DEAR EDITOR: In response to Bryce "stinky fish balls" Lamb's letter to Rachel Kessler [Letters to the Editor, Oct 5], I want to tell Bryce that I, Novella Carpenter, am a real person and I should be the one in the cross hairs of his fury. I'm the dumb ass who referred to flank steak as roast beef. I'm also the one who became constipated after consuming the flank steak, olives, and fish balls... er, croquettes. And you have to remember, we had just watched a horrible movie about a chef who pukes! How could we be in a good mood after that? Bryce, did you see the movie? It was not something with which you and your restaurant should be associated. In parting, let me say that the flank steak was delicious, as were the olives.
EDITORS: The Stranger was way off base in its squib about the Seattle campaign contribution limit increase ["Dunce of the Week," In Other News, Josh Feit, Sept 28]. The Ethics and Elections Commission is unanimously recommending an increase in the individual campaign donation limit from the current $400, although it is split on how much it should be increased. The council is looking at $600. Why? To counter the influence of big money and make elections more competitive. Case in point: Judy Nicastro. She raised almost as much as her near-incumbent opponent, Cheryl Chow, and won a narrow victory. How? By getting 89 $400 contributions--43 percent of her total funds. That's why a higher donation limit helps make races more competitive. Even more important, though, Judy almost lost because one individual and the Apartment Owners Association each spent $25,000 supporting her opponent with so-called "independent" expenditures, which are not subject to Seattle campaign regulations. Keeping the $400 limit reduces the amount of money candidates like Judy can raise, and gives more power to those with lots of money. Here's your dunce cap back. Wear it with pride: A lot of people have been fooled on this one.
Richard Conlin, Council Member
EDITORS: Charles Mudede is an intelligent and witty writer. That said, he sure dropped the ball with "Chaos Theory" [Oct 5]. What a ridiculous notion that we need to give up part of the city to a carnival where "bullets and punches may fly." Is Mr. Mudede willing to give up his neighborhood? Or should we give up an area deep in the heart of the industrial district, where bar patrons may shoot each other all they want without even waking up the folks in the nearest residential district?
Police deserve a break on this. They are simply trying to preserve order and enforce the law. When police put pressure on a "biker" bar, it's not because they're using "biker" as a code word for white. They're cracking down on the culture. So Mr. Mudede, if you are willing to write an article on why police should not crack down on the violence associated with hiphop culture, I'd be willing to read it. But please, please, please stop calling it racism.
EDITORS: I just finished Jamie Hook's "story," "Canine Crimes," in the Oct 5 issue, and now I'm worried. It's hard enough taking good care of a dog in this town already, and we don't need to further fuel the fires of Seattle's dog-hating citizens. I enjoyed reading Mr. Hook's asides about his Buddhist friends and his aunt's Irish setter, but what was the point of his story? Was he trying to make all those cranky old people--the ones who already hate dogs--fear and loathe them even more? Was he trying to scare joggers into carrying handguns when they head out for their after-work run? Is he planning on running for city council, knowing he'll fit in just fine with all the other dog-haters on the council? The Stranger has always had a sense of humor about itself, which I appreciate, but I guess I just couldn't find the punch line this time.
Curt Doughty, Seattle
DEAR STRANGER: Every Thursday I'm depressed it's not Friday. Well, every Thursday until around a month ago. That is when I came across your awesome mini-column that makes fun of world celebs. I gotta say, I almost died when I read "Random Filler with Leslie Miller" [Sept 28]. Even better was "You Better Say Sorry! by Todd Mokhtari" [Oct 5]. Thanks for such an awesome column. Each one has a special place in my tiny hellhole of an office cubicle.
Chris Price, Seattle
DEAR STRANGER: Your new celebrity column is just about the funniest thing I've seen in years. "Win Any Fight with Betty White" [Sept 7] tops the list as my favorite, but they are all funny as hell. We make a special trip to the newsstand every Thursday just so we can see who you're going to make fun of next. Keep up the great work!
Josh Sorem, Seattle
MR. MUDEDE: Why do you insist on wasting your considerable mental prowess pushing cubes into spherical holes ["In the World with Hiphop and Heidegger," Charles Mudede, Oct 5]? Heidegger was a Nazi. He would've exterminated Flava Flav, C. L. Smooth, and the entire cast of NWA--along with you, Einstein, and any other non-Aryan he could get his hands on. Why don't you elucidate rap in the context of Langston Hughes' poems? James Baldwin's novels? Are you implying that you are too intellectual for African American genius? Maybe you should just write a novel. I would buy it.
Mr. Veblen, Seattle
EDITORS: I would just like to point out that the shooting on Capitol Hill is not the only shooting that went largely unreported around this time ["Unreported Crime," Phil Campbell, In Other News, Oct 5]. There were three shootings in South Seattle that same week that only got a little paragraph in the back pages of The Seattle Times--one in Rainier Valley, one in White Center, and one in High Point. It's not just the drag queens who aren't being covered. It seems to me that there's a political agenda here, and that the larger news media has a strong bias about what and who is newsworthy and whose lives are worth covering.
Elizabeth Ann Rose, Seattle
EDITOR: Any film review whose tag line employs a scoreboard ("Björk 1, von Trier 0") doesn't promise much, and Jamie Hook lives up to that promise ["Presence of Genius," Oct 5]. Devoting over half the review to cataloguing "the seasons and dreams and haunted ambitions" of Björk's music, Hook has forgotten your paper's assignment: to review a film, not a CD. Björk, though unequivocally brilliant, was not "a complete spine for the film," nor does "Dancer in the Dark [utterly belong] to her." Von Trier's writing and directing--not to mention the supporting cast's outstanding performances--merit much more than the eager thrashing, omission, and drive-by praise they received. Inexplicably, Hook seems to have it in for von Trier, while [remaining] totally unconscious that [the director's] "misdirection" enabled the "stunning acting" that won Björk--who is not an actress--Best Actress at Cannes. Dancer in the Dark is not a wonderful film "in theory"; it is a wonderful film in fact. I saw a film; apparently Hook read Foucault. Your reviewer is a dauntless dancer in the dork.
Todd Weiner, Seattle
DEAR EDITOR: Throughout his book The Funhouse Mirror, Robert Ellis Gordon utilized a certain reserved caution, like a compass, that kept his ship on course as it navigated through the rough waters of the criminal mind. Ms. Ready, unfortunately, does not have this skill ["Falling into Prison," Trisha Ready, Sept 28], and to that end, I believe she was sufficiently duped during her interviews with Tana Granack, one of the inmate authors represented in the book. Earlier this year, I watched Granack read along with Gordon at Bumbershoot, and he talked about his crime. He told the audience he was in for attempted murder, quipping he used a little gun. He seemed to pass off the crime like a juvenile mistake. Mr. Granack did not simply pull a gun on someone in a rash moment. Rather, he meticulously crafted a plan to plant a pipe bomb in a Seattle woman's car. Then he lured another victim whom he feared could implicate him to a remote area, where he attacked him with a pipe from behind. After this, he shot the guy (also from behind). He planned this attack, we know, because he dug a grave for the poor guy in advance. Fortunately, both murder attempts failed. But the intent was very real. Healing from past crimes requires accountability on the part of the offender. Unfortunately, Granack hasn't taken the first step.
Tamara Menteer, Bothell