The Police

Almost two years after negotiations began between the Seattle Police Officers Guild and the city, talks have broken down and the parties are in mediation, according to guild President Ken Saucier. Although details of the negotiations are kept secret, Saucier says he considered the city's initial offer "an insult and a slap in the face" to officers, who have been working without a new contract for 18 months. It's not gotten better since. Saucier says one of the sticking points is the city's proposal to cut health benefits. Other city employees now have to pay a portion of their health costs, says Marianne Bichsell, a spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Nickels. The guild's stance is that cops have riskier and more physically challenging jobs than other city employees, except for firefighters. Saucier adds that one of the issues on the table involves police accountability. He declined to specify what was being negotiated on that front. PHILIP DAWDY


At first blush, Jon Magnusson's promised "task force" report on the new Seattle monorail doesn't sound too tasking or forceful. A list of 44 questions he sent to Seattle City Council President Jan Drago this week included many that have been asked already. But as Magnusson, a world-class structural engineer, points out, many of them haven't been fully answered. In particular, question 42: What are some of the hidden risks for the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) in using a design, build, operate, and maintain (DBOM) bid process that supposedly assigns all risks to the builder? As Magnusson writes, "The claim that DBOM transfers all risk to the contractor is far from the truth." The key, he says, is a "bulletproof" request for proposals, and SMP has already conceded it hasn't put all its costs into its bid request. Magnusson calls SMP's master plan shortsighted, thinks planners have underrated the threat of an earthquake, and says the project needs a working scale model instead of video images to envision the whole 13.7 miles of the $1.6 billion Green Line. "I cannot think of a project with a cost in excess of $100 million that the owner has not had a model made," Magnusson says. "This is essential to understand what the project will really look like." Meanwhile, next Tuesday, July 6, the council is expected to grant SMP permission to build. RICK ANDERSON


"Janie, since day one, has treated Experience Hendrix as an ATM." —David Osgood, an attorney representing claimed heirs to the $80 million Jimi Hendrix estate, in a King County Superior Court lawsuit against stepsister Janie Hendrix, who runs the deceased rock star's trusts (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tuesday, June 29)

"This one is so different, because it was 21 years before Gary Ridgway [was found guilty of] at least 48 murders. I saved everything. Instead of having towels and sheets in my linen closet, I've had tapes and letters and pictures and maps. People who have gone to school with Gary Ridgway, girls who have dated his brother, women who have lived with him call me." —Seattle true-crime writer Ann Rule, on her forthcoming book, Green River, Running Red, about the Green River serial murders (Time magazine, June 28)

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