Washington

Daylight grows again, and so does the garden

It's bleak midwinter on Vashon Island and you'd think the garden would have sense enough to hunker down and wait for better weather. Thankfully, no. Outside the dining room window, a pink viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense) is in full bloom on the year's shortest day, a joyful counterpoint to the drizzle and gloom of December in Puget Sound. Why every gardener doesn't grow this beauty is beyond me. It's undemanding and bursts into bloom when most of the rest of the garden is on seasonal sabbatical.

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A storm by any other name wouldn't be as wet

What's in a name? For one, the formerly elegant "Katrina" has been purged from those names-for-your-baby books (and "Pete," alas, is reserved exclusively for three-legged dogs). That's what's in a name. All the more reason for The Seattle Times to revive its U.S Weather Service-sponsored name-that-storm competition.

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A 'flood' at Safeco Field

A recent e-mail we intercepted from a stadium-loathing group that calls itself Taxpayers on Strike (TOS) asserted there's an untold story about another victim of the storm that swamped the state two weeks ago – Safeco Field. TOS's Vincent Koskela contended "the recent rain storm caused severe flooding at 'Safeco Field.' The lower bowl, Clubhouse and Dugout flooded. Four feet of water shot up in the Clubhouse. Conduits carrying TV Cables were full of water," Koskela wrote. Wrong on all counts, counters M's spokeswoman Rebecca Hale, who also saw the e-mail. Koskela claimed his info came from disclosures made at a Public Facilities District maintenance and operations committee meeting on Dec. 10.

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Streetcar accident reported

Well that was quick. A week after the Seattle Streetcar began serving passengers, apparently there has been an accident. KIRO-TV is reporting that police have responded to Mercer Street and Terry Avenue North. Update: It was minor, and no one was hurt, says KOMO-TV. Meanwhile, the driver of a Gray Line bus was killed on Interstate 5 under the Washington State Convention and Trade Center overnight when the bus she was driving crashed, and the downtown Seattle bus tunnel is closed again due to software problems. Might be a windy, rainy day to stay home.

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Shouldn't variable ticket-pricing work both ways?

Now that the Mariners have introduced premium prices for in-demand games like Opening Day, the Yankees, and Bosox, we were wondering if the club gave much thought to offering cheaper seats for the likes of perennial losers like Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Baltimore. Say, like charging 1999 prices?

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WET detonates Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Two years in the making, blahblahblahBANG, an ambitious show by Washington Ensemble Theater, is a high-profile step for an edgy and accomplished Seattle theater company. It's full of brilliant bits in the course of a radical reworking of a classic play.

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Disaster aid needed: Please send duct tape!

Just got a note from Gov. Chris Gregoire's new press secretary, Aaron Toso. On Saturday, the governor asked that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expand disaster assistance to individuals in Mason, Thurston and Pacific counties due to the recent storm and flooding. That request was granted over the weekend.

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A quarter mile's worth of punts

It's not often that Seattle Seahawk fans get treated to a game-long Ryan Plackemeier highlight film, but that was the case against Carolina Sunday, Dec. 16. The most memorable aspect of the Hawk 13-10 loss was the Seattle punter thumping on fourth down to end his club's first eight possessions. Old-timers would later say they couldn't recall such futility since they last toted up Liz Taylor's attempts at successful marriages. The punter moved the ball about a quarter mile. The rest of the Hawks (9-5) were good for 280 yards, many of those gathered during a meaningless TD drive as time expired.

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