The Seattle chapter of CD and video delivery company Kozmo.com fancies itself a "family"-oriented business. Unlike its "urban" counterparts in New York and San Francisco, they do not offer such fine adult videos as "EuroAngels 19 Pucker Fuckers," because they see porn as a marketing disadvantage. With a few mouse clicks, though, Seattleites can have the unrated film Caligula and Playboy magazine at their door in under an hour. These racy selections, Kozmo rationalizes, are "not on the front page where little kids are surfing to decide on a movie." BRIAN GOEDDE
No Stopping Death
State Senator Adam Kline (Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill) backed down this week from sponsoring a bill that would have put a temporary moratorium on the death penalty. He's still, however, proposing that a task force investigate how fairly capital punishment is being meted out in the state of Washington. Kline's colleagues on the Judiciary Committee told Kline they would agree to a study, but they would not halt state-run executions for any reason. PHIL CAMPBELL
Monorail Now Accepting VISA
Talk about bad P.R. The website for the Elevated Transportation Company, the non-profit board in charge of implementing the voter-approved monorail, is a study in desperation. The home page assaults visitors with an immediate plea for cash: "The ETC needs your help. Make a donation to help the ETC continue to work for the future of elevated transit in Seattle."
Where are the compelling images of safe, sleek monorails? Just finding a simple map of where a monorail line might actually go takes three deliberate mouse clicks -- and you have to skip over a second request for money to get there.
The ETC might want to add another question in its FAQ list: Should we get some smarter ETC members? PHIL CAMPBELL
More WTO Questions
Apparently, city council members aren't the only ones looking into the WTO conference. One city bus rider recently received a questionnaire titled, "WTO. How was your visit? We value your opinion." Printed with the Seattle seal in the top left corner, the survey asks -- among other things -- if you came away from the protest with a new espresso machine or car stereo, and if police officers dispensed their tear gas with "skill and confidence." The questionnaire, according to one King County employee who was surveyed, was handed to her by two Seattle police officers. NANCY DREW
State Screws Sex Workers
After four months, the Department of Labor & Industries has finished its investigation of Internet Entertainment Group's Capitol Hill-based Clublove studios ["No Love for Clublove," Oct 14, 1999]. But the state is letting the porn website off easy. Inspectors notified IEG President and CEO Seth Warshavsky on January 3 that the company had three violations of state code: There was no safety committee, employee safety orientation, or directions to first aid supplies. Warshavsky must fix these problems by February 5. However, the state is not imposing any financial penalty on IEG for jeopardizing workers' safety with unsanitary conditions. (According to former IEG employees, Clublove's showers and performing rooms were unclean; employees were forced to attend a meeting without pay; they were subjected to an illegal break policy; and worse, Warshavsky tried to force them to take turns using a dildo camera that couldn't be sterilized). Inspectors warned Warshavsky that he cannot make his employees use the dildo camera until it meets safety standards. "I can't believe they didn't get fined," says one former Clublove worker. "I'm blown away." ALEXANDRA HOLLY-GOTTLIEB
A local judge criticized the Washington State Liquor Control Board last week for "immature behavior" in its treatment of a Seattle bar. The judge then lowered the fines the board imposed on the club by 90 percent.
A couple years ago, the liquor board took on Jersey's All-American Sports Bar, ultimately hitting it with eight board violations. Some of these violations were as frivolous as where the club placed a foosball table.
Not to be rolled over, Jersey's owner Chris Clifford got entangled in a very public dispute with the board ["The Odd Couple," June 24, 1999]. Clifford, in fact, turned around and filed a lawsuit against the board.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Fox (not of Family Ties fame) said that both Clifford and the liquor board "provoked each other." Still, Fox found that Jersey's was not doing anything to endanger the safety or welfare of the public, so the club's total fines were reduced from $2,500 to $250.
Fox said that Clifford's behavior was immature, too, but he noted that Clifford has a right to criticize liquor board employees -- without suffering from the board's wrath.
Clifford's attorney, David Osgood, naturally agrees with Fox's ruling. "My client's a bar owner. He's allowed to act immature." PHIL CAMPBELL
Don't Count Your Blessings
What appears to be a major victory for Sound Transit's light rail plan may actually blossom into yet another migraine for the embattled agency. Sound Transit's final Environmental Impact Statement, which had been getting criticized by local activists and the federal government, was approved earlier this month by the Federal Transit Administration.
However, the new EIS has simply reinvigorated Sound Transit's main detractors, the Rainier Valley neighborhood group Save Our Valley. SOV had dropped their federal complaint against the route, but says the new EIS opens up two fronts for renewed battle.
The group, upset about surface rail cutting through Rainier Valley, had filed a suit last year based on Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They believe the light rail plan, which is slated to run at street level down Martin Luther King Way, will disproportionately impact their minority neighborhood. Other neighborhoods -- like Capitol Hill and the U-District -- are slated to get tunnels. SOV withdrew its complaint in December. According to an assistant to one Sound Transit board member, the withdrawal was "a huge relief." SOV lawyer Mickey Gendler says the group withdrew the complaint because it had been based on Sound Transit's outdated original plan. Now, he says, SOV plans to file another civil rights suit against Sound Transit's revised plan.
Meanwhile, SOV spokesman George Curtis says SOV has filed an administrative appeal against the new impact statement. SOV's appeal asserts that Sound Transit's public comment period for gauging environmental impacts was too brief. Spokane lawyer Greg Smith was appointed by the Sound Transit board to review SOV's objection -- along will three other appeals that deal with the same impact statement. ADAM HOLDORF