Worldwide coffee behemoth Starbucks apparently doesn't like the idea that even a scant .0006% of its employees would dare to form a collective bargaining unit. The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286 has been negotiating with Starbucks since February on behalf of 22 technicians at the company's Kent roasting facility (the only unionized employees among Starbucks 35,600 worldwide ranks).
Endless rounds of negotiations later, the two sides are no closer to an agreement on a first contract. PHIL CAMPBELL
Bremerton Sex Scandal
Apparently, reading about "strong vaginal muscles" and "prolonged stimulation" was making Bremerton readers a little flustered. A sex column in The Sun, Bremerton's local paper, was canceled this month after readers started complaining. "The Sun had violated an unwritten pact to provide [the readers] with a family-friendly newspaper," says editor Brian Stallcop. "Intimate Issues" columnist Dr. Roger Libby says he vows to fight the column's removal, which had been running since January. Even "right-wingers" need sex education, he says. PAT KEARNEY
Last week a King County judge sided with a renter (hurray!), ruling in small claims court that Michael Rosenberger violated the state's Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. Rosenberger, who rents out his house in North Seattle's Crown Hill neighborhood, failed to fix a leak in the basement after tenant Danielle Lietz complained. Rosenberger now owes Lietz $1,067.70. As a lawyer with the city's Law Department, Rosenberger should know better. He and the rest of City Attorney Mark Sidran's staff are supposed to enforce Seattle's landlord laws. Rosenberger plans to ppeal the decision. NANCY DREW
Superintendent by Day...
Conservatives who worry that a liberal elite is running the government are right! Julie Anne Kempf, Superintendent of Elections for King County--a position that one would expect to warrant the highest standards of political non-partisanship--is one of the biggest Democratic busybodies in the state. Kempf, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee from the 11th District (Renton, Tukwila), spent the weekend of June 9 at the Democratic convention in Spokane hammering out the platform and helping elect delegates to the national convention. Kempf was elected to her district position in late April, three-and-a-half weeks after accepting the job as county elections super. JOSH FEIT