DEAR EDITOR: The Stranger didn't let me down this time! You managed to spend a huge amount of print real estate to discuss Tacoma's history up to the point of 1926, and the fact that we have military bases to our south ["Tough Town," Charles Mudede, August 10]. You portrayed our men and women in the military as sex-crazed deviants and the city on whole as a failure. The most recent stories you quoted were 10 and seven years ago, respectively. That's okay by me. I was a Seattle native who moved to Tacoma two years ago because I could afford the housing, the people are active participants in their community and politics, and because it's culturally diverse. In missing the "miracle of urban renewal" of the 1960s and 1970s, much of Tacoma's historic architecture remained intact and is now being restored. You've poisoned another generation with the notion that Tacoma and the people who live there are second-class to those who live in Seattle. I think we deserve an apology.

Ken Gibson, Tacoma


EDITORS: After living in Tacoma for 10 years, I can tell you that it is lacking in many things Seattleites take for granted. But there are things we have that you don't and would kill to get:

1. We live in the "scary" section of town (known as Hilltop) in a 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom home, and pay only a $500-per-month mortgage and $1,100 a year in property taxes. You can keep your $700-a-month studio in Belltown.

2. We can park in front of our house any time, or in our alley spot, or in our detached garage.

3. There are tons of free parking spaces here, whereas in Seattle there are four.

4. Criminals actually fear our police force--the most corrupt in the nation, I'm told. And they harass everyone the same, not just black people.

5. Our city isn't divided by numerous bodies of water. If someone gets a flat, the entire commute isn't shot.

6. We don't build stadiums for whiny sports teams.

7. We had a public New Year's party.

So yeah, Seattle is way better. We'll visit often.

Andrew, Tacoma


HELLO STRANGERS: The next time you have someone write an article on Tacoma, could you please have them kindly VISIT Tacoma first? I mean, if Charles Mudede wants to go slumming in LAKEWOOD or jack off to the sounds of Air Force jets near McChord, that's his business. But to pass that off as The Tacoma Experience is pretty fucked up, just as I would not spend the day in Bellevue and declare Seattle a soulless, shiny turd! If Mr. Mudede had spent some time in Tacoma where I live, he might have seen some of the most beautiful architecture in the United States, amazing views of Puget Sound, wonderful parks (the largest city park outside of NYC), and a city that values its history and doesn't tear it down just to make room for the latest third-rate trend.

Eric Reidar, Tacoma


DEAR EDITOR: As manager of the Seattle Transit Initiative, I was disappointed to read the comments made by Josh Feit and Dan Savage about the initiative in The Stranger's article "Wills Kills Monorail" in the August 3, 2000 issue. Rather than being "infamously anti-monorail" as Mr. Feit and Mr. Savage attest, the Seattle Transit Initiative's Intermediate Capacity Transit Service Study will do what no one else has done since Initiative 41 was passed by voters in 1998. It will provide a realistic and accurate look at the cost and practicality of using monorail- and elevated-technology in Seattle. And it will compare it to other technologies such as expanded bus service, streetcars, or trams in an objective and responsible manner. Rather than "kill" the monorail, our study gives it a genuine chance. It also will provide accurate cost figures for the project so voters can really see what they voted for.

I invite readers to learn more about the Intermediate Capacity Transit Service Study by visiting our website at www.ci.seattle.wa.us/planning/hometst.htm.

Joseph Costa, Program Manager, Seattle Transit Initiative


DEAR STRANGER: I almost didn't read "Pain" by Rick Levin [July 27], because I am familiar with the horrors of dental pain and honestly didn't want to expose myself, even vicariously. I'm so glad I changed my mind. What excellent and entertaining writing, so graphic and satisfying; even a happy ending (sort of). I'm a medical provider in a nonprofit community health clinic, and am very familiar with Sea-Mar and the excellent work they do. I am also intimately involved with hordes of uninsured patients and their myriad and serious health issues. You are absolutely correct in recognizing that "the twin engines of personal neglect and systematized lack of opportunity propel the poor down a cyclic path, bouncing between the narrowing byways of denial and Band-Aids." I wish more of the uninsured were aware of the community clinics in Seattle, and the availability of excellent care on a sliding-fee scale.

N.E.D., Seattle


JEFF DeROCHE: I see your point about everyone making such a fuss about Eminem ["Please, Shut Up!" August 3]. It is kinda fucked up that people are so intrigued by someone with so much anger and hate toward just about anyone and everyone. I have to admit, though, I did run out and purchase both of Eminem's albums. I don't agree with everything he says, but I think that a lot of his songs poke fun at the irony of everyday life. Like in the "Don't you wanna grow up to be just like me?" song. To me, that says, "you idolize me for the mistakes I have made in life, what's up with that?" Seems to me that Eminem is mad at the world and not afraid to say it. I, for one, am kinda jealous. Wouldn't it be nice to say "fuck you" to everyone who has ever treated you like shit? I think so.

Anonymous, via e-mail


DEAR EDITOR: Thank you for Trisha Ready's piece on Wagner and her uncle ["Wagner's Godhead," August 3]. I found it very touching. Somehow, one does not expect this kind of piece in The Stranger, but I found it refreshing. I read politics in The Stranger, almost never anything else.

Rosemary Newman, Seattle


ESTEEMED EDITOR: A couple of weeks back the headline on your letters page read "Everybody Hates Us!" [August 3]. Not so! The gun nut from Issaquah still loves you. Though I obviously may not always agree with you, life without you would be a concrete gray cage. When I want to smile, I pick up The Stranger. Besides that, I find your coverage of local politics to be the most well informed, insightful, and incisive, bar none! Most importantly, you provide a forum for other voices. I may be wrong, but I don't believe Dan Savage could land a job in mainstream media. This forum for other voices enhances diversity. One thing that sooo many people cannot get through their thick heads is that the more you reduce diversity, both ecologically and politically, the closer you come to extinction.

As an afterthought, let me state that I only use my guns in self-defense. I do not support dirty little wars. I do not use them to kill animals, as I have not been attacked by any deer lately. Keep up the good work as it makes us smile. And remember, the gun nut from Issaquah loves you.

The gun nut from Issaquah


EDITOR: I was reading the letter to the editor concerning gay Boy Scout leaders ["Silly Faggots, Scouts Are for Kids," C. Bower, August 3] and all I can say is that's disgusting! Why the hell do you bigots have to be in everything? Can't parents have at least one safe place to send their kids without worrying about some latent homosexual teaching hatred to their kids in their tents? Why is it so fucking hard for you people to understand that a lot of people never liked homophobes and don't want their kids around them? Can't there be at least one organization that's bigot-free? Bigots are the cause of much of the fear-based hatred in the U.S. and many other countries, and you fucking hypocrites know it! You can sit around with your homophobic buddies and talk about how "restrained" you are and how "hedonistic" everybody else is, but remember that there will always be people who hate bigots, and who will fight tooth and nail and sacrifice our lives if need be to keep our kids away from your filth.

Keep up the good work on the monorail, but please, please, please quit trying to shove your homophobic bullshit down our throats.

S. Hazard, via e-mail