A Disturbing Contradiction

The investigation of the death of former Seattle actor Anthony Lee, shot at a party in Los Angeles in October, has taken a disturbing but not altogether surprising turn. According to an article in the L.A. Times, "The coroner's report... found that Lee was struck from behind by four bullets, with two in the back causing his death as they tore through vital organs." This contradicts the shooting officer's report, which stated that Lee had turned to face the officer, waving what appeared to be a handgun (but turned out to be a rubber replica). The police, the district attorney's office, and the law firm of Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., which has been retained by Lee's family, are conducting separate inquiries. An LAPD spokesperson said about the four shots in Lee's back, "They can be explained." Lee's sister, Tina Lee-Vogt (who works as an assistant to the police chief of Sacramento), told the Times, "This whole thing makes me concerned about the truthfulness of the department... trying to sway public opinion, they showed a callous indifference to the taking of a life." BRET FETZER

Empty Space Fills Empty Space

After a lengthy and rigorous search, the Empty Space Theatre in Fremont has chosen its new artistic director: Allison Narver, former artistic director of Annex Theatre, and, more recently, former resident director of Julie Taymor's production of The Lion King on Broadway. Narver's Seattle roots go deep; in addition to her years with Annex (during which time the company produced over 100 plays, including 60 world premieres), Narver has worked in one respect or another with A Contemporary Theatre, New City Theatre, Rain City Projects, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Seattle Arts Commission. Since leaving Seattle in 1996, she's received a master's degree in directing from Yale and directed in New York, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Stamford, Connecticut. All in all, Narver has proven to be a passionate advocate for new work, and this--combined with her connections within Seattle and around the country--should make her an apt and excellent choice for the Empty Space.

In addition, Open Circle has just chosen its new artistic director: Melanie White, the former artistic director of British troupe Hamlet's Janitor. White also has a long history of fostering new plays, having worked with New Dramatists and the Women's Project in New York and the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. BRET FETZER

Bringing Artists Back to the Square

By a 9-2 vote, the King County Council on Monday approved the sale of the surplus county-owned Tashiro-Kaplan building in Pioneer Square to Artspace Projects, Inc, the Minnesota-based nonprofit whose mission is to create affordable artist housing in urban areas. Artspace is working locally with the Pioneer Square Community Development Organization to develop over 50 live/work spaces for artists in the building, and to secure commercial tenants, including the King County Office of Cultural Resources and the King County Arts Commission. Best of all, the plan for the building is to favor two- and three-bedroom units, making the building the city's first real low-income artist housing for wholesome artsy families. JAMIE HOOK

Haircut Winners

Congratulations to Paul Palinkas and Melysa Liberman, who came in first thing Monday morning with the "Golden Shears," thus earning themselves the dubious responsibility of cutting Jamie Hook's hair. The haircut will take place Monday, Dec 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Twilight Exit, 2020 E. Madison. Onlookers are encouraged!