For reasons as-yet unknown, Far West Billiards is closing its doors after tonight. Until then, all food and drinks are half-price, and food will be served until 2 am.
Around 4 pm today, Far West employee Johnny Dandurand announced the closure on his Facebook page and word spread within minutes.
To go say goodbyes or get a first and last look at the downtown bar before it's gone, visit them from now until 2 am at 1001 W First Ave.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post on what happened to warrant the sudden closure, and what will become of photographer Geoff Scanlan's exhibit there, which would have opened tomorrow.
A federal judge dismissed Dex One’s lawsuit against the City of Seattle’s Yellow Pages opt-out service, ruling that it does not violate the First Amendment, as several phone book companies argued.
“The route the City of Seattle has chosen to take is completely unnecessary,” Local Search Association President Neg Norton wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Seattle taxpayers should be outraged that the City continues to waste its resources on a system that is unnecessary and, we believe, illegal.”
The lawsuit was filed in May when Seattle launched its Stop Phone Books website. Phone book companies argued that directories provide community and political information in addition to ads and commercial information, comparing yellow pages to newspapers. The Inlander earlier looked into the growing controversy of phone books ("Paper Cuts," March 31, 2010).
The phone book companies argue that the city’s website will not protect privacy as well as their commercial site, www.yellowpagesoptout.com.
“We believe that the city’s redundant site is not necessary and is unfairly leading residents to believe it has spent the government’s time and the taxpayer’s money on something new…” says Norton in a statement.
But in his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart said that phone books are commercial speech, which has less protection under the Constitution.
The ruling comes shortly after state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, announced he would introduce a bill to take the opt-out registry statewide in 2012.
According to a statement, publishers intend to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.
A little extra stimulus -- Washington State is getting $98 million in new stimulus funding from the federal government. While a third goes to a new unemployment benefits computer system, the rest goes to pay unemployment benefits. A new rule, established in 2009, gives benefits to those who quit their job because of family emergencies, domestic abuse, or a moving spouse. (SR)
Loss of patriotism -- Airway Heights, once a haven of roman candles and cherry bombs, have now passed an ordinance banning setting them off on city streets and fields. Violators are fined $1000. (KREM)
Not-so-great escape -- A convicted murderer, from Spokane, had been given a 45-year sentence. He only got to five of those years before he tried to break out of prison, taking a corrections officer hostage with a pair of scissors and driving a forklift through a door, and was fatally shot. (KXLY)
The other forgotten war -- In Iraq -- remember Iraq? -- the death toll for American troops has spiked to a monthly high not seen since 2008. (NYT)
We always thought that when you were the governor you could pretty much wear whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted.
Apparently, we were wrong.
Governors from western states will cruise Lake Coeur d’Alene Thursday night, and they’re expected to dress the part. It will be the close of this year’s Western Governors’ Association meeting and according to the event agenda, “Western wear is encouraged.”
The rest of the time, we’re told, business casual will do.
Along with Washington’s Chris Gregoire and Idaho’s Butch Otter, governors from Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming are attending the conference today and Thursday at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
In panels and roundtables, the governors, other government officials, and business leaders will discuss education, energy and environmental policy.
Otter is the current chair of the group, Gregoire the vice chair. The two will lead the conference, moderating talks on veterans’ benefits, state employee health and energy development in the west.
Otter will pass the gavel onto Gregoire Thursday afternoon, a transfer made in the organization every year, says the group’s communications director, Karen Deike. Otter has focused on industry and energy efficiency in his year as chair, she says. Gregoire will announce her priorities when she receives the top spot.
Deike didn’t want to steal the governor’s thunder but says Gregoire has “some pretty exciting plans.”
More information about the organization and the meeting can be found at westgov.org.