ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB: I just finished reading your article "Death's Angels" [Dec 28]. [The women you wrote about] are the women who cleaned up after my sister's murder in east Everett, as mentioned in your article. My sister Gail was murdered on December 11, 2000. May I just say thank you to these women? It was traumatic enough of an experience to have to deal with the senseless murder of my sister. And the women who cleaned up our family home somehow managed to restore some peaceful and loving feelings back into it. Walking into the house after the murder and after the cleanup for the first time was one of the most emotional and heart-wrenching things that I think I've ever been through in my life. Yet, once inside, a sense of calmness came over me (as well as sorrow). But not having to witness the murder's aftermath while still struggling to understand this tragedy seemed to make it easier.
Yes, these women are "death's angels." To people who have had to deal with a violent crime, these women are the angels who come to cleanse and leave behind a sense of peace and love.
Annette Jubie, via e-mail
DEAR STRANGER: You smug jackasses. Yeah, you're right, all librarians do in meetings is sit around and decide whether to put "L" ["little children"] or "E" ["easy reading"] stickers on the covers of books ["Burning Decision," Pat Kearney, Jan 11]. Occasionally, we discuss "bigger" topics like how best to defend against the latest conservative slam on intellectual freedom, how to provide Internet access to the people in the community who don't own computers, or where people can get free legal/consumer/relationship/ economic/psychological advice. Yeah, it's about more than just labeling kids' books! I guess as the self- appointed liberal messiahs of Seattle, you can't stand it that someone has been at it for years. Thanks for the subtle put-down anyway!
Oh, incidentally, there's another library system around here other than Seattle Public Library: the King County Library System, which is larger, has more branches, more open hours, and has the third largest circulation in the U.S. And despite your own statement that only libraries "wanting" (poor choice of words) federal funding will be required to install filtering software, you then say "the downtown library, along with ALL OTHER LIBRARIES (caps mine) must install Internet filters." Get it right! Not all libraries will be affected. Seattle Public Library will have to decide whether they want to sacrifice their standards of intellectual freedom for funding. Luckily, King County Library System, funded entirely through property taxes, will not be directly affected.
A Librarian Doing More for Our Community Than Stickering Children's Books (Even Though That's Important, Too)
PAT KEARNEY RESPONDS: Your statement that my article was inaccurate because "King County Library System [KCLS] is funded entirely through property taxes..." is totally false. First, and most importantly, KCLS gets about $300,000 a year in federal e-rate money. Second, KCLS gets another $1.2 million in private funds from the KCLS Foundation. Before writing your letter, you should have consulted your boss, KCLS director Bill Ptacek, for accurate information. Furthermore, as to your impression that we think librarians only tinker with book labels, please see my story's lead paragraph: "...staff members... were nervously discussing the 2001 Appropriations bill [that] requires libraries who want federal funding to censor what people see on the Internet."
TIM KECK ET. AL.: Why the vendetta against Nicole Brodeur ["Count the Nicole Brodeurs!" Jan 25]? She crossed the picket line. So did about 200 other people here, including myself. I crossed the line on the first day. I had my reasons, just as the people who went on strike had their reasons. The only difference was, Nicole was the only one on the company's side who gave her reasons for the public to read. Her explanation was not vindictive [Editor's note: And that explanation was... ?]. Your campaign against her is.
Bruce Ramsey, The Seattle Times, via e-mail
STRANGER: I bet that you're making lots of money. I bet the joke is on everyone else. The fact is, The Stranger now sucks. It's sucked for a while--but it's official now. You're dead. Keep up with the life-support for this sad excuse of an "alternative" weekly... at least you can all pay your rent, and all the local fishmongers have some paper to wrap their fish with. Thanks. For nothing.
Anonymous, via e-mail
EDITOR: Lou Ferrigno, who played the Incredible Hulk, is a very tall individual [I Love Television, Jan 25]. When he refers to that "half-pint, hearing-impaired muscle man Lou Ferrigno," Mr. Humphrey must be thinking of Franco Colombo, the diminutive muscle-butt who used to blow up hot-water bottles on lung power alone. And Mr. Colombo never played the Hulk.
JCB, via e-mail
STRANGER: In response to Pat Kearney's article "Burning Decisions" [Jan 11], an anonymous letter-writer [Letters to the Editor, Jan 25] writes that his/her technical college uses filtering software that cuts him/her off from Wiccan and pagan Internet resources. This is wrong on many levels, especially if it is a public college rather than a private one. And I'll put my money where my mouth is.
I urge the letter-writer to contact either the American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org) or the American Library Association (ala.org), both of which are looking for test cases against Internet filters. If it is a public school, it is prohibiting the student's free exercise of religion and (by filtering e-mail from/to Wiccan groups) of speech. If the ACLU or the ALA will take this case and push for a removal of filtering software at this technical college, and The Stranger or its readers will contribute to a legal fund, I will match those contributions up to $1,000.
Matt Jensen, NewsBlip.com, Seattle
EDITORS: Rick Levin's Courtside is entertaining sometimes, and Levin's lack of experience with basketball means he doesn't have the annoying know-it-all arrogance most sportswriters do. But in his latest column [Jan 25], he unfortunately falls victim to one of the most common maladies of the sports fan: the Impossibly Ridiculous Trade Fantasy. Anyone who's listened to a sports-oriented radio call-in show knows what I'm talking about. It's when a fan proposes that the solution to his team's problems is to trade their problem player for some other team's superstar. The hallmark of this fantasy is that the trade is ridiculously lopsided in favor of the fan's team, to the point that it would never happen. Rick, the trades you propose are not going to happen, because the general managers of the Lakers and the Raptors are not developmentally disabled. So you say Payton is slowing down and is not the player he used to be? Don't you think maybe the Lakers have noticed this also? Or maybe I'm wrong. Let's trade Gary Payton for Kobe Bryant. And then let's trade Patrick Ewing for Shaquille O'Neal. How about Brent Barry for Allen Iverson? Jelani McCoy for Chris Webber? Yeah, then we'd have a great team....
Anonymous, via e-mail
DAN SAVAGE: As a former resident of Seattle, I was struck with awe that someone convinced city planners (or city council, or whoever) that [the Convention Center canopy] was a good aesthetic choice ["The Pergola Precedent," Jan 25]. Once again, I agree with you, Dan. (What is it about you?) I wish all writers realized that content and entertainment can coexist. I cite you as my best example. Your newspaper doesn't suck... is it the only one?
Elspeth, via e-mail
HEY STRANGER PEOPLE: Tamara Paris calling Reagan a fascist? ["Last Days," Jan 18.] That's low, and downright crabby. You may disagree with his politics, okay--but that's just a bit too much... and I'm not a Republican.
Then, Pat Kearney's thing about power prices? ["Who Turned Out the Lights?" Jan 18.] Kearney complains that they weren't building new power sources in California. Right. Perhaps [because of] those wild, excessive regulations demanded by the "Ecophile Activists": Wind generation and solar power are idealistic, but woefully inefficient and insufficient. And what'll power those electric cars equipped with air conditioning?
On the other hand, maybe [these writers] were just having "bad days."
Geoff Brandt, Everett