EDITOR: The columnist who brought us the full-page fantasy picture of a broad boulevard ("surface street option") bearing only four cars (perhaps at 4:00 a.m.), now fantasizes that commuters' temporary solutions to a partial I-5 shutdown will work on a permanent basis ["Closure," Erica C. Barnett, Aug 23]. She does not mention the many people who followed the city's recommendation to take their annual vacations during the I-5 shutdown. She also forgot about the businesses that temporarily allowed employees to work from home or from other locations. (Group Health, for example, encouraged south-dwelling office employees who normally work downtown to temporarily trade offices with north-dwelling employees who normally work in Tukwila.)
Of course, we would all love to have permanent vacations take us out of the daily commute or to have our employers permanently alter their entire office structures to accommodate our commuting needs. We get similar (although less dramatic) decreases in traffic when all the local schools take Christmas break at the same time; but, unlike Ms. Barnett's fantasies, that only lasts for two weeks.
EDITOR: Congratulations to all of you and to that wonderful woman—I forget her name—who led the surface-transit campaign. You have been vindicated by a handy and wonderful experiment.
People, my enlightened friends among them, are still whining about the imminent annihilation of the viaduct more than I ever heard for our monorail, RIP. Never mind that fixing/replacing it requires a long closure; folks want their goddamned highways. Oddly enough, I felt like I saw more Hummers than ever during the closure, no unwashed masses for them.
JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE: Thanks for your interview with Anthony Matlock ["Lone Ranger," Aug 23]. I'm so sick and tired of seeing public property defaced with meaningless tags that make no statement aside from, "I can afford paint and have nothing better to do." Matlock is not fighting a losing battle. The "broken-window theory" is even mentioned on the city's own website, so I find it surprising that the SPD has no team to deal with the problem. Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference has a great description of how this works.
Anyway, as frustrating as it must be for Matlock to fight tagging and graffiti on a daily basis, I for one appreciate his tireless efforts. Capitol Hill has just gotten to look trashier and trashier over the past couple decades, and it only makes an ugly element more comfortable there. That combination makes fewer law-abiding citizens feel less safe living and visiting there. Everybody loses if neighborhoods are left looking like nobody cares about pointless tagging. Thank you, Anthony Matlock, keep up the good work!
DEAR DAN: Thanks for referring "Help An Innocent Fool" to Planned Parenthood's health-care experts [Savage Love, Aug 16]. At Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, men have no reason to feel foolish or scared for seeking our confidential health-care services. We're here for them, too! A growing percentage of our clients are men—up more than 50 percent since 2000 alone—and, in my experience, our peer educators are as likely to be young men as they are to be young women.
Thanks again, Dan, for being a great ally in the effort to educate men and women about protecting their health and seeking health care when they need it. The more we encourage young people—men and women—to take a proactive, safe, and informed approach to their health, the better we will all be.
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
JONATHAN ZWICKEL: Thank you for your exceptional review of the Wilco show at the Marymoor [on Line Out, The Stranger's music blog, Aug 22]. It was a special night from a truly great band and your review completed the hat trick.
It's not often, if ever, that I feel compelled to write a critic, but after reading the lame attempts at the P-I and the Times to chronicle this show, I couldn't help myself. For what little it may be worth, you have reaffirmed my faith in the potential of rock criticism. Please keep up the great work.
I see you wrote that Deadhead article ["Coming Out of the Closet," Aug 2]. That was pretty great, too. Just the other day I told someone I used to be into the Dead and I'm pretty sure he thought I was retarded.