Cirque Du Jerked

At least one organization isn't happy with those prancing, juggling, overly powdered, overly costumed acrobats that are gathering in Renton under the name Cirque du Soleil.

The King County Labor Council has put the Cirque on its "Do Not Patronize" list for messing with workers' rights. The traveling troupe, an international circus act, apparently tried to call local stage hands "independent contractors," which allows them to pay the employees the lowest possible wage.

Cirque had previously turned down a bid from union labor, saying it was too expensive. "Clearly we feel like a company that is estimated to make $14 million in Renton can afford to pay its employees better," says Jerry Crangi, a union organizer for Stage Hands Local #15. PHIL CAMPBELL

Boeing Bombs

Last week, test number three failed for the Boeing-managed National Missile Defense system. The $100 million test is one of 19 scheduled. Total cost to taxpayers, including prior research, if the flawed system is built: $182 billion. With all that money, we could just have a fireworks display, every day, for 13 years. PAT KEARNEY

Dirty Downtown

Downtown Seattle's strip-club scene is thriving despite the city's ongoing efforts to eradicate it. Dejà Vu, which is already established at Dexter Avenue and Denny Way, plans to open another club at First Avenue and Pike Street.

The Seattle City Council has tried to prevent this sort of thing from happening by annually renewing its moratorium on adult cabarets. But Dejà Vu is one of the old-school dirty dance clubs whose cabaret license predates the moratorium. According to a Dejà Vu staff member, the club will probably open in August. One small consolation for downtown boosters: The club doesn't expect to bring its labial pink exterior to the new location. ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB

They're Not Dead--Yet

Last week, The Seattle Times wrote that downtown hiphop club, the 700 Club, has already closed its doors. In truth, the beleaguered club has just gotten a three- to six-month extension on its lease.

Jumbalaya, the club's house band, has apparently fled for Capitol Hill's Baltic Room, a place that's better for people-watching than for busting a groove. Seriously, how can you appreciate a band like Jumbalaya if the dance floor doesn't move with you? PHIL CAMPBELL