• Would Republicans make death threats to prevent a $20 car tab fee? Asked to explain King County Council members Jane Hague's and Kathy Lambert's last-minute cold feet on the $20 car tab fee vote on August 15, County Executive Dow Constantine said they'd received a lot of pressure after pre-announcing their "yes" votes, including "death threats." Lambert confirmed, but said it did not affect their decision.

Madeleine Peyroux and Paula Cole bring their iconic albums to the Benaroya Hall stage on October 8!
These sensational singer-songwriters celebrate their hit records, Careless Love and This Fire, at Benaroya Hall!

• The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America contributed an astonishing $3.7 million this week to defeat Initiative 1183. What's the boozy trade association so upset about? If passed this November, the initiative would allow grocery stores to sell hard liquor. That is, it could allow grocery giants like Costco to edge other wine and liquor distributors out of the market.

Activists flew a giant inflatable butt in front of Paul Allen's helipad on Mercer Island last weekend. The billionaire-cum-miser funded a campaign last year to make sure he and his wealthy friends didn't pay a state income tax, hence the banner hanging from the flying butt that read, "Shared Sacrifice My Ass."

• Helmets are the enemy. Seattle-based think tank the Sightline Institute advocated last week for a bike-sharing program that would "blanket urban areas with hundreds, even thousands, of identical, sturdy bikes." There's only one problem, according to the thinkers: "Overzealous helmet laws are blocking a transport revolution."

• In June of 2010, a group called Queer Youth Space received a $100,000 matching grant from the city to open—you guessed it—a queer youth space. More than a year and a zillion pink leaflets later, there's still no queer youth space. Attempts to get a reply from the group—asking what the fuck happened—have gone unanswered.

• Is Attorney General Rob McKenna secretly a socialist? Delivering a speech last week to the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he called for more state spending on nursing programs, early childhood education, all-day kindergarten, year-round school years, and other "more expensive programs." He's running for governor as a Republican.

• The website Gawker—which somehow makes The Stranger look erudite—says, "Seattle has been scientifically proven to be one of America's most annoying cities." Well, true that.

• Six mayors from Washington State's largest cities joined Seattle mayor Mike McGinn in his crusade for Backpage.com ­—an adult services website owned by Seattle Weekly parent company Village Voice Media (VVM)—to require in-person identification checks for adult ads. The company says that's impossible. But the mayors are insistent. In Tacoma, police report "that they are currently working on 16 cases of juvenile prostitution involving 14 persons who had Backpage.com ads." Meanwhile, a federal judge in St. Louis dismissed a lawsuit brought by a young girl who alleged that Backpage.com "knowingly allow[ed] her pimp to advertise the girl's sexual services." The judge sided with VVM's argument that "the responsibility, under the law, rests with the person supplying the post."

• Dian Ferguson, who is running for Seattle City Council, has begun crowdsourcing her election platform. She asked Facebook supporters "what they view as the issues."

Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (eeeeeeee!) is begging for money to pay down debt from his successful 2010 run for the state legislature. How much debt does Fitzgibbon have, exactly? He says, "About $7,000, give or take."

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• A protest outside Republican congressman Dave Reichert's office on August 18 drew about 200 people to a mock soup line to protest Reichert's lack of focus on creating jobs. Across the street, about a dozen Tea Partyers shouted back. "Really smart things," recalled soup line organizer Anne Martens, of the group Working Washington. "Like, 'Get a job!'"

A man on East Pike Street held a sign last weekend that said, "Need tickets to Hempfest." Poor sucker. Hempfest was free.

DocFest Kicks Off The Return of SIFF Cinema | Sep 30-Oct 7
A celebration of all films documentary—with in person and virtual screenings, plus filmmaker Q&As.