EDITORS: I don't remember her last name, something like "Syzmmafuckingsomething" [Shirley Rodell-Szyzmyjec]. Would it be possible for The Stranger to offer her a truckload of cash to come back and resume her local dish column [TTS]? I'll even subscribe for five years pre-paid! She is glaringly absent from the once- harmonious mix.

M. P., via e-mail


DEAR EDITOR: I hope you realize the genius you have stumbled upon in Gregory Gincherman [Chow Bio, Nov 2]. I believe he has the capability to transform your paper beyond its current limitations. He encompasses a folksy Old World charm, a certain je ne sais quoi, that shows the American dream to be the stuff of fiction. I would like to suggest a special weekly column that runs along with Last Days. Perhaps called, "What to Eat in a Pinch, Man!--by Gregory Gincherman," devoted to culinary options for urbanites pressed for time. Or "What's that Stench, Man?" devoted to the identification of odors. Lastly, for your bird-loving readers, "Is It a Jay or a Finch, Man?"--providing an armchair guide to getting back to nature. Although this is a wide range of topics, Mr. Gincherman [seems] to be adept enough to handle all these and more. Anyone honest enough to admit to loving "fat meat" is going to go far. My advice is that you get him on your staff before someone else does.

J. B. Cole, via e-mail


EDITORS: Your pick of candidates for the November 7 general election ["Election Endorsements 2000," the Stranger Election Death Squad, Nov 2] once again reaffirmed to me the ignorance and lack of creativity of your editorial staff. It seemed obvious that all the research was done by picking anybody with the title "Democrat" from the Voters Pamphlet (with the exception of one Green). Perhaps the writing staff of The Stranger has not been aware that the Libertarian Party is pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-legalization, and pro-freedom of speech. Stand up for the true voice of independence, freedom of the press, and freedom of personal choice and consequence. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of insight and blatant bias.

P.S. Your movie reviews suck, too.

"Liberty in Seattle," via e-mail


EDITORS: Your "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" [Nov 2] was in error. As a historian, I present you with the facts: ELIJAH McCOY (1843-1929)--Elijah McCoy [was the] son of former slaves who had fled from Kentucky to Canada in search of freedom. McCoy developed a device that made the automatic oiling of machinery used in manufacturing possible. McCoy's invention became so popular that persons inspecting new railroad equipment generally asked if it contained the "real McCoy," meaning McCoy's oiling device. Today, "the real McCoy" is an expression in the American language meaning the "real thing." In all, McCoy invented 23 oiling devices, as well as many other useful inventions.

Robert Clark, Kirkland


THE STRANGER: Brian Goedde's article on The Rocket ["End of Flight, Please Disembark," Nov 2] brought forth many good points. The comments Goedde got from other people made sense and brought The Rocket into focus for me, but as an avid Northwest music fan, I am sad to see The Rocket gone. Where can I go now to get the scoop on local music? I think The Stranger can fill part of the hole The Rocket left behind. Lip Service, for example, was a way for people to live vicariously through Johnny Renton. It's My Party can never shine a light to Lip Service. I'd rather read about what was going on at EMP's "Art of the DJ Demonstration" than which rock stars supposedly live in West Seattle.

Bryan Bingold, Seattle/Portland


EDITORS: I think Brian Goedde pretty much spells out the need for more legit local music coverage now that our beloved Rocket is no longer with us. We need good coverage of obscure and unsigned bands, and we need it now. Since you refuse to go through one of those "creative purges" every publication needs in order to flush out the bitter hacks and hangers-on, here's my tips on how to get your music staff a bit more "hip" with the "kids." (1) Ban any of the following vocabulary: West Seattle, Cha-Cha, Murder City Devils, karaoke, black bangs, Experience Music Project. (2) Disallow phonetic spellings. This will force Mike Nipper to finally converse in English. (3) Put Kathleen Wilson under artistic house arrest. (4) Ban all "dialogues" between Charles Mudede and Jamie Hook. (5) Everett True--I thought you hated him?

