Dancing

The all-ages music-advocacy group the Vera Project, currently in its third space in four years, just got word that it has to move again. According to Vera director James Keblas, the quaint walkup on the edge of Belltown that the group occupies is being torn down for a mixed-use development in early 2006, giving Vera a mere 11 months to find another--hopefully permanent--location. "We're going to try to work with the City of Seattle to get this thing figured out once and for all," Keblas says. Donna James, head of the Mayor's Office of Film & Music, says the city is enthusiastic about helping Vera; but so far, she adds, "We haven't been able to come up with the right location." ERICA C. BARNETT


Piercing

Seattle body piercer Troy Amundson has gotten his wish. A bill regulating piercing, which he's been nudging through Olympia for nearly two months ["Piercing Concerns," Amy Jenniges, Feb 3], finally has a sponsor. House Bill 2090--which would allow the state Department of Health to regulate the industry in accordance with national professional standards (including sterilization standards and minimum-age requirements) is sponsored by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Bainbridge Island). The bill will be heard in the House Health Committee on Friday afternoon, February 25. AMY JENNIGES


Politicking

Former Greg Nickels communications director Casey Corr, who jumped into the increasingly crowded race against City Council Member Richard Conlin last month, has been gaining ground on well-financed opponents Dwight Pelz (with $65,000) and Paige Miller (with $50,000) thanks in large part to donations from city staffers who are executing Nickels' pro-business, pro-development agenda. Among them: Office of Policy and Management (OPM) Director Mary Jean Ryan ($250); OPM Policy Advisor Bob Scales ($50); Office of Economic Development (OED) Director Jill Nishi ($37.50); OED Communications Director Karin Zaugg ($100); and Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis ($250). The recent donations bring Corr's total campaign fund to nearly $25,000. ERICA C. BARNETT


Challenging?

So far, no one has stepped forward to challenge King County Executive Ron Sims, who is up for reelection this November. Sims has been caught up in several controversies in recent months--the brouhaha over King County's ballot-counting procedures in the disputed gubernatorial election, suburban opposition to a Tent City homeless encampment, and rural anger over the Critical Areas Ordinance. One possible Democratic challenger is former state legislator and ex-supreme court justice Phil Talmadge, who acknowledges he is contemplating a run. He adds that polling done on his behalf shows Sims is vulnerable, with only 40 percent of county residents currently saying Sims should be reelected. SANDEEP KAUSHIK

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