Exclusive Interview with Local Guitar Legend

On September 16, landlords slapped a coat of gray paint over the Jimi Hendrix mural on First Avenue, near the Seattle Art Museum. The mural was painted in 1992. Several infuriated Japanese tourists and some "freak flag" teenagers from Puyallup shouted obscenities at the unfortunate painter assigned to do the dirty work. "It is not my fault," he said. "My boss told me, either Jimi goes, or I go."

His "boss" is Samis Land Co., which is run by the trust of one of the most notorious slumlords in Seattle history: the late Sam Israel.

The buildings, located between Seneca and University, were purchased late last year by Samis. The company wanted to spruce up the building for the neighboring yuppies at Harbor Steps. One happy resident, who declined to give her name, said, "Why does this city glorify drug addicts, and encourage young people to get stoned all the time? I am from the Midwest; there are no drug addicts out there. I think it is deplorable. I am glad it is gone."

Reached through transcendental meditation, Jimi said he could not afford to pay the increased rent that may have allowed his image to stay. -- JEFFREY CHAVEZ

Mother Nature Escapes City Crackdown

According to revisions the Seattle City Council is currently considering for the city's noise ordinance, those pesky "sounds created by natural phenomena" are exempted from police fines and criminal prosecution. -- PHIL CAMPBELL

Everybody Loves a Firefighter

Hoping to get in on the spin game, the Seattle Police Officers' Guild has quietly hired Firmani & Associates to handle its public relations. Recent stories in the press about police impropriety inspired the move. "We weren't comfortable with our ability to get out our side of the story," says J. D. Miller, guild vice president.

In general, cops don't like talking to reporters. "I get all these phone calls from media people," says Miller, "and [Firmani] characterizes them as opportunities. I look at them and say, 'Oh, here we go.'"

Not everybody loves the police, Miller acknowledges, expressing jealousy of firefighters. A police officer arrests people. A firefighter may come by and save your house, your kid, or your dog. "Oh, people love those guys," Miller says. -- PHIL CAMPBELL

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