Monthly archives for March, 2009
If you have not yet enjoyed this funny and insightful video, you must take time to see it. It is especially funny of those of us who remember rotary phones, and those of us who build airplanes (and install internet on them). Please take four minutes and watch it!
Comedian Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show
Me with my colleague (and current campaign manager) Don Persson
Dear Renton friends and neighbors,
I am sending this letter to officially announce my campaign to run for a fifth term on Renton City Council.
I remain extremely optimistic about the future of our city. Even while we are surrounded by economic uncertainty, we can maintain a prosperous direction during the challenging months ahead. I will bring seasoned experience as a manager and a veteran council member to the table as we make the decisions together that will keep all of us thriving even while times are tough.
As 2009 council president, I continue to work closely with Mayor Law to make the adjustments necessary to keep the city running smoothly with the revenues available. While all levels of state and regional government are facing complicated budget choices right now, Renton is currently enjoying better circumstances today than many surrounding jurisdictions. This is in large part due to five financial initiatives that I personally invested much time and effort into during my fifteen years on council (1) Strong economic development focused on the retail sales sector, including a revitalized downtown, an auto-mall, IKEA, the Landing, and many other new businesses to give our city sales tax revenues that otherwise would have gone to neighboring cities. (2) Setting aside money during good times to create a rainy day fund (which we will use 20 % of this year); (3) Ensuring we’ve maintained an entire month reserve in our checking account so that we always stay solvent even if revenue does not come in as budgeted (this is equivalent to keeping an additional 8% of annual spending on hand). (4) Putting money each month into a reserve known as an “equipment rental fund,” which ensures that there is money in place to replace vehicles used for police, fire, streets, parks and other city uses when the vehicles wear out, without having to borrow or purchase using the year’s general fund dollars. (5) Using one-time money gained from building booms or extraordinary admissions taxes (e.g. Cirque de Soleil) for either increasing reserve funds or building capital improvements like parks or new sidewalks, not for growing the size of government. In my fifth term, I will continue to exercise the same fiscal judgment, while helping our livability improve and helping our businesses thrive.
I have also strongly contributed to improvements in Public Safety, by prioritizing police and fire/aid funding needs at the top of our list when budgeting. While the improvements I’ve worked on over 15 years are too numerous to list, in police services they include: dozens of new officers; new technology such as mobile laptops, tazers, and forensic tools; new records and reporting systems; a new police station; new courtrooms and court offices; new armored SWAT vehicles; funding of special task forces for gangs and narcotics; new laws to fight graffiti, drug-houses, street-racing, and other hazards. In fire and emergency services, I have helped build two new fire stations and fully staff them to run both engines and aid cars. I served on the selection committee for both the police chief and the fire chief, and worked closely with them as they took the reins of their departments. I also helped create, fund and hire the position of Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, so we have an expert who is focused on preparing for natural and man-made calamities. For the first time ever, we now have comprehensive disaster-plans, integrated emergency command posts, and strong multi-jurisdictional arrangements in place, in advance, should “the big one hit”.
I’ve been a steady friend to neighborhoods since my first day in office. My neighborhood’s grievance with an overly-aggressive apartment developer was the initial event that lead to my election, and I remember how it felt when our quality of life was threatened. I am know by frequent council watchers as a councilman who will reliably speak up for the protection of residential areas, and make sure neighborhood needs for peace and consideration are addressed.
My family and I are frequent users of parks, trails, open space and libraries, and I have made certain that we maintain excellent facilities and programs. As a councilman, I helped plan, fund, and build Heritage Park and Ron Regis park. I voted to purchase the NARCO property many years ago, which is currently being used as part of our Cedar River trail and is being considered for an off-leash dog park. I helped set-aside many acres on the Black River for nesting heron, creating a critical habitat in an otherwise too-urban area. I pushed for, and ultimately helped put in place, the reciprocal agreement with King County Libraries that allows Renton citizens to check out books from the King County Library System the last ten years.
