Environmentalists signed on to the joint roads/Sound Transit package a few weeks ago despite the potential inclusion of the sprawl-feeding cross-base highway in Pierce County (and despite the fact that the package included hundreds of miles of new highway lanes, many of which would also feed sprawl). Groups like the Transportation Choices Coalition justified their support for the massive $7 billion roads package because the cross-base highway will be subject to mediation, raising hopes that enviros will be able to kill the highway. (They also point out that the roads package is linked to Sound Transit expansion.)

Well, Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg certainly doesn't think the cross-base highway is dead; in fact, according to a widely distributed e-mail he sent out last Friday, he believes it's in the package. According to Ladenburg's e-mail, "The cross-base highway is back in with a portion of the funding contingent on mediation with environmental representatives."

So—according to the Pierce County executive, anyway, who was in on the negotiations—environmental groups signed off on a highway that traverses the last remaining oak prairie in Western Washington (and parallels another highway just five miles away) in exchange for a little "mediation." Awesome. ERICA C. BARNETT


Nervous that the GOP may funnel recently deceased King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng's $194,000 campaign war chest to Republican King County prosecutor candidate Dan Satterberg, the Washington State Democrats fired off a warning-shot press release this week.

The testy press release stated: "In the case of the prosecutor's race, State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz says that if large amounts of cash from Maleng's campaign coffers are funneled through the Republican Party back to the GOP nominee for the position, it would be tantamount to the sort of illegal and unethical political money laundering that Republicans have become known for on the national level."

Surplus funds cannot go to other candidates. They can, however, go to a political party organization, but they can't be directed at a specific candidate.

For a response to Pelz, the state Republicans referred us to the King County Republicans, who were not available by press time. JOSH FEIT


The U.S. Census Bureau released a study on public-transit habits last week titled "Most of Us Still Drive to Work—Alone." The good, and surprising, news is that Seattle was not "most of us."

Seattle landed on the top 10 list with cities like New York, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago when it comes to the number of people who take public transit to work. Seattle ranked eighth, with 17 percent of workers using mass transit—not that far behind Chicago, where 25 percent use transit. In New York City, ranked number one, nearly 55 percent of commuters use public transit.

Seattle ranked third for biking to work (2.3 percent of you), sixth in walking to work (6.2 percent), and third in working at home (5.1 percent). NANCY DREW