Paul Andrews

January 28, 2008

Am I that Paul Andrews?

Good day to you. There are a lot of Paul Andrews out there. This is the one I am.

Career journalist and columnist for The Seattle Times, co-author of a biography of Bill Gates, and lifelong bike nut. I covered the environment in the 1970s, wrote Sunday magazine features in the 1980s and covered technology in the 1990s, starting a weekly column on personal computers in 1989 that continued through 2005. Along the way I’ve also written for US News & World Report, the San Jose Mercury  News, Fortune magazine, The New York Times and other publications. I co-authored (with Stephen Manes) a biography of Bill Gates called Gates — How Microsoft’s Mogul Reinvented an Industry and Made Himself the Richest Man in America and wrote a book about Microsoft’s Internet “epiphany” called How the Web Was Won.

I began blogging in 2000, using Dave Winer’s UserLand Manila software. An early essay, “Who Are Your Gatekeepers?”, about the breakdown of publishing filters, got widely linked. It seemed obvious that the gatekeeping function of traditional media would disintegrate, which I thought was a good thing. I didn’t think as much about how Web journalism would get funded, which is a bad thing.

My first blog was called Hypodermia

My first blog was called Hypodermia

Currently I do a lot of Web work but not always credited. I’ve written for Seattle blog HorsesAss and online news site Crosscut. I maintain several sites for my wife Cecile Andrews, author of Circle of Simplicity and Slow Is Beautiful, including her personal site and her Living Room Revolution blog.

Cecile and I divide our time between Seattle and Santa Cruz, California, where we are part of a co-housing community called Walnut Commons. My most active blog right now is, mixing news, analysis and opinion on a variety of bicycling fronts. I’m an absolutely insane bicyclist and mountain biker. I go pretty much everywhere on bike in Seattle, because compared to car transit from my home near Green Lake I can match or beat point-to-point travel times to the University of Washington, downtown and most neighborhoods north of downtown. Most anywhere I’ve ever lived, including San Francisco, Palo Alto and now Santa Cruz, has been the same story. If a place isn’t within riding distance, I think hard about even going there.

Even snow can't stop me

Even snow can't stop me

For companionship there’s my bichon frise, Millie. All dog owners think their dog is the smartest, handsomest, best dog in the world. Only bichon frise owners are correct.

Terminally cute

Terminally cute

Thanks for stopping by. If I’m not the Paul Andrews you were looking for, best of luck finding him.


February 23, 2013

Rev. Milton P. Andrews Jr., 1922-2013

Filed under: Family — Paul Andrews @ 9:46 am


Hillside Church, Tacoma
A celebration of Milton Andrews’ life by his four children and other family and friends will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13 at Hillside Community Church, 2508 S. 39th St., Tacoma. The public is invited.

San Luis Obispo
A service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 in United Church of Christ (Congregational) of San Luis Obispo, 11245 Los Osos Valley Rd.

Wesley Homes, Des Moines WA
A service will be held in the Wesley Homes Terrace auditorium at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11, at Wesley Homes, 816 S. 216th St., Des Moines.

Services and celebrations to honor my Dad will be held in early summer, date and time to be announced.

UPDATE: The Seattle Times has published a wonderful tribute to my father.

Click for full article

Controversial but loved and respected.

The Rev. Milton P. Andrews Jr., an activist Methodist minister for several Puget Sound parishes, died February 14 at Wesley Homes retirement community in Des Moines WA. He was 90.

Born in Oklahoma City the eldest of eight siblings, Rev. Andrews followed his father into the Methodist ministry after serving as a US Navy officer in World War II and graduating from Oberlin College in 1945. While serving a parish in Newburgh NY, he pursued a masters of divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City before being assigned to Rainier Beach Methodist Church in south Seattle.

Rev. Andrews guided the Rainier Beach parish from 1955 to 1961, becoming known for supporting Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement while opposing McCarthyism and nuclear proliferation.

“Just inviting black people to worship (at Rainier Beach) got me into hot water,” he recently recalled. “It was a pretty radical thing to do back then.”

Rainbow Activist, 2000

With Rainbow Activist award

Serving two years in the farming community of Colfax, eastern Washington, he was labeled a Communist after broadcasting on local radio several rebuttals to a right-wing radio evangelist, the Rev. Carl McIntire. Rev. Andrews returned to the Puget Sound area in 1963 to start Alderwood Manor Methodist Church on a rural tract east of Lynnwood, a Seattle suburb.

Informed by the district bishop that the future site of his new church was a pasture containing a grazing cow, Rev. Andrews said, “I guess that cow is my first parishioner!”

At Alderwood Manor, Rev. Andrews helped formulate early Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam opposition to the Vietnam War, leading ecumenical Seattle contingents in protest marches in Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. In 1967 he moved to Epworth Methodist Church in Tacoma, where he served three years.

