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June 3, 2008 8:42 PM

City argues on behalf of KJR talkshow host and Stranger writer

Posted by Percy Allen

In a late filing Tuesday, attorneys representing the city of Seattle responded to the Sonics motion to prevent KJR talkshow host Mitch Levy and The Stranger contributing writer Sherman Alexie from testifying at the June 16 trial.

The team's attorneys filed a motion last week seeking to bar Levy and Alexie because neither "has any relevant testimonial knowledge." The attorneys described the case as a "media circus" and "giving Mr. Levy a speaking role in the trial will not help."

In Tuesday's motion to U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman, the city argued that Alexie "is an award winning poet, novelist, screenwriter, director, and 10-year holder of season tickets to the Sonics. Mr. Alexie, if allowed, will offer a unique and important perspective on the intangible benefits the Sonics bring to the City of Seattle, including athletic excellence and a racially diverse entertainment opportunity."

"Mr. Levy, if allowed, will explain the symbiotic relationship between Seattle's professional sports teams and KJR (Seattle's only all sports station), and how KJR historically has provided the Sonics with free marketing and publicity through live interviews of Sonics players, coaches and management," the motion states.

"Mr. Levy will explain that despite KJR listeners' significant interest in the Sonics, PBC unilaterally decided to discontinue the team's historical practice of making players, coaches and management available for live interviews during the recently completed 2007-08 season. This refusal to promote and market the team to an enthusiastic audience, at no cost to PBC, further illustrates the self-inflicted nature of PBC's claimed losses."

Pechman is scheduled to make a decison on the motions on Friday.

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