ANOTHER LOOK AT MCCLURE
To the Editor: In "Kids Change Everything" [Josh Feit, June 24], Maureen Spracklin states, "McClure wasn't good for [my daughter]." One can only speculate why.What could any parent's objection be to a school whose record over the past three years has shown vast improvements in school climate, classroom performance, and test scores, often exceeding district averages? Our greatest student draw next year, in fact, is from schools in Queen Anne and in Magnolia, Spracklin's cozy neighborhood. Evidently, parents who ranked McClure as their first choice missed something. Perhaps they were too busy getting acquainted with our principal, Phil Brockman, who was named Principal of the Year in Seattle.
While we empathize with Spracklin not being able to send her daughter to the school in her own neighborhood, we welcome her to have another look-see at McClure.
Anne Scott, Eighth GradeTeacher
Lisa Dawson, Head Counselor
McClure Middle School, Seattle
DAY CARE FUNDING NOT A COMMIE PLOT
To the Editor: As a full-time child care provider, I was upset to read Samantha Shapiro's "Commie Day Care" [In Other News, June 17]. In order to increase the quality of child care in the United States, it is necessary to begin to professionalize the field. This demands higher wages, better benefits, more outlets for training, and more respect. Governor Locke has realized the profound need for change in the child-care profession. In referring to the "Wage and Career Ladder" pilot project as communist, Ms. Shapiro is doing a great disservice to children and their providers. There are still many negative connotations associated with communism. Does Samantha and The Stranger realize these implications? Furthermore, are we to believe that you truly believe that government funding to care for our youth is inherently wrong?Andrea Porter, Seattle
SOMEONE IS TAKING MR. SANDLER'S MOVIES JUST A BIT TOO SERIOUSLY
Dear Editor, I agree in part with Kathleen Wilson's review of Adam Sandler's newest flick, Big Daddy ["Tits Are Funny," July 1]. I also found myself thinking that if only Adam and his buddies would've take a little more time developing the script, the movie could've been so much better. But, just like Ms. Wilson and her mom, I still love Adam Sandler. However, I am offended by her assessment of the children in the movie as not "cute or geeky enough to really be engaging."Ms. Wilson obviously does not have children of her own (I hope not anyway), or she would not have made such a crass statement. Even more disturbing, though, is Ms. Wilson's next sentence: "I didn't care whether Sonny [Adam Sandler] kept him or not." I have worked with children whose moms or dads have voluntarily given up their parental rights. The children become wards of the state, and are often moved between foster families. Siblings are sometimes separated. The situation is absolutely heartbreaking. Ms. Wilson's statements--perhaps simple, offhand remarks--are inappropriate in a society that offers minimal support to children and families.
There are lessons to be learned in all of Adam Sandler's films. In Big Daddy, one lesson is that parenting is an incredibly difficult, important job that requires much time, energy, patience, compassion, and intelligence. Also, most children are amazingly tenacious and forgiving individuals who have an incredible capacity for loving their parent/caregiver--even if their parent/caregiver is an immature, neglectful goofball.
WE'VE GOT PRISONS COVERED
Dear Stranger: I just finished reading Trisha Ready's article on medical care in our state's women's prison ["Bad Medicine," July 1]. It is an extremely valuable article, and I appreciate its thoroughness and careful objectivity.While I acknowledge the need for institutional control in prisons, I have some serious concerns about prison operations in general, based partly upon my experience as a pen pal to a few inmates. First, it appears that there are a lot of people in prisons who should be in drug treatment programs instead. Second, as the article points out, many inmates have grown up with dysfunctional families and have suffered various kinds of abuse. The fact that someone is in prison doesn't mean they are hopeless or worthless. Third, I have heard reports that in some prisons, there are inmate gangs which have the power to bully, intimidate, and sometimes physically harm other inmates.
I believe Ms. Ready alluded in her article to a need for "mission" in prison, and I heartily agree. Without a sense of mission, which includes some sort of realistic and positive vision of the innate good in human beings, social systems (including prisons) go downhill in the direction of the lowest common denominators of behavior. Most prisoners eventually get out--at least for a while. We are wasting money on our correctional system if prisoners come out with social skills as bad as, or worse than, those they went in with.
Again, I thank The Stranger for Ms. Ready's fabulous piece of investigative reporting. And thanks also for printing Paul Wright's "insider" view of prison life ["Last Days in Prison," July 1]. Keep up the good work.
Maria Abdin, Seattle
WE ARE THE ENEMY NOW
To the Editor: I wish to compliment Trisha Ready for her excellent reporting about the horrific lack of "reasonable" health care for the women at WCCW ["Bad Medicine," July 1]. One imagines that common sense and logic would prevail after all the facts were on the table. However, as long as prisons are the replacements for military industrial complexes--the Cold War having dissipated--our government must find another enemy to wage war against, and that enemy is us! Please continue to follow this story, and share the facts with your readers for those who are inside and have no voice.Shannon Hallett, via e-mail
WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEING MANLY?
To Wm.™ Steven Humphrey: As much as I love your column, I have to say you're talking out of your ass in your latest [I Love Television, July 1]. You state that the "rah-rah-I'm-a-man" posturing [of men's TV shows like The Man Show] reveals a pretty basic insecurity and hard truth you won't hear on other shows: Most guys really don't know who they are, and have a hard time fitting into a world filled with so many expectations.Unfortunately, you fail to realize that in a time like now (the ever-so-liberal-to-the-point-of-conservatism '90s), the rah-rah-I'm-a-man mentality is all but an ultimate taboo. Given the amount of groups out there that are anti-male in some form or another (feminism, Gay Pride, and most environmentalists, just to name a few), being a straight male also makes you part of what is quickly becoming--yet never acknowledged--the most targeted group of all.
I am a straight white male, attending a liberal arts college (Whitman College in Walla Walla), and I'm damn proud to be heterosexual, white, and educated! I don't consider myself a "dandy-boy" because of my ability to discuss foreign films, philosophy, sociology, or theater because, like myself, there are countless men out there who are the same way... AND THEY ENJOY CHECKIN' OUT THE WOMEN! What's wrong with being manly? What's wrong with trying to prove it?
The Honorable Reverend Brian J. Sheridan, via e-mail
TECHNO NOVELTY ACTS
Dear Editor: In reading "Techno, IKEA Style" [Dance Spotlight, Matthew Corwine, June 24], I could not help but laugh out loud. If your art form is based on the latest and greatest technologies, you can expect that "any dumbass with a few hundred bucks" is going to venture into your territory whether you like it or not... and you know what? I hope they continue to do so, just to piss you off!Anyone can buy an instrument and begin playing. You'd never hear Andrés Segovia (a very brilliant and now deceased classical guitarist) complain about Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, or Kurt Cobain, just because they existed after him, bought guitars, and became incredibly successful. None of those people ever diluted the integrity of Segovia's work, so I don't see how Joe Schmo in Anytown, U.S.A. with a $500 computer could dilute the integrity of your electronic music... unless it is just a lot of technological novelty and not much musical sound.
Krk Nordenstrom, via e-mail