In 1970, Rev. Andrews was arrested for unlawful assembly after chaining himself with two others in Tacoma’s Wright Park during a peace vigil sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Spending a night in jail after refusing bail, Rev. Andrews said, “It’s a good education. Every American citizen might profit from a night in jail.”

Civil liberties for all people.

Civil liberties for all people.

In 1971 his wife, Catherine Smith (Kate) Andrews, a teacher at McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma, died from injuries suffered in a car crash. In the 1970s he was a frequent guest speaker at Everett Unitarian Church and Hillside Community Church in Tacoma. In 1983, Rev. Andrews assumed the pulpit at Hillside, where he served nine years.

Diagnosed in 1985 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Rev. Andrews began a health regimen of daily exercise and fresh fruit and vegetables based on a natural therapy developed by Dr. Max Gerson. Rev. Andrews adopted the Gerson diet after reading of its success in treating Type II diabetes of one of his heroes, Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

Rev. Andrews survived CLL for 27 years. An internist recently told him that a medical records search could find no documented case of a longer survival. CLL was not a factor in his death.

In 1992 Rev. Andrews’ work with the less fortunate and disenfranchised received two recognitions. The City of Tacoma honored him with its Citizen Recognition Award for his efforts on behalf of the poor and homeless. And the NAACP gave him their Justice and Equality Award for his lifelong support of civil rights and racial integration.

In 1993 he married Ruth Long, a widowed college friend whom he had reconnected with, and moved to her home in Bakersfield CA. The following year he founded a chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and a local Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) group. In 2000 he received a Rainbow Activist Award for “tireless efforts toward building bridges on behalf of Bakersfield’s LGBT community.”

“After reading of a bullying incident, Dad gained permission from the district superintendent to visit every school to discuss human kindness and respect for all youth — gay and straight alike,” said Rev. Andrews’ son, Paul, a former Seattle Times reporter. “He was extremely proud of his work in Bakersfield.” Rev. Andrews also performed several commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples at his Bakersfield home.

In 2001 the Andrews moved to San Luis Obispo CA, where they were active in the United Church of Christ (Congregational) on Los Osos Road. In 2011 he moved to Wesley Homes, where he was recipient of a Bishop McConnell Scholarship.

Rev. Andrews was a lifetime board member of the NAACP and longtime member of the War Resisters League and Fellowship of Reconciliation, ACLU and other advocacy groups.

Asked what gave meaning to his life, Rev. Andrews once responded, “Service to others. I am constantly moved to champion the underdog — to work for peace and justice.”

His activism often created tensions with congregations and church leadership. But Seattle Times columnist Don Duncan, writing about Rev. Andrews in 1970, best put his career in focus by asking readers, “Is the church body really doing its job if it doesn’t have at least one Milton Andrews?”

Rev. Andrews is survived by his wife, Ruth E. Andrews, of Los Osos CA; two sons, Paul, Seattle, and Carl, Bonney Lake WA; two daughters, Twila Slind, Gig Harbor WA and Irene Andrews, Nolanville TX; two brothers, Bishop Robert F. Andrews of Lakeland FL and Dr. Martin Andrews of Oklahoma City; four sisters, Alice Thompson of Yates Center KS, Eunice Harlan of Jessieville AR, Martha Parks of Henderson NV and Anne Greer of Santa Ana CA.

Remembrances are suggested to PFLAG and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

March 26, 2009

TechFlash Guest Post: Would You Pay to Twitter?

Filed under: Online journalism/Media,Technology — Paul Andrews @ 12:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

From my March 13 guest post on TechFlash: The best way to characterize Twitter is to use a cocktail party analogy. At a cocktail party you’re talking to a lot of people, usually in pretty short sentences, usually in a small group, back and forth. You segue from group to group, exchanging pleasantries.
If at the end of the evening all those comments were transcribed under their originators’ names, it would look something like Twitter.
Now you may be wondering where all this is headed. Why would someone want to post cocktail party conversation on the Web?
The answer is that, like many new social-networking vehicles on the Web, Twitter represents a potential ecosystem, with a potential business model. To see how this might happen requires an understanding of the Web’s (and social networking’s) evolution toward more of an oral, rather than print, tradition.

March 10, 2009

TechFlash Guest Post: How Steve Jobs Could Return Triumphant to Apple

Filed under: Technology — Paul Andrews @ 8:13 am

Ever wonder how Steve Jobs can be so sure he’ll be back at the end of June? So did I.

TechCrunch has a teaser followup today. The rumor mill grinds on!

March 1, 2009

TechFlash Commentary: PC as TV

Today’s Guest Post on TechFlash has to do with the dis-integration of television content by the Web, and how a couple of $25 adapters can turn your Mac or PC into a somewhat inconvenient but generally serviceable TV. Many are doing it. Here’s how.

