’ll get you going from there!

As always, Trick or Vote is ALL AGES, and is going down on October 31st. Because we love parties, we’re throwing parties (see how that works?) after the Trick or Voting has gone down. Keep your eyes peeled for the performers and venues to be announced!

Halloween: not just for kids anymore, amirite??? RSVP today!


Better Together


Peanut Butter and Jelly. Vampires and tween girls. Frozen bananas and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But Helena, what wise lesson could you possibly be imparting this time?

Well Johnny, good things become great things with a counterpart.

Our culture loves us some pairs – industries included.  As with most things, the fashion world is a great example.  High-profile shows have transformed into melting pots of professionals from various industries. It’s not uncommon to see doctors, lawyers, elected officials, and sports stars among others along the side of runways. Get out you business cards folks. There is going to be some networking.

Lights! Cameras! Dentists!…..after the jump…….. Continue reading ‘Better Together’


Bus love children, children love bus

Meeting of the minds

As you know, the Bus is all about young people. Sometimes extremely young people, you may even say “children.”  Thus, we want to shout out the wonderful Children’s Campaign Fund for working their tails off to make sure that those elected folks in Olympia make these young’ns a priority.

On Monday, October 4th they will be hosting a meet-and-greet with their endorsed candidates downtown at the Stonington Art Gallery.  Things should kick off at 6 PM and run until 8.  Find the details right, about, here.  RSVP at!