Author Archive for jdbernard743 – Page 2

My Take

By Jack Bernard

Special to The Seattle Times

Jim Johnson reads a newspaper with his morning cup of coffee at a Starbucks in downtownPortland. As of September, you can still get… (Don Ryan / The Associated Press) 

The Seattle Times recently reported that Starbucks planned to stop selling newspapers at its stores beginning in September [“Starbucks stores to stop selling newspapers in the fall, pointing to ‘changing customer behavior,’ ” July 12, Business]. I want to amplify the voices of those concerned with that decision.

Starbucks has branded itself as a “third place,” a term for a place other than home or work where community life takes place, people connect and interact. It would appear that Starbucks borrowed the branding idea from another Seattle favorite, Third Place Books, our local independent bookstore chain, but that’s beside the point. read more

Scatology vs. Eschatology in Today’s Politics…

Detail from Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights

I’ve been thinking a lot about death and Ricky Gervais lately, because I’m losing friends at such an alarming rate. Their obituaries often say, “Died of natural causes,” but Stuart Nuland in his book How We Die says the death certificate should probably read “Died of old age,” although he acknowledges that we’re not quite there officially. At my age, it’s natural to be thinking of death, but I’m trying to be cool about it. As Ricky Gervais says, “Death is like being stupid; it’s only painful for others.” read more

Blurred Lines…

The recent indictment of Jeffrey Epstein on child sex-trafficking charges raises an attorney-client question for me. How does a lawyer navigate the relationship with his client once the case is resolved? Jeffery Epstein is a rich bottom-feeder and convicted sexual predator. In 2008, he was convicted on two counts of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. Nevertheless, following his conviction, he was able to maintain his connections to important financial, political, and social elites in New York and Palm Beach? How did this convicted sexual predator avoid being ostracized socially? read more

Pavarotti is Back…

It would be difficult to imagine a celebrity in the last 100 years, larger in every way, than Luciano Pavarotti.

He ranks with Enrico Caruso as one of the two greatest tenors in opera history, famous for his brilliant and unmistakable voice but also for his voracious appetites, good works, and joie de vivre. Now, you can see, hear, and experience more of him, positive and negative, in a new documentary by Ron Howard. M and I saw it this weekend and have been all over YouTube, our CD collection, and PBS’ Great Performances listening to Nessun Dorma at the opening ceremony of the Torino Winter Olympics, watching an early film production of La Boheme and enjoying the relentlessly entertaining early Three Tenors concerts in Rome and Los Angeles. read more

My Gardener…

I don’t like to think of myself as insensitive, but often in my desire to change the world, write the Great American Novel, or see Donald Trump behind bars I forget to thank and acknowledge the one person who brightens my life every day. This week I want to put those other things aside and celebrate my wife and her magnificent gardens. I can’t really do them or her justice, but I can share the joy and beauty they both bring into my life.

Eighteen years ago, we moved into our condo and started our new life together. It was a great move in all respects (no pun intended). We discovered the condo on a bike ride. It was perfect – with the Burke-Gilman Trail on one side, Lake Washington and a marina on the other, Log Boom Park to the West, and a different upscale condo complex to the East. We’ve loved every minute of our time here. read more