If the cable industry is smart, this will soon lead to better roll-your-own cafeteria and/or on-demand (micropay-per-view?) pricing — one might even hope for a paid content model that other content providers can emulate:

“If the TV industry can get people to pay for content, it hopefully will spread virally to other content on the Web. This is a nut all content providers have to crack — the news industry most urgently.”

Here in Seattle, the Post-Intelligencer is facing imminent demise and The Seattle Times‘ books suggest it will at minimum have to declare bankruptcy for a reorg. As John Cook asks, can a wiki come to the rescue? Uber-newsman Chuck Taylor has started one, Seattle Post-Post-Intelligencer, to explore life after newspapers — Read All About It!

February 25, 2009

Don’t Phuck with Phinney!

My post on a neighborhood meeting last night best described as a quiet riot:

Several representatives of what we ’60s types like to call The Youth of Today were there and gave the board an earful. Why were they holding a “public” meeting when they couldn’t represent the views of the public in their decision-making? What would it take to get the project shut down?

“We’re saying we don’t want this thing,” one high-schooler said. “We’d like you to tell us how to make it go away.”

February 24, 2009

Guest Post on TechFlash: Google and a Penny-a-Click

Filed under: Online journalism/Media,Technology — Paul Andrews @ 6:27 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve posted another guest essay on TechFlash, this time on how all roads to paid Web content run through Google:

“Google’s role would start with the Web searches that have become as second-nature to the Web as flipping channels on a TV. The highest-ranked searches (Google determines that today, of course) would be tagged for pay-to-click. Metadata, either a balloon or pop-up window (similar to Netflix’s stellar browse system), would display a sentence or two related to the full content of the selected piece…”

A Seattle HuffPo?

The Stranger (Slog) is doing what looks to be a fascinating piece on the Seattle P-I’s future online plans (if indeed it has any). I posted on on this with observations on what a local HuffPo would have to look like. The comment queue is high quality as well, including posts from Seattle Jew, and I added this in response to one of the comments:

@15 Ah yes, the archives…who owns ’em and what happens to them? This is the question raised by the legacy “Northwest Source” URL that essentially buckets both newspaper archives into one destination/database. I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on why this is, and what it means in terms of the two papers’ future.

This is especially crucial because archives represent a real revenue stream if, make that when, paid content comes to the Web. For academics, researchers, historians, authors, journalists, activists and others, news archives are a crucial resource worth paying for (a reasonable amount, which the NYT’s $1.50 a pop was not before they dropped it).

I think The Times plan was always to buy out the P-I and absorb its archives, and the P-I went along because it figured Hearst would buy out The Times with the same deal. Then the news biz went south…but if the P-I folds and The Times declares bankruptcy to rid its debt and somehow survives — or vice versa! — the archives will exist in one big pot. If they both just plain cease to be — has this happened yet at a major paper? — then some online entity will surely purchase the archive database for standalone or synergy with other properties.

February 19, 2009

Please don’t let micropayments be misunderstood…

Filed under: Online journalism/Media,Technology — Paul Andrews @ 7:24 pm

I’ve called for retirement of the term “micropayments” because it is so misunderstood, misused and at this point just plain stigmatized. But I still believe in a penny a click, and I wish The New York Times, when it assembles a panel on the topic, would come up with just one person who has spent a lot of time thinking about the ontology of a payment infrastructure for Web content and can respond compellingly to the many bogus arguments and misconceptions put forward by people who overcomplicate the problem and don’t get the solution.

February 17, 2009

A paid-content model for the Web

Filed under: Online journalism/Media,Technology — Paul Andrews @ 8:11 am

LA Times: “On the website, visitors leave story tips and reporters pitch formal proposals, trying to persuade other folks to contribute $5, $100, whatever, to turn ideas into stories. Journalists on the site generally ask for $500 to $1,000. (And individuals can give a maximum of 20%, so no one person can have an undue stake in the story.)”

Worth a stab, for sure…

February 16, 2009

City Club, UW Host Journalism Panels

City Club luncheon, Friday Feb. 20: “The Newspaper Business: Sunset or a New Dawn?”

I’ll go with “sunset” for newspapers, “a new dawn” for journalism.

University of Washington, Wed. Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.: “Journalism on the Brink: Can Digital Save It?”

Journalism isn’t on the brink. The news business is. The issue is whether digital can come up with a pay model to support journalism, which done well costs actual money.

I’ve blogged on this over the years. Here are some previous posts at, and my original “Who Are Your Gatekeepers?” post nearly eight years ago.

The Un-News

A Penny A Click

A Penny A Click (con’t)

Who Are Your Gatekeepers?

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