The Great Police Mystery

Police Chief Norm Stamper's claim to fame (before botching the WTO conference) was the Community Policing Bureau.

However, the city has no idea if Stamper's 5-year-old pet project has been much of a success. In fact, the city council, police department, and an independent criminal justice consultant are in the process of applying for a federal grant which will help determine the "measurable outcome" of the bureau, says Susan Baugh of the city auditor's office.

This follows a request from Councilwoman Tina Podlodowski last summer for an audit of the program. That audit, however, was halted due to lack of data. INGRID POLSTON

Upper-Class War

Residents from wealthy lakeshore Seattle neighborhoods like Leschi and Madison Park are waging a class war of their own. Their target: the über-rich on Mercer Island. Lakeshore residents are agitating, holding public meetings, publishing pamphlets, and lobbying the Port of Seattle to reroute SeaTac flight paths so they buzz over that damn island, too. ALEXANDRA HOLLY-GOTTLIEB

Take Me to Your Leader

Likely city council president Margaret Pageler was notably in absentia during the two recent community meetings that focused on, oh, the biggest thing that's happened in Seattle in 20 years -- the WTO clamp-down. Pageler didn't show up at all for the first downtown library meeting. And she made a 45-minute appearance at the 10-hour Seattle Center follow-up. Pageler couldn't be reached for comment (surprise!), but her delightful legislative assistant, Peter Clarke, would be happy to explain. If you're concerned about Pageler's attendance record, please give Clarke a call at 684-8807. JOSH FEIT

Christmas Cards

Even homeless youth are shelling out cash for Pokémon this Christmas. These kids aren't playing cards, though; they're helping grown-up hucksters pull off an Internet scam. Here's the deal: According to homeless teens we spoke with, the trickster drives kids around to various toy and department stores in and around Seattle. The street kids are fronted cash to buy 10 packs of Pokémon cards -- 10 is the limit per person. (Cards run about $9.95 a pack). The youths change clothes, go back in the same stores, buy 10 more packs, then move on to a new store. Kids make between 15-20 bucks per night. The mastermind turns around and sells the cards via the Internet (allegedly on eBay), where Pokémon cards run as high as $46 to $169 a pack. TRISHA READY

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