Zarker, Pulitzers, and SeaPop

CITY COUNCIL

Just minutes before they tore a new hole in City Light director Gary Zarker's r鳵m鬠Seattle City Council members got a sternly worded warning from the King County Labor Council: Vote to reconfirm Zarker, or risk losing labor's endorsement in the upcoming election. The "tracking" e-mail, reportedly sent at Mayor Greg Nickels' behest, informed council members (five of whom are up for re-election) that their vote on Zarker "will be one benchmark we use in our candidate endorsement process." What incensed some about the e-mail was its timing: The message arrived a mere 30 minutes before the 9 a.m. confirmation hearing. (Zarker resigned after the committee voted to reject him 4-3.) Whether the vote turns out to be a watershed in the ongoing mayor-council war remains to be seen.

MEDIA

The Seattle Times is reportedly a finalist for two Pulitzer Prizes: one for its coverage of Washington links to the Washington, D.C., snipers last fall, and a second for its series tracking wanna-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam. Times representatives, hewing to the cautious decorum that surrounds the prize, declined to comment. Columbia University, which administers the prizes, will release the official list of finalists next month.

Reports of Rewind's death have been greatly exaggerated. Bill Radke, host of the KUOW-based NPR news and humor show, reports that while the program will no longer be nationally syndicated after this month, he has agreed to stay on at the Seattle public radio station and host a local version of the show.

MONORAIL

The Seattle Popular Monorail Authority hasn't even figured out where the monorail will go, much less come up with cost estimates or sold the bonds that will pay for the initial line. But that hasn't stopped them from seeking money to build a second linewhich was why, in late February, monorail supporters on the King County Council got a letter from monorail board member Cindi Laws asking for their support for a $61 million federal funding request, sponsored by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle. But this week McDermott decided the monorail didn't meet his standards for the "high priority" request and took it off the table. A McDermott aide, noting that the amount was about four times the size of the typical funding for all high-priority projects in the district, said "there's no way we can even come close" to meeting the request. Lack of support from city and county elected officials didn't help the monorail's cause, the aide added. Because the next funding cycle isn't until 2009, it looks like the monorail will have to win its federal dollars the old-fashioned wayby negotiating the federal bureaucracy.

Speaking of Laws, the off-again, on-again monorail board member says she's "99 and three-quarters percent" certain she's running for re-election in November, contrary to rumors that the high-energy think-tank head would take a job with the monorail agency after her term ends later this year. Who will her opponents be? Peter Sherwin, whom Laws blasted this week for using "Sound Transit as a punching bag," says he hasn't decided whether he'll run for the position, which he sought when it was first vacated by Dick Falkenbury two weeks ago.

ebarnett@seattleweekly.com

 
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