CITY OFFICIALS TO FREMONT: NO PENISES!
In their dogged pursuit of truth, justice, and hairy asses, City Attorney Mark Sidran's office and Norm Stamper's Police Department are plotting once again to go after the lovely and talented nude bicyclists of the Fremont Solstice Parade. (Last year the cops arrested some nude bicyclists, but Sidran's office failed in their efforts to prosecute.)
This year, Lieutenant Mark Keuhn and Assistant City Attorney Mike Finkle informed members of the Fremont Arts Council--the folks who put together the parade portion of Fremont's annual fair--that they expect cooperation in the city's great "crack-down."
Last week, Finkle and Kuehn asked the artists who organize the parade to post signs saying they do not endorse nude bicycling, and to testify in court against any cyclists who get caught. Finkle did not return our call.
Tempted as Arts Council members were to tell cops to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, they couldn't really express themselves in quite those words. The police, you see, have a lot of say over parade permits.
"It's ridiculous," says longtime Arts Council member Peter Toms. "They're putting so much effort into something that's essentially harmless. They should just leave them alone."
With the big parade coming up Saturday June 19--and a promo poster from Fair sponsors at the Fremont Public Association sporting a nude bicyclist--the organizers may find themselves playing booty watch.--Ben Jacklet
COPS TO PARKS: NO PENIS LOVERS!
Just in case the ACLU needed any more evidence to bolster its recent 10-page report shining the spotlight on misconduct by Seattle police officers, The Stranger decided to offer up the latest report of police buffoonery to come our way.
Michael Welp says a member of Seattle's finest belittled him when he called in a harassment incident at North Acres Park on NE 127th St. and First Ave. NE--between I-5 and Haller Lake.
Welp says he called the cops to the park after two kids and an adult taunted him with homophobic slurs, an ax-pick, and a rubber mallet before leaving.
When the officer arrived, Welp says, the cop started lecturing Welp about "homosexual activities" in the park.
"There is homosexual writing all over the bathroom walls, and if you don't like abusive homophobic language, then don't come back to the park," Welp says the cop told him.
Fuming, Welp filed a complaint with the North Precinct. Sgt. Norm Gow told Welp the complaint would be turned over to Internal Affairs. Lt. Ron Leavell confirmed that Sgt. Gow referred a complaint from North Acres Park to Internal Investigations last week. Bummer for Welp, because that brings us right back to the ACLU report. Calling for an independent review of cop misconduct, the ACLU said the SPD's internal investigations department is "fatally flawed," and has a record of resisting citizen complaints.--Harold Avelar
COMMIE DAY CARE
Seattle is going to be the first city in the country to experiment with paying child-care workers more than fast-food workers--at least 1,000 of the state's estimated 17,000 child-care employees, anyway. Governor Gary Locke has allotted $4 million for a pilot program, announced June 3, at 100 of the state's 1,800 child-care centers. The program will reward teachers with 50 cents per hour raises every year, based on length of employment, experience, and educational degrees. The governor has also funded a study to see if rewarding more training and less turnover improves the quality of care. The program, called a "Wage and Career Ladder," was galvanized in spring of 1998 when several local child-care facilities unionized with Service International Employees Union.
By pushing for the program through the governor rather than through the legislature, the coalition behind the project managed to avoid a sticky political debate or any significant opposition. And with the smooth-talking Economic Opportunity Institute--a liberal think tank that prefers the term "middle-class" think tank--doing all the spin, no one's crying socialism, even though--between you and me--government-mandated wage hikes seem pretty pink.--Samantha M. Shapiro