Amanda's View: California farewell

By Amanda Knox

(It’s worth noting that Chris and I had just spent two nights in a hot pink Bavarian hotel. The first night we slept in a turquoise room under the placid gaze of a swarm of golden cherubs and their electric candelabra. The second night we slept in a cave, complete with waterfalls and stained glass windows depicting a cartoonish blond woman from the 50s transported to the caveman era. It was magically, shamelessly gaudy. Oma would love it here! I thought. Alas, the hotel doesn’t allow pets, and Oma won’t be parted from Andy—her fat, old, co-dependent dachshund.)

I could barely keep my eyes open the entire four-hour drive back from San Luis Obispo to the San Francisco airport. My face felt swollen, like I had just wept for hours or was having an allergic reaction. I’m usually good for a car trip, especially if there’s an audiobook on, but now I was zombie-like, nauseated and cranky. Chris patiently blasted freezing air into my face and, when that wasn’t enough, pulled off the highway to let me take deep breaths in an abandoned parking lot.

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Jean's View: Everyone's swimming to Seattle

By Jean Godden

Twenty years ago, Newsweek Magazine famously announced: "Everyone's swimming to Seattle." Pictured on the magazine cover was Washington, D.C., pundit Michael Kinsley, face to face with a salmon and wearing a yellow rain slicker.

That cover appeared during one of Seattle's boom years (1996) when hundreds were moving here to work for Microsoft. Kinsley wasn't just another photogenic poster child, he had been hired to cyberedit Microsoft's Slate magazine.

That was several economic cycles ago. Since then, Seattle has experienced boom and bust, bust and boom and now we're in boom times again. The Seattle Times recently reported that Seattle is now the fastest growing big city in the nation. In a single year (2016), Seattle acquired 2,100 new residents, averaging more than 57 newbies per day and bringing the city's population to 704,352.

Given this overheated population growth, it's small wonder that, despite a forest of construction cranes, we have been unable to keep pace with housing demands nor to stem the wave of rising rents.

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Jean's View: Catastrophe hits Seattle

By Jean Godden

May is the month of lost cats in Seattle. When I check news on a neighborhood website or when I browse through local blogs, the top story often is about someone's quest for a missing Tom or Muffin or maybe Oscar. Telephone poles, too, are aflap with posters for missing tabbies -- reward offered.

I know how the owners must feel. They're consumed by worry, out searching neighboring streets, calling pitifully for that favorite feline and worrying that, alas, something disastrous may have befallen Boots or Blackie. Not long ago, I discovered a neighbor traipsing through my backyard, calling for her beloved Rowdie. That hunt, unlike some, had a happy ending. After his weeklong absence, Rowdie was found hiding in a neighbor's garage, hungry but otherwise unharmed.

The task of searching for a missing indoor cat -- the kind most of us bird lovers prefer -- is especially poignant. These are creatures who are not familiar with the multiple dangers of passing autos, predatory wildlife and other unpredictable hazards.

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