The kids are all right

Reform may finally be on the way for Seattle's teen dance ordinance, a 1985 law aimed at separating that matches-and-gasoline combination of teenagers and live music. The Seattle City Council voted unanimously last Monday to set up a task force to review the city's restrictive law and make recommendations on possible changes.

Council member Richard Conlin, who proposed the legislation forming the task force, says the issue has been on his work program for some time. The process was nudged along when Framework Productions, a group of young artists and musicians organizing concerts for Seattle teenagers, met separately with all nine council members. Under Conlin's proposal, the 10 to 15 task force members would be chosen by the end of November and hold their first meeting the following month. A report would be expected by next June.

Another group, known as the Teen Dance Ordinance Resistance, is holding an organizing meeting at 1pm on Sunday, November 7, at the Speakeasy Cafe.

Reforming the teen dance ordinance was a stated priority of new council kids Conlin, Nick Licata, and Peter Steinbrueck, but attempts at addressing the issue were derailed earlier this year by territorial bickering among members. Conlin has also convened a task force on neighborhood kiosks to allow postering—another effort that, if successful, would represent a boost for musicians, promoters, and music fans.

Things fall apart

Mayor Paul Schell's truly odd effort to review the work of the Ethics and Elections Commission continues to stumble toward conclusion. In the latest development, task force chair Putnam Barber has come up with a first draft of a report that bears a vague resemblance to the discussion at the group's first—and so far only—meeting. Although Barber has invited task force members to comment on his draft, he has proven strangely resistant to sharing all comments with other members who have requested copies of correspondence. "Anyone who wishes to have all of us see their suggestions can easily circulate them, as [Brian] has done," Barber wrote in an e-mail to task force member Brian Livingston. "People who prefer not to can also send things to me alone."

Huh? Isn't this group supposed to be conducting a public process? A group whose chair seems to be keeping secrets from its own members doesn't seem to qualify. And we haven't even reached the controversial part of the task force's charge—the upcoming review of the city's conflict-of-interest regulations. Perhaps it could be conducted using smoke signals.

They said it

City Attorney Mark Sidran, who in the last year worked closely with state Sen. Pam Roach on drunk-driving legislation and found himself under the scrutiny of her Senate Law and Justice Committee due to his enforcement of drug-abatement laws: "Pam Roach and I have a strange and wonderful relationship."

Neighbor Jim Bledsoe, invoking the original authors of Seattle's park plan at a meeting addressing drug dealing and camping in Cowen Park: "I submit that some of the things going on in the park right now are not what the Olmsteds had in mind."

Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders on his successful 1995 campaign: "I found out there were 13 daily newspapers [in Washington] because 12 endorsed my opponent—but I did have the Chehalis Chronicle on my side."

Matthew Fox at the public hearing on the Pacific Place garage deal: "This is probably the biggest fait accompli I've ever seen in a city that does faits accomplis fairly well."

Over lightly

Is Seattle's Olympic bid committee really cozying up to city officials in Tacoma? At least comparisons with the City of Destiny could make Tampa and Houston seem like Olympic-caliber burgs. . . . Sour grapes at The Seattle Times, which told readers to cast a write-in ballot for state Supreme Court candidate Hugh Spitzer, a fourth-place primary finisher despite the backing of the estimable establishment rag. When will those ignorant voters learn? . . . City Council members recently received a care package from the Seattle Symphony: a 3-pound, 4-ounce package of color-copied press clips on the opening of Benaroya Hall, down to the coverage by a US Korean-language daily. A nice effort, but potentially insensitive to working people: It caused back strain for both the mail carrier at noon and the guy who carries the recycling bins in the evening. . . . Mayor Schell, evidently smarting over the Weekly's revelation that council member Nick Licata's e-mail newsletter has 1,400 subscribers and hizzoner's has just 600, last week e-mailed an invitation to all city employees to sign up. No word whether Nick is plotting a retaliatory subscription drive.

 
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