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CITY COUNCIL

Kollin Min, the most credible challenger for Judy Nicastro's City Council seat, has been rustling up support in what was once Nicastro's uncontested turf: the housing community. Still stung by Nicastro's lone vote against the low-income housing levy because it contained money for higher-income home buyers, mainstream housing providers are starting to line up behind her opponent. Other housing activists, however, are sticking with Nicastro.

Housing Development Consortium (HDC) director Carla Okigwe, who supported Nicastro in 1999, says Nicastro's opposition to the levy was a "very deep disappointment. The other council members probably felt the same [reservations], but they understood a package had to go to the voters." (Okigwe is supporting Min as an individual, not as an HDC representative.) Other individual supporters include people who happen to work at the Plymouth Housing Group, HomeSight, and the Housing Resources Group.

In response, Nicastro supporters note that, if it weren't for Judy, a lot of issues would never reach public awareness. In a letter sent out last month to the Housing and Human Services Political Action Committee, a group of housing activists (including members of the Seattle Displacement Coalition and Low Income Housing Institute director Sharon Lee) avowed their support for Nicastro, who, they said, has "distinguished herself on a range of issues that the corporate liberals on our City Council would never touch with a 10-foot pole."

BICYCLES

Alarmist Ballard property owners failed to convince at least four members of the Seattle City Council that completing the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard would bring ruin to businesses and calamity to bicyclists, as the council's transportation committee approved, 4-2, an extension of the trail on Tuesday. The extensionthe shortest proposal to finish the Burke-Gilman and the only one with a dedicated bike trailis opposed by business owners, who claim it will be unsafe for bicyclists to cross their driveways and a 1.4-mile-long railroad loop that operates just twice a week. Perhaps council members took a look at the many other trails that parallel and cross railroad tracks, including the Terminal 91 Trail and the Duwamish Trail, which both operate within several yards of an active railroad line.

ELECTIONS

In these times of war and heightened concern for unity and political solidarity, it's nice to know there's someone who doesn't believe the hype about making peace with your political enemies. Two someones, actuallythe state Republican and Democratic partieswho fired off dueling press releases last week speculating about the Republicans' efforts to unseat Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. The Dems fired the first shot, claiming that, with Republican Rep. Jennifer Dunn "showing every sign" of backing out of the race against Murray, the R's may well be left with "George 'the Weasel King' Nethercutt, whose entire political career is founded upon a lie." In response, Republican Party Chair Chris Vance rehashed Murray's now-notorious speculation about Osama bin Laden's worldwide popularity. At least he didn't call her Baghdad Patty.

ebarnett@seattleweekly.com

 
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