NEWS This week finds AMY JENNIGES filing her final story for this wretched rag. Her departing shot: A report on a minor squabble between a bar and its neighborhood. Guess which side Foster Brooks's favorite publication is rooting for. ALSO: ERICA C. BARNETT does her best to help regulate Seattle's sleep patterns with a story on the city budget, and ELI SANDERS offers his usual short-sighted loony-left spin on the latest Supreme Court nominee. PLUS: In Other Neighborhoods, In the Hall, CounterIntel, Sound Bite

FEATURE Buried Alive So it's come to this: The Stranger has moved beyond simply endangering journalism careers to outright endangering journalists. The result is this feature by ZAC PENNINGTON, wherein he allows himself to be buried alive. Literally. Presumably for the reader's entertainment. If this is the sort of story you want from a publication, by all means read and enjoy it. Then, for the love of mankind, please seek yourself some help.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS When she was living with John in Brentwood Park, Joan Didion and I used to drive the coast together in her yellow Corvette, stopping at the Malibu Inn to order gin-and-hot-waters and commiserate over Goldwater. She has a hell of a laugh, I'll tell you that. The Stranger's tribute to her this week, assembled by a books editor born in the 1980s, is woefully insufficient at best, but the obvious effort is noted. (Joan, when you get to town, call me.)