City Council Poll

Last week, The Stranger reported on Governor Gary Locke's and King County Executive Ron Sims' limp polling numbers [In Other News, May 29].

For wonks who can't get enough polling data, we're happy to follow up with more. Conducted by lobbyist M. J. Durkan's Washington Directions firm, the poll also rated the popularity of incumbent Seattle City Council members up for reelection this year.

Jim Compton and Peter Steinbrueck are the most popular, polling in the 60-to-65-percent, "Yes, I would vote for them" range. Margaret Pageler scored in the high 50s, with Judy Nicastro right behind her.

Heidi Wills was at the bottom, in the low 50s. JOSH FEIT

SAL Hires New Director

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) has named a new director to replace Matthew Brogan, who abandoned our city for the city, New York, in May. SAL chose Margit Dementi Rankin, 39, a Seattleite who worked with Brogan on SAL programs like the Wednesday University lecture forums.

Rankin is currently associate director at the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the UW. CHARLES MUDEDE


Department of Neighborhoods spokeswoman Natasha Jones sounded downright chastened this week after her city department's little-read newsletter, Community Calendar, took center stage at the city council's June 2 briefing. A newsletter item asked neighbors to "Protest Police Spying" by the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (see "The LEIU Conference" by Amy Jenniges, this page).

The notice called the LEIU a private group that "gathers and shares information" on political groups.

"If I'd read that, I'd be out there picketing too," Margaret Pageler said.

"That's in our neighborhood newsletter?" Jan Drago responded incredulously.

Jones, who put the notice in, says, "Obviously, there were some issues with putting that in there, and it won't happen again." ERICA C. BARNETT

Change of Heart

Cindi Laws, the renegade Seattle Monorail Project board member who single-handedly thwarted the appointment of academic Sue Secker to a board position last month, says she now won't oppose Secker's nomination to fill the seat vacated by Nick Hanauer, who resigned under fire in March.

Why the sudden turnaround? Laws says although she opposed appointing another white West Seattleite to a board that's already packed with that sort, she was convinced that Secker, a vice president at Seattle U, was the most qualified available candidate. The bottom line, according to Laws: "We haven't been able to convince anybody [else] to do it." ERICA C. BARNETT