Zombies to infest Magnuson Park in 5K

Zombie theory often implicates radiation as the cause of the zombie virus.

It is merely a coincidence, however, that Seattle’s Zombie Run is at Magnuson Park, which received media attention this spring for traces of radiation.

As the run’s website puts it, the premise of the 5K — which starts at 11 a.m. Saturday — is “Zombies run after humans. Humans run from zombies. Everybody goes to the after-party.”

More specifically, humans run with three balloons around their waists, which zombies try to pop.

Created in Philadelphia last summer by college juniors and childhood friends Andrew Hudis and Dave Feinman, the run has since spread to 16 cities. Saturday is the first Seattle run.

When Hudis ran the race in Philadelphia, zombies popped all three of his balloons within the first 2 kilometers.

“Of course I was so smug about it, I was like, ‘I know where all the zombies are going to be hiding,’ and I totally underestimated my own challenge,” Hudis said.

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Block Party countdown Q&A: Hey Marseilles’ Matt Bishop has never been to France

What started in 2006 as two University of Washington students casually collaborating has grown to a six-man, eight-or-so-instrument indie ensemble with just shy of 15,000 likes on Facebook. One thing that hasn’t changed? They’re still struggling to pay the rent. Hey Marseilles frontman Matt Bishop, who went to his first Block Party 10 years ago, talked to us about the Seattle band’s orchestral sound and inspirations.

Hey Marseilles plays the Capitol Hill Block Party main stage Sunday at 3:45 p.m.

Q: Ten years ago, did you ever imagine you would be one of the main-stage bands playing the block party?

A: Um, no. So it’s gone pretty well. Back then it was just literally like a small little block party and it didn’t have the size or the popularity that it does now, so it means that much more. We played the block party once before, three or four years ago, and we are really excited to be a part of it again.

Q: How do you think your sound is best described?

A: I like to say it is just orchestral folk-pop, but I don’t really know what that means necessarily.

Q: How did you guys arrive at that sound?

A: We tried to create a genre of music that sounded compelling, when really all it was in a lot of ways was things that have been done so many times before. But I think we just use that terminology because the thing that is cool about our songs is they are really straightforward pop tunes but we have some unique talents with cello and viola and trumpet and clarinet and instrumental arrangements that we use to stand apart from the crowd.

Q: Did you seek out all of those different instruments, or did you all just happen to come together?

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More Block Party band Q&As

Block Party countdown Q&A: The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd on Seattle’s attitude and the band’s darker new sound

Block Party countdown Q&A: Pickwick frontman calls nine months of rain ‘inspiring’

Safeco Field crew works 8 days a week to prepare for Sir Paul

Tony Pereira doesn’t travel much as Safeco Field’s senior director of ballpark operations. Neither does Bob Christoferson as the field’s head groundskeeper.

But both men flew across the country last week — Pereira to Boston, Christoferson to Washington, D.C. — on the same mission.

Pereira arrived in Boston to observe Paul McCartney’s July 9 show at Fenway Park. Christoferson went to D.C. for the week of McCartney’s July 12 show at Washington Nationals ballpark.

Neither was there for the music. They were trying to figure out how to pull off the first big concert at Safeco Field.

Friday, ex-Beatle and solo legend Paul McCartney will play a virtually sold-out show from center field.

This will be the first major pop concert and one of the largest events ever held at Safeco. (The Beach Boys played Safeco in 2008 in conjunction with Microsoft’s annual company meeting, but that was a semiprivate event.) Five days after the park’s 14th birthday, about 45,000 people will fill it for McCartney’s “Out There” tour. A crowd of 47,000 attended the field’s at-capacity opening game in July 1999.

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Seattle improv troupe to stage real ‘Wedding Horror Stories’

The bridesmaids’ purple dresses had been custom-fitted, but when the mother of the bride found out, she ordered the dresses returned. She was planning to wear the same color.

Stories like this make actress Cheryl Platz grateful that the plans for her September wedding have gone relatively smoothly.

“It calls into attention all the moving pieces that can go wrong,” she said.

Platz is a cast member of “Wedding Horror Stories,” an original, improvised comedy show staged by Seattle Experimental Theater that will premiere Thursday. During each performance, the cast will re-create wedding mishaps solicited from the audience during the show.

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Washington state vacates house bill to waive marijuana misdemeanors

A bill that would have waived misdemeanor marijuana offenses for adults ages 21 and older died in the Washington State House of Representatives.

Washington State House Bill 1661, which passed to the rules committee for a second reading on March 1, never made it to the House floor. It would have allowed all adults convicted of a marijuana misdemeanor before recreational use was legalized in Washington to apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of their charges.

Although the bill won’t make it into law this year,  sponsor Representative Joe Fitzgibbons said it was well-received.

“It started a good conversation,” Fitzgibbons said. “We are going to have to take another shot at it next year.”

Representative Kevin Parker, the ranking minority member who opposed the bill, was unavailable for comment.

When marijuana became legal in Washington, many prosecutors waived misdemeanor charges people had incurred before legalization. Fitzgibbons said this was a courageous thing to do and the correct decision, knowing the voters of Washington did not believe possession of small amounts should be a crime.

Fitzgibbons estimated that a couple hundred people were affected by that decision…

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Spain charged with murder of 17-year-old stabbing victim

Bellingham, Wash. – A 21-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a teenager who was stabbed outside a dwindling house party on Samish Way earlier this month.

Geoff K. Spain was charged Feb. 12 with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Davonte Thompson, 17, and second-degree assault in connection with injuries sustained by Brandon Thompson, 18, Davonte’s brother.

Police arrested Spain on suspicion of stabbing the two teens on Feb. 9 outside of a house on the 500 block of Samish Way. He was booked into Whatcom County Jail and his bail is set at $1 million.

Bellingham Police still want to speak with the occupant(s) of a vehicle that may have witnessed activity related to Davonte’s death. Information provided to police indicates a vehicle stopped in the roadway at Samish Way and Fielding Avenue at about 2 a.m. Feb. 9 to remove a tree limb obstructing traffic. Police identified Samish Way and Fielding Avenue as the location of the stabbing.

The party started Friday night, Feb. 8 at a house Spain shares with other people. Police responded to a noise complaint from neighbors at 11:24 p.m., Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young said. The renter police contacted was cooperative. People were leaving in an orderly and uneventful manner, he said.

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Bellingham police release name of deceased 17-year-old stabbing victim

Bellingham, Wash. – Bellingham police have released the name of the Whatcom County teen who was fatally stabbed in the chest on Samish Way early Saturday morning, Feb. 9.

Davonte R. Thompson, a 17-year-old Whatcom County resident, died while receiving treatment for stab wounds to the chest at Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center on Saturday.

Officers were called to the hospital at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday to investigate after two teens with stab wounds – Thompson and an 18-year-old Whatcom County man – were brought to the ER in a private vehicle, according to Bellingham police.

Police later arrested Geoff K. Spain, 21, on suspicion of stabbing the two teens as a Friday-night party was winding down in the 500 block of Samish Way early Saturday, Feb. 9, according to a City of Bellingham press release.

Spain was booked into Whatcom County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Spain is scheduled to make his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court at 3 p.m Monday, Feb. 11, according to the press release.

The second stabbing victim received non-life-threatening wounds to his face and left the hospital Saturday morning, according to the release. Neither victim was a Western Washington University student, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young.

Frimann Sigfusson, 21, witnessed the incident that led to Thompson’s death while he was waiting outside for someone to pick him up, he said. Sigfusson had been drinking heavily, but remembers several details leading up to the stabbing, he said.

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