Campaign Cash Update

Judy Nicastro's June fundraising total, an astonishing $51,705, may mark the largest single-month contribution total for any city council candidate--ever. The push brings Nicastro's formerly anemic coffers to more than $135,000; in comparison, Nicastro's top opponent, Kollin Min, brought in $17,000, for $89,000 total. ERICA C. BARNETT

Chamber Endorsements

The Alki Foundation--the Seattle Chamber of Commerce's political arm--announced its endorsements Tuesday. Their picks included energy consultant Rudi Bertschi, challenging incumbent Peter Steinbrueck, and real estate broker Robert Rosencrantz, challenging incumbent Judy Nicastro. No one in incumbent Heidi Wills' race won the business group's support; foundation chair George Griffin says that after looking at the candidates' positions on the lease lid and South Lake Union development, among other issues, the group decided that neither "the incumbent [nor] the challengers really had business interests at the forefront of their thinking." ERICA C. BARNETT

Land of the Free?

Seattle Districts Now signature gatherers say they were ejected from last Friday's Independence Day festivities at Gas Works Park, where they attempted to set up a table to collect signatures. Campaign manager Jay Sauceda says representatives of event organizer One Reel told him the public park was "their property for the day" due to a lease agreement with the city's parks department. "We basically decide who comes in and who doesn't," says Taffy Kehrwald, One Reel's office manager. Parks department spokeswoman Virginia Swanson says that while event planners can't prohibit people from gathering signatures, tables and kiosks may require a permit. Sauceda's group is considering legal action. ERICA C. BARNETT

Gay Marriage Victory

Canada amped its "world's greatest country" reputation on Tuesday, when the British Columbia Court of Appeal lifted a ban on same-sex marriage, following the lead of an Ontario court. The court had ruled in May that laws against same-sex marriage were discriminatory, but gave the government a year to change them. Tuesday's ruling ditched the wait. No word on whether any Washington gay couples have crossed the border to wed. AMY JENNIGES

The Party's Savior?

Speculation has been mounting that former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark will run for the Democratic presidential nomination. In Seattle, a meeting on Monday, July 7, organized via, drew 30 enthusiastic Clark supporters, from seniors--one attendee voted for Dwight Eisenhower in 1956--to orthodox Seattle liberals. Clark is expected to announce whether he'll run in the next two months. SANDEEP KAUSHIK