Our Annual Picks for Those Whose 15 Minutes Will Expire in 2007
The Stranger kicks off every January by identifying local trends and local folks we think are toast in the coming months.
A couple of quotes from last January's predictions: "After the Sonics make their pitch for $250 million in handouts, Seattle will be the first city in America to reject the NBA's business model." Check. "The spotlight is currently on [outgoing state Democratic Party chair Paul] Berendt's likely successor, Dwight Pelz. But the focus will shift to the Republicans when their current state chair, Chris Vance, resigns." Check.
Here's our list for 2007:
Despite last year's anti-strip-club hysteria (the four-foot rule, Greg Nickels's proposed red-light district in Georgetown), and the ensuing backlash (a vote to overturn the four-foot rule, a counterproposal by the city council to allow strip clubs throughout the city) not one new strip club will open in Seattle.
State Senator Margarita Prentice (D-11)
"Poor people don't buy [sports] teams." Yes, but they live in your South Seattle district, senator. Watch for the infamous Sonics-bailout apologist (that previous quote is Prentice in the P-I last December) and the infamous payday-loans apologist (Prentice has gotten nearly $1,000 in donations from MoneyTree) to be targeted by disappointed Democrats this year. Unions like SEIU will be looking for candidates more in sync with Prentice's working-class district.
The "24-Hour City"
Thanks to the war on bars and nightclubs, it seems more like a 15-hour city around here. For that, you can thank Mayor "Nightlife" Nickels, whose lip service to a "vibrant, thriving" city doesn't change the fact that he's done more to shut the city down after dark than Mark Sidran himself.
The 25-foot Rule
The statewide smoking ban included a rule requiring smokers to stand 25 feet from doors and windows. Thankfully, nobody listened. Despite the doomsayers, bars are still thriving—and thanks to the boisterous packs of smokers huddled right out front, Seattle's finally got some street life.
Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis
A front-runner for the job to replace Port of Seattle head Mic Dinsmore, Ceis will be out of the mayor's office soon. If he doesn't get the Port gig, he'll join a development firm.
Nickels will still be in office, but sans Ceis, it won't mean much.
Regional Transportation Investment District
Now that new cost estimates have greatly inflated RTID, the massive road-building ballot measure needs major cuts. Or a miracle.
We're all for density, but when it replaces the things that make an area desirable in the first place—like the stretch of East Pine Street that includes the Cha Cha, Kincora, the Bus Stop, and Bimbo's Bitchin' Burrito Kitchen—it can suck the life out of a neighborhood. Pike/Pine won't be the same without this vibrant strip.
He will get the school board job, and he will flop. Seattle parents need to be told "No!" Mr. Consensus isn't capable of doing that.
City Council Member David Della is up for reelection, and challengers are reportedly lining up to take him on. A weak first term, and the widespread perception that he's not the sharpest tack in the box, make Della the council's most vulnerable incumbent.
Bellevue Deal for the Sonics
DOA in the legislature.
Chris Vance's replacement didn't do such a good job. Freshman GOP chair Tebelius will be out after a challenge from Rob McKenna's teacher's pet, Luke Esser.
Your Neighborhood Video Store
With the ascendance of Netflix and TV on demand, video stores may soon be a thing of the past. The good news: less driving, more watching, and no late fees.
The P-I as We Know It
After the arbitration process winds down (expect a decision this spring), the Post-Intelligencer will be forced into life post-Joint Operating Agreement. Suddenly, the P-I will become a fan of exclusive(!!) online journalism.
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (we wish)
In "green" Seattle, the city still uses nasty, emission-spewing, gas-powered leaf blowers to clean up the streets. What do we have against rakes, anyway? Time to do what countless other cities have done: ban them.
And clocking in at 16 minutes, Tim Eyman.