EDITOR: In regards to Erica Barnett's article "Cross Purposes" [May 4], I'd like to clarify the relationship between Mars Hill and the all-ages club The Paradox. While The Paradox may exist in the same building as Mars Hill, it is not religiously affiliated with the church. While Mars Hill may have started the venue back in its University District location, since then, it's been taken on by myself and a few other people independent of the church. While we're extremely thankful that we've been offered such a great space for all-ages shows, I think it's rather difficult for people to draw a hard line between the two since we're in the same building. Our relationship these days with the church is merely a landlord/tenant situation.

We have an open-door policy; anyone is welcome to volunteer and attend our shows—regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. There's no judgment here, no bait and switch. The Paradox's mission is to provide a safe, hospitable environment for all people to enjoy live music. So fear not—there will be neither brainwashing nor curing of any "cancerous" humans. We'll just be rocking out.

Alicia Blake, Paradox Booking Manager

Liz Martin, Paradox Volunteer Coordinator


ERICA: Regardless of how many suckers these "new" churches bring in it will not change the fact that there is not and never has been any objective, verifiable evidence that God even exists. In the end God is Santa Claus for adults.

Jim Nuttall


EDITOR: Summary of this week's Stranger: so, so out of touch. As bad as the Weekly, if not worse.

Hannah Levin's article on the "rising" Tacoma scene mentions a lack of hiphop, and then uses her whole article to facilitate and continue the lack of hiphop, as she... never looks for any sort of hiphop group. With this kind of coverage, is it any wonder that hiphop doesn't flourish here? (Tacoma DOES have good hiphop groups. And they mostly play at Jazzbones—a huge, two-story venue that has live music seven nights a week and is not even mentioned in the article.)

The sushi food fight: No one mentions Bonzai Bistro (sadly closing), Wasabi Bistro, or the brand-new Red Fin, all part of Sushi Master Jun's triumvirate of excellent sushi restaurants in Seattle. Bonzai Bistro had the best happy hour this side of L.A.

It's sad, really, because Tacoma—with a population certainly greater than the circulation of The Stranger— and hiphop—a movement with a far greater following than the circulation of The Stranger—will continue to flourish. Not because of The Stranger and its complete lack of coverage, but in spite of it. I hate to see The Stranger ridiculed because its contributors write painstaking articles assuring us that, yes, Hate Crimes Do Exist, and Sexual Discrimination Is Bad, and Guess What, Tacoma Has Actual Bands, and You CAN Find Quality Raw Fish in Seattle. Uh, no kidding.

But the donut poster ROCKED.

Maggie Groves.


DEAR MS. BARNETT: What no one seems to want to accept in this ridiculous situation ["Firing Line," May 11, Erica C. Barnett] is that Mr. Wolfe went directly against Mr. Santiago's wishes in giving the entire staff the day off to attend the march. It wasn't about people attending the immigration rally, but instead about Wolfe thinking he had the right to shut down Santiago's business for the afternoon against his employer's wishes, which are indeed grounds for dismissal. Quite frankly, Wolfe should be ashamed of himself for his behavior and it shouldn't come as a surprise to him when (1) he has difficulty finding a new job and (2) his claim for unemployment is denied. Just because Mr. Santiago's country of birth is Mexico there is no reason on God's green earth that he has to go running to every single immigration rally or send his employees to said rallies to show support.

Josh van Achtenberg


POSTED BY GOMEZTICATOR ON MAY 9: OMG fingernail clipping! A phenomenon unique to Seattle, if not unique to David Schmader and his fans, is to freak out whenever someone clips their fingernails in public.

I grew up in Las Vegas and lived for a spell in San Antonio, plus have friends from many different locales. This is not something that freaks people out anywhere else. Here, however, it's akin to smearing shit on your hands and giving yourself a dirty Sanchez.

Twice in the last week, at the bus stop, I've seen bystanding riders clipping their fingernails. And guess what my reaction was? That's right, NOTHING. I don't care.

So tell me, Stranger readers: (a) Does the act of clipping fingernails in public freak YOU out, gross you out, offend you or whatever half-assed term you choose to use, (b) where are you from and how long have you lived in Seattle, and (c) are you gay or straight? Let's cover all the hypothetical bases.