That Bites

On August 30, tenants of the 40-unit Ben Lomond apartment building on Capitol Hill's Bellevue Court received a surprise notice from the new on-site managers. The once pet-friendly apartment was barring dogs, effective September 30. Dog owners whose pooches weren't on the lease, or whose leases were expired, had only 10 days to inform the management whether they were getting rid of their pets or moving out.

Residents revolted, holding a meeting on September 4 to draft a letter to RP Management, Inc., which runs the property. The letter, representing about half the apartments, demanded new on-site management, a retraction of the dog policy, and better maintenance of the building. The residents still haven't gotten a response; about 25 percent of the tenants--some dog owners, some not--have already found new apartments and given notice. "And there will be more than that," says soon-to-be-former resident Eric Branner. AMY JENNIGES

None of the Above

When faced with the choice between Paul Allen pushover Jim Compton and disgraced former council member John Manning, who served jail time for criminal trespass and violating a no-contact order after being arrested by police twice for domestic violence, thousands of Seattleites opted to vote for... no one. At press time, nearly 7,000 more people had cast their ballots in Seattle City Council Member Judy Nicastro's race than had voted in Compton's, a drop-off that was consistent all the way down the ballot, with nearly 1,800 more votes cast in both Heidi Wills' race and Margaret Pageler's than the unpopular Compton's. ERICA C. BARNETT

Made-Up Candidate

Four years ago, Judy Nicastro's nascent campaign sought advice from women-centered political consultant Cathy Allen. Nicastro, put off when Allen advised her to wear more makeup, took her campaign elsewhere.

This year, Allen's makeup advice seems to have gotten through--but not to Nicastro. Nicastro opponent--and Allen client--Jean Godden posted a $532 in-kind contribution from Marco's hair salon in downtown Seattle.

Explaining the heavy dose of cosmetics, Allen says the contribution was for "a number of different things." Godden had her hair and makeup done, and received "counseling" and "classes" about "how to look the same every day if you want to look professional." It also involved "buying [hair care] products to keep Jean's hair under control." Godden has several hairdressers, including Roberto's and Marco's. NANCY DREW

Diesel Debate

Capitol Hill residents are fuming about a King County Metro decision to switch from electric to diesel along three major bus routes on the hill. Starting on September 27, Metro will replace weekend electric trolley buses along bus lines 7, 43, and 44 with newer, louder diesel buses until 2005. Growing budget concerns, coupled with the high breakdown rate of the trolleys, led Metro staff to implement the cost-conscious decision, which will save $450,000 by Metro's estimates. Some Capitol Hill community members are upset, however, seeing the new buses as threats to the success of a neighborhood that thrives on outdoor cafes and weekend activities.

They've found an ally in Capitol Hill representative Ed Murray, who wrote a blunt letter on September 4 to King County Executive Ron Sims, asking him to reverse the "shortsighted decision." MAHRYA DRAHEIM

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