• How many people show up when a mayor with an approval rating in the low 20s throws an August barbecue in his backyard in Greenwood and charges $50 for veggie burgers and an open bar? About 100 people, it turns out. The nosiest among them peered into Mike McGinn's vegetable garden (one artichoke plant, a bunch of kale, some broccolini and mustard greens) and snooped through the bookshelf in his living room, where toward the top rests a somewhat dusty copy of the self-published polemic Seattle Citizens Against Freeways. The motto of Seattle Citizens Against Freeways was very McGinn: "FIGHTING FIERCELY AND WINNING SOMETIMES."

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• Speaking of highways, Paula Hammond—secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, which oversees 20,000 miles of state highways and juggles billion-dollar road projects—denies rumors that she drives a Hummer to work. Furthermore, Hammond says there isn't a Hummer to be found in her family—she drives a 2007 Chrysler 300, her husband drives a 1997 Ford F-150, and her son drives a Scion xB (aka a fridge on wheels).

• Meanwhile, some entire streets in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood have been repainted to resemble very wide bike paths. Hot Tipper Doug writes: "I now live on a giant bike path. We are winning the War on Cars."

• On August 25, Seattle City Council challenger Bobby Forch could be heard trumpeting an endorsement from vanquished city council challenger Michael Taylor-Judd. ("Bobby is a strong leader who will stand up for everyone in our community and represent our progressive values," Taylor-Judd said—without mentioning his big disagreement with Forch over Forch's support of the downtown tunnel.) Not to be outdone, the campaign of council incumbent Jean Godden, who will be tangling with Forch in the November general election, struck right back with an endorsement from state representative Joe Fitzgibbon. "Don't want to rain on Bobby's parade," a spokesperson for Camp Godden wrote to Sources Say. "But... eeeee!"

• Asked to explain his Godden endorsement, Fitzgibbon credited her role in the $80 "transportation investment package on the ballot this fall." In fact, Godden wanted a smaller car-tab fee ($40) with 75 percent devoted to roads—which was the most conservative, anti-transit package floated. Is pro-transit Fitzgibbon just confused?

• On the August 30 anniversary of John T. Williams's death at the hands of a Seattle police officer, the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole Project announced its plans to raise $160,000 to buy a totem pole carved by Williams's brother Rick and erect it at the Seattle Center on February 27, 2012—John's birthday. To donate, visit the group's Facebook page.

• An Elway Poll conducted August 18 to 22—and promptly leaked to us—shows Tim Eyman's anti-tolling, light-rail-destroying Initiative 1125 doing the worst of all three statewide initiatives headed for the fall ballot. Only 49 percent of voters support Eyman's latest scheme, and that support is very soft. Only 17 percent of voters will "definitely" vote yes on I-1125, the rest are probablies. Meanwhile, Initiative 1163, which would mandate more training for home health care workers, is polling at 77 percent approval, and Initiative 1183, the liquor privatization effort, has exactly 50 percent approval.

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• Over the last 20 years, taxes in Washington State have gone from among the highest in the nation to among the lowest. According to data from the US Census Bureau, Washington State's current tax "burden" is at the lowest level since 1991.

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• Sources say that Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell has been pressuring at least one African American business owner to take back his endorsement of Harrell's white challenger, Brad Meacham. Harrell did not respond to a request for comment.

• Travel guide guru Rick Steves is taking the $1 million he's earned from the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy over the last 10 years and donating it to the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Generous! But also: Holy shit, Rick, you made so much fucking money over the last 10 years that your tax break alone is $1 million?!? We gotta get into the travel guide biz.

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