The Canadians/Downtown/Wed Feb 16/11:57 pm: Tonight, Officer Jess B. Pitts was dispatched to the Pacific Place Cinema to investigate a "Suspicious Circumstance." On arrival, the officer met with a visibly concerned employee of the theater who told him this incredible story: Two days after the close of the troubled-but-spectacular 19th century, a Motorola hand-held portable radio used for "interagency communication" was stolen! The radio was left in one of the auditoriums by a neglectful staff member, and picked up by a mischievous stranger who remained on the theater property, making several transmissions. The stranger, obviously highly entertained, managed to elude every attempt to capture him. "This transmit-and-move game went on for 90 minutes," said the theater employee, "and he somehow departed the property with the radio."

On February 16, a letter arrived at the cinema office that appeared to be connected to the stolen and abused radio. In the letter, which came from Delta, B. C. (a border city just south of Vancouver), an individual declared that it was he who had stolen the radio. To prove this, he provided the radio's model number (RADIUSP 1225) and serial number (75FYQ6511), along with the coded name of the person this radio was assigned to (Usher 3). The letter-writer then told Pacific Place Cinema that he would return the radio for "750 Canadian dollars" (which is roughly 500 American dollars); having established the ransom, the letter "rambled on" for a bit -- perhaps he claimed the radio was in fine condition, that he gave it fresh batteries regularly, and wouldn't harm it in any way if the money was sent soon. In the end, the saucy suspect revealed his name, and even gave his home address in British Columbia as the location for the drop-off. Officer Pitts took possession of the ransom letter and placed it into evidence. The report does not state if the American Embassy in Canada has been informed of this international incident.

The Mexicans/Downtown/Wed Feb 23/11:45 am: An "H/M" (Hispanic Male) wearing a black shirt was in an alley north of the 100 block of Pike St enjoying a midday beer. The prosperous city was bustling all about him, when out of the blue, a cop appeared. The cop, Officer R. Miller, arrested "H/M" for drinking in public and immediately turned him over to the INS! The "H/M," who has been kicked out of this country before, is now being held in the hideous immigration building on Airport Way (when will they knock down that sinister structure?!), and will soon be deported back to Mexico. But not to worry folks, "H/M" will certainly make his epic return.

The Africans/Central District/Fri Feb 25/10:00 pm: The taxi driver is tired -- dog tired, as the American vernacular has it. He came from a refugee camp in Kenya four years ago, and now drives around this strange city every night. At present, he has two black American teens in the back seat. They are not much older than his own son, he thinks, as he looks at them in the rearview mirror. Moments later, the teens request that he stop on the next block, near 18th and Cherry. It's a seven dollar fare. He turns to them for the money, and they run out of the car without paying. The driver is too tired to chase them. He makes an incident report for stolen services, and an hour later, he happens to pick me up by the QFC at the Harvard Market. While driving, he tells me the story of the theft. "America is tough, man," he concludes, pulling onto my street. "Would you go back to your country?" I ask, searching for my fare in my cluttered pockets. "No," he says, without a hint of hesitation. "What a country," I say, as the car (and this week's police beat) comes to a halt.