South Lake Union and $500 Million

In a letter sent to all nine Seattle City Council members earlier this month, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis says he is "puzzled" by council staffer Peter Harris' report that questions the need for major city-funded developments in South Lake Union. Harris' report, Ceis alleges, "raise[s] anew whether the city should welcome... jobs."

Read the report, though, and Ceis' reaction seems a bit defensive. The report concludes that instead of simply assuming that investments in South Lake Union will generate new tax revenues, as the mayor and Ceis believe, the city should "evaluate the proposed improvements by whether they represent the best available opportunity to support economic development and enhance quality of life in the city as a whole." In other words: Before we spend millions chasing the promise of biotech in South Lake Union, let's make sure we're getting a return on our investment. Smart advice? Absolutely. An "academic debate," as Ceis claims? With $500 million or more on the line, hardly. ERICA C. BARNETT

Seattle Weekly & George Bush

After witnessing a young man surreptitiously sidling up to Seattle Weekly boxes and slipping anti-Bush flyers over the cover of the paper--while ignoring other newspapers like the Seattle Times, which endorsed Bush in 2000--I stopped the man and asked why he was singling out the Weekly. He said: "The Seattle Weekly's corporate parent is one of Bush's top contributors."

It's true. One of Seattle Weekly's corporate backers, Goldman Sachs, is on George W. Bush's top-10 all-time contributors list. In the 2004 presidential race alone, Goldman Sachs employees have contributed $350,875 to Bush at latest count.

I couldn't resist passing another bit of info onto this earnest young man: The Weekly's corporate sponsor, Goldman Sachs, is also listed as one of Republican Majority Leader U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's top contributors. Goldman Sachs does not show up on the big donor list of DeLay's counterpart, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. JOSH FEIT

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