Floundering Seattle Weekly Fires Editor

On Monday, August 26, Seattle Weekly's editor in chief, Audrey Van Buskirk, was fired by Village Voice Media CEO David Schneiderman. Van Buskirk was hired in November 2000 and oversaw the paper's 2001 redesign--and its subsequent 2002 redesign. The Weekly's managing editor, Bethany Jean Clement, was also fired.

Schneiderman sent an e-mail to the Weekly's staff that Monday afternoon, announcing the latest shakeup. (To read the text of Schneiderman's e-mail, go to www.thestranger.com/current/feature4.html.)

Van Buskirk will be replaced by a recycled editor in chief: Knute "Skip" Berger. Van Buskirk was told to show up to work Tuesday, August 27, while Berger assumed control the following Wednesday morning.

Berger was with the Weekly for 10 years and headed up the paper between 1997 and August 2000.

At the Weekly offices, staffers were "shocked that Skip is replacing Audrey," according to one employee.

Schneiderman's e-mail calls the change in leadership a "wonderful new era" for the paper. (It's not clear how hiring back the old editor ushers in a "new" era.)

There have been several "new eras" for the paper in the past two years. In 24 months, the floundering Weekly has had three designs, three logos, three editors, three publishers, and three sales directors. The paper has also had three different owners in the last four years. The Weekly's current publisher did not return The Stranger's phone call. AMY JENNIGES

Wills in White

Men all over town--Democratic Party wonks, King County bureaucrats, City Hall geeks, politicians, perhaps even a reporter or two--typically claim that City Council Member Heidi Wills is "annoying" and "weird," that her "breathy shtick" just doesn't work. Well, I bet ya all of those guys were privately cursing themselves last week for having never asked Wills out. Indeed, Wills, the sexiest female politician in town, is no longer a single gal.

Wills tied the knot with boyfriend Kobi Yamada at a South Lake Union wedding on Saturday evening, August 24. NANCY DREW

Gore Visits Nickels

Al Gore made a 15-minute appearance at Mayor Greg Nickels' dessert-tasting fundraiser on Sunday, August 25. Gore, vacationing in the Pacific Northwest, had invited Nickels to Gore's own Trattoria Mitchelli event that day, but Nickels' staff had a better idea--inviting Gore to stop by Nickels' event at the mayor's West Seattle home. Gore showed up with Tipper, gave a quick speech in Nickels' back yard, shook a few hands, and posed for pictures. JOSH FEIT