P-I 21, Times 10

Also: Seattle Center's longtime director quits.


If you wanted to compare big-story coverage by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with that of The Seattle Times, there might never be a more level playing field than this week's home-team Super Bowl. There was much to like in both papers in the two weeks leading up to the big day, but when it came to covering the game itself in Detroit, the globe atop the P-I building cleaned the clock that hangs on the corner of the greater-staffed and more widely read Times. As a former Timesman with many friends at both papers, it saddens me to report this lopsided outcome, but it was evident across the board in the stories and columns and photos and charts Monday morning, Feb. 6. Don't take my word for it. Put the two editions side by side. The Times was no match for the P-I's breadth, depth, and presentation, from the front-page photo choices to the four-page quarter-by-quarter breakdowns both papers ran. It's an embarrassing comparison for the bigger Times, which is the daily that will most likely live to see the next decade. (If you're interested in reading about the game, here is our take.) CHUCK TAYLOR

Seattle Center

In the midst of major change for Seattle Center—a battle to keep the Seattle SuperSonics at KeyArena and plans to privatize some city operations—longtime Center director Virginia Anderson has announced she's resigning. "It's time for me to move on," Anderson said in statement Tuesday, Feb. 7. "I take pride in all that we've accomplished here and I am excited and confident that the next person who takes over will continue to foster fabulous things for the Center." She was appointed director in 1988 by then-Mayor Charles Royer, shortly after the "Disney Plan" to commercialize the Center as a theme park was turned down by voters. But commercial interests, such as Paul Allen's Experience Music Project, have nonetheless made inroads. Altogether, Anderson oversaw the private and public investment of $700 million at "the city's living room," as Mayor Greg Nickels calls it, including renovation of the International Fountain and Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. She also backed plans for a now-scuttled monorail to cut through the heart of the Center and pushed for a sweetheart land deal with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that gives a $50 million discount on a $72 million piece of city property on which to build a new headquarters. RICK ANDERSON

City Hall

Seattle City Council prez Nick Licata told Sports Illustrated recently that the effect of the Seattle SuperSonics relocating to another town would be, "on an economic basis, near zero. On a cultural basis, close to zero." Boneheaded it was. The Supes likely don't come anywhere close to the $200 million–plus economic impact they claim, but the impact they do have is far from nil. Licata's hip shot allowed principal Sonics owner Howard Schultz to justifiably counterattack, asking: "Who is this guy representing?" Neither of them got to the issue of a lease and structure that the team says make the Sonics unprofitable. The Sonics can start by lowering the threat level and offering to substantially chip in for a new gym. City Hall can begin by acknowledging that pro hoops mean as much to Seattle as those circus animals the council once went to bat for. RICK ANDERSON


On Friday morning last week, three very different bills on out-of-state wine shipping were before the Legislature. By that night, just one was left. Facing a deadline for action, legislators and "stakeholders" agreed to eliminate all but essential language they needed to make sure a federal judge doesn't rescind the state's right to make rules for shipping and handling wine. The final product, House Bill 2561, boils down in all but details to a complete victory for those who want to see out-of-state wine producers treated exactly like in-state producers. No longer are they compelled to distribute their products only through licensed wholesalers charging a state-mandated markup. Now out-of-staters will be able to ship wine directly to any legal recipient. This loosening of state control over beverage pricing might not produce noticeable results at the checkout stand. But U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, who has before her a lawsuit against the state filed by Costco, has not had her say on the constitutionality of other state laws and regulations about wine and beer pricing and warehousing—regs that, if they are ruled invalid, could cut markedly the cost of light alcoholic beverages in Washington. ROGER DOWNEY


The recent death of former Seattle Post-Intelligencer executive editor Jack Doughty, 91, reminded us that he was in charge the day the P-I ran a memorable note to readers on the crowded obituary page, pointing out there was an unusually great number of death notices that day because, well, a lot of people had died. The item later made a collection of U.S. newspaper bloopers in a book named after one of the headline gaffes from another paper: Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim. Included was another P-I senior moment, a headline stating: "Carl Viking Holman, perennial loser, dies." Of course, every newsroom has its boners, so to speak, and the P-I was in good company. Among goofs from other newspapers in the book: "Never withhold herpes from loved one." "Cold wave linked to temperatures." "Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say." "Two convicts evade noose, jury hung." "Thugs eat then rob proprietor." "New housing for elderly not yet dead." "Doctor testifies in horse suit." "Grandmother of eight makes hole in one." "Queen Mary having bottom scraped." And, as true now as it was then: "War dims hope for peace." RICK ANDERSON


comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow