Minnie's Melt

Caffé Minnie's, the 24-hour diner at 611 Broadway East on Capitol Hill, closed its doors abruptly on Sunday, September 23.

"We closed it," Terry Wagner, manager of the original First Avenue and Denny Way location, says flatly. "We've still got this one." Wagner didn't offer an explanation for the Broadway closure. A sign in the vacant window says the restaurant lost its lease.

With the Minnie's meltdown, the six-block stretch between Denny Way and Roy Street on Broadway now boasts six empty storefronts and one store going out of business. AMY JENNIGES

Hate Letters

Letters from white supremacist groups fluttered into Seattle mailboxes on September 20 and 21. Four of the letters--sent to residential addresses near Lake Union, the University District, and Northgate--are documented in police reports. All contained white separatist information. Three had lists of organizations and magazines relating to white separatism. There were flyers about free speech, political rants in German, and business cards with swastikas and messages like "stop non-white immigration."

The white supremacists also sent along other crucial information for the Aryan jihad: a flyer for The Vagina Monologues, a six of spades playing card, Mariners ticket information, cutouts from Science of Mind magazine, small rocks, and two recipes--for banana nut bread and garlic bread. NANCY DREW

Checking In

According to a recent U.S. General Accounting Office study, the turnover rate among security screeners at Sea-Tac airport is 140 percent--landing Sea-Tac among the 10 worst airports nationwide when it comes to retaining employees in this key security position.

Screeners, who check luggage and run metal detectors, are often the front line in airport safety. However, according to the GAO study, many screeners make only minimum wage, resulting in high turnover at airports--creating potential for, um, problems. PAT KEARNEY

Checking Out

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Seattle tourism industry--from major area hotels to the convention center--is ailing.

"It's been significant," says Dave Blandford, spokesperson for the Seattle-King County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Blandford says businesses like Washington Mutual have been canceling or postponing September reservations at the convention center.

Meanwhile, the immediate future for Seattle hotels doesn't look promising. "We've had to make reductions in staff, and have lost hundreds of thousands [of dollars] in the last few weeks," says Stan Kott, general manager of the Edgewater Inn on the Seattle waterfront. Kott says business, specifically corporate client occupancy, has recently dropped 15 percent or more. PAT KEARNEY

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