DEAR STRANGER STAFF, Are you callin' my momma a lap dog?!

My mother is no corporate lap dog. She is an intelligent, thoughtful public servant who does a hell of a lot better research on her issues than the Civic Foundation's [Brian] Livingston does on his ["Friends in High Places," Josh Feit, July 29]. My donation to my mother was counted as "lobbyist and PAC money" because I work for AT&T Wireless -- a corporation that has a registered lobbyist. Other individuals' donations (my girlfriend's father, my cousin, etc.) were also counted as "corporate" donations. When I worked for the Washington Environmental Council -- which also has a lobbyist -- was my donation counted as "Green money"? I think not.

If you do your research, you'll discover that the Civic Foundation study is grossly misleading; if you made a contribution to any city council campaign and are an employee of a major corporation that has a registered lobbyist, you were labeled as that company's lobbyist. Although you mentioned this in your article, you went on to use Livingston's figures as fact.

A better tack would be to review Margaret's record and let it speak for itself. Margaret Pageler has done more to challenge the downtown establishment than all of the other candidates put together. She co-authored and championed the CAP initiative to curb skyscraper mania. She was one of only two council members who said NO on the Port's [of Seattle] ventures into non-marine commercial development. She voted twice against tearing down the historic Music Hall. And she stood up with Maggie Fimia in protest over the stadium's taxpayer funding.

As a longtime reader, I am familiar with your less-than-fact-based reporting style. But even for The Stranger, calling Margaret Pageler anybody's lap dog is an irresponsible stretch.

Jennifer Pageler, Seattle

Josh Feit's daughter responds: Are you calling my daddy a bad reporter? Because he is not a bad reporter. He is a good reporter. He always tells the truth. Daddy says that is real important.


TO THE EDITOR: As an active member of this community who deals with the city council on a regular basis, I can tell the difference between someone serving this city and [someone who is] dead wood. Margaret Pageler probably entered her office meaning well and full of fire, but the fire's gone out now [Chariots of Fire, Alex Steffen, Aug 12]. The longer she stays in office, the longer we will continue to suffer. I contacted Pageler's office earlier this year about trees being butchered on Beacon Hill, and was given a response to the effect of "there's nothing else we can do." I don't plant street trees and plan planting projects involving hundreds of people in order to see the trees butchered five years later because that's the only solution an inattentive council member can come up with!

Curt Firestone on the other hand, is an energetic, enthusiastic, and progressive candidate whom I support 100 percent. I feel that Firestone's credentials place him in a special category of politician -- someone this good doesn't come around very often, and we're lucky to have him put himself forward to serve us.

We deserve better than Margaret Pageler. Curt Firestone for Seattle City Council in '99!

Albert Kaufman, Beacon Hill


DEAR EDITOR, All too often, whether it's election season or not, conservationist (read: mainstream) environmental interests are given the lion's share of attention, while urban environmental health and justice issues affecting people of color and low-income communities are ignored. The Stranger is no exception. Alex Steffen's story about the Washington Conservation Voters' (WCV) endorsements of Seattle City Council candidates missed two main points for those of us who fight for environmental health and justice in South Seattle. First, the fact that WCV did not endorse Dawn Mason (a staunch supporter of urban environmental issues) and chose to endorse Alex Fisken instead is absolutely ridiculous. As the lead organizer of the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice's (CCEJ) successful campaign to shut down the VA Hospital's medical waste incinerator, I can say that Dawn Mason is a supporter and strong advocate for environmental justice for all. When folks in Rainier Valley were fighting Sound Transit for a light rail tunnel, for example, Dawn supported the community by publicly challenging officials' positions on having an at-grade train.

Secondly, the issue of environmental justice should be covered in regards to the Firestone-Pageler face-off for City Council Seat 5. Margaret Pageler has not been a supporter of Seattle residents [when it comes to] battling emissions of toxic chemicals in their own backyard; [she] has ignored community members' requests to meet with her regarding this issue; and [she] was the only Seattle City Council member who did not sign a letter to Congressman Jim McDermott requesting his help on the issue. Yet, at a recent candidates' forum in the Asian/Pacific Islander community, she took credit for the work done by CCEJ and the Beacon Hill community -- stating that "we shut down the VA's medical waste incinerator."

In your future articles, please do not forget that environmental issues are not just about salmon and saving the forests.

Kristine Wong, Program Director for Community Coalition for Environmental Justice


TO THE STRANGER'S EDITOR: Curt Firestone has my support for Seattle City Council because he is the only environmentally minded candidate running for that position. Council Member Margaret Pageler has been a total disappointment in this area.

She opposed the no-logging policy in the Cedar River Watershed, and did absolutely nothing when hoards of us complained about the street tree massacres this spring under City Light power lines. She also opposes putting a hard-surface lid on the water reservoir in Jefferson Park, which would accommodate 10 additional acres of badly needed park space in South Seattle. She is in a key position as chair of the Utilities Committee to affect all of these issues, but is proving to be completely uninterested in these environmental and livability choices.

She has been around too long, and she is just sitting on her duff! Elect energetic Curt Firestone to take her place!

Frederica Merrell, South Seattle


DEAR SIR/MADAM: I read your magazine while on holiday in Seattle, and found it well written, lively, and informative. As a fellow journalist, I found your style refreshing and punchy, in sharp contrast to other, similar magazines in the U.S. (the SF Weekly and Gate being poor examples, I think).

Excuse my fawning, but I have traveled all over Asia and the U.S., and rarely do I find English-language newspapers or magazines that engage me quite as [much as] The Stranger did.

Your article on the plight of trailer park residents ["Trailer Park Nomads," Josh Feit, Aug 5] was sensitive on the part of the evictees, and pulled no punches when dealing with the developers whose actions will leave many of those people homeless. Furthermore, the writer of your Last Days column [Dave Schmader] displayed a keen wit and knack for satire so sadly lacking in [mainstream] American journalism.

Mark McCord, via e-mail


DEAR EDITOR: Eric Fredericksen made an error in his article "Welcome to the Great Mall of Seattle." [Aug 12.] The Blue Mouse Theatre was located on Fifth Avenue between Pike and Union, and was razed to make way for the People's Bank Building in the 1970s.

The Colonial Theatre stood where the ["Speedstick"] building now stands.

Bill Totten, via e-mail


TO WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY: It's about time someone had the balls to take that bastard Alan Alda [I Love Television, Aug 12] to task! Kudos! And I thought I was the only one in America who hated that sensitive loser. Fuck him and Mike Farrell -- who, by the way, is currently screwing up my home city of Providence.

Steven Tobias, via e-mail


HEY EVERYBODY! You should know that Charles Mudede is extremely well versed in the works of a number of prominent philosophers, particularly that of the noted post-structuralist Michel Foucault. Also, almost any action or relationship can be analyzed in the context of power differentials. Now that we've established these facts, maybe Mudede can review a freaking movie or book without trotting out the inevitable gratuitous philosophical reference!

Brian Kassof, Seattle