Monorail Update

The current conspiracy theory among the monorail faithful is that during this year's hotly contested election, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis slipped monorail-campaign polling data to the anti-monorail folks. (Ceis had access because Mayor Nickels consulted with the monorail proponents, and helped raise money, for the poll ["Hiding the Numbers," Josh Feit, May 30].)

Ceis used to work for anti-monorail poster boy Ron Sims--and, of course, every anti-monorail conspiracy theory must lead back to Sims, the Sound Transit board director and King County exec.

Ceis unequivocally denies the rumor. "That's absurd. The proponents of the monorail have got to stop being so paranoid and get focused on building a coalition," he says. "To do that, you shouldn't be beating the bushes for perceived enemies who don't exist. I never even had a hard copy of that poll. My boss [Nickels] supported the monorail, and my job was to help in that effort, and that's what I did."

In other monorail news: Thanks to the monorail win (yes, Dwight Pelz, a majority constitutes a win), the monorail folks are getting a bit cocky. The post-win chatter among the monorail Taliban is that they can build the line for less than the voter-approved $1.7 billion, and will be able to extend the line to Northgate. "How would you like to vote on that?" one monorail fanatic asked. "Extend the line to Northgate for no extra money." Well, that'd sure be nice, but it also sure sounds familiar. Too familiar, in fact. It seems the monorail team might already be making the same mistake Sound Transit made: Dangling, but not delivering, Northgate. JOSH FEIT

Budget Boo-Boo

Described as purely technical snafus and explained away by embarrassed Seattle City Council staffers as things that simply got overlooked in a fast-paced process, a series of gaffes in the city budget had to be amended by city council on December 2--after they'd already formally approved the budget only two weeks earlier on November 18. Whoops! "In all my years working with legislative bodies," said one mayoral staffer who wanted to remain anonymous, "I have never seen a legislative body that had to go back and fix their budget after already passing it." JOSH FEIT

Scare Tactic

The young male who has taunted police and disrupted Garfield High School with hoax phone calls threatening imminent violence is still at it, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Bill Southern. The calls, which began on November 22 and have come nearly every school day since, are typically placed around midday from a difficult-to-pinpoint cell phone. The threats (another occured as we went to press on December 3) have led to a series of lockdowns at the school. SANDEEP KAUSHIK

Lodrick and Rodrick Update

The Rainier Beach High School boys' basketball team--ranked second in the country and first in the state--informally started their season last week by hosting an eight-team tourney. The RBHS Vikings' nationally ranked Stewart twins, 6'5" seniors Lodrick and Rodrick (who have switched to the backcourt this year as shooting guard and point guard, respectively, to prep them for positions they'll likely play in college), led the team to handy wins. The Vikings' real season tips off against Lakeside at RBHS on Friday, December 6. And of course, the Vikings will be traveling to St. Louis and Houston later this season to compete in national tournaments. (The team fell just short of making the national high-school final four at a tournament in Las Vegas this summer.) JOSH FEIT

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