Gym Rats

The Fremont Sunday Market, a quirky neighborhood institution since 1990, is still facing threats from the Sound Mind and Body Gym. The market, which operates every weekend along 34th Street near Evanston Avenue North, has been feuding with the adjacent gym since last spring, when market operator Jon Hegeman requested a permit from the city to use the street. The gym argued against the permit, saying the large, bustling market kept their members from accessing the gym ["Squash!," Amy Jenniges, April 4]. But the market got the permit, and has been open every Sunday on 34th.

Now the gym's owners, Vicki Aldrich and Richard Harrington, are suing Hegeman and the city. The suit, in federal court, alleges that the city was unfair in letting Hegeman's for-profit market operate in a public street. The gym is asking for monetary damages--Hegeman says it's $6,000 for each day the market operates on 34th--and an injunction to keep the market 2,000 feet away from the gym. "This is about forcing the market out of Fremont forever," Hegeman says. AMY JENNIGES

Poster Rules Update

In the wake of last August's Washington State Court of Appeals ruling against Seattle's poster ban, the city is retooling its guidelines for postering on public poles. (The city doesn't want posters littering the sidewalk or blocking street signs.)

Local activists are working to head off any new harsh rules that could curb free speech. Luckily, public feedback convinced the city to consider extending the deadline for poster removal from 48 hours to 10 days after the event and nixing requirements about contact information on the signs. SEAN REID

Budget Talks

The 43rd District Democrats hosted a city budget forum at the University Baptist Church in the U-District on Tuesday, October 15. It was a dull affair; city officials walked the 80 or so community members through the sobering numbers of the city's $60 million budget shortfall.

Well, dull until Alice Woldt, the interim executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, challenged Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis about the wisdom of pouring money into new sidewalks while slashing social services. Woldt challenged Ceis' contention that Mayor Nickels' service cuts wouldn't touch basic services like food and shelter. JOSH FEIT

Microsoft Superhighway

Further proof that R-51 is a pavement-friendly Eastside suburban wet dream: The biggest campaign contributor is Redmond giant Microsoft. Bill Gates and the company kicked in $400,000 to the campaign's $3.9 million war chest. NANCY DREW