Last month, state Rep. Ed Murray and state Sen. Pat Thibaudeau, both Seattle Democrats, had coffee. That much they agree on. Thibaudeau says Murray told her he intends to seek her Senate seat in 2006. Says Murray: "I haven't made a definitive decision." But since both Democrats represent Seattle's 43rd District of Capitol Hill, the University District, and Wallingford, a rare intraparty primary might ensue. Murray is one of the state's most important lawmakers, chairing the House Transportation Committee. It's not apparent who would fill the void. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.
Lawyers for the locally owned Seattle Times and for Seattle Post-Intelligencer owner Hearst are talking, ostensibly about the Times' latest notice that it lost money in the three years ending last Dec. 31 and intends to renegotiate or terminate their federally sanctioned joint operating agreement. Are the two sides deciding how this affects Hearst's suit challenging a similar move by the Times in 2003? Maybe. Or they might be negotiating a settlement that could involve anything from re-dividing profits to closing the P-I. No one who would know is saying. CHUCK TAYLOR
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps isn't exactly taking the state by storm. The Arizona-based group, which conducted a much-publicized and derided border watch in Arizona last April, began a monthlong border watch on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Washington. But when a Vancouver Province reporter showed up, he found local Minuteman leader Tom Williams accompanied only by his dog, Vigilante. Williams, a 64-year-old former Marine, says more minutemen are en route but acknowledges he only has 16 volunteers. He added, however, "We just had three new ones sign up." The latest recruit is 87. NINA SHAPIRO
Saturday, Oct. 1, about 75 Capitol Hill residents gathered in the new $8 million Cal Anderson Park to test just how low an enforcement priority marijuana is. The answer: higher than you'd expect after passage in 2003 of a measure that made pot SPD's lowest priority. As would-be tokers assembled, 10 cops showed up, and ever-cordial Lt. John Hayes said that anyone who lit up would get a park exclusion notice. Asked by marijuana activist Dominic Holden how that squares with the law, Hayes said, "This is a high-priority park." Holden lit a joint and got the seven-day exclusion. The rest grumbled, then held a rubber duck race at the fountain. PHILIP DAWDY