TO JOSH FEIT: At the 46th Legislative District Democrats endorsement meeting in September, I spoke up in favor of endorsing Jan Drago over Casey Corr. In doing so, I emphasized the tremendous problem we now have at the federal governmental level with both houses of the Congress serving as but rubber stamps for the executive branch.

I suggested that, given recent city hall actions and the part Casey Corr has played in so often trying to circumvent legislative intent/input, we need to retain Jan Drago on the city council where she could continue to hold the mayor responsible and accountable—to serve as a much-needed voice of reason and a brake on the passions of the Mayor and his staff—whereas Corr (whose campaign has been heavily contributed to by developers and construction companies with 22 of the top 49 contributors being from those communities) is but a clone of, and rubber stamp to, the mayor.

The members of the district seemed to value the job Jan Drago has done in holding in check the almost dictatorial manner of the mayor and his staff (including Casey Corr). In order to garner the district's endorsement, the candidate must reach the threshold of two-thirds of those present and voting. I did not notice anybody abstaining from voting; and when the votes were tallied, Jan Drago bettered the threshold considerably.

Albert M. Forget


TO DAVID SCHMADER: Thanks for the humorous blurb in Last Days [Oct 6] with your account of the Smoke-Out on Teletubby Hill. However, you sent a misleading report of events to the paper's readers and missed something really important. The piece painted a picture of the police crashing a pot party, one person getting high, being practically busted, and I-75 falling on its face.

But actually, the police were as cordial as a grandmother, dozens of people smoked pot in plain view of a fleet of officers, only one person received notice to leave for seven days, and I-75 demonstrated an iron fist of efficacy.

Basically, there was a smoke-in in one of Seattle's most sensitive public spaces, alarming police and neighbors, yet all that happened was that a single person was asked to leave. A few years ago the tear gas would have consumed the pot smoke and a paddy wagon would have left the park, packed like a can of sardines. So every person who voted for or supported I-75 should give themselves a thump on the back and eat their pudding because Seattle got the proof: I-75 works.

Dominic Holden


DEAR STRANGER: Amazing the contrast between my old high school (Lake Washington) and my daughters' high school (Garfield). Both are considered the best in their respective areas—they even have the same school colors. But the freedom that Garfield students enjoy when choosing content [for their school newspaper] seems to be more in tune with "news" rather than just reflecting the attitude of the administration, as the LWHS paper has been forced to do ["Thou Shalt Not Punish," Oct 6]. Scary.

It really makes me glad that while I had the opportunity to buy my childhood home in Bridle Trails, from where I walked to school (K-12), I declined, in order to stay in Seattle, where controversy and debate are embraced, not run from.

Karin Youngberg


POSTED BY GOMEZTICATOR: As part of a lengthy personal reading project, I'm reading Edith Wharton's most famous work, Ethan Frome. After 75 double-spaced pages with huge margins, I'm not too impressed with Edith's excessive, rambling, adverb-heavy style and continued refusal to move the plot along, obsessing instead with Ethan's redundant thoughts. I've already been given the verbal bitch slap by some well-read friends for not respecting her work, while other well-read colleagues have seen my point, citing that while the work of the early 1900s was groundbreaking, the Naturalist movement of the 1900s was redone, in better form, by Hemingway and Steinbeck.

Any Edith Wharton fans in the house? Give me your thoughts on what you love about her work. I'm in no mood to bash anyone, but to listen and get some perspective, so don't fear. Also, if you feel she's a sham, state that as well (with some supporting arguments, obviously).

POSTED BY SAM CHANDERSON: Ethan Frome is to Edith Wharton as The Old Man and the Sea is to Hemingway. It is given to unruly high school students because it's short and many mistake "depressing" for "deep." Read The House of Mirth or The Age of Innocence or any of her short stories. Wharton is really pretty damn good.

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