Nicastro's Boyfriend Trouble

Some Seattle City Council members are uncomfortable with the way Council Member Judy Nicastro's boyfriend, Stephen Spoonamore, seems to have used his relationship with Nicastro to get the inside track on monorail business. (Monorail folks themselves raised the same concerns after being surprised last year when Spoonamore sat in on closed-door monorail meetings with Nicastro and the Elevated Transportation Company, this while Spoonamore was also making noise about bidding for monorail business.)

In the last two weeks, Nicastro has had to tell council colleagues and monorail leadership that Spoonamore is neither interested in bidding on the monorail contract nor in being a monorail board member. (Spoonamore was quoted in a recent Seattle Times story as a critic of the proposed monorail route and monorail director Joel Horn.)

Nicastro was told that Council President Peter Steinbrueck's concerns about Spoonamore may keep her off the council's monorail committee. JOSH FEIT

Steinbrueck vs. Conlin

Speaking of the potential monorail committee: Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin sent a bitchy e-mail to Peter Steinbrueck, the council president, this week. Conlin doesn't like Steinbrueck's idea of creating a special monorail committee--a committee that would likely be headed up by Nick Licata, a longtime pro-monorail council member. Conlin, who monorail folks see as an opponent of the project, wants to keep all monorail business in his own transportation committee.

After Steinbrueck fired off a council e-mail saying he "strongly preferred" to "introduce legislation" on January 13 to create a special monorail committee, Conlin shot back a slightly threatening e-mail reminding Steinbrueck and the council that there had been an agreement not to take monorail business out of the transportation committee. "I hope this does not signal his intent to violate that agreement," Conlin announced to his colleagues.

I'm looking forward to a fun showdown on January 13. JOSH FEIT

Told You So II

The Stranger would like to add its voice to the applause coming from the editor of American Journalism Review, who recently praised the Seattle Times for hiring a freelancer to do reporting on the Times' plan to eliminate rival Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Of course, it would be churlish of us to mention that this ethically righteous move originated because back in October, The Stranger embarrassed the Times when we caught the daily deep-sixing its own reporter's story about a Times plan to subvert the P-I. We promptly broke the news ourselves ["One-Paper Town?", Oct 10]. SANDEEP KAUSHIK