• Sources say that after initial skepticism among Seattle City Council members over the controversial sports arena deal, private talks with investor Chris Hansen are now going swimmingly. "We expect a pretty good outcome," says a city hall source familiar with the meetings.

"I'm a fortune teller!" announced a woman on the number 10 bus last week before offering to forecast the fortune of one lucky commuter in exchange for bus fare. Sadly, eyewitnesses report that no one took her up on the offer and the driver booted her off the bus.

Seattle Weekly reporter Rick Anderson was recently let go after working for the paper for 15 years, amid a spree of layoffs across the national chain of alt weeklies owned by Weekly parent company Village Voice Media (VVM). Anderson tells The Stranger that while he's muzzled by a separation agreement, he's still able to "point out the obvious: This latest round of VVM economic cutbacks in part targeted higher-salaried vets like myself." Weekly editor Mike Seely says higher-paid writers weren't the only staffers let go. However, he adds that with his bosses now paying fewer full-time salaries and benefits, his freelance budget has "received a bit of a boost, certainly enough to keep Rick in circulation if he'd like to be—and he's given me every indication that he would." Translation: Experienced writers like Anderson can work but without a salary or benefits.

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Hempfest was overrun last weekend with medical marijuana businesses campaigning against Initiative 502, a pot legalization initiative on the fall ballot that some fear could hurt the medical pot industry's profits. One of them was 4Evergreen Group, a company that issues medical marijuana authorizations, which printed and circulated stacks of handbills declaring "No on 502" without saying who paid for them. Washington State Public Disclosure Commission spokeswoman Lori Anderson explains that "the flyers need to have sponsor ID on them." 4Evergreen director Joshua Berman claims the materials don't need to include a sponsor ID because they qualify as "exempt" items. There are exceptions to the sponsor-identification rules—such as yard signs, campaign swag like whistles, or articles in newspapers—but flyers aren't among them, Anderson insists. As of press time, 4Evergreen still hadn't reported its campaign expenses. Asked if he will do so, Berman said by e-mail, "I'll talk to my atty and CFO about it, they'll be able to advice [sic] us appropriately as to all of the in's and out's of proper reporting."

Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman who is running for US Senate, faced calls to stop campaigning from his own Republican Party after he said last weekend, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down." His (totally specious!) point: Women who were actually raped rarely get pregnant, justifying why pregnant rape victims don't deserve abortion access. Despite the pressure to resign, Akin said on August 21 that he will stay in the Senate race. recommended