Coney Island Baby

Nick Licata, increasingly the Seattle City Council's voice of reason on the monorail, had this to say about colleague Peter Steinbrueck's proposal to prohibit the monorail from crossing Seattle Center grounds: "I know a lot of people view [the Center] as somewhat sacred. But I think the Seattle Center is a vibrant place, and the monorail might contribute to that activity, rather than detract from it." In other words, Seattle Center isn't Seattle's Central Park--it's our Coney Island. ERICA C. BARNETT

Bouquet Bandits

On Wednesday, September 3, hot on a trail of a Capitol Hill crime wave, police arrested three people carrying incriminating sacks of: flowers. Officer O'Cleary spotted two women and one guy, all in their 20s, toting grocery bags of recently clipped blooms near the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption on East Howell Street and 13th Avenue.

According to O'Cleary's report, a recent rash of flower thefts had her on alert. "We've been receiving calls about individuals stealing flowers from yards and selling them on Broadway so I wanted to check and see where the flowers were from," O'Cleary wrote.

All three suspects initially denied the allegations, but after the arrest seemed inevitable (O'Cleary found flower-clipping scissors and heroin syringes), one person caved. "I'm sorry, you're going to find out anyway," she said. MAHRYA DRAHEIM

Looming Budget Cuts

Feeling jumpy about pending budget cuts, leaders from the Seattle Human Services Coalition (SHSC) met with Mayor Greg Nickels on Wednesday, September 10, for a heads-up on the 2004 budget--which the mayor will unveil on September 29. SHSC has every right to be jumpy about the city's next budget. The city, which helps fund SHSC members, is facing a $24 million revenue shortfall. The mayor told the coalition he has directed the city's Human Services Department to cut 2.8 percent from its $24.5 million budget.

SHSC Executive Director Julia Sterkovsky, whose coalition includes groups like Meals Partnership Coalition, Senior Services of Seattle/King County, and Seattle Food Committee--groups facing increasing demand--says, "With homeless shelters turning people away and food shelters running out of food, this cut is problematic." JOSH FEIT

Court Papers

After hearing oral arguments on Friday morning, September 12, from lawyers representing the owners of the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer--as well as from a citizens group dedicated to preserving two dailies in Seattle--King County Superior Court Judge Greg Canova did not issue an immediate ruling on the future of the joint operating agreement between the papers. The JOA's dissolution would likely spell the demise of the P-I; last April the Times started an 18-month countdown toward ending the agreement. If the P-I loses this legal round--Canova said he'd rule on the motion September 25--the paper's lawyers have indicated they will offer further legal challenges to the Times' move. SANDEEP KAUSHIK