December 06, 2015

Gun Battle Outside the KPLU Strategy Meeting

I am still shaking a bit, but the meeting to discuss saving KPLU was interrupted, but not stopped, by massive gunfire outside of the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Everyone attending is fine.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 2 PM and I was walking down 35th Ave NE toward the library around 1:50 PM when several police cars whizzed by.  I rushed into the library when there was the loud sound of a car collision.  A few seconds later, there was a lot of gunfire...and it seemed VERY close.   In fact, it was happening right outside the library.  We were all pressed to the floor.

Eventually the shots stopped and a few minutes later, we took a look (see picture), with armed police behind shields and the shredded remains of a black car (which the offender, now deceased, was driving).

According to news reports, the car was hijacked by an armed individual who had shot at police.

And now the amazing thing.... even with police blocking many of the nearby streets, a few dozen KPLU supporters pushed their way to the library, where we still had our strategy meeting for saving KPLU.   These folks are so dedicated that gunfire does not stop them.  KPLU means that much to them.

KPLU is a public jewel and listeners are determined to stop its needless destruction by a secret deal between PLU and UW administrators.  Administrators that seem to have little understanding how important this vibrant radio station is to hundreds of thousands of local listeners for wonderful news coverage, NPR programming, and jazz.  Administrators that are deliberately spreading false information (such as the suggestion that the only way to save KPLU's jazz programming is by a UW/KUOW buyout).  KPLU could easily stand on its own as an independent station if given the chance.

Want more information about PLU's ill-conceived sales plan and how you can stop it?

Go to

I should note that the Seattle Police was really exceptionally helpful and concerned after the incident.   They allowed me to secure my car after checking it for bullet holes and damage (it was parked VERY close to the action).


  1. OMG! Very relieved to hear that all attendees were unscathed!

    (I regularly read your blog but don't usually comment. Wanted to note though that my wife has been sending letters in to protest the KPLU takeover, though!)

  2. Experiences like this allow us to appreciate what we have right now, yes? Although injury, PTSD, or death aren't comparable to losing a beloved radio station, if we don't do something NOW and pull together, we will wake up one morning to Dead Air (or at least, a KPLU we don't recognize).
    Thanks for the update Cliff, glad all folks were unscathed.

  3. El Niño’s Role in Deadly Chennai Rains; Progress in Paris Climate Talks

    Conditions in far southeast India are slowly improving after five weeks of frequent torrential rain that has led to more than 250 deaths. A region of low pressure positioned near Sri Lanka during much of the period channeled moisture from the Bay of Bengal and the record-warm eastern Indian Ocean toward the region. Much of the suffering has been in Chennai, an urban area of more than 9 million people that ranks as the largest in South India and among the world’s 40 largest metro areas. Parts of Chennai have spent days inundated by as much as eight feet of polluted water, with widespread power outages exacerbating the crisis. At least 18 patients died in a Chennai intensive-care unit after backup power to ventilators was knocked out. Last month Chennai recorded 1218.6 mm (47.98”) of rain, the highest observed for any November in more than 100 years of recordkeeping. Then, on December 1-2, a total of 345 mm (13.58”) fell in 24 hours, which smashed the city’s all-time 24-hour record rainfall of 261.6 mm on December 10, 1901. Estimated losses in the region have already topped $2 billion US.

    Holthaus also noted the well-established relationship between warming global temperatures and the intensification of short-term rainfall events, which has been observed in many parts of the globe. This effect appears especially strong in the tropics, according to a study published earlier this year in the journal Current Climate Change Reports by Paul O’Gorman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    In South Florida, a December deluge
    South Florida--another place where El Niño tends to boost cool-season rainfall—has slogged through some of its heaviest December rains on record over the last several days. Miami Executive Airport picked up 8.92” in 24 hours, with 10.11” observed at The Hammocks. For the first six days of the month, Miami International Airport received 8.48”. With more than three weeks to go, this total already beats any December in 104 years of official Miami recordkeeping, with just two exceptions: 12.08” in 1905 and 9.03” in 1929. The first six days of December were wetter than any other week in Miami’s weather history during meteorological winter (December through February), as noted by NHC’s Eric Blake. Although the heaviest rains from Thursday through Saturday targeted the Miami area, South Florida as a whole averaged more than 2”, according to the South Florida Water Management District.

  4. I was wondering about the people in the library! I live on 34th and 70 ( the alley behind the library ). It was terrifying hearing all that gunfire.

  5. Thank you, Cliff Mass. I am glad tgat you are all okay. And kudos to the Seattle police. Thanks for leading the campaign to save KPLU.

  6. Wow, Cliff, the second close call you've had recently, the first being that falling tree. Glad you're OK.

    What effect do you think that the radio station merger would have on KPLU's programming?

  7. Cliff here is police dashcam footage of the incident. Pretty hairy!

  8. So proud of brave KPLU supporters.


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