While most Americans received the news of recent bombings in Kosovo with bewildered indifference, Seattle's small Serb population took it hard, mobilizing with protests and prayer vigils. Last Saturday, they filled the plaza across from Westlake Center with signs reading "drop Clinton, not bombs" and chants tinged with a Slavic accent. Protester Nada Prasko, her damp blond hair curling in the drizzle, said despondently, "I will probably go back there and I will die there. I cannot stay here while this is going on."

The same crowd packed Sunday morning mass at Saint Sava, a Serbian church outside Issaquah at the end of a ramshackle road lined with chicken coops and old cars. After the regular service, congregants lit candles for a special prayer. "We must pray like we have never prayed before to stop a power so big that only God can stop it," the minister said.

The little church was lined with slightly askew gilded portraits of Christ and chandeliers that dwarfed the tiny space. The reporters clomping through the church laid their microphones at the foot of the minister's red and gold robe and groused that the entire service was in Serbian. A KOMO 4 reporter impatiently asked an old man carrying his wife's shoes in a plastic shopping bag, "Do you speak enough English to talk to me?" He looked at her blankly.

After the press left, congregants gathered in the church hall for ajevar, a spicy red pepper spread, and sour crusty bread. Sreten Nesic passed around pictures of the American plane downed over the weekend. How did he feel when he heard that the sophisticated plane had been shot from the sky? "Frankly, I was ecstatic. I believed in the dream of a U.S. democracy, but as I get older I don't know if what I left is worse.... This country is made of immigrants. You can't destroy one group in the name of the other, because those people live here."

Mirko Spasojevic was emotionally torn. He pulled out a loose-leaf binder to show a special commendation his son received from the U.S. Army. "After he got this, he was transferred to Hawaii," Spasojevic said, patting the plastic-encased award. The binder also held a bus ticket for a trip from Belgrade to Yugoslavia. Spasojevic plans to go to Serbia next week to help fight U.S. forces.

"It is very hard," he says. "I have four children and an American wife. I love the American people and the culture. But I think the government is fascist. And I have to help my people."--Samantha M. Shapiro'

'Charlie Brydon of the Washington State Liquor Control Board insists that he's not screwing Oscar and Barbara McCoy--the owners of Oscar's II in the Central District--it just seems that way.

The board recently voted to revoke the restaurant and bar's liquor license, overruling a state judge. "We're inviting them to re-apply for their license," Brydon says. But anyone who's been following the issue knows their re-application won't go anywhere.

The McCoys couldn't be reached for comment on the issue, but one of their most ardent supporters, local club owner Chris Clifford, directed a barrage of profanities at Brydon and the rest of the liquor board. He calls Brydon's invitation to re-apply "ass-covering 101."

Longtime Seattle fixture Oscar's II has been under fire since City Attorney Mark Sidran moved to close the club under drug abatement laws in 1997, the same year Seattle police convinced the Liquor Board to pull the club's license due to alleged drug and gang activity.

The methods Sidran and the police used to build their case against the club are currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. Clifford would like to see the Liquor Board and its agents included in that investigation. -- Ben Jacklet