• Our sincere best wishes to state senator Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) as he recovers from a bone-marrow transplant. But his announced absence during the special session leaves the senate in a 24–24 tie, putting Democrats in a position to seize back control and pass important legislation like the Reproductive Parity and State Dream Acts... assuming Democrats have the will or the balls. "We will use every parliamentary means at our disposal," says deposed senate majority leader Ed Murray. But, he laments, "we still only have 23 votes." Murray won't name the disloyal "Democrat." (But we all know it's Senator Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam.)

Overheard at City Hall: "For Mother's Day, I taught my daughter how to crush a beer can on the back of her skull."

Seattle Times editorial columnist Jonathan Martin complained about The Stranger's "obsession" with his paper, noting that we've written about the Seattle Times 22 times this year while mentioning the word "homeless" only seven times. Hey, we care about the homeless, Jonathan: Not too pricey like the Seattle Times or too skimpy like the Seattle Weekly, the homeless have made The Stranger their newspaper blanket of choice for years.

• At least one city hall staffer is the proud new owner of a Stranger-produced T-shirt emblazoned with "The NBA can go fuck itself." When we asked if said staffer would be wearing it to work, we were told it was not "on message."

• After months of meetings, Seattle Public Schools superintendent Jose Banda announced this week that the district's testing task force has decided the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which teachers across the district have boycotted for months, will no longer be required at the high school level—but will continue for K–8 students and high schools that choose to use MAP. This means that the district will renew the controversial test's contract on June 5 for around $485,000, says SPS spokeswoman Theresa Whipple.

• The handsome, magnanimous, superbly talented, and admirably thick-skinned Senator Ed Murray (who, when described with any less flattery, calls us up to complain) raised $103,693 during the two-week break between the regular and special legislative sessions. That's more than mayoral candidates Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, and current mayor Mike McGinn raised during the entire month of April. Combined.

• "Look at Bruce's endorsement list—it's basically every person of color who's lost a race in the last 10 years," an Ed Murray supporter joked of Bruce Harrell during a recent Murray fundraiser. Murray's response: "I condemn this person." recommended