In addition to working for you here in Renton, I have also served you in countless regional forums during the years. I represented you in committees and forums on I-405 planning, eastside transportation, south county transportation, suburban cities coordination, water quality, salmon restoration, and Olympic pipeline safety just to name a few.
I’ve been elected three times by my peers to serve as Council President, and chaired or vice-chaired every council committee during my tenure.
I am a persistent voice for transparency in government. In 2004 I chaired a special council committee that worked to bring email policy into line with open public access and data retention standards. In 2006 I made national news by taking a further step of having all my council emails placed in a publicly accessible file, eliminating the need for the public to file freedom of information requests to get access. In addition, for several years I have been known for keeping an active public blog (www.randycorman.com) with my thoughts and opinions regarding upcoming council actions. This blog, which receives thousands of page views each month, has become another way for citizens to get insight into rule making, and engage in online public discourse with me and other members of the public at the earliest possible stage.
In my fifth term I plan to continue the fiscal restraint of my previous years on council while continuing revitalization in our business districts to capture new sales tax revenues. I will continue to listen carefully to citizen input, and find new ways to publicly include as many voices and perspectives as possible in the decisions that affect our city. I will continue to make our streets safer by giving the police the staffing, tools, and laws they need, and by making sure the fire department has the equipment to render aid and suppression services with the fastest response times feasible. As the economy improves, I would like to see us address more missing sidewalks, add to our trail system, and place renewed emphasis on the long overdue revitalization of Renton Highlands.
I live with my wife of 26 years on a small hobby-farm in Renton Highlands. We have five children, ages 23, 21, 18, !4 and 10.
By day, I am an engineering manager working on airplane safety and government approval of products for the Boeing Company. This role has given me years of experience in supervision, budgeting and project management. This position has also given me extensive experience working with our own Federal Government as well as communities, businesses and Governments all over the world.
I’ve received early endorsement from Renton Mayor Denis Law, and from Council Members Don Persson, King Parker, Marcie Palmer, Greg Taylor, and Rich Zwicker, and many others.
My Council Colleague (and former Deputy Police Chief) Don Persson is serving as my campaign manager.
I have some new blogs coming soon! Meanwhile, please check out some of the recent comments.
My website, randycorman.com is temporarily down as we move it to a different server. But for those of you who found this page, all the content is still available on this Livejournal blog.
You can find me using the rentonjounal.com address if you do not have my livejournal page bookmarked. I expect to have randycorman.com back in action within 24 hours.
Thanks for your patience!
P.S. Please keep those comments coming. I have several new entries recently, and I really appreciate your comments/opinions. Thanks!
I recently received a letter at City Hall citing a study about juvenile curfews, and asking me to reject/oppose a juvenile curfew.
After checking on my facts with Police Chief Milosovich, I wrote back to the letter-writer and explained that we do not have a juvenile curfew in Renton. And there is no plan to implement one.
Like the majority of communities in the United States, we’ve tried them from time to time in past decades, but they do not hold up well to constitutional challenges, and are therefore not in favor in our city right now.
The idea of making everyone under age eighteen subject to questioning about their reason for being out-and-about after a certain hour has it’s supporters. It is often suggested as a way to crack down on gang recruitment, problems at the transit center, burglaries, vandalism, victimization for children, and other social ills. The problem is it must be enforced absolutely uniformly to not be subject to challenge, and this is just too difficult to monitor and manage. There are just too many acceptable reasons for 16 and 17 year olds to be traveling around after 11:00 PM, and it could divert half of our police resources to detain and question all of them. On the other hand, if we don’t stop and question all of them, someone who is stopped on a curfew violation can challenge it. This has happened in many communities. Particularly in Washington State, where we have even tougher state constitutional standards for search and seizure (an arrest is a form of seizure) than those of the United States Constitution.
HOWEVER, even though we do not have a juvenile curfew, the police do have a legitimate “Community Caretaker Function,” which allows them to make a very legitimate non-criminal inquiry about an individual’s whereabouts if they are out late at night. This is most easily understood for younger kids. For instance, if a six-year-old child was walking down Rainier Avenue at 1:00 AM, it would be clear that the police should speak with the child and ask why they are out so late. We would also expect the officers to bring the child to a safe location, and contact the child’s parents. This would also be reasonable for a 12 year old child, but it would be more questionable for a 17 year old child.
