1. Seattle could be host next year to the awesomely named X-Band Radar Ship---basically, a big-ass, ship-mounted anti-ballistic missile device.

The X-Band Radar Ship would arrive at Todd Shipyards on Harbor Island for three months of maintenance next March. It looks like this:



It's hard to tell from the photo, but that monster is taller a US aircraft carrier. According to a letter that went out to city officials last week: "[T]he dramatic size (It is taller than a modern US aircraft carrier) and shape of the vessel (it looks akin to a large, white ball on top of an oil drilling platform) would be noticed by many in the public."

"There are no nuclear reactors [or] missiles on the ship," the letter concludes. Um, comforting?

2. Earlier this month we broke the news that, well, there was something weird going on in the 38th Legislative District race where unions were targeting incumbent Democratic state Sen. Jean Berkey (D-38, Everett) with independent expenditure ads. There was nothing odd about the unions going after Berkey—the unions view her as a bad guy and were supporting progressive Democrat Nick Harper.

However, there was also an independent expenditure campaign in play by a mysterious group called Cut Taxes PAC done on behalf of the conservative Republican candidate in the race, Rodney Rieger.

Moxie Media, the liberal consulting firm that did the union's independent expenditures for Harper, also did the the Cut Taxes PAC mailers—raising the possibility that the unions, which had pushed legislators to raise taxes last session, were now campaigning from the right against Berkey for doing just that.  Cut Taxes PAC did not report their funders to the Public Disclosure Commission.

Berkey, who is now likely to lose the primary to Harper and Rieger, is filing a formal complaint with the PDC this morning alleging the Moxie Media and Cut Taxes PAC's "actions during the Primary election amount to a conspiracy to deceive the voters in the 38th Legislative District."

3. The Pike Place Market Public Development Authority—the organization that runs the Market—chose Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation director Ben Franz-Knight (out of more than 100 applicants from around the country) as its new executive director yesterday afternoon.

The shortlist of finalists included two longtime local luminaries: Committee to End Homelessness director Bill Block, and popular longtime Seattle neighborhoods department director Jim Diers.

4. Yesterday afternoon, the city announced that it had narrowed the list of finalists to lead the design process for the central waterfront, which will be revamped as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. The four teams that qualified were Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, James Corner Field Operations, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Wallace Roberts & Todd. The next step in the selection process will be public presentations at Benaroya Hall on September 15.

5. Joel Connelly at the PI.com has the scoop on the Murray v. Rossi debates. There will be two debates.

6. Join PubliCola writers Dan Bertolet, Erica C. Barnett, and Josh Feit at the Five Point Cafe on Tuesday August 31st for PubliCola's first Nerd Hour.