TO THE EDITORS: Like Jamie Hook, I too marvel at the achievements of Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece Wild Strawberries ["Reverend Nykvist," Nov 30], and Bergman's cinematographer justly deserves much of the credit. Unfortunately for Hook, the person due credit for the "holy" and "prosaic" shots in Wild Strawberries is not [cinematographer] Sven Nykvist but Gunnar Fischer. Fischer worked with Bergman on a number of films in the 1950s in addition to The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, including the classic Smiles of a Summer Night and the starkly beautiful Summer with Monica. In fact, Nykvist didn't become Bergman's regular cinematographer until 1960.

Jeff Henry, via e-mail


Shit! I fucked that up!
Brains like wet cloth lie dormant
My hand to God, now.


EDITORS: I came across your website as I researched the web for ideas for my son's Cub Scout bi-monthly meetings. As a Scout leader now and an Eagle Scout when I was young, I read your entire web page, and to tell you the truth, I cannot believe the gay community has the nerve to push their way into a Christian organization such as the Scouts. I found it interesting that the advertising on your site was also in poor taste--adult websites, give me a break!

Anonymous, via e-mail


DAN SAVAGE: Your article about The Seattle Gay News and the new Seattle Gay Standard was peppered with the inaccuracies and debasing talk that is so typical of the junk you write ["Standards, Spell Check, and Soap," Nov 30].

A letter of disgruntlement was signed by some, not all of the staff members at the SGN; and one of them, Matthew McQuilkin, the writer of the letter, quit. Mike Bradbury was the second and only other person to quit with Matthew McQuilkin. Your mention of SGN owner George Bakan's personal hygiene is a foolish, irrelevant thing to mention; your implication that Bakan is dirty is completely untrue.

The SGN has seen its troubles as a paper and as a small business, but it has had immeasurable influence on gay rights in the entire Northwest. The SGN has been an advocacy paper--it has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights and diverse community efforts--and not merely a regurgitator of press releases, as you claim, Danny Boy. The SGN has definitely served its purpose, and no doubt will continue to do so.

Ed Depicolzuane, Seattle


EDITORS: Thank you for publishing the names of the Seattle Times/P-I scabs ["Scab Watch," Stranger News Staff, Dec 7]. I hope those pathetic money-grubbing cowards hang their heads in shame. They are not going to be our best friends once we get a fair contract and go back to work.

Claudia Denholm, union member on strike, classifieds sales rep, The Seattle Times, via e-mail


"HI THERE: I'm a striking reporter from the newspaper guild and I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful scab report. If only you had pointed out that most of [the scabs'] writing sucks--then the cold of the picket line would have melted forever from my heart."

Anonymous, via voice mail


DEAR BRET FETZER: How entirely shocking to find a review of Annex Theatre's The Ebenezer Cycle in this week's issue ["Charles Dickens Meets Frankenstein," Tom Spurgeon, Dec 7]. It was equally surprising to see Annex's late-night performer featured in the [calendar section's] bio box ["Bio: Theater," Dec 7]. Having sat through more than my share of mediocre--even excruciating--Annex shows, which received overly kind Stranger reviews while a myriad of productions are poorly reviewed or completely ignored, I have to ask: Am I the only person in this town who finds your association with Annex to be a conflict of interest with your position as theater editor for this paper?

While this has been bothering me for some time now, more troubling was your response to [artistic director of Seattle Repertory Theatre] Sharon Ott [Letters to the Editor, Dec 7], in which you state: "Artists learn more by doing their own work than by observing the work of others." I have heard similar statements from many a Seattle actor, which could explain the multitude of pathologically uninspired performances to which I have been subjected of late. Learning by doing is part of a process, but art does not exist in a vacuum. We receive inspiration through reading, watching, and listening to the efforts of others.

Ann-Dee Levine, via e-mail

BRET FETZER RESPONDS: Yes, there is a conflict of interest in my situation--as there was with Dan Savage and Matt Richter at The Stranger and Roger Downey and John Longenbaugh at Seattle Weekly. Under theater editors who aren't also involved in the scene, theater sections have consistently dwindled. Our theater section currently features a variety of critical voices, rather than a monolithic opinion. Annex has been the most prolific and one of the most successful fringe theaters in town, and therefore deserving of reviews. I did the bio box on John Kaufmann because I admire his show, as did you, and felt it was one of the most exciting things opening that weekend. I don't want to ignore work that's good because of my connection to it. To get back to the original article [In Arts News, Oct 12], I said that $100,000 and the combined resources of four of the city's major theaters shouldn't be going toward a highbrow touring show when the overwhelming majority of Seattle's indigenous theater artists create work with little to no financial support.


EDITORS: While it is a shame that Hi*Score Arcade has lost their lease due to development, it is by no means the death of the Pike/Pine neighborhood, as Kathleen Wilson's article implies ["Paradise Lost, Nov 30]. The Pike/Pine neighborhood is CHANGING. That is the nature of life. In the last year, we have seen many wonderful additions to the neighborhood that were not mentioned [in Wilson's article]: Tango, Mint, Edie's, Vintage Laundry, Barça, and Fugio--all independently owned [businesses]. There is also a bit of confusion on the history of the neighborhood: One of the first hipster businesses was Rebellious Jukebox, which opened in November of '89; then Braxin Music, from late '90 till late '91. In January of '93, Rudy's Barbershop opened their first location, followed by Bauhaus in October of '93. Linda's and Moe both opened in early '94. Also, Wilson gives the impression that the Cha-Cha Lounge is the FIRST home to hipsters in the [Pike/Pine] neighborhood. If she were a little more familiar with Seattle and her neighborhood, I think she would know that the title firmly belongs to the Comet Tavern.

Linda Derschang, owner of Linda's, the Capitol Club, and the Baltic Room


YOU CAN'T STOP PROGRESS, Kathleen Wilson. No, you don't have to like it when new buildings go up in your neighborhood, or when the "cleanest, fanciest pawn shop in the world" closes. Science has proven that when the world around us changes, only those willing and able to adapt move forward. Those who don't keep up with the changes are, sometimes sadly, left behind. That's what history and memory and nostalgia are for.

Katrina Neville, Seattle


HI EMILY HALL: Thanks for your review. I've never gotten such attention ["Careful!" Dec 7]. It is very gratifying to get a bit of recognition. I also appreciate your willingness to penetrate the work more than other critics have. Just because I'm a little anxious about certain authorities, [I'd like to let you know that] it's mechanically impossible for the gun [in Loaded] to fire. The gun is not only loaded, but cocked. However, there's concrete between the hammer and the body of the gun. The only possibility of it going off would be exposure to extreme heat, or some freak spontaneous firing (and the barrel is covered by concrete).

Steve Veatch, featured artist, Fuzzy Engine, via e-mail


Last week we reported that six city council members voted against Council Member Peter Steinbrueck's $12 million homeless package ["Bungled Bargain," Allie Holly-Gottlieb, Dec 7]. There was never a formal council vote on the $12 million package. We should have reported that Steinbrueck couldn't line up those six votes for the $12 million package, and therefore never brought the item to an official vote. As we did report, the council ultimately passed Steinbrueck's lesser $2.7 million package.