COPS CRACK DOWN ON FREE COFFEEOne of the city's most dedicated advocates for the homeless was threatened with arrest last week at the site of the police department's new West Precinct building.

For more than 10 years, Scott Morrow of SHARE has been getting up at ungodly hours five days a week to provide free coffee for people who spent the night outdoors or in downtown shelters. Previously people would gather in front of the art museum on First Avenue; later, they moved up to the Convention Center on Pike, until the expansion project there forced another move.

To Morrow, the new cop shop seemed like the logical spot for relocation -- it's nearby, and it's public. The police thought otherwise. "They really got their hair rubbed the wrong way," says Morrow. "They've told us a few times that we'll be arrested if we come back."

Of course, the best way to ensure that civilly disobedient Morrow will return the next day is to threaten him with arrest. He showed up prepared for the slammer, but instead he ended up talking to Captain Jim Pugel.

The police argued that the gathering could bring more crime to the neighborhood. And sure enough, the police were right -- they wrote two citations for jaywalking the very next morning: one to a homeless guy on his way to free coffee, another to a woman on her way to work. -- Ben JackletNORDSTROM CRACKS DOWN ON UNDERPAID STALKERAnd you thought the Nordstrom by Northgate Mall was the Mecca of lily-white normalcy.... On August 3, former Nordstrom customer service rep Avery Fisher filed a federal case against the retail giant for some strange goings-on. Fisher, 28, alleges the company stiffed him on overtime pay and retaliated against him by making up stories about his sex life when he complained to his bosses.

Fisher's account begins last May when he complained to his supervisor, Laura Hastings, about his inadequate paycheck: He was clocking in overtime hours, but he wasn't getting paid the $16.50 time and a half rate, he says. Rather than paying up, however, Fisher says management retaliated by firing him for sexually harassing a male co-worker. "I was in shock," says Fisher, who is straight. "[Hastings] interrogated me for an hour and a half about my personal life." Fisher, a phone rep since February, says Hastings accused him of stalking co-worker George Jackson, tailing him home on I-5, and spreading rumors of an ensuing romantic interlude at Jackson's house. "It's impossible that I followed him home after work," Fisher says. "I drove straight to my second job." Fisher worked nights as a caretaker at Integrated Living Services in Kent. Hastings, however, didn't believe Fisher's side of the story -- which included a truly bizarre account about two female co-workers in camouflage creeping around the outside of his apartment.

Ultimately, Fisher may have really blundered when he protested to Hastings that he could have any woman in the office he wanted, including her -- so why would he go after George Jackson? Fisher was fired over the phone on July 1. Nordstrom spokesperson Paula Stanley says Fisher's allegations have no merit. -- Josh FeitCHOW RETURNS STEWART MONEYOn Saturday, July 31, city council candidate Cheryl Chow returned a $400 campaign contribution to Thomas Stewart's Services Group of America (SGA).

Chow says she decided to return the money as soon as a friend reminded her that SGA was run by Stewart, the Republican player recently convicted of illegal campaign contributions.

Contrary to a press release sent out by the Civic Foundation, Chow insists her decision had nothing to do with that group's report about corporate campaign contributions in this year's race.

"That may be true," says Brian Livingston of the Civic Foundation, "but she didn't seem to be aware of this until our report came out."

Indeed, the check from SGA had been in the bank for two and a half months before Chow suddenly decided to return the money, five days after the report came out.

Chow says she plain forgot what SGA is, and what it means. "I'm lousy with names," says the educator-turned-politician. "Kids' names I remember if I saw them in my office a lot.... Names have always been one of my downfalls. I remember faces of kids I knew...."

Surely, only the mind of Cheryl Chow comprehends what kids have to do with receiving bags of money from Seattle's poster guy for campaign finance reform.

-- Ben Jacklet

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