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Seattle-based Web site ArtsJournal, a must-read daily digest of national and international news for arts junkies, is undergoing a makeover—in public. Editor Douglas McLennan is experimenting with new features and asking users for input on the process. For starters, he asked readers to suggest links to stories he hasn't personally chosen for the daily arts-news roundup. "It's averaging about 1,012 links a day," McLennan says, though he only posts the most recent suggestions, and he weeds some out along the way. "I have some pretty major rethinking of the entire site that will result in a pretty new direction over the next six months," he notes. Follow its progress—and maybe even participate—at LYNN JACOBSON


Not that we want such an important decision to be rushed, but after a year and a half we're still waiting for closure on the Seattle Symphony's search to replace former concertmaster Ilkka Talvi, whose contract was not renewed in the summer of 2004, sparking a wrongful-termination lawsuit, arbitration, and a settlement (not to mention Talvi's venomous, all-but-libelous blog, which has simmered down notably in recent months). As their 2005–06 season began, the SSO had invited three finalists to return this fall for further scrutiny and had hoped to name Talvi's successor by Thanksgiving—but the latest official word is: "We are continuing to invite new candidates and reinviting others who have been here before." GAVIN BORCHERT


A steady stream of visitors passed through David Ishii Booksellers last week to say goodbye to a Seattle icon—and to pick up a few bargains at the same time. Ishii's life is the stuff of fable: He was born in Seattle in 1935, but his mother died in childbirth, so he was raised at Swedish Hospital as a "community baby." He was interned during World War II, and later worked as an ad salesman for The Seattle Times. In 1972, Ishii opened his shop on First Avenue South, specializing in books on fishing, the arts, local history, and Asian-Americana. Now, anticipating a raise in his rent, he is selling off his inventory at half-price. Whatever remains unsold will be donated to Seattle Public Library. And at the end of this month, his store will become—fittingly, perhaps—just a story. LYNN JACOBSON

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