Transportation, Media, Religion, Strippergate


Last week, Mayor Greg Nickels got $3 million more to fulfill his desire named streetcar. Nickels convinced Sen. Patty Murray to include $3 million in this year’s Senate transportation bill for the yet-to-be approved, Vulcan-backed trolley envisioned to run from downtown to South Lake Union. That’s three times the amount Murray got to help replace the tottering Alaskan Way Viaduct. This porkeven in lean timesdoesn’t make all Seattle City Council members happy. Council President Peter Steinbrueck says, “I have to express some strong disappointment that our federal funds were not prioritized to our strong and urgent need to replace the viaduct.” Steinbrueck adds, “This is a pet project. It’s under the radar.”

Nickels’ spokesperson Marianne Bischel says Steinbrueck is comparing apples to oranges. The feds can fund the streetcar out of “bus facilities money,” while the viaduct can only be fixed with highway dough. She says the mayor is working hard to secure $500 million in federal funding for viaduct replacement, but that’s a long-term project. The streetcar is “something we can make happen very quickly,” says Bischel. “We are quietly and effectively putting together funding for the streetcar.” GEORGE HOWLAND JR.


If there were a Pulitzer for parody, then it would surely go to an anonymous reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Last week, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen circulated his “Annual Mid-Year Message” to Times employees, a windy missive with a “hey-I’m-a-man-of-the-people” tone that contained much company chest-thumping and decried P-I owner Hearst’s stance on the ongoing JOA battle. “Remaining ‘fiercely independent’ means serving our community and being beholden only to our readers, something we do as well as any daily newspaper in the country,” bragged Blethen. In response, someone at the P-I penned their version of Blethen’s memo. “Remaining ‘fiercely redundant’ means serving our community leftovers and bedeviling not only our readers but our creditors as well,” reads the comic reply, which phrase by phrase turns Blethen’s logic and tone on its head. To read both versions, go to and click on Memos. PHILIP DAWDY


“They still don’t get it,” Jim Biteman says of Catholic Church leaders. Biteman, head of the local chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), responded to a Friday, Sept. 5, speech here by Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the nationwide Conference of Catholic Bishops, in which he accused the press of “obsessively” covering the church’s sex-abuse crisis. “They’re trying to deflect responsibility, just like they initially tried to deflect responsibility on victims,” Biteman says. The bishop was in town for a conference of religion newswritersan occasion that Biteman and his group used as a platform. SNAP held a press conference asking the church to remove a lawyer from her position handling calls from abuse victims on a toll-free hot line. The group believes the information from victims is not kept confidential and that a counselor would be better suited to that role. Over the weekend, SNAP also took the aggressive step of distributing leaflets outside Catholic churches in Seattle and Tacoma offering help to abuse victims. NINA SHAPIRO


Who broke the rules that forced the Seattle City Council to repeal the zoning changes at Rick’s strip club in Lake City? So far, we know that six City Council members had improper ex parte communications about the matter. Three council membersPeter Steinbrueck, Nick Licata, and Margaret Pagelerhave told Seattle Weekly it wasn’t them. We’re still awaiting revelations from Jan Drago, Richard McIver, Judy Nicastro, and Heidi Wills. Steinbrueck says we’ll soon get a complete report. City Council staff is compiling as complete a record as possible of all ex parte contacts as part of the process for rehearing the zoning changes later this fall.

For those whose Strippergate appetite is unquenchable, why not see the canceled checks from Frank Colacurcio Jr. and associates for yourselves? From now until Sept. 15, all campaigns must make all their financial records available to the public at advertised dates and locations. For a complete list of addresses and times, visit G.H.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Des Moines Police arrest murder suspect in Kent | Update

Medical examiner identifies body found June 20 in Duwamish River

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

At Dash Point on June 16, 2022. Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
All that the tides reveal: Puget Sound’s hidden intertidal world

Exploring King County beaches during the lowest tide in the last 13 years.

Most Read