Harvey Andrew "Andy" Gerber, 59, was a prominent fixture in the Seattle visual-arts community ever since he came here in 1980. (He was born in Peoria, IL, went to college in California, and served four years in the Navy.) He exhibited paintings at the Roscoe Louie, Cliff Michel, and Linda Cannon galleries, among others; some of his works found their way into the Microsoft and City of Seattle permanent collections. His first local exhibitions consisted of sometimes-gruesome photo-realistic images of overseas war zones. He then started depicting urban demolition sites (usually former low-income apartments and hotels) in a series collectively entitled Rubble Without a Cause. A 1992 Seattle Weekly review said "Gerber's huge canvases make monuments out of splintered wood" and project a "vivid, almost photographic sense of three-dimensional space." He served as the Center on Contemporary Art's professional "preparator" (exhibit installer) and facility manager in the early 1990s. His former CoCA boss, Larry Reid, said, "His earlier work dealt with gritty realism, conflict, and terrorism. He later tempered that work, and became more conceptual and less literal in more recent years. He went from kidnappings and scenes of Beirut to his more immediate surroundings. While there was a political element throughout his work, it became less overt." By the time of his Genetic Drift show in December 1997, a Cannon Gallery press release said he'd tried "to eliminate the clutter, and paints only the shapes of the picturesque ruins for which he's known.... Instead of monochromatic paintings, Gerber breaks new ground with garish, grayed designer colors such as gem tones of aubergine, garnet, emerald. Gerber has reduced demolition sites that held his fancy to mere shapes hanging in space." Gerber also held day jobs over the years as a decorator, home-store salesman, and apartment manager--the latter in keeping with his longtime concern with preserving affordable housing. He helped develop the Coho Building on 12th Avenue into artist housing, and more recently ran the Chardonnay Apartments on Bellevue Avenue. Gerber died August 19 following a lengthy bout with lung cancer.

Slingshot Communications, a Seattle firm that sold prepaid Internet-access cards through 7-Eleven, Circle K, RadioShack, Staples, and other retail outlets, ran out of money and closed its doors on August 28, four days after it shut down its network services. Fifteen employees were let go; management said it would try to find alternate providers for its 25,000 customers. The company was started two years ago by (according to its website) "a team of entrepreneurs, technologists and former Microsoft engineers who are committed to building the alternative to subscriptions on the Internet." Its cards usually offered 10 hours of Net access for $10.