Pinc (formerly The Pink Zone), Capitol Hill's biggest and brashest gay fashion and lifestyle-accessory store, announced that it will fold as soon as owner Leslie Lippi finds someone to take over its Broadway space. Lippi started in 1990 with a cart at the Broadway Market. The operation grew to encompass a hair salon and tattoo and body-piercing studios, as well as the hottest leather and vinyl fashions, queer-pride shirts and pins, and fashionable bondage gear.

The store had just moved to its current 2,000-square-foot location at the start of 2001. "Throughout the second half of this year," Lippi says, "our sales have plummeted." Among Lippi's cited causes for the decline: "The street and neighborhood have changed; the economy has taken a nose-dive; and more and more Capitol Hill residents are shopping downtown. The drastic decrease in sales coupled with the expense of the recent remodel and my own burnout have made it impossible for me to weather the bad economy in the hopes that sales will improve in the spring or summer."

Decades, one of the retro-modern furniture stores that suddenly popped up on East Pike Street a few years back, is shutting down at the end of December. Its remaining stock will be sold through the nearby Area 51 store.

Larry Penberthy, 85, first became known as a crusader for safer mountain-climbing equipment. He put his ideas to practical use in 1968 by starting Mountain Safety Research (MSR), creating gear (including pickaxes and camp stoves) he claimed was safer and more reliable than the gear sold by REI at the time. REI bought out MSR in 1981. A lifelong tinkerer, Seattleite Penberthy developed other inventions and concepts covering everything from deep-sea diving gear to the "glassification" of hazardous waste. He also ran for the U.S. House and Senate and Washington's lieutenant governor position, on platforms that included the advocacy of nuclear energy. Penberthy died November 24 of natural causes., one of the major proponents of the would-be "e-book" craze, was closed by its parent company AOL Time Warner on December 5. Few people wanted to read books onscreen; fewer wanted to buy a specialized machine just to display them; fewer still wanted to pay iPublish to put their own books out in the e-book format.

Donald F. Pennell, 94, was a senior vice president at the Renton-based truck manufacturer Paccar. Upon his 1972 retirement, he turned his passions toward political activism. He was a longtime supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and other progressive groups and causes. Pennell passed away November 20 from congestive heart failure. But as the old bumper-sticker slogan says, "Old truckers never die; they just get a new Peterbilt."