STRANGER: Your recent In Other News item by Mahrya Draheim titled "Lights Go Down on Broadway" [July 8] is a fine example of irresponsible journalism. The Broadway Market has 22 businesses operating in, around, over, and through the renovations that will see a portion of the Broadway Market filled by a mega QFC store. In addition, these businesses will continue to operate AFTER the QFC has opened. A few of them that were on the lower level have relocated to the upper level of the Market. Draheim mentions five shops have left the Market. They comprise less than 20 percent of the businesses in the Market. Sounds more like a beige-out as opposed to a brownout or even a blackout of the lights on Capitol Hill's Broadway. Many busi- nesses are currently conducting "business as usual." Not only are the stores remaining open, but some of them will be expanding soon.

The Stranger has a reputation for going after the "Big Guy," too bad it has to trample the little guy to do that. I remember a young woman claiming to be from The Stranger asking if I would remain open. I told her yes and then told her I was looking forward to the changes, as I felt they would enhance the business atmosphere on Broadway. She didn't look very happy about my response and I remember wondering if she was just trying to dig up some dirt. Perhaps you could send an objective reporter to the Market the next time you're tempted to sing the Broadway Market's death knell.

Sable Jak

Cats & Roses Cards & Gifts

TO JOSH FEIT: These idiots [OnTrack] have their headquarters on West Thomas Street, on the ground floor. It's a Martin Selig building. Their banners are very visible through the windows, and they have one stuck in a flowerbed outside, even though other Selig tenants are banned from displaying anything in their windows! It looks like no one under the age of 60 works there, and they're taking up a lot of parking with their Hummers and Mercs--bastards! I'm no monorail fan, but the people voted yes, so screw these recall idiots.

Wyn Ryder

TO AMY JENNIGES: Thank you for informing the public regarding the assault on Micah outside the Timberline ["Wounded Pride," July 1]. Too many of us get injured or put to death without anyone knowing. God knows Dan Savage is too much of a coward to defend any of his kind. Too bad it wasn't him that got beat up. I think I might die of laughter when that day comes. Keep up the good work!

Bellial Darshan

DEAR ELI AND THE STRANGER: I was thrilled to see Eli Sanders' feature story, "Last Gasp" [June 8]. An articulate, fair report of smoke-free trends sweeping our nation. It's high time Seattle takes a serious look at the risks secondhand smoke poses in our workplaces, including our restaurants and bars. Secondhand smoke can not only lead to an early death, but now we know even short-term exposure is deadly. No worker should be forced to inhale toxins as a condition of employment. Are Microsoft employees forced to inhale smoke in their offices? Nope. Why should we treat bar and restaurant workers in Seattle any differently?

In other states and cities with smoke-free laws, I find people don't mind going outside to light up. It's no sacrifice, especially considering the health risks involved. I'm looking forward to a smoke-free Seattle!

Annie Tegen

TO THE EDITOR: I have never smoked, but I oppose the proposed smoking ban in bars and other places of public accommodation. If you accept the assertions of the smoking-ban proponents (American Lung Association, etc.), many persons will die as a result of secondhand smoke. Instead of continuing the prolonged fight, consider a simple, non-controversial proposal: All places of public accommodation will be required to post signs declaring that the place is either an establishment where smoking is permitted or one where smoking is banned. Then the marketplace will determine if nonsmoking establishments are what the public wants.

I am convinced that the ban advocates really want to ban tobacco smoking entirely, which will provide organized crime another really large source of revenue. We will need more jails, police, prosecutors, courts, ad nauseam just like what we have with the "drug war." Do we need another extremely stupid policy to sap resources?

Jack Zektzer

TO BRAD STEINBACHER: Hello, Brad. Eternity is a long time. If you or have not accepted God please do so today. Say, "Oh God, save my soul. I'm so sorry that I have sinned against you, but I have come home. I will serve you, Lord, the rest of my life. Deliver me from all my sinful habits. Set me free!" Say, "Come into my heart, Jesus; come in, Jesus. Come in!"

If you meant it, He has come. Start reading your Bible, pray daily, and believe that somebody's listening; His name is Jesus.


TO THE STRANGER: Having just seen this week's Drunk of the Week in your July 8 edition, I am left with only the following thought: Bugger the nurse in the photo, who is the cutie looking up at her?

Jason Purvis

Sydney, Australia

TO THE STRANGER: I just wanted to write and thank you for your review of Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset ["True Romance," Bradley Steinbacher, July 1]. I didn't read the whole thing, as I stopped as soon as you got to Sunset. Heh... I just don't want to know anything until I see it, hopefully tomorrow. Sunrise is easily in my top five favorites, so I was glad that you wrote so much about it, because I don't think I know more than a few people who have even seen it. So the more people who know about it, hopefully that many more will go see Sunset. So, again, thanks for the great review.

Scott Sturgis

I am so, so sorry that the Canadian election received so little press in the United States. [I Anonymous, ("America Sucks, Says Angry Canuck"), July 8]. How appalling that a CANADIAN had to watch CANADIAN TELEVISION to get the full story on CANADA'S election!

Look, buddy, you are not in Canada. While the election there was important to you (and did get some press here--including a full page story in The Stranger!) we have some REALLY BIG THINGS going on here in the States, like a couple of wars and our own upcoming elections. And as much as it may pain you, most people in Seattle are a lot more interested in Spider-Man 2 than a Canadian election. As far as Canada being the second largest country in the world, well... maybe in landmass. But according to the 2001 census, Canada was home to just over 30,000,000 people. Germany has a bigger population. Hell, California has a bigger population! And as far as being "one of the most respected (nations) on the planet"--according to whom? Other countries may not have a problem with Canada, but it's probably because they don't bother to concern themselves with Canada.

You may think Canada is Heaven on Earth, but there is one thing it obviously doesn't have--the job, school, person, or opportunity that brought you to the States. So either be a polite guest, or quit your damned whining and head north.

M. Gibbons

DEAR EDITOR: We appreciate your coverage of Seattle ethics issues. As the new executive director of the Ethics and Elections Commission, however, I did want to clarify one point from Erica Barnett's July 8 column, In the Hall. As our staff member told Ms. Barnett, Council President Drago's hosting of a fundraiser for Build the Streetcar didn't violate the city's ethics code. In general, the ethics code doesn't prevent public officials from working collaboratively with those they agree with on important policy questions facing the city.

Wayne Barnett

ERICA C. BARNETT RESPONDS: As I reported last week, Drago's spon-sorship of a fundraiser for Build the Streetcar, a lobbying group that supports building a $45 million streetcar in South Lake Union, doesn't "constitute an ethical violation, per se," in the words of SEEC staffer Polly Grow. But is it, as I wrote last week, "weird" for a council member to openly back a group whose purpose is lobbying to get its project funded by the council? Absolutely.