DEAR SIRS: While I certainly appreciate the publicity, I feel the need to clarify your somewhat inaccurate portrait of my recent departure from the Seattle Weekly ["Musical Chairs," Nancy Drew, June 19].

In her piece, Nancy Drew suggests that the news came as a "shock" to me. In fact, it was widely known among my friends and colleagues--as well as certain members of The Stranger's staff--that I intended to leave the paper in a matter of weeks. While Seattle Weekly management may not have been aware of this, I was tipped to the fact that they'd "secretly" been seeking my replacement. (I admit, however, to making a halfhearted attempt to stay the decision in the hope of transitioning my regular freelance contributors, a contingent of well-known and well-respected writers--including Richard Meltzer, Fred Mills, Corey duBrowa, etc. --who were unceremoniously dumped from the Weekly less than 24 hours after my exit.)

Plus, having witnessed this same underhanded--and pathetically executed--scenario repeated numerous times over the course of the 15 months I spent at the paper, it certainly came as no "shock" to me. And anyone who suggests otherwise is, to steal a phrase from Louisa May Alcott, a lying cunt.

Bob Mehr

To: George Bakan, Editor in Chief, Seattle Gay News

From: John Primeau, silenced onetime columnist for your ratty rag

Re: Lies you told The Stranger ["Thought Police," Eli Sanders, June 19]


Because you don't read my work when it comes directly to you, I am asking The Stranger to play go-between--just this once. Apparently you do read The Stranger every week!

In spite of what you said to The Stranger recently, the reason my column (Pushin' the Limits) concerning the rise in HIV/STDs (which was written as a response piece to Eli Sanders' controversial yet marvelous June 5 article, "The Immoral Minority") ended up in The Stranger is because of your own doing, you poor sap. Here's how:

1. You axed my column without even reading it. Why? Because I interviewed Sanders for my piece. According to SGN editor Matt Nagle (AKA "the Bakan patsy") you were "furious" that anyone connected with your paper would even think about mentioning The Stranger in SGN.

2. When Nagle told me that SGN was not going to run my column for that week, he did tell me that you pulled Beau Burriola's column as well--however, you contacted Burriola so he would have an opportunity to rewrite his piece if he so chose. I was never given that opportunity.

3. You say that my column in question "strayed outside [the] parameters" of "topics affecting older gay men." If you had read my piece, you would have seen that the reason I wrote it to begin with was because of the "laments" of many old queers with whom I had talked who were concerned that young queers didn't give a rat's ass about HIV, STDs, or AIDS. But the real puzzler in your statement is this: Since when are sexually transmitted diseases in the queer community a topic only for the young?

John Primeau, via e-mail

STRANGER: I want to add my voice to the chorus of support for Eli Sanders' recent AIDS exposé. I encourage him and The Stranger to continue reporting on this important topic. The lack of information and effective prevention messages was precisely the reason I stopped contributing to Seattle AIDS organizations more than seven years ago. The "old" AIDS-prevention message was and still should be "condoms every time, all the time." That obviates any need for disclosure (though that helps), deals effectively with dishonest individuals, and has the added benefit of putting responsibility squarely and unambiguously on all of us to take care of ourselves. If Gay City and other Seattle AIDS organizations can't rouse themselves to make at least that value judgment, then they don't deserve any money or support from the gay or broader community.

Marshall McClintock, via e-mail

STRANGER: So I just read the letter by the lead singer of M-set, bitching and moaning about never getting any press for his band [June 5]. Well, I caught an M-set show recently, and I must say that I feel the pain of the pressure they must have been putting on The Stranger for the last six years. I am sure the reason they have gotten no press is because they SUCK! Maybe the frustration that M-set now displays about not getting a record deal either is a sign that the band will be breaking up soon. Finally.

Anonymous, via e-mail

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: The recent article "Son of Sidran" [Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit, June 12] reported that the city's impound ordinance "allows Seattle Police Department officers to impound cars that are driven by someone whose license has been suspended for any reason, including unpaid... tickets-a violation known as DWLS-3." This is not correct. While DWLS-3 can be issued for someone caught driving with a suspended license for things like unpaid tickets (which is precisely why the impound ordinance unfairly affects poor people), DWLS-3 is not issued for "any reason." For example, DWLS-3 is not issued for people caught driving with a suspended license for more serious offenses like drunk driving. That offense would be a DWLS-2, and is not being challenged by those who object to the impound ordinance. We regret the error.