In the Running

David Bloom, cochair of the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness says he's "strongly leaning" toward running for one of two to four council seats coming open in 2009. Council members Richard McIver and Jan Drago have said they plan to step down next year. Additionally, there are rumors that Nick Licata may retire instead of seeking a fourth term, and Richard Conlin is reportedly weighing a run for mayor. Bloom says that if Licata, his closest ideological ally on the council, steps down, "clearly, [that seat] would be my preference. But obviously, I'd rather have him stay on the council." ERICA C. BARNETT

In the Wrong

In February, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) received a complaint from a Columbia City resident about the personalized license plate on her neighbor's SUV. Next to the plate, which says, "DEPORT," is a bumper sticker that reads, "The Anti-American Gang is Lying—Illegal Aliens are NOT Immigrants."

"I was so shocked," the woman says. "I just don't believe the state should be sanctioning something that clearly carries a xenophobic message." In the last three months, DOL has twice reviewed and declined requests to revoke the plate.

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In a letter to DOL, the driver (who did not return a call) said he bought the plate to support the recent crackdowns on illegal immigration, adding, "I'm sure that the complaints... are coming from the illegal aliens and their supporters."

DOL spokesman Brad Benfield says that "as long as the plate is not deemed offensive by the criteria set in law, we don't feel like we're in a position to regulate someone's thoughts." JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE