Month: April 2013

Ugh! : Sounder Train Delayed Due To Suspicious Package

Just got this email from Sound Transit:

Northline 1700 (departed KSS at 4:05) is being held due to the report of a suspicious package near Galer Street.  The Seattle Police Department has been called and we are waiting for their determination. This may also cause a delay in the departure of train 1702 (4:33 Seattle Departure).

 It’s my sincerest hope that this is just some stupid mix-up and not something heinous. Of course, it’s quite likely that this is someone’s idea of funny. 






Northgate Egg Farm, A Quiet Brier Business

Originally posted on my Snohomish County focused blog here.

I remember, years ago, riding my bike through Brier and stumbling upon a loading dock and set of buildings just off Vine Road. There’s precious little marking the spot, and it seems very quiet during the day. Over time, I would drive by in the mornings and see the place pretty busy. Anyway, for years, every time I passed the place I wondered what was there, but not with enough intensity to actually get off my butt and do something. Well, with today’s technology, I don’t need to get off my butt to learn more.

Turns out this is Northgate Egg Farm, a part of E. C. Wilson Produce CO., INC. According to the WA State DOL, they’ve been on file since 1968, but according to Manta, they’ve been around since 1906. I’m willing to bet there’s a bit of murkiness to records predating the ’60s, but I really don’t know. Either way, they’ve been in the area for quite some time. They are listed as an “egg distributor”, whether that expands on the obvious, I don’t know.

What I find cool is that this is a living part of this area’s history. Much of South Snohomish County early economic roots were egg farms. At one point we had 200,000 egg laying hens. Most of that has died out. But we have a little piece of it still living, quietly, in the heart of Brier.

This Is My Jam : Music Sharing Site

Just discovered this music sharing site, I love discovering new music, and part a key part of that is seeing what my friends are listening to. This seems like a great synergy of those two elements.

I’ll have more to say soon. However, if you’re currently using the site, or want to go sign up yourself, connect with me. I’d love to see what Your Jams are.

The Matthew Keys Firing, Journalism and Social Media

Matthew Keys, the deputy social media editor for Reuters, has been let go (Mr. Keys’ description of that event is here). As with all things like this, discerning the truth will take some time. We don’t have Reuters side, and most likely won’t until the union grievance is resolved.

The details listed on his Tumblr post give me pause, though. It seems Reuters’ beefs centered around his Twitter postings surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings. Each item seems to have a logical rebuttal, which always raises my eyebrows. I can sense there are gaps here, but there’s not enough detail yet to read between the proverbial lines.

One thing, though, I wonder about is how this affects Twitter’s relationship with journalism. It seems that Mr. Keys mostly aggregated information from police scanners, as well as other tweets. This is an endeavor that makes accuracy tough. Yet, I’d argue, there’s deep value. Yes, we, as citizens and media consumers, need to recognize the spurious nature of these moments. But the barrage of data helps ensure that the truth comes forth. Yes, it needs to be sorted through. Yes, there will be disinformation and misinformation. Activities like aggregation helps in that sifting process. Plus, it gives us a place to verify the accuracy of past reporting when looking at the next event. Someone with a history of mis/disinformation should, theoretically, immediately be suspect the next round.

Twitter & The Present Of News

I just read a Tweet about “Twitter being the future of journalism“. Well, it’s really the “now” of journalism. Right now. Perhaps it’s a great time for one of my favorite Wil Wheaton quips, “I love living in the future”.

Crowdsourcing is one of the greatest pieces of the Internet age. Whether we’re talking about open source software, raising funds, or news, the power of the collective amazes me. The downside stems from volume, and the ability of malevolent players to perform mischief. Yet those voices tend towards discovery with amazing speed.

Hard to gauge how all this will evolve. But the journalistic game changed, radically and permanently. I label this whole phenomena “digitized democracy”. Voices become equalized.

So, just a few random thoughts which I intend to flesh out further. I hope you have wonderful Fridays.

Quick WA State Real Estate Sales Notes

One of my chums was lamenting how difficult it is to buy homes right now if you’re a traditional buyer (read: borrowing money). I, being the nerd I am, popped into the NWMLS and whipped out the following stats. 

Out of a total of 14,181 sales so far in 2013:

  • 6,857 have been financed by conventional loans
  • 3,801 have been financed via cash
  • 2,448 via FHA insured loans
  • 1,504 via VA
  • 458 via USDA

And all the rest “other”. 

So, a quick snap-shot for you. Summary: a significant number of sales are going to cash buyers, but loans still predominate. 63% of properties in this region are going with some kind of financing.