Cops on buses
By law, talks between city government and the bargaining representatives of the city’s police force are held in private and kept secret until the two parties hammer out a labor contract. But a potent hint as to the health of those talks is visible, right now, on the sides of Metro buses. To wit: the Guild’s not happy.
The Seattle Police Officers Guild has bought bus advertising this month noting that its members are now working with “NO labor contract” — technically true, though the old one remains in effect by default — while city councilmembers enjoy some of the fattest paychecks of their big-city peers nationwide.
“Things have pretty much broken down completely,” says guild president Sgt. Rich O’Neill.
Council president Nick Licata parried the blow by noting that the guild hasn’t demanded binding arbitration — a standard move in labor negotiations that have gone south. He invites the guild to talk about any problems, he stated, but he won’t put that invite on the side of a bus.
Big Media is back
The last time the Federal Communications Commission tried to lift restrictions on Big Media, in 2003, a UW auditorium full of concerned citizens told commissioners why they shouldn’t. The five-member commission was split, the rules stayed. Media diversity won the day.
This fall, the FCC is fast-tracking the measure; it’s given the public just five days’ notice before the only hearing in the Northwest on new rules that would allow cross-ownership of newspapers, t.v., and radio stations — the kind of freedom that would further enrich Rupert Murdoch.
Want to tell the commissioners off, but need help collecting your thoughts? Speakers’ workshops are being held right up to the eve of the Nov. 9 hearing at Seattle’s Town Hall at 7 p.m. To find out more, see www.reclaimthemedia.org.
Cascade Center may get money
The beleaguered Cascade People’s Center may stay open after all, says program director Myla Becker.
The center, which served almost 4,000 people in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood last year, was not allotted money in Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ budget proposal this year (“Unique Community Space Loses City Funding,” Oct. 3). Pressure from area residents led five City Council members — a majority of the council’s nine — to request $25,000 in bridge funding for the center, with an additional $75,000 to follow should Cascade raise a matching amount by 2009.
“We’ll know for sure in three days,” says Becker, when the full council votes on the request. “Anything can happen.”
An organizing meeting will take place at the center at 7 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 7 in order to determine a plan of action and begin raising the $75,000 in matching funds.