Lights Out For Historic Pepsi Sign

Shed a tear for the giant old Pepsi sign on Aurora Avenue North near Seattle Center. A demolition crew was to dismantle the globe-shaped landmark today.

The Pepsi sign, which went up in 1958, four years before the Space Needle opened nearby, replaced a 1947 sign advertising "naturally good" Mission Orange.

Erecting a sign like the Pepsi neon wouldn't be possible under today's sign code. But the Pepsi sign, like the revolving elephant at the Elephant Car Wash, has been grandfathered.

At Pepsi's Seattle offices, they're now working on a replacement sign in honor of Pepsi's centennial year.

What will the new sign look like? Ken Alterman, local manager, won't say. He expects the red, white and blue sign to be in place by June 30. He says, "It will be esthetically beautiful, an icon with today's feel."

Will residents of nearby Queen Anne Hill - known for their sign biases - like the new display? Alterman says, "It won't make them any less happy than they are now."

Southern strategy: Vice President Al Gore could have used a quick geography lesson before last Friday's town meeting at Hazel Valley Elementary in the Highline School District.

Gore introduced Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, but he completely overlooked Kitty Milne, mayor of Burien, who was seated next to Schell. Next the vice president called on Joseph Olchefske, acting Seattle schools superintendent, but neglected Highline schools Superintendent Joe McGeehan.

Folks in Burien, a full-fledged city, are hurt, but they're still game. Afterward Mayor Milne walked up to Gore and said, "Welcome to Burien."

Island living: KING-TV news anchor Jean Enersen and husband, biotech exec Bruce Carter, have purchased a waterfront home on Bainbridge Island. The 5-acre property includes an older home, swimming pool, tennis court and a great eastern exposure. Price was $1.22 million; annual taxes, $12,472.93.

Earlier this year, Enersen signed a long-term contract with KING-TV, cutting back on late-night responsibilities. Enersen said she wanted more time with her husband (they married last year) and two teenage daughters.

Not having to anchor the 11 p.m. news makes an address on Bainbridge Island - a ferry commute away - more feasible.

Toyland: "No gifts" admonished the invitation to Sunday's birthday party for Seattle attorney Preston Niemi. Niemi's wife, Dr. Ronnie Stangler, instead asked guests to bring unwrapped children's toys to the party at their Capitol Hill home.

During a recent hospital stay, Niemi discovered that many young patients had nothing to occupy their time. Rather than receive presents, he wanted toys for those sick tots. Guests responded by transforming the party into a veritable toyland.

Baby daze: Several people camped out at Bellevue Square Friday night, waiting for the doors to open at Nordstrom. By the time the store opened at 9:20 a.m. Saturday, several hundred people were waiting.

Was it an event to rival the popular Half Yearly Sale? Better believe it. It was a new shipment of Beanie Babies.

Jean Godden's column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Her phone message number is 206-464-8300. Her e-mail address is: