Friday, November 5, 2010
From Candy to Cali
It's been an absolutely gorgeous week in Seattle. Yesterday was so clear that I got caught in traffic leaving my house and was late for school. As I inched up the block I wondered what the deal was - an accident? a stalled car? As I inched along toward the top of the street I saw what it was that was distracting drivers - a perfect view of Mt. Rainier surrounded by the rainbow hues cast by the rising sun along the horizon. A very good reason to take pause.
The view of Rainier from Tolmie Peak, July 2010.
On days like this I am grateful to be in Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest, nestled between the Cascades and the Olympics, Mt. Baker to the north, Rainier to the south. I try to remember this when the rain is cold and relentless, the sky gray and unforgiving. I also try to remember this when stupid things happen, like the passage of Initiative 1107: the repeal of the soda-candy tax this past week. The tax, which was implemented this past June, taxed soft drinks and candy produced by Washington state companies in the amount of about two cents per can of soda. The revenue was deposited into a general fund, intended for no specific programs, but to generate funds for education, human services and corrections, areas at risk for budget cuts. The groups rallying against this tax found enough signatures to make its way to the ballot and, with the financial support of the American Beverage Association, created an apparently effective tv ad campaign making outrageous claims about the tax raising prices of groceries and affecting local growers. For my first time voting in a Washington state election it was a bit of a letdown.
Meanwhile the city of San Francisco made news with it "ban" on the Happy Meal. Technically the meal itself wasn't banned, but specific nutritional guidelines were voted into place for meals that offer an "incentive item" to children and not surprisingly the signature McDonald's meal does not meet them. They could theoretically reformulate the meal to adhere to the guidelines, which require that the meal have less than 600 calories (!!!) but NPR reports that: The fast-food chain says research shows the proposal is "unrealistic" because kids aren't likely to eat the sorts of meals stipulated by the ordinance.
Inspired by San Francisco's initiative I've decided to abandon Seattle and head south for the weekend..off to Cali!