Nickels Goes Deaf

Earlier this year, Mayor Greg Nickels made a big deal about embracing Seattle's music scene--standing on stage at EMP promising to make Seattle (infamous for its recently dismantled Teen Dance Ordinance) more hospitable to the music industry and pledging to add music promotion to Seattle's agenda

Nickels didn't seem to have much concern for the music community last week, though. Nickels, on a four-day trip to Denver, had been urged by Seattle music-biz guy Dave Meinert to meet with a Denver music promoter named Doug Kauffman. Kauffman is suing Clear Channel, accusing the $8.4 billion radio giant of anti-competitive practices: buying up venues and promotion companies that work with Clear Channel radio stations to squeeze out competition ["Clear Fear," Josh Feit, March 4]. Thanks to the lawsuit, Meinert thinks Clear Channel, which owns five Seattle radio stations, does local promo, and has a regional venue, should be watched by local policy makers.

Nickels ignored Meinert's requests and didn't meet Kauffman in Denver. "I hope you would not move ahead with selling out any part of Seattle to Clear Channel without first consulting the local community," Meinert wrote Nickels' office in a follow-up April 26 e-mail. JOSH FEIT

Monorail Turns It Up

Monorail proponents have been quiet lately. The rambunctious grassroots movement that propelled the monorail to three separate election victories in a five-year span fell into complacency, believing they didn't need to make noise anymore because their last election victory in 2002 had finally created a bona fide agency. However, monorail opponents'strategy of delaying the project in an effort to drive up costs has forced monorail troops to regroup.

At city council last Monday, April 26, the recently re-formed Monorail Now played the first stint on its comeback tour after wisely hiring grassroots monorail guy Peter Sherwin. Sherwin helped pull together monorail supporters, who testified in favor of the agency's proposal to run the line through Seattle Center. Sherwin took the mic himself and laid it down: The process has gone on long enough--after a year of negotiations, 25 groups representing the Center, including the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Science Center, and the Seattle Children's Theatre, have signed off on the through-route. "If the monorail agency had come to you with 25 groups opposing it, it would be a joke; you wouldn't even begin to consider it," Sherwin told council opponents like Peter Steinbrueck. "This kind of consensus is just so rare, I think it needs to be taken seriously." JOSH FEIT