Liquor Board Settles with McCoy

Oscar McCoy, the long-beleaguered owner of the Central Area club Oscar's II, got the last laugh. After years of complaining (and suing both the city and the state Liquor Control Board) for improperly closing his business as a drug nuisance, McCoy settled for $1.2 million in a combined payment from the city (last February) and, this week, from the state liquor board. The settlement may justify what McCoy's longtime defenders (like former Stranger writer Ben Jacklet) have argued all along: Thanks to overzealous leadership by former City Attorney Mark Sidran, officials entrapped McCoy by sending both the undercover drug dealer and the buyer into McCoy's club. JOSH FEIT


Strip Club Moratorium

In what has become a yearly routine, the city council renewed Seattle's Strip Club Moratorium on Monday, April 22 in an 8-0 vote. Discussed, passed, and forgotten in less time than a quarter buys at the Lusty Lady, the "temporary" moratorium extends Seattle's 1986 ban on new strip clubs for another year, pending further "analysis and evaluation." This will be the 17th consecutive year of analysis and evaluation.

According to city council staffer Jill Berkey, last year's findings were "pretty brief." In fact, there weren't any. BROOK ADAM


Cable Privacy

With an eye on invasive new cable technology--and in an affront to the nosy cable industry--Seattle City Council Member Jim Compton crafted and passed some of this year's best council legislation. Compton's "Cable Privacy Act" (passed 8-0 on Monday, April 22) strengthened and clarified some meek and vague federal cable industry regulations.

Rather than allowing vague, small-print notices in your cable bill, Compton's fix will force cable companies to mail two warning postcards when distributing basic info like your name and address: one postcard before selling info, giving customers the chance to opt out, and one after, identifying who got the info and giving customers the option to bow out of future info distribution.

But the slippery fed guidelines have also let cable companies sell other info, defined as anything deemed "necessary" to run a cable business--customer viewing habits, for example.

Compton's legislation fixes that loophole by better defining "necessary to run a cable business." Under Compton's plan the phrase will mean just that--required or indispensable to the business--as opposed to the industry's definition, which often includes stuff like where you go on the web and what services you prefer. Compton's change will effectively place those sorts of highly personal tidbits under a more protective class of federal guidelines--which mean a customer must opt in, actively giving the green light for distribution.

"Your privacy belongs to you," Compton said after the vote, "not to the cable company." JOSH FEIT

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