Also, if you guys can pick up [The Rocket's] "I FOUND IT" column, my life can resume some regularity.

"Jackomush," via e-mail


EDITORS: In response to the letter written by former New Yorker "Annie" regarding our fair city's two fine and very discernibly different alternative papers [Letters to the Editor, Nov 2]: Just take your whiny "that's not the way we do it" ass back to New York and shut the fuck up. I'd spend time here pointing out the blazingly apparent differences between the Weekly and The Stranger, but I don't want to bore those capable of rational thought. We do not give a hairy rat's ass what some moron fresh off the boat from New York thinks. This is Seattle, not New York. That's what we love about it. So keep your yap shut about how you think things ought to be, and do not start sentences with "Well, back in New York...." You can just GO BACK TO NEW YORK.

Tracy, Seattle native


DEAR EDITOR: Hooray for Rachel Kessler! Who else could describe not only the culinary delights of the Pacific Inn Pub [Chow, Oct 19], but also surround them in a fog of late-night, clandestine misadventures? What reader could not envision our narrator, could not envision ourselves, gravitating toward the warm glow of a local watering hole, worn out, worried, welcomed? I am a faithful friend to those fish 'n' chips; I also know how, on a night with your lover in custody and your unborn child taking its sweet-ass time, it will somehow be all right.

Chris Sideris, Wallingford


EDITORS: Hey, I really enjoyed reading about sumo wrestling ["Sumo on My Mind," Barley Blair, Oct 26]. I am a (mumble)-year-old female and I love watching sumo wrestling, as does my 12-year-old daughter. (And here I thought I was the only one!) Many of my tastes have gone against the grain of the average American woman! I really got into sumo wrestling watch-ing the Olympics a few years [ago] in Japan. I love Barley Blair's writing!

Anonymous, via e-mail


DEAR BARLEY BLAIR: Congratulations on your most excellent article, "Sumo on My Mind." I saw my first sumo match in 1957, at the age of 10. I was thrilled with the sacred ritual of the entire event. I love sumo--always have, always will. These are not fat men in diapers. These warriors demonstrate a mystic dynamic of cosmic, crushing force. The void expressions upon their faces strike a vibe in my soul. Alas, try as I did, a 10-year-old boy could not put on the heft to become a [sumo wrestler]. Deep thanks for a great article. You did honor to sumo, and made the uninformed herd learn a few things about a form of combat they will never truly understand.

S. L. Greene, Seattle


DEAR EDITORS: Excellent article on CoCA ["Death: Next Step for CoCA?" by Jamie Hook, Oct 26]. It's time to say bye-bye. CoCA rocked in the late '80s--as a Seattle art student, I had the opportunity to witness Johanna Went and artists of her caliber right up the street from my Belltown hovel. Loud, raging, raw art fests were the norm, and CoCA was the only place in town for cutting-edge art. In recent years I've attended CoCA "events" that were so lame, artless, and poorly conceived that I called someone on the board to complain. I care passionately about contemporary art, have been involved in several communities, and put my money on Fuzzy Engine and the new breed of artist-run spaces. Fuck sentiment--CoCA is dead.

Kate Pawlicki, San Francisco


EDITOR: J.C. Schmidt steps on himself big-time when he proclaims that Phil Campbell made an error [Letters to the Editor, Nov 9]. The fact is, the AR-15 does not have a great deal more penetrating power than 9mm pistols ["Loaded on Campus," Oct 26]: Penetration is a factor of speed, weight, projectile construction, and your target medium. Schmidt, in his haste to prove himself, forgets to take all of these factors into account. Rifles are more accurate, easier to use, and safer to the general public. Clowns like Schmidt do us all a grave disservice. Campbell was, in fact, correct about the penetrative effects of .223 ammunition, as well as the other benefits of the AR-15 rifle.

Kenny S, via e-mail