Hot Advice

Last week, Seattle's Department of Design, Construction, and Land Use (DCLU) had a hot tip for renters. According to Tenants Union organizer Scott Winn, who called the DCLU on January 16 because the department had allowed tenants at the Central District's Baldwin Apartments to go without hot water for 10 days, Supervisor Ken Swanigan said the residents could heat the water on their stoves. ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB

Way to Go, Wills

We can't believe we're saying it, but Council Member Heidi Wills deserves a gold star. Last week, Wills proposed legislation that would expand assistance for elderly and low-income electric utility rate-payers. To cover the new costs, Wills proposed raising rates on high energy users--mainly businesses. "Those who use more should pay more," Wills says.

Wills' plan would serve more people by changing the prerequisites for assistance. Currently, an elderly person making more than $22,440 a year would not qualify, and neither would a poor person making more than $10,440. Wills would put the bar for both the elderly and the poor at $31,000 for one person.

Low-income activists at ACORN, who originally called for the changes, estimate that the new requirements will expand the program by at least 60,000 families. JOSH FEIT

Union Crazy

In the aftermath of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild's bitter strike against The Seattle Times, the last thing you'd expect would be renewed employee interest in unions.

Surprise. John Coelho wants to organize his fellow newspaper deliverers under the Newspaper Carrier's Association. Coelho's union at the Times would number 2,000 workers, twice as many as who recently wounded the daily during the strike. "If the carriers had joined the strike, they would have been able to kick the Times' ass in about a week," Coelho says. PHIL CAMPBELL

Call Someone Else's Congressman

Given that our D.C. delegation is blindly taking cues from Sound Transit--the agency that lied and came in $1.1 BILLION over budget on light rail--we think it's time to seek outside help.

Please call U.S. Rep. Harold Rogers, (R-Kentucky), chairman of the Appropriations transportation subcommittee (202-225-4601), and tell him the facts: Sound Transit cannot be trusted, the over-budget project will have no discernible impact on easing traffic congestion, and the 21-mile line won't reach most area residents. JOSH FEIT

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