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The Daily Troll: Murray wants to help immigrants. Amazon's price waffling. Pride Parade has Hollywood star.

'Genius' artist Ann Hamilton picked for waterfront project.

Murray expands immigrants' office

Mayor Ed Murray said Wednesday that he plans to double the size of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to better serve the growing population of foreign-born Seattleites. Murray said that one in five city residents is foreign born. He outlined five priorities for the expanded services, including wider availability of information in the first language of foreign-born residents, more access to English classes and support for small businesses owned by immigrants. Murray asked the City Council for an additional $409,000 to fund the expansion as part of a supplemental budget he submitted on Monday. — J.C. 

Amazon's price waffling

Up! No, down! Amazon's making moves — not all of them consistent — in the pricing department. Earlier this month, the company announced it was boosting prices on its Prime services and today, at its San Francisco Amazon Web Services conference, it announced that it would be dropping prices on cloud storage. Geekwire reports that "The price changes, which take effect on April 1, include a 51 percent average price reduction for AWS’s Simple Storage Service, and a 38 percent average price reduction for general-purpose M3 Elastic Compute Cloud instances."

The moves actually make a lot of business sense: Like Kindles, Prime has long been a loss-leader for the company and the cloud market is a huge opportunity. Lower prices are obviously a part of their plan to steal a bigger piece of the pie there. Intriguing local application: Microsoft, which announced last April that it would match Amazon's prices, will likely drop Azure's prices soon in response. The upshot? YOU get cheaper cloud services! And YOU get cheaper cloud services! You ALL get cheaper cloud services! — B.A. 

Compton memorial service

The memorial service for journalist and former City Councilmember Jim Compton will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. The program will include several speakers along with clips from his "Compton Report" program, which ran on KING-TV. A former KING colleague Mike James, who wrote a memorial piece about Compton for Crosscut last week, will be among the speakers. The cover for a new, as yet unpuublished book that Compton had recently completed will be on display at the services. — J.C. 

Pride Parade snags Sulu

The Seattle Pride Parade is going Hollywood this year. According to seattlepi.com, actor George Takei will serve as the grand marshal for the 2014 parade. Takei is best known for his role as Sulu on the 1960s TV show Star Trek. In addition to his acting fame, Takei, who is openly gay, is a recognized advocate for civil rights. Younger generations might also associate the celeb with Facebook: Takei posts funny photos to his account, which has 6.4 million followers. The Seattle Pride Parade will take place in downtown Seattle on Sunday, June 29. — M.C.  

Art on the waterfont

Ann Hamilton has been selected to create a $1 million large scale art project on the Seattle waterfront. The MacArthur "genius" award winner is known for her large-scale, sensory installations, including a ginormous "swing" at the Park Avenue Armory in New York in 2012. The Seattle Central Library is home to her LEW Wood Floor, whose raised letters spell out the first sentences from books in the library's collection. Hamilton was chosen from a field of 340 artists to create a project on the piers, which will be rebuilt as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement. — F.D.

 

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.

Berit Anderson is associate editor of Crosscut.com. She can be reached at Berit.Anderson@Crosscut.com

Florangela Davila is Contributing Arts Editor at Crosscut. A freelance journalist, she is also a regular contributor to NPR-affiliate KPLU-FM. She's a former faculty member at the University of Washington and a former reporter at The Seattle Times. You can follow her arts-centric Twitter feed @florangela or email her at florangela.davila@crosscut.com.

Mackenzie Ciesa is an editorial intern for Crosscut and a graduate of the University of Washington's journalism program. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys seeing live music and wistfully wishing it was football season.


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