So, if a child is out on the town late at night, and they appear to be in an unsafe situation, they may be picked up by our officers. If a 17 year old teenager is out, they would likely not be stopped or detained unless they made a driving error, were suspected of a crime, or were being consulted as a potential witness (the police always have a right to stop and confer with citizens.)
We once had a case concerning a 12 year-old child go to the Washington State Court of Appeals. In the incident, the police called the child’s mother, who asked the officers to drive her child home. The police did a quick pat-down to make sure the child was not carrying a weapon, and then they came across a parcel that had obvious drugs. The appeals court affirmed the Renton police were acting appropriately when they detained the child. The court further ruled that the drugs could be used as criminal evidence in court. You can read more about it below.
(Copied and Pasted from an email)
FW: An Unimaginable Crime of Hate
Dear Councillor Corman,
According to the Office of Rep. Jim McDermott, Peter Gabriel’s explanation for what Reagan did on Mt. Desert Island, in using me as a mandatory AIDS testing guinea pig, could not have been “a scared straight program” as Gabriel claimed in his alibi for cooperation, because Scared Straight Programs are funded by Congress and Congress has never authorized a Scared Straight Program involving intimate seduction for such ends. Such casual violations may seem fitting to someone like Bill Clinton, with his tale of Monica Lewinsky, but, I assure you, the evidence goes beyond condemnation of Gabriel and Clinton. I was a Medical Library Clerk investigating signs that this operation predated the appearance of the virus, as all the evidence I turned up shows.
Disbelief attends this case to such a degree that the illegality of even their alibi is just waved off as though it does not matter. Accordingly, I find it hard to believe you will try to follow the rest, but I have woken up in so much pain these last years that I am literally doubled over in the morning from emotional suffering, with a violent pit in my stomach. The authors of this hate crime themselves wrote down on paper that they thought of me not as a human being, but as a “persona”. They wrote that the process of torturing me was in part an identity theft involving “construction of a persona”. Now, your political machinery is strongly dependent on Barack Obama and Obama got his momentum from Peter Gabriel’s corporate sponsor David Geffen, this means that Hillary Clinton’s argument was that since I do not and cannot provide alternative leadership that therefore I am expendible and that is analogous to saying that the four girls killed in the Birmingham Church bombing were necessary and rightly killed to propel forward Dr. King’s rise to power.
It is wrong.
Here is a picture of what I looked like when I was first set upon, brutally abducted, tortured beyond all horror and left life-destroyed due to my father’s book dedicated to Dr. King, http://vibejournal.com/jimmycrary/ After that, it took only a leering political genius in the criminal underworld around Pittsburgh labor mafia to start setting call girls on me without telling me that was what they were during high school, writing, as they in fact wrote, “the persona is subjected to successive degradations of the X-motive and then subsumed into a larger structure dominated by its adversary”. One of these writers was the child of a holocaust survivor who earmarked me as a neurosurgery guinea pig, hoping the nerve agent that induced permanent, unsightly spasms in my facial nerve would spread to my brain as it may yet.
When I tried to disentangle myself from this, first, my deaf and retarded loved one, Jeannie Tamburro, who also has epilepsy, was horribly raped in a reprisal organized by Peter Gabriel, who had claimed to be my friend and from Amnesty International, then, when ADWAS, an abused deaf advocacy agency http://www.adwas.org evacuated me to Seattle, after a horror ordeal of savagery, immiseration and depradation by holocaustal hate offenders, my heart was viciously poisoned in a police hate crime leaving me on Cardizem for life. You cannot imagine the intimacy and horror of their lifelong sadism. It is unspeakable beyond any catastrophic cruelty that I have ever even heard of. At least as a child I had the comfort of thinking that the men who abducted and tortured me represented some extreme of criminal humanity, rather than the base standard of peers. The murderer continues to harass me and jeer me, as well as attempt to brainwash me using my dire poverty.
