Smart Move

Parking in Capitol Hill's Pike-Pine neighborhood is tight--but it appears some drivers are snagging coveted spaces by misusing handicapped tags.

Kirk Robertson, a manager at the Pine Street nightclub Manray, has noticed an increase in cars parked nearby with handicapped tags hanging from their rearview mirrors.

The Washington State Department of Licensing confirmed that two of the cars' tags in the Pike-Pine area belonged to dead people.

The suspicious cars are parked near the Phil Smart Mercedes dealership on Pike Street. "I see Phil Smart employees coming and going from cars that have handicapped-parking access," Robertson says.

Additionally, a 1993 black Mercedes--apparently for sale--was parked on Pine with a handicapped tag and Phil Smart logos instead of license plates. Cars cannot be parked on city streets without legal license plates.

Colleen Barry, business manager of Phil Smart, was unaware if any employees were misusing handicapped tags. "It wouldn't have anything to do with the company," Barry says. AMY BARANSKI

Fucking Bacteria

Preliminary numbers from Public Health--Seattle & King County indicate that shigella, a common bacteria usually acquired through contact with contaminated food or water, may also be circulating through sexual activity. Roughly 40 percent of people who contract shigella are gay or bisexual men, the health department found after recording sexual-partner information in shigella cases last year.

Final numbers regarding shigella and sexual orientation will be available this fall. AMY JENNIGES

Game Over

Beth Fell, co-owner of Hi*Score Arcade on East Pine Street, is optimistic about her business' future. In addition to a room for retro pinball and video games, she envisions a cafe, a performance area for all-ages shows, and maybe even a lounge on the side.

But those dreams won't come true at Hi*Score's current location. The arcade will close on October 1.

Nearly two years ago, Fell and her business partner, Zach Orgel, began looking for a new spot after learning that Hi*Score would lose half its space to make way for a new apartment building next door.

High rents in Capitol Hill, along with pinball-phobic prospective landlords, left Fell and Orgel with no place to go. "We really wanted to stay in this neighborhood," Fell says. "But we ran out of time and money." AMY JENNIGES