HEMPFEST

The 12th annual Seattle Hempfest came and went this past weekend at Myrtle Edwards Park, with approximately 200,000 people attending the marijuana-policy-reform-rally-cum-smoke-out. Local media

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Hempfest, City Council

HEMPFEST

The 12th annual Seattle Hempfest came and went this past weekend at Myrtle Edwards Park, with approximately 200,000 people attending the marijuana-policy-reform-rally-cum-smoke-out. Local media focused on the immediate politics: Seattle Initiative 75 would officially decree weed as the cops' lowest priority, and here was an opportunity to interview lots of people who would like to see that legal relaxation and more. But there's another story to be told: weed as mainstream and an oddly unifying force. There was a polyglot of ethnicities in attendanceAfrican Americans, whites, Asian Americans, Latinos, etc., hanging out with one another in ways they rarely do in the Northwest, and suburban youth, with their Abercrombie & Fitch-inspired bodies, swarmed the event. It also was the best example we've seen anywhere of activist-police cooperation. Seattle cops largely stayed out, permitting Hempfest organizers to police the event themselves. There were no arrests, not even a hint of a fight. And unlike, say, the Bite of Seattle, which is run by a for-profit company, Hempfest runs as smoothly as a pacemaker and on a comparatively small budget, the result of near- fanatical devotion by the 80 core members of Hempfest, who work on the event year-round, and the thousand others who work the event itselfnone of whom receives a penny for their labor. Seattle media gave the festival obligatory coverage and treated it as an annual oddity instead of the diverse and strongly supported gathering that Hempfest has become. Might be time for some reporters and editors in town to inhale. PHILIP DAWDY

CITY COUNCIL

As Seattle City Council members Judy Nicastro, Heidi Wills, and Jim Compton work on returning most, if not all, of their $32,000 in campaign donations linked to Rick's nude-dance club in Lake City, add to the list $200 given by die-hard ex-Gov. Al Rosellini to Wills Aug. 7, four days before she and other council members took a new vote on the club's parking rezone, which adjacent property owner Rosellini favored. (This time, Wills and other embarrassed council members turned down the rezone they first approved in June.) Insiders say the rebates are moving slowly because some members supposedly aren't sure who, exactly, is connected to club owner Frank Colacurcio Jr. But the city's Ethics and Elections Commission, which is probing the contributions, has a list of three dozen donors who might be involved, which the trio could use as a road map. Most recently, Nicastro returned $1,200, according to her latest campaign filings, which leaves about $15,000 to go. Meanwhile, one of her high-profile, last-minute opponents, former Seattle Times columnist Jean Godden, has filed her initial finance reports, having collected $7,550 in the first couple weeks from such well-knowns as chef Kathy Casey, jeweler Herb Bridge, consultants Rick Cocker and Anne Fennessy, and a number of fellow ex-newsies including former Seattle Post-Intelligencer writer Hilda Bryant and former Times columnist John Hinterberger. Godden will likely be cashing in extensively on her longtime gossip-column connections, but so far she is looking at Nicastro's fund-raising heels: As of this week, the incumbent had $155,000 in the bank, an individual war chest topped only by Wills' $203,000. All prior to the Rick's refunds, of course. RICK ANDERSON

info@seattleweekly.com

 
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