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You remember last week when I worried that the mayor’s staff was keeping former Union-Tribune columnist Gerry Braun trapped in the 11th floor of City Hall after kidnapping him from his important perch at the paper?

I told him that if he somehow got a hold of the blog, he could try to signal us if he’s being held against his will. I offered to send in our army, the Truth Pirates.

I wrote he could put up a smiley face in the window of his office at exactly 4 p.m. on Friday, and we’d mobilize.

Well, it looks like we better call up the Pirates. Braun gave us the signal.

We captured this image of the 11th floor of City Hall Friday afternoon (slightly before 4 p.m.).

Seems he had another message as well to send. I said his replacement at the Union-Tribune, columnist Michael Stetz, still was on probation in my book — I wasn’t sure he has yet fully replaced the voice lost.

I understand, it could just take me a while to get used to the new style. Braun, you can see, finds it amusing.

But back to the most important issue. We’ll see if we can free Braun. Until then, I bet we will be hearing from him in a bit different form this week and through a much different channel, when the mayor delivers his State of the City Speech Wednesday evening.

SCOTT LEWIS

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