Letters to the Editor
Nazis & Ponies
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DEAR EDITOR: I appreciate The Stranger's recent interest in legislation I am sponsoring to reform the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) ["Murray's Law," Erica C. Barnett, Feb 23].
Unfortunately, the information provided about the monorail's taxing authority is factually incorrect. I read with great concern where the article states monorail "backers speculated that road supporters in the state house and senate wanted to hand the monorail agency's MVET over to the RTID" and in the latest version of the bill "their fears are borne out."
One, calling me a "road supporter" who is trying to use monorail money for roads isn't true or even close to accurate. My neighbors in Seattle know my belief in what transit can and will accomplish for Seattle.
Secondly, the implication that road supporters wanted to use the monorail taxing authority for roads is completely inaccurate. I supported transferring the taxing authority to RTID so it could be used for transit within Seattle. This is a pro-transit move, not the opposite.
The regional transportation bill I helped pass out of the house is good for transit and good for central Puget Sound.
State Representative 43rd District
ERICA C. BARNETT RESPONDS: Nowhere in my story do I assert that the monorail's actual taxing authority is being handed over to the RTID. However, it is clear that the death of the monorail, which relied solely on MVET, has made it politically feasible for RTID supporters to increase the amount of MVET in RTID—exactly as monorail supporters feared. Furthermore, the modest transit investments that Murray's changes allow, though laudable, don't change the fact that most of the billions of dollars RTID will raise will go toward building and expanding highways, not transit.WE MUST OBJECT
TO THE STRANGER: Ignoring the Nazis ["In Other News," Feb 16, Thomas Francis] is an idea whose time has passed. You don't have to be Jewish to know that fascists are to be fought and not contemplated. You don't have to lose your relatives in Eastern Europe to exercise foresight, initiative, and courage. If local Nazis appear in public and no one objects, they consider it a victory and an acceptance of their presence—it encourages them.
To the head of the Fremont Neighborhood Council (who thought it wasn't real), the director of the Fremont Sunday Market, and The Stranger: Please provide better leadership to your community and city.
The next time these guys show up in their Hitler-adoring suits, organize an on-the-spot protest. It doesn't take many to stand up to them, and you'll find others will join you.
Adrienne WellerDON'T FORGET CHICKENS
EDITOR: I was shocked, horrified, and then perversely intrigued by the death of the unfortunate horse fucker last year ["The Animal in You," Charles Mudede, Feb 23]. I also wondered why sex with animals wasn't illegal before, and applauded the move to pass new legislation against it (arousal doesn't equal consent). However, I have marveled at the lightning speed at which bestiality has been criminalized as a result of one human death, while there is a continual resistance to the idea that food animals have rights and deserve legal protection from abuse. Let me get this right: It's not acceptable to sexually gratify an animal, but, say, castrating a bull without anesthesia, or cutting off a live chicken's beak, is just fine? I would like to think that the motivation behind the anti-bestiality law was compassion for animals, but most likely our legislators were just deeply embarrassed to represent a state where a man could shack up with his horse in peace.
Kathryn HarringtonPRETTY PONIES
CHARLES MUDEDE: One thing I found lacking in Senate Bill 6417 [Washington's new law making bestiality a felony] was a definition of "sex organ." Perhaps that's defined elsewhere, but the wording "the sex organ" was intriguing. That implies that Washington recognizes a specific organ, or at least a specific one for any given person. For a man, it's not too hard to guess what might qualify, although there are actually several. For a woman, there are also several. If one considers the skin to be a sex organ, then we are all in trouble if we ever touch a dog's mouth. In California, there was a couple that was supposedly into having sex with dogs. They got put away on murder charges, perhaps in part because they were grossly negligent, but probably also because the jury could not stand them.
It's gratifying to know that Washington State now protects animals against behaviors that were not previously demonstrated to be harmful to them, but a man can still stick his full arm in an elephant's vagina if he wishes her to be inseminated with elephant semen.