Quote of the Week
"I'm no J. Edgar Hoover, but I look better in pumps than he did."
-- City Attorney Mark Sidran to City Council Member Jim Compton, in a private meeting after Compton jokingly asked Sidran if he kept files on the citizens of Seattle.
While the city council has set up a subpoena-powered review panel -- starring council members Jim Compton, Jan Drago, and Nick Licata -- to figure out why the cops freaked out during the WTO conference, the mayor's office has apparently already got all the answers. In a draft document titled "Frequently Asked Questions: WTO," Schell's newly hired, temporary P.R. team has spelled out the answers to a number of pesky questions, including, "Isn't a no-protest zone contrary to the First Amendment?" "What happened on Capitol Hill?" and "What laws were protesters and violators arrested under?" However, the roundabout answers aren't likely to satisfy many. For example, take the mayor's suggested answer to the First Amendment/no-protest zone question: "The term 'no-protest zone' is a misnomer," reads the scripted answer. "The city established a... buffer zone. Anyone permitted in the zone could lawfully exercise his or her First Amendment Rights." JOSH FEIT
No on I-695: The Guerrilla Campaign
Apparently, the WTO isn't the only thing that can inspire political terror these days. On Sunday morning, November 21 -- just a few weeks after Election Day -- residents of Fuhrman Avenue East in Eastlake woke up to an unpleasant surprise: For a stretch of two blocks, over 40 cars had all four tires slashed. The only cars spared by the vandals were the cheapest beaters. Tony Reeves, who works at Affordable Tire in the U-District -- which tended to most of the victims -- says, "I've never seen anything like it before." According to Reeves, one car was still grounded a week after the incident: "a 2000 Audi, so low to the ground we can't tow it out of there." GRANT COGSWELL
Noisy Hot Potato
At the urging of City Council President Sue Donaldson, the council voted 9-0 on Monday, December 13 to send the "noise ordinance" to the Department of Construction and Land Use for an overhaul. (You'll remember that an initial noise ordinance overhaul was vetoed by the mayor in October.) The DCLU has been charged with making recommendations on regulating "time, place, and manner" of noise, developing "warning" systems for commercial establishments, coming up with "abatement" procedures for offending establishments, and figuring out a noise-ometer standard. These are the exact issues that the council couldn't agree on, or even figure out, earlier this fall. The DCLU has been asked to punt the thing back to the council by July 2000. JOSH FEIT
Quote of the Week #2
"My mama taught me that when you see a bunch of police, you don't run, but you walk the other way. And you walk briskly."
-- Black City Council Member Richard McIver, when asked why there were so few African Americans present during anti-WTO demonstrations.
High School Relationships
Earlier this month, after reporters at Garfield High's student paper wrote about teachers sexually harassing kids, David Ehrich, the teacher in charge of The Garfield Messenger, asked students at the paper to resign.
The story, "Beyond the Classroom," reveals students' accounts of relationships with teachers, and is part of a five-page spread on the subject. It makes sense that Garfield students would be thinking about this taboo topic now. Former principal Al Jones was recently fired from Garfield because of an alleged relationship with a female student.
"In light of the situation with Dr. Jones, students and teachers are questioning what is appropriate behavior," wrote staff reporters Rosie Bancroft and Ella Hushagen in the lead paragraph.
At a Messenger meeting on December 2, Ehrich told the paper's staff that reporters had been unethical because they were spreading rumors. Then, according to students in his class, he asked for resignations.
According to one Messenger editor, who wanted to remain anonymous (s/he wants to pass the class), the story checked out.
No students ended up having to quit after all. On the following Monday, December 6, Interim Principal Cheryl Chow stepped in. She reminded Ehrich that he couldn't fire the students, because the newspaper was actually a class -- not a job. ALEXANDRA HOLLY-GOTTLIEB
Separation of Church and Sexual Preference
Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, the magnificent edifice that perches atop the north side of Capitol Hill and serves as the Episcopal bishop's headquarters for western Washington, has long had a progressive administration. They were the chief political force behind last year's minimum wage initiative, have blessed same-sex unions for years, and their "Project Decency Principles" lobby for a myriad of causes, including affordable housing, child care, and health care. But the most recent revolution is unprecedented for the influential church: Robert Taylor, the newly elected dean of St. Mark's, is the first acknowledged gay man to hold an office of such import. The announcement of his election last summer was met with a brief flurry of threats by Internet loonies and -- on one occasion -- homophobic megaphones. But since Taylor's arrival on November 28, the Lord's work has been entirely undisturbed. BRIAN GOEDDE
Chicken Soup Thrift Stores Rumored to Close
Rumor has it that Chicken Soup Brigade intends to close down its money-losing (negative $50,000 a year) chain of three thrift stores. It's a rumor that Chuck Kheun, CSB's executive director, flatly denies. However, you shouldn't put a lot of stock in Kheun's denial. Here's why: Two months ago, word on the street was that CSB and Northwest AIDS Foundation had started talking about merging. However, when pressed on the issue at the time, Kheun scoffed, "What merger? There are no plans on the table at this time." Shortly after the denial, however, it came out that CSB had been talking about merging with NWAF. In short, Kheun was lying when he denied talks were taking place. CSB Thrift Store employees should probably keep Kheun's track record in mind before running up a lot of credit card debt this holiday season. DAN SAVAGE
Not All Anarchists Are Outside Agitators
Twenty-one-year-old General Mayhem, a local anarchist who was arrested on the first day of the WTO protests, says she and dozens of her political colleagues live right here in Seattle. "I've never even been to Eugene," she says, adding that the media frenzy around the Eugene anarchists is "D-U-M" and misleading, because it creates a mysterious bogeyman, downplaying political resistance that's brewing right here in Seattle. Ms. Mayhem says she believes in rules but not rulers, and thinks our consumer society -- which relies on cars, shopping malls, and low-paid service workers to create a sense of community -- is offensive. Sorry to break it to you, Mayor Schell, but the WTO protests inspired Ms. Mayhem and local anarchists to get more active in the future. Plans to start a local anarchist collective are in the works. NANCY DREW