Emily Nokes

NEIGHBOURS ARSONIST PLEADS GUILTY Musab Masmari entered a guilty plea on May 2 to federal arson charges for walking into Neighbours nightclub on Capitol Hill last New Year's Eve, dousing the stairs in gasoline, and setting the gasoline aflame. The club was packed with 750 revelers at the time. Miraculously, everyone escaped unharmed. On July 31, a judge will consider the question of whether the arson constitutes a hate crime, and is expected to sentence Masmari, 30, to between 5 and 20 years in prison. ANSEL HERZ

THE PASSING OF BILLY FRANK JR. On May 5, Nisqually tribal elder and civil rights activist Billy Frank Jr. passed away at the age of 83. Expressions of sorrow and gratitude quickly arrived from both Washington State senators, the governor, and Seattle mayor Ed Murray, but President Barack Obama summed up the loss most eloquently: "Billy fought for treaty rights to fish the waters of the Pacific Northwest, a battle he finally won in 1974 after being arrested many times during tribal 'fish-ins.' Today, thanks to his courage and determined effort, our resources are better protected, and more tribes are able to enjoy the rights preserved for them more than a century ago. Billy never stopped fighting to make sure future generations would be able to enjoy the outdoors as he did, and his passion on the issue of climate change should serve as an inspiration to us all." ELI SANDERS

MURDERS IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT Several dozen people marched on May 1 to a shrine for 24-year-old Kevin Brown, who died last month from a fatal gunshot wound near 22nd Avenue and East Union Street—one of three victims in a string of fatal shootings, one after the other, in the Central District during the week of April 19. The two other men killed that week were Deszaun Smallwood, 20, and Ronnie Brown, 36. The Seattle Police Department has pledged to "pound the pavement" and get to the bottom of the violence, but East Precinct commander Pierre Davis said on April 30 that police have no leads or suspects, nor any indication that the shootings are related. "The thing I want us to remember is that we've been creating a community of unemployed youth for the past three generations," said community activist Charlie James. "If we keep saying, 'Stop doing what you're doing,' but we don't give you anything better to do—that don't cut it." The Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, a program funded by the city that connects at-risk youth with services and jobs, claims there has not been one instance of juvenile-on-juvenile homicide since its inception in 2009, but it only serves ages 12 to 17. "We're not designed to serve a young-adult population," says SYVPI director Mariko Lockhart. Neighborhood residents are now asking: What is? ANSEL HERZ

BIKE SHARE, PRONTO! Hundreds of green and blue bicycles will be hitting Seattle's streets come late September, when Seattle's bicycle share program—now called Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share—finally launches. The initial fleet of 500 bikes, complete with custom gearing for Seattle's hills and a bungee-cord basket, will be branded with Alaska Airlines' logo through a five-year, $2.5 million sponsorship deal brokered by Mayor Ed Murray. Using bike share will cost less than owning a bicycle, Murray says. A 24-hour bicycle rental, which gives you unlimited 30-minute trips from one bike station to the next, will cost $8; a yearlong membership will be $85. ANSEL HERZ

THE NEXT SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF Seattle's police chief search committee has unanimously recommended three candidates to Mayor Ed Murray, who will choose one to be Seattle's police chief in mid-May. They are: Robert Lehner of Elk Grove, California; Frank Milstead from Mesa, Arizona; and Kathleen O'Toole of Boston. (The first two are current police chiefs; the third is a former police commissioner.) The search committee cochairs praised the three as "change agents," and Seattle Police Officers' Guild president Ron Smith said he's "very excited" about them. Whoever Murray picks—he's called it the most important decision he'll make as mayor—will take on a troubled police department that the federal government says is badly in need of major reforms. ANSEL HERZ

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAYOR MURRAY In honor of Ed Murray's arrival at age 59 on May 2 (and in recognition of our laziness in getting a better photo of the mayor than that terrible school-photo-style picture of him we've been running for ages), The Stranger commissioned the above portrait by Emily Nokes. You're welcome! ANNA MINARD recommended