In an interview with The Stranger's editorial board, state senator Margarita Prentice (D-11) took exception to the implication that most of her support comes from business and political interest groups. "I get $10 checks, $20 checks—that's all the people who live in my district can afford to give," Prentice, who represents the suburbs south of Seattle, told the board.

Checking over Prentice's campaign-disclosure records from this year, when she has a viable challenger in Juan Martinez, it would appear Prentice is right—in addition to the usual big checks from tribal groups, drug companies, and banking PACs, her contributions include numerous $20, $40, and $50 donations from individuals in her district. Look back to 2004, however, and the numbers tell a different story. That year, just four of Prentice's contributions were from residents of her district—a total of $175.


On July 18, a King County Superior Court judge ruled against Capitol Hill neighborhood activist Dennis Saxman, who had sought to prevent a six-story apartment building on Pine Street and Belmont Avenue from moving forward. Saxman argued that guidelines for the area required all new construction to match the old brick buildings in the neighborhood.

Saxman's unsuccessful suit did manage to stall the project for months. Since the block was razed this spring—removing several established neighborhood businesses—it has been used as a parking lot.

Saxman is appealing another building proposal on Pine Street. Land-use attorney Peter Buck, who argued on behalf of developer Murray Franklyn in the Pine-Belmont case, says the developer has traction this time, "because both a hearing examiner and the trial court have decided against [Saxman] on key points that he is trying to raise again." DOMINIC HOLDEN


After two years of infighting on the Southeast District Council (SEDC), a group of community organizations in southeast Seattle, the Mount Baker Community Club (MBCC) has resigned from its position on the council to protest an "imbalance of voting power" in the SEDC and formed its own district council, the Southeast Neighborhood District Council. Now it's asking for official recognition from the city.

MBCC has complained for years about the number of social service agencies that have voting power on the council, and tension at SEDC meetings has led to screaming matches, accusations of racism, near fistfights and threats from city council members to revoke SEDC's membership in the City Neighborhood Council (CNC), the umbrella group for neighborhood organizations. At a July 29 meeting, members of the CNC told both South Seattle groups they needed to try and work things out. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE