EDITORS: WhaaHaaahaahaaaaaa! Hilarious! I LOVE all the pissy griping and whining your regular readers came up with regarding the "Monica Drake" issue [Letters, Aug 31]! What a bunch of shallow losers! Everybody is so hot and bothered because they didn't get their weekly fix of The Stranger's (increasingly boring) columns on how to act "hip" in Seattle... boofuckinghoo! For a WHOLE WEEK their socialite coolness barometer is missing in action! Oh fuck! What to do? What to wear?
Personally, I thank you for the break from your usual nonsense for a taste of some utterly new nonsense... an interesting yarn from author M. Drake! It was at LEAST as interesting as the usual crap... more so, really. Thanks, M. Drake! And thanks to the editors for keeping the "hip" herd-masses of Seattleite scenesters pissing their pants in frustration! Ha ha!
Douglas Kilbride, via e-mail
EDITORS: To all the ass clowns who wrote in to complain about the Monica Drake issue: Please find some sort of life and open up your wee minds a bit. Yes, The Stranger is a fine rag, and I am a loyal reader. Sure, it has its ups and downs, but it's not worth getting so worked up about. It's called The STRANGER, fer cryin' out loud! Who knows what to expect from a stranger? To all at The Stranger, please keep us all on our toes. To the heartfelt haiku guy, it's 5-7-5, not 5-8-5, like this: Please don't wipe your ass/with newsprint that will chafe your/chocolate starfish.
Peace out, yo!
Joe Norcio, via e-mail
I just picked up this week's issue and was baffled by what looks like a mostly negative response to the Monica Drake issue. I too was surprised, but I read the story from start to finish and liked it. You did right. (I guess I am lucky I don't need a "Guide to Reading The Stranger.")
Anonymous, via e-mail
DEAR EDITOR: Thanks for Tamara Paris' wonderful account of adopting a dog [City of Paris, Aug 31]. Hopefully, she will inspire others to adopt from shelters, rather than buying from breeders or pet shops, because every purposely bred dog pushes a shelter dog into the euthanasia room--it's that simple.
Carla Bennett, Bremerton
JOSH FEIT: Come on Josh, have some journalistic integrity! In your recent column [In Other News, Aug 24] you speculated on whether I would support Green Party candidate Joe Szwaja over incumbent Jim McDermott for Congress. In your zealous and transparent effort to promote Szwaja, you accused me of happily "dissing" McDermott. The fact is, in your interview with me, Josh, I made it very clear I supported (and have endorsed) Congressman McDermott over Szwaja for both political and personal reasons. On social and environmental issues, McDermott has a strong liberal Democratic voting record in Congress. Most notably, I have greatly admired McDermott for his decades-long crusade for universal heath care. In the past, I have endorsed McDermott for the state legislature, for governor, and for Congress. I regard him as a personal friend and a good politician with integrity. All of this I made clear to you. You are correct that I--hardly dissing--disagree with him on NAFTA, WTO, and free-trade issues. There isn't a politician I agree with on every issue.
My position in this race will surely disappoint my friends in the local Green Party. However, I'm pleased that young Joe Szwaja, bright and articulate, is in the race. I guess my endorsement of Nader evens the score, and now everyone can hate me!
Peter Steinbrueck, Seattle City Council Member
JOSH FEIT RESPONDS: I didn't "speculate" about your support of Joe Szwaja. I reported flat out that you weren't endorsing him. I didn't "accuse" you of anything. I reported what you said: You have "strong political disagreements" (your words) with Jim McDermott. Moreover, Peter, when we talked, you stressed "friendship" as the key factor for your endorsement of McDermott.
EDITORS: Pat Kearney's article on the Metropolitan Improvement District's Safety Ambassadors ["Going Private," Aug 24] was very good. Kearney found, like I did in an article I wrote for Real Change, that contrary to the MID's carefully crafted P.R., its Safety Ambassadors are hired in part to enforce Sidran's "civility agenda," which includes the infamous no-sitting ordinance. In fact, I witnessed a homeless man being asked to move along by two Safety Ambassadors after they found him sitting in front of a building on Lenora. Kearney's article provides details on the MID's relationship with the SPD, which was left out of my article. Thanks for exposing the MID's treatment of downtown's homeless population and its ties to the SPD.
There is an irregularly published internal newsletter distributed to the MID's ratepayers (the property owners who pay the self-assessed property tax to fund the MID), called the MID Ratepayer Memo. Not surprisingly, the Memo is filled with self-congratulatory articles about how wonderful the MID is. The March 23 issue includes an article titled, "MID and SPD form Emphasis Patrols for immediate and long-term impacts on Downtown quality of life." The article spells out the ways in which the MID's Safety Ambassadors work hand-in-glove with the SPD.
Two puff pieces about the MID have appeared in the P-I--one by Arthur C. Gorlick last October, and another by Susan Paynter in March. Gorlick quotes Downtown Emergency Service Center Director Bill Hobson, who was also a source in Kearney's article. The Gorlick article points out that Hobson's organization, which provides free lodging and clinical services for the downtown's homeless population, had previously helped train Safety Ambassadors. Hobson said in the article that "It is clear to me that in no way is (MID Director) Bill Dietrich interested in harassing homeless people. I appreciate the vigilance of folks who have concerns, but I think the ambassadors will do nothing other than provide the homeless people with assistance."
I have to wonder why Hobson was helping to give the MID a respectable front back in October. What is his position on the matter now that two reporters have witnessed homeless people being harassed by Safety Ambassadors? How many homeless people could be housed by the MID's $1.1 million budget?
Rick Giombetti, via e-mail
TO THE EDITORS: Regarding "Policy Potholes" [Josh Feit and Allie Holly-Gottlieb, Aug 10], the lack of low-income housing is a real problem in Seattle. The government--at all levels--is ignoring the growing number of children and their families who have no permanent home. How will our children survive as responsible and caring citizens?
When Peter Steinbrueck takes a stand to use the general fund as a means to build low-income housing, citizens should applaud his action and support him. In the mayor's stand to repair roads instead, he is taking a safer road that doesn't force him to step on the moneyed toes of the speculators. Low-rent permanent housing is a prerequisite of any civilization, and if we do not provide this prerequisite, we fail as citizens and people.
Mamie Jackson, Seattle
I, TELLER!! In response to "I ROB BANKS," [I Anonymous, Aug 10], you are a sanctimonious little shit- ass! Did it ever occur to you that the money you are stealing comes from not only the work-a-day world, but also from disabled and elderly people who already live just above or below the poverty level? If you're so smart and clever at robbing banks and haven't been caught, how come you don't have a legal job? A problem with authority figures, perhaps? Being a former teller with 11 years of experience on the line and having been robbed three times, I have absolutely no sympathy for pathetic losers like you. Saying you give money away to street people and support your "family" with your ill-gotten gains is a poor excuse for breaking the law. Perhaps those folks you so generously give other people's hard-earned money to are the very ones depositing their disability checks in the bank you just robbed. Not to mention the night terrors and severe anxiety attacks we tellers get after being assaulted by you despicable pieces of trash. Don't go making yourself out as some sort of saint or modern-day Robin Hood. Try looking in the mirror and seeing what a real bastard looks like!
Anonymous, via e-mail
EDITORS: Bring back Shirley... Christ, this guy [Adrian Ryan, It's All True] hasn't told me ONE thing that isn't already two-week-old fodder at the central saloon. It just really sucks. Libel suit or not. It sucks ass.
JTE, via e-mail