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Few people around here are opposed to peaceful protest. But traffic-stopping demonstrations with no apparent point long ago began to wear thin on the locals.

You could feel the collective civic eye roll when Seattle once again boarded its windows as May Day protesters prepared to make their points about … May, apparently, on local streets.

Seriously, some marchers have legitimate points to make on the occasion — particularly about immigration reform and labor practices. More power to them.

Then there’s the apparently permanent cadre of aimless, shifty, post-sunset zombie marchers, most of whom are more like walking versions of obsessive news website commenters: They have a lot to say, and want to say it loudly, but aren’t really sure what it is — and can only muster the guts to say it while cowering behind a mask.

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More springtime recesses:

Handing Over the Keys: The state is offering to take derelict boats from owners who can’t afford to have them disposed of legally. Huh. Are you listening, skippers of those Issaquah-class ferries?

Timbits for All: Microsoft is building a “training and development center” in Vancouver, B.C. This new northern outpost has been dubbed Microsoft’s “Canada Excellence Centre.” Um …

Speaking of “Centers of Excellence:” Faithful Wrap reader Chuck suggests someone stick that label on the door for meetings of The Seattle Times editorial board, perhaps filled with empty chairs as members arrive late for work after getting stuck in traffic created by slashed Metro routes.

About That: Mr. Wrap is engaged in high-level covering of his own butt and unavailable for comment.

But Since We’ve Gone There: In our spare time the other day on the way to meditation / conciliation class, we came up with an inspired solution to the state’s transportation quandary: Tax all drivers by the mile and by the hour — but only for time they spend camping in the left lane.

Going Into Labor: OK, we see you guys down there at the Machinists Hall, wearing those “AIRBUS” T-shirts. Careful what you ask for, friends.

Meanwhile, at Your Local Cinder-Block Tavern: We loved the reaction to the L.A. Clippers story from some corners around here: “Man, that NBA sure is run by a bunch of racist, misogynist mouth-breathers. Any chance this means we get a team?”

Sports, II: We’re hoping someone was joking by throwing together a potential Clippers’ ownership group comprising three of the most stupendous egos on Planet Earth (in order): Larry Ellison, Oprah and David Geffen. Is there some reason they left out Lance Armstrong?

Weekly Boring Update: The sight of a second tunnel borer machine being prepared to be unleashed beneath the city — this one for a light-rail tunnel — gave us an idea: How about, for any future tunnels, we hire two contractors to tunnel from opposite sides? First one to the halfway point gets the full contract payment.

Yes, We Know All Too Well: The borer isn’t made to back its way back out. But that’s what explosives are for.

And Finally: Quite the turn last week, with that August weather in May. If anyone needs Mr. Wrap for anything, he’ll be in the basement.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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