Because they are truly powerful and can always resort, as musical legends, to the protestations of divine love, I am poisoned.
Section 8 Housing
Mac’s Homepage http://americanpig.art.officelive.com
CLICK HERE to see the final results of a survey of Fairwood residents regarding their future governance options (Incorporation as a new city, annexation to Renton, or remaining under King County local control).
Annexation to Renton rated the highest of the three, but still only has 33.6 percent support.
These numbers are going to make it hard for proponents of any change, whether incorporation or annexation. And it sounds like Fairwood residents feel like they have the information they need– the three-way split is an INFORMED three-way split.
The survey has quite a bit of other opinion data in it as well, and makes for some intersting reading.
I refered to the draft version of this survey in a blog once before, which you can see HERE
The vampire/love story “Twilight” is set on the Olympic Peninsula, in Forks
It was reported in the Boston globe today that police had to be summoned to settle down students at a Boston school after they became concerned that Vampires were taking over.
It seems like everywhere you look, people are talking about vampires lately. Right now, my kids are watching the vampire hit “Twilight” in my TV room, and Cathy and I just returned from a showing of the vampire/werewolf clash “Underworld: rise of the Lycon” at East Valley 13 (good deal for three bucks each).
The vampire legend always seems to hold our interest, as there have been new vampire blockbusters every few years or so.
When I watch these films, I often think about this theory by a Neurologist that the legend may have come about from the rabies disease. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Rabies is also sometimes considered to be a contributor to werewolf legends, since people can get rabies from a dog/wolf bite as well as a vampires bite.
Here is a story from 1998 on this topic:
Rabies May Have Inspired Vampire Legend
Mistaken for blood-thirsty ghouls, 18th century European rabies victims may have been the inspiration for the vampire legend, according to a report in the September issue of the journal Neurology.
Not only do people with rabies have symptoms strikingly similar to the traits ascribed to vampires, but the vampire legend also originated in eastern Europe in the 18th century — the site of a major rabies outbreak in the 1720s, according to the study.
Rabies, a virus usually transmitted via the bite of an infected animal, can be tricky to diagnose, the study’s author, Dr. Juan Gomez-Alonso told Reuters Health in an interview. Symptoms usually do not appear for at least a couple of weeks, and by then the bite has healed. Once symptoms have appeared, antirabies treatment is ineffective, and the infection is most often fatal.
“Even now we miss diagnoses in cases of rabies,” Gomez-Alonso said. Citing an example in his study, Gomez-Alonso describes a relatively recent case in which a man presumed to be a “wandering lunatic” was found to be infected with rabies during an autopsy. “These missed diagnoses probably happened much more commonly in the 18th century,” Gomez-Alonso added.
A neurologist at Hospital Xeral in Vigo, Spain, Gomez-Alonso decided to investigate the rabies-vampirism connection after watching a vampire movie in 1981.
“I had never seen a vampire movie before and I was struck by the similarities,” he explained.
There are many, Gomez-Alonso reports in the study. For starters, not only people, but dogs, wolves, and bats — animals traditionally associated with vampires — can be infected with the rabies virus. Because the virus affects the limbic system, part of the brain that influences aggressive and sexual behavior, people with rabies tend to be aggressive, may attempt to bite others, and are “hypersexual,” he writes. Since rabies also affects the hypothalamus, part of the brain that controls sleep, many patients suffer from insomnia, and are up and about in the middle of the night.
Rabies causes hypersensitivity to strong stimuli, as well, so patients are often repelled by light, by bright things — such as mirrors, and by strong odors — including the smell of garlic. Rabies victims may vomit blood, Gomez-Alonso explains. And since the disease causes hydrophobia, or aversion to water, they do not swallow their saliva, which can froth at their mouths, flecked with blood.
