1. City of Seattle Human Services Department director Dannette Smith reportedly put two more employees from the department's division of Aging and Disability Services on administrative leave last week as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that ADS director Pam Piering ignored repeated whistleblower complaints about funds that were allegedly misappropriated by a nonprofit that does business with the city. Initially, the allegations involved $89,000 in misappropriated funds; now, however, the span of the investigation has reportedly widened to include $300,000 in expenditures that reportedly have not been properly accounted for.

The two employees, a contract manager and her immediate subordinate, were reportedly told to leave their offices and not come back late Friday afternoon. Neither has returned a call for comment. Employees of the department say they were given no reason for their abrupt dismissal. Piering's paid leave was supposed to end at the end of June. Smith has not returned a call for comment, and mayoral spokesman Aaron Pickus said only, "right now, we're not commenting on the details" of the ADS shakeup.

2. Fizz can't believe we missed this article in Saturday's Seattle Times: Downtown density, more young people, tech startups, less driving: The only urban policy bullet points that didn't get mentioned in this data-driven news story about how 85 percent of all apartment construction now underway in King and Snohomish Counties is happening in Seattle (and "most of those projects are in Seattle's close-in, highest-density neighborhoods") was P-patches, light rail, and the new Shabazz Palaces CD.

Re: the startling 85 percent number, the Times reports: "In contrast, between 1996 and 2010, the city accounted for just 43 percent of the region's new apartments."

And if you're thinking: Well, we're in a recession, the numbers are out whack because there just aren't that many apartments being built overall ... Wrong. The article also reports:
More new apartments will come on the market in King and Snohomish counties in 2013 than in any year since 1991, one researcher projects.

No wonder Eastside developer Kemper Freeman is pouring so much money into anti-urbanist causes and candidates these days. He knows he's losing. [pullquote]No wonder Eastside developer Kemper Freeman is pouring so much money into anti-urbanist causes and candidates these days. He knows he's losing.[/pullquote]
This apartment boom, however, is different from those that preceded it.

This time it's focused almost entirely on Seattle. Developers, for the most part, are bypassing the suburbs.

Sure the rents in the city are $400 higher on average (though it's much less expensive than buying a suburban house these days, especially when  you take the cost of transportation into account), but evidently the higher rents are worth it to the echo-boomers who have made downtown vacancy rates a full percentage point lower than the rest of the region:
"They want to be in the city," Parsons says. "They want to be where the action is."

3. If you've been wondering what's up with those signs in the bus tunnel announcing that the escalators are out of service indefinitely (hello, DC Metro), wonder no more: Metro's Linda Thielke says the agency has gotten a $5 million grant to fix them, and should have the broken-down escalators up and running soon. "Expect to see rolling shutdowns of different escalators as the work progresses," Thielke says.

4. Cola alum Jonathan Cunningham has landed a gig as co-editor, along with Don Thornton, of Flip the Media, UW's digital media site. "I'm pulling back from writing about music exclusively and delving more into covering digital news of all varieties," Cunningham says.