On November 5, the city council adopted an ambitious Bicycle Master Plan aimed at tripling the number of bike commuters in the city. The plan calls for 118 miles of new cycling facilities and 19 miles of trails in the next 10 years.
In surveys, Seattle residents have said repeatedly that the number-one reason they don't ride bikes is concern for their safety. As several recent bike/auto clashes have shown, the streets of Seattle remain dangerous and sometimes deadly for cyclists. On November 1, for example, a West Seattle biker was shot in the lung while traveling home on Delridge Way Southwest. So while the bike plan is a good first step, it won't accomplish much if the city doesn't actually implement it and enforce the laws protecting cyclists that are already on the books. Already, planned bike lanes have been replaced in some places by "sharrows," markings that tell drivers bikes may be out in the lane of traffic.
Meanwhile, in famously bike-friendly Portland, the city is preparing to spend $24 million building 110 miles of bike boulevards, which are designed to get cyclists away from cars. ERICA C. BARNETT
Evidently, there are some Republicans who aren't gay. Or at least they still hit on women in bars. State House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt (R-20, Chehalis) disciplined Representative Jim Dunn (R-17, Vancouver) for making off-color comments to a female staffer at a bar after a pre-session meeting of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
Several members of the committee reportedly overheard Dunn joking about buying the young woman a drink and "taking her home"—and now DeBolt is removing Dunn from his committee assignments.
Dunn, a grandfather who's been married for 42 years, has scoffed at requests for his resignation. NANCY DREW
A parental dispute at Roosevelt High School over the rules governing the cheer squad ended in a bizarre police report involving a dentist, sexual-assault allegations, and carpools. On October 7, Roosevelt's cheerleading coach called the home of one of her cheerleaders to remind her to get to practice on time. The girl's dad answered the phone and, according to the report, launched into a diatribe about the rules followed by a "monologue" about inappropriate behavior by some of the cheerleaders, citing a photo on Facebook showing one of the girls holding a wine bottle before hanging up.
According to the report, the coach later received a call from another cheer-squad mom who had discovered the angry dad's dental license had been revoked after he allegedly sexually assaulted several of his patients. She demanded that the dentist be barred from carpool duty.
According to Seattle Public Schools spokesman David Tucker, the school is working to resolve the issue. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE
On Friday, November 9, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a public hearing at Town Hall about FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's proposal to relax media ownership regulations that prevent one company from owning a TV station, radio station, and newspaper in the same market.
Go to www.reclaimthemedia.org for details about the hearing, Martin's proposal, and why media consolidation is bad for children and other living things.
The hearing is scheduled from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. Town Hall is on First Hill at 1119 Eighth Avenue. JOSH FEIT