Sex and Haircuts

Capitol Hill business owners were relieved when two prime pieces of Broadway real estate were filled after sitting vacant for months. Castle Superstore, a brightly lit porn shop, opened this month in the former Wherehouse Music space at Broadway near John Street after the property sat vacant for eight months. On November 8, Ace Barbershop opened its spare, modish salon just up the street in the building that once housed Cellophane Square, also empty for over six months. Ace's owner, Johnny Lawless, chose Capitol Hill after a long search. "Businesses need to take a chance," she said. "I hope Broadway will come back." MAHRYA DRAHEIM


Poll Tax

In a smart amendment to Mayor Nickels' $660 million general fund budget, the Seattle City Council decided to impose restrictions on the use of polls and surveys by city departments. Over the last two years, the city has hired firms to conduct polls to the tune of half a million dollars.

Among the findings of a $21,000 City Light study: City Light customer service representatives should openly acknowledge billing errors and apologize for them.

Perhaps the most annoying and questionable use of taxpayer money for polling was Mayor Nickels' $50,000 fire levy survey, which found: "This may be a uniquely appropriate and opportune time to present the fire levy to voters.... Two or three years from today, voter awareness... may decrease." Nickels took the poll's advice (Nickels' regular pollster, Evans/McDonough, did the work) and campaigned for the levy this year, chalking up a win for his reelection resumé.

Perhaps the council should have also amended this year's budget to include a $50,000 reimbursement to the public to cover Nickels' campaign-consultant bill! JOSH FEIT


Where's Rush?

Think liberal Seattleites are upset about Rush Limbaugh's return to the airwaves (after five weeks in drug rehab)? It may be the righties at conservative KVI 570-AM who are the most pissed. After 12 years on KVI, Limbaugh returned on rival station KTTH 770-AM. (He'd actually moved there the day before going on leave to enter treatment.) KVI allegedly responded by sending its archenemy a bouquet of black roses when Limbaugh's troubles surfaced. SANDEEP KAUSHIK


Capitol Hill Money

Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata secured a victory for Capitol Hill and the East Precinct last week, getting $430,000 into the 2004 city budget to help the neighborhood combat crime and drug problems ($30K will extend an existing case manager position, and the rest will boost public safety). The neighborhood's Bobby Morris Playfield will lose $400,000, which is earmarked for the new services. AMY JENNIGES

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