The Nose: Scarlet Sweater— it sounds like a book title, or a superhero

Notice the red theme at a February public hearing on the proposed methanol plant? Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell apparently did.
Notice the red theme at a February public hearing on the proposed methanol plant? Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell apparently did. Photo courtesy of Matthew Deerin

You can run from the Sniff, Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell, but you can’t hide.

There you were, on TV and everything Tuesday night, wearing a RED SWEATER in front of a crowd of citizens taking potshots at the Methanol Refinery That Ate Tacoma (or will eat it, if it’s built, according to protesters.)

It was obvious what you were trying to do, Marty Campbell. Those red threads were a red flag. The pundit club (the Sniff’s membership was revoked long ago, but we saved a copy of the bylaws) calls this sort of thing a dog whistle.

You, Marty Campbell, were sending a message to the anti-refinery protesters, who wear red to signify their mouthy opposition to the project. They even thanked you. Oh sure, you can hem and haw, and say people can draw whatever conclusion they want.

On the other hand, maybe your sartorial selection was a secret message to Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who decreed last month that council members weren’t supposed to say anything that even sounded worried about the project, because it might look unfair while the city oversees an environmental assessment of all things methanol.

The best part: Strickland wasn’t even at the Scarlet Sweater meeting where one protester told the council, “Get your damn voice back.” Da Mayor was absent, and three other members were away at a National League of Cities conference — so much more fun than getting yelled at by rowdy constituents.

Legal opinions on Strickland’s speak-no-evil edict appear to be (surprise) divided, but you’re a smart one, Marty Campbell. Who divines intent from a wardrobe? Maybe you just pulled that glowing red sweater out of a hamper because you were behind on this week’s laundry.

You’re number 435, Tacoma: Man, the City of Destiny gets no respect. The latest national list of the nation’s “Best Cities for Young Families,” compiled by the Very Credible Experts at apartmentlist.com, ranks Tacoma 435th out of 474 cities. We barely beat Flint, Michigan (slogan: “It’s the Water”).

Fortunately, our pals in Seattle don’t have much to brag about on this list. They landed at 390, which won’t get you a berth in the postseason tournament.

Take heart, though, Tacoma — we still came out 10 points ahead of Portland, Oregon, which makes sense. There’s no there there.

Speaking of lists: OK, some obscure national outfit dings our Fair City for lack of family-friendliness. We can take a hit. But when some obscure local outfit from up north tries to pull the same trick, we draw a line.

Sniffing around on the Reddit website’s Tacoma thread (yeah, we know all about online gossip), we found this doozy from a boutique mag you’ve never heard of called Seattle Refined.

These yahoos cut-and-pasted a listicle from another site called RoadSnacks (you can tell we’re dealing with trusty brands here), that claimed to name 10 of “the worst Seattle suburbs.”

The catch: 7.5 of these places are in Pierce County. The list names Lakewood, Sumner, Midland, Wauna, Fife, Elk Plain, Pacific and Algona (that’s the 0.5 part).

The nerve! How dare some snooty Seattle rag try to take credit for our lousy suburbs. Plus, how do Burien and White Center escape this analysis? Who speaks for Covington and Skyway? Have these boneheads been to the East Hill of Kent lately?

The Great Wall of Trump: Get ready, chattering classes — our favorite weatherman is breaking out the can of whup-you-know-what on the Republican presidential frontrunner.

Cliff Mass, the KPLU forecaster and occasional wit, let loose on the Trumpster in a blog post this week, aiming at Trump’s thoughtful views of climate change (“I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down.”)

Mass also pondered Trump’s famous proposal to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, and said fellow weather geeks have proposed building 1,000-foot “weather walls” to block tornadoes in places where they congregate.

From here, Mass pivots to Trump’s criticism of “weather people,” who spend too much time talking about the weather on TV, and not enough about Trump.

“Clearly, Mr. Trump is jeopardizing getting any support from the weather community, all 10,000 of us. He should be careful: we are a powerful bunch, with a representative on every TV news broadcast.”

Well said, Cliff. Now, could you turn down the rain a little so we can get going on the tomatoes?

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