The disease can also cause facial spasms, in which the lips jerk back over the teeth, in an animal-like snarl. Moreover, rabies is more common among men than women, as is vampirism, at least according to most vampire tales. Finally, rabies, like vampirism, can be transmitted via a bite, Gomez-Alonso writes. The infection, however, can also be transmitted via a scratch or across mucus membranes. Consequently, it can be contracted during sex with an infected partner, or by inhaling air in caves heavily populated by infected bats.
In addition to the medical evidence, Gomez-Alonso provides historical support for his theory. Digging through centuries-old European archives, he found records of a rabies epidemic among dogs, wolves and other animals in Hungary between 1721 and 1728, the time people first began to report sightings of “vampires.” There were reports, for instance, of people “who have been dead for several years, or at least several months& seen to return, to talk, to walk, to infest the villages& to suck the blood of their close ones, making them become ill and eventually die.”
Gomez-Alonso also found accounts of bodies, exhumed after burial, that appeared lifelike, and were filled with still-liquid blood. This also fits in with the rabies theory, he writes. When people die of collapse, shock or asphyxiation — as is often the case with rabies — their blood is often slow to clot. Moreover, the region of Hungary where the outbreak occurred is damp and cold many months of the year, significant because corpses take longer to decompose in the cold. “Their good appearance would also suggest the presence of saponification,” he explains. “This process, characteristic of burials in humid places, transforms the subcutaneous tissues into a wax-like substance.”
“Much evidence supports that rabies could have played a key role in the generation of the vampire legend,” later popularized in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and numerous other books and films, Gomez-Alonso concludes. “This would be in accordance with the anthropologic theory that assumes that many popular legends have been prompted by facts. Under this approach, saying that the vampire is ‘mere fiction’ may be somewhat inappropriate.”
SOURCE: Neurology 1998;51:856-859.
Vampires swing swords at werewolves in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”
(currently showing at East Valley 13)
Our hard-working economic development director reminds me to remind citizens that this hotel image is only conceptual, there are no agreements in place, and this is fully subject to change, but….
HERE are the renderings that I was asked if I could obtain following the Mayor’s mention of a possible new hotel in his “State of the City Address.”
I think that this site, already either optioned or outright owned by Paul Allen, would be an excellent location for a hotel. And the concept of a Seahawks-themed hotel makes perfect sense. I even like the suggested name, Hawks Landing, which obviously ties together two of the most recent redevelopment accomplishments in out city, the Seahawks Headquarters and “the Landing” urban village.
This hotel would no-doubt served the Seahawks headquarters well as a home for visiting prospects, player’s families, journalists, financial advisers, fans, and other team supporters. And with it’s access to Bellevue, Renton, and Sea Tac Airport, I’m sure it would become a popular hotel for visiting business men and women doing business on the Eastside.
On a more personal front, a hotel here would also quickly become a preferred location for those of us living in Kennydale, the Highlands, and Newcastle to lodge our out-of-town guests who do not wish to sack out on our hide-a-beds.
The site, which currently has some old industrial-looking Pan Abode structures on it, is a gateway to both the cities of Renton and Newcastle. So a redevelopment of this type would give a nice impression to people entering our community.
Redevelopment of this site would include offsite utility upgrades and would probably also include dedication of the final trail section to complete a May Creek Trail corridor. To make all the pieces come together, we would most likely work to reach some sort of development agreement; that way we would know we could count on a new tax stream to off-set the upfront costs for any public works.
The possibility of a large project at this location has picked up some interest in Olympia, as lawmakers struggle to reinvigorate the state economy. Consequently, our state legislative team is working to find capital improvement or street funds to help us with this. It’s obviously difficult to find a dime in the general fund these days, and the legislature is considering moving capitol funding to the general fund this year to get us through the current budget crisis. But if there are capitol funds for utility upgrades trails to be found, particularly as seed money to jump-start development, we will be all over it. Marcie Maxwell, our newly elected 41st District State Representative, has been monitoring this very closely for us. And Margarta Prentice has been helping Renton in the senate. If there is any money available for this type of capitol project (for either the road work, the trail, or both), after the state General Fund is balanced, we may have a chance at getting some assistance.