GUMMI BEARS, WARM SUSHI, PASTA SALAD
EDITOR: I was the elderly gentleman who greeted you on primary night ["Primary Night Fever," Sept 16] at the Compton campaign headquarters with "Welcome, Strangers." You and your photographer were, indeed, an arresting pair. But you had some hard things to say about our cuisine. I agree that trail mix is hardly engaging; we can do better than Gummi Bears; and I would concede that sushi is normally served cold.
One exception, however: John Hinterberger, the noted food critic, has [written] that sushi is served warm in the innermost regions of Borneo. John points to sushi-serving variations in other cultures as well, but we need not be excessively ethnic.
I had hoped you would put my pasta salad to the test. It is my grandmother's 1844 recipe, which originally was called "noodle salad," but which has, in the interim, acquired the "pasta" patina. I begin with a pint of supermarket deli pasta, and augment it with freshly boiled elbow noodles. Because the deli pasta is larded with mayonnaise, I need not flavor the stretched version. Everything else in the salad that night was absolutely fresh, including radishes, onions, celery, pickles, and olives.
Mr. Hinterberger is truly rhapsodic about this dish. He believes that by overlooking it, you demonstrated a serious lack of judgment, humanity, and taste. He does not wish you to view this, however, as a criticism. When you visit again in November, I hope you will "taste the noodles" and celebrate a Compton victory in gourmet fashion.
Alex S. Edelstein, Senior Cook and Door Manager, Seattle
EDITOR: The best food on primary night was at Curt Firestone's party at Plenty, in Madrona. Unfortunately, "Katie Couric's" "Primary Night Fever" failed to even mention Curt's bash. The fare included great guacamole dip, excellent hummus, and wonderful spanakopita.
The Firestone campaign set the agenda for the race against Pageler. Her entire campaign has been defensive. She has tried to deny her past support for the Nordstrom parking garage giveaway and watershed logging. Only 13 percent of Seattle voters participated in the primary. Higher participation in November will give Curt the margin of victory. Volunteer for Curt Firestone. You'll get great election-night food.
John Tirpak, attorney at law, Seattle
EDITOR: I normally enjoy reading your paper every week, and appreciate the political stance your writers take. However, I was sorely disappointed with the treatment received by Dawn Mason by your Election Death Squad ["Primary Endorsements '99," Sept 9].
The Stranger has a history of defending human rights, especially gay rights. But in this instance, you seem to have ignored the fact that Dawn Mason received not just high marks by SEAMAC, the local gay political network, but a perfect score. Even though Dawn Mason did not receive a perfect score on your quirky quiz, she has a proven track record as a state legislator defending issues you criticize other elected officials for ignoring. I would think you'd want to praise a candidate who is working for all the issues that you purport to endorse.
Peter Bloch Garcia, via fax
TO THE EDITOR: Thanks for your coverage of I-50, the "copwatch" petition [In Other News, Ben Jacklet, Aug 26]. This legislation, if passed, would close the massive legal loophole [that allows cops to] have the special right not to be arrested and tried. Right now, cops investigate themselves, and have found themselves innocent in crimes ranging from murder to theft.
Our measure would create an Office of Special Prosecutor to put cops on trial, with a jury of their peers judging their guilt or innocence, not their fellow officers in Internal Affairs. The people of Seattle are the ones who should be managing the police. We desperately need help getting petitions signed. To find out more, call (206) 323-6712.
David Olsen, Coalition for a Balanced Government, Seattle
EDITOR: How delightful to read a positive review in The Stranger (Neville's Island) ["Actually Funny," Adrian Ryan, Sept 9]. It's a pity the critic couldn't mention the actors by name, since he liked their performances. Shame on you! How would you feel, Mr. Reviewer, if you were the recipient of such an oversight?
Pogo Saito, Los Angeles
TO THE EDITOR: At recess once in third grade, I watched a group of boys surround a girl in our class. This girl, Betsy, was developmentally disabled. These boys brayed and snorted, calling her "retard," taking turns pushing her down. This horrified me then, and I'm still horrified when I see this kind of treatment today.
I've been subjected to the same thing by Charles Mudede in his Police Beat column numerous times. It disgusts me. Once more in the September 9 issue, he pointed and laughed at a mentally ill woman. This isn't funny to me nor to anyone else. Although Charles Mudede is free to be ignorant and bigoted, pointing and laughing at people struggling with disabilities is not mere insensitivity, it's cruelty.
Carson Marshall, via e-mail
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: In your recent article "There Goes the Neighborhood" [Ben Jacklet, Sept 9], you took a shot at Representative Ed Murray, referring to his "inability to pass much of anything in Olympia."
For your information, despite working in what was a deeply and bitterly divided legislative transportation committee, Ed succeeded in obtaining $5.2 million to mitigate noise and environmental impacts from the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge. These funds will go toward constructing noise walls in the Eastlake/Roanoke Park neighborhoods at the I-5/SR 520 junction, and funding a study and design for enclosure retrofit of the Ship Canal Bridge. This achievement is remarkable, given that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has been extremely reluctant to spend any money on the environment without accompanying investment in construction or expansion of freeways (which is how most noise walls get built).
Despite coverage from local media like UPN News and KIRO radio, The Stranger has been strangely silent on this issue. Neighborhood meetings regarding I-5 environmental impacts are the most well-attended meetings in Eastlake. Maybe Mr. Jacklet should have listened to the cynical, anti-environmental catcalls from the Republican side. Then he would appreciate how difficult Ed's job is, and how significant this particular achievement was.
President, North Eastlake Business Assoc.;
Co-Chair, Transportation Planning Committee, Eastlake Tomorrow; Co-Chair, NOISE, Inc., Seattle
DEAR EDITORS: I am writing in response to your U-District Light Rail article, and what you wrote about Rep. Ed Murray's "inability to pass much of anything in Olympia." Where did that come from? I was involved this past session in advocating for more money, housing, and homelessness. The House Capital Budget Committee (HCBC), which Rep. Murray co-chairs, recommended substantial increases in housing assistance. In the end, total state funding for housing programs shot up dramatically from $62 million in 1997-99 to $96 million in 1999-01. You call that inability? Under his leadership, HCBC appropriations for housing also included a $7 million increase to fund permanent farmworker housing -- a huge necessity in our state, where 37,000 farmworkers are homeless during the harvest seasons.
I have been very happy with the excellent abilities of Rep. Ed Murray. We are lucky to have him in Olympia.
Paul Lambros, via e-mail
EDITOR: In response to Ben Jacklet's article "There Goes the Neighborhood": Making park improvements to Lincoln Reservoir/Bobby Morris Playfield is the highest-priority project approved by community members as part of the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Planning process. With Ed Murray's leadership as co-chair of the House Capital Budget Committee, Seattle Central Community College received significant funding this last session toward design and construction of park facilities. The funds secured through Rep. Murray's work in Olympia represents the first of what will need to be a series of state and city grants, if we are to have a truly wonderful park serving Capitol Hill.
Kay Rood, Groundswell Off Broadway, Seattle