Greg Stump

OUR OBAMA

ENDORSEMENT: UNFAIR...

EDITORS: Don't get me wrong, I love Obama. But your endorsement of his candidacy is irresponsible, shortsighted, and unfair to the people of Seattle ["Our Endorsement for President," Stranger Election Control Board, Jan 31].

You can choose to make a statement that "the policy differences between the two senators are pretty minimal," but... they aren't. They're different. That's like saying, "Obama and Clinton are basically both angry white men. Kind of. Well they both wear suits. And yell sometimes."

Because I could have sworn they were at least a tiny bit different on the actual issues—the basis for which these debates, votes, and politicians should actually be judged.

What if you're a 62-year-old woman who just lost the majority of her savings and earnings after a divorce that happened to coincide with a child going to college? Coming out of an early retirement in order to work, she needs to be concerned with several important factors in order to regain both her financial footing as well as consider her current and future health needs.

And she's supposed to be comforted by, as you put it, "a superstar like Barack Obama" whose "candidacy will also be buoyed by his charisma"?

Hillary mandates health coverage. Barack wants to make it cheaper. Both good points. Both with appeals for different voters.

Hillary would create a new $3,500 college tax credit, increase the maximum Pell Grant, and strengthen community colleges through a $500-million investment. Barack wants to provide a universal and fully refundable credit that will ensure the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans.

Yes, Obama is smart, informed, charismatic, and has a great story propelling him into an unbelievably bright future. And yes, Hillary is passive-aggressive, wears a lot of weird neck jewelry, and tolerates a husband who acts drunk when he's sober... but she's smart as FUCK. And she knows her shit. And you know it.

I'm a Democrat, and I'm looking at both of them. And I don't care who's cooler, has a bigger shoe size, or wears granny panties.

AW

...and INCOMPLETE

TO THE EDITOR: You missed one line on your Obama endorsement cover: "Once you go black, you don't go back."

Eric Bagnall

heath's funeral

Editor: I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I appreciate the January 22 entry in Last Days on Heath Ledger's death and, as was noted, the tragic idiocy which followed it [David Schmader, Jan 31]. To simply have homophobia is one thing, but to let it go to such lengths that one would avidly disrespect the life and funeral of any person (and more importantly, a person who was not even gay) surely cannot be considered an "act of righteousness." If believing in Jesus no longer entails mercy and forgiveness (and as the Bible says, leave the judging to God), then I want no part of it.

Thank you!

Hannah Goodman

FREE MARKET

HEY, ERICA: My name is Jay Hwang of J&J's Gift and Sportswear, located right next to World Class Chili in the Economy Atrium at the Pike Place Market. I've seen all of the [market renovation] plans and with the Atrium plans, my business would be completely blocked off from the interior of the Main Arcade/Atrium and 50 percent of our foot traffic would have been eliminated.

I read your article ["Pike Place Facelift," Erica C. Barnett, Jan 31] and I want to say thanks. I couldn't believe how accurate it was. I was just a little miffed that our shop wasn't mentioned (ha ha) since I've been working very hard alongside Joe and Michael through this, but really that isn't a big deal. I'm just very glad you wrote it.

Jay Hwang

HOMELESS

ERICA: Thanks so much for your GREAT piece on Monday's public hearing regarding the city's changes to rules regarding removing homeless people and their belongings from city property ["War and Piece," Erica C. Barnett, Jan 31]. I was there, and I think you really captured the mood and the salient points. I've been surprised at just how insistent the city has been about this wrongheaded approach.

Nicole Macri

DESC Director of Administration

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: In last week's "Pike Place Facelift" by Erica C. Barnett, we reported that Mayor Greg Nickels had proposed an $80-million levy for the market. In fact, Pike Place Market requested that $80 million be included in a future levy for parks. We regret the error.