EDITOR: I would like to clarify the facts in Emily Hall's news article "Art Walk" [July 26]. Daniel Fried was never hired as CoCA's program director, and the position has been vacant only once--not three times, as Hall's article states--in the last year. Fried was fired by a unanimous vote of CoCA's board prior to the completion of his contract, due to a series of repeated mistakes, missteps, and incompetence. He did not resign, nor was the board uncooperative.

The "final blow" was, indeed, over CoCA's Fourth of July party, which had to be canceled because Fried ignored the terms of our rental contract with Consolidated Works (where the event was to be held). Consolidated Works' executive director, Matthew Richter, reviewed the contract with Fried on three separate occasions--specifically pointing out the required permits and insurance each time. Fried never reviewed the contract with CoCA's board, nor did he ask us for assistance regarding the permits and insurance. He did, however, state to Richter and to several CoCA board members that he had "taken care of everything."

Emily Hall states that versions of the events are "impossible to verify," and yet the facts are verifiable through CoCA's board meeting minutes and through Consolidated Works. The article also states that Jeff Galvala volunteered under Fried, and Hall quotes Galvala in support of him. Galvala, in fact, did not volunteer at CoCA during Fried's tenure. In regard to "the long-overdue shows for which funding has already been granted," there is but one show which has received partial funding that is not overdue, and is slated for later this year.

Shawn Ferris, President of the Board, Center on Contemporary Art

EMILY HALL RESPONDS: When I said "the position at the helm is vacant for the third time in the last year," I was counting the departures of Steve Tremble and Katie Kurtz, as well as Fried. And what was "impossible to verify" were the various snippy accounts of how events transpired.


EDITOR: Amy Jenniges writes an impassioned indictment of Seattle's impound law ["Dude, Where's My Car?" August 2], albeit one that is sadly lacking in objectivity and facts. The bias of Jenniges' article is that Paige Ward's rights were violated because her car was impounded when its driver, Ward's boyfriend Saul Bunford, was pulled over for speeding, and it was discovered that his driver's license was then under suspension.

In order to have your car impounded, you must meet four criteria: First, you must commit at least one moving violation. Second, you must fail to address the violation(s). Third, a court must suspend or revoke your driver's license. Fourth, you must then commit yet another moving violation. Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right--and people who meet these four criteria are arrogant scofflaws who have no business behind the wheel.

Jenniges informs us that neither Ward nor Bunford knew that [Bunford's] license was suspended because of multiple outstanding tickets in Kitsap County. Did Bunford flee Kitsap county before receiving his license-suspension notice? What did he think would happen with the unpaid tickets? Would the law just forget about them, as he did? Most despicable is that Seattle taxpayers paid these scofflaws' bills.

Ward and Bunford are not the righteous, innocent victims Jenniges would have us believe. They are the very parasites the impound law was designed to deter.

Walter D. Smith, via e-mail


EDITOR: I quite expected such responses as those sent by Jason Welch, "Angry Motorist" and H. Griffin [Letters to the Editor, Aug 9]. The content of those letters is much the same as that of the lecture given to us by the Seattle Police Department's representative, right before he violated our constitutional right to a prompt post-seizure hearing.

As to my "deserving" to have my car impounded, the state legislature and our city's judicial system seem to disagree with that notion. Fortunately, we are a society governed by laws, and not by "angry motorists." If any valid proof exists that there is a direct relationship between the size of your bank account and your ability to drive safely, I would be quite interested in examining it. This might give merit to Operation Impound's policy of confiscating and auctioning cars being driven by those who are unable to pay for tickets for things like jaywalking, broken taillights, and driving five miles over the speed limit.

Paige Ward, Whining Asshole


DEAR EDITOR: If I understand Peter Sipe's response to my review correctly [Letters to the Editor, Aug 9], the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia "is not comparable" to the U.S. bombing of Cambodia because NATO's "relatively restrained campaign" didn't do as much damage ["The Incredible Shrinking Kissinger," Jeremy Lott, Aug 2]. By this standard, a suicide school shooting that only costs, say, three lives could under no circumstances be compared to the Columbine shooting. The mind boggles.

Jeremy Lott, Senior Editor, Spintech Magazine


EDITORS: It is my duty to fight for truth and justice by reminding your comrade Brian Goedde that ska is not the "son" of reggae, but that in fact, the opposite is true [Stranger Suggests, Aug 2]. Ska originated in the early 1960s, when R&B melodies were played to traditional Caribbean rhythms, which were then slowed down in the 1970s (in a haze of marijuana smoke) and renamed "reggae." Thus, reggae is down-tempo ska. Ska is not up-tempo reggae.

Don't worry. Many music writers have made this mistake, because they confuse one of ska's two revivals (late '70s and early '90s) with its origins--but Christ, the accurate information is even available at EMP's latest exhibit, Island Revolution.

Adam Luedtke, via e-mail


EDITOR: Before The Stranger's readers start jumping at another chance to point fingers at sleazy Republicans and self-absorbed Greens ["Fake Candidate," Josh Feit, Aug 9], I'd like to point out that the real culprit here is not a candidate or the parties concerned, but our absurd electoral system, which makes more choices a bad thing.

This situation would never happen if we had in place a reform known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). Under IRV, instead of voting for just one candidate, you can rank the candidates in order of preference. If your first choice doesn't win, then your vote will go to your second choice, and so forth, until some candidate has a majority.

This is a win-win situation for everyone. Minor parties will get more votes because people can freely vote their conscience, and major parties no longer have to worry about third parties spoiling the election. Plus, this will lead to more civilized, issue-oriented campaigns instead of offensive mudslinging, because candidates will be trying hard to win the second-choice votes of their opponents instead of alienating them.

If you want to help make IRV a reality in Washington, check out the Coalition for Instant Runoff Voting at

Alan McConchie, Seattle


JEFF DeROCHE: "I'm not asking for dirty and glorious," writes Jeff DeRoche [One-Night Stand, Aug 9]. Ah, but you are, Jeff.

Overall, your review was kind, but the point you made about Popstar Assassins when comparing them with either their American counterparts or their Brit-pop influences was slightly off the mark. Popstar Assassins' influences are a lot broader and go back a lot farther than the bands you mentioned. In other words, a band doesn't necessarily have to fit into an already-defined set of musical expectations. If I wanted to spin a Blur or Charlatans record, I would do so.

Anonymous, via e-mail


TO THE STRANGER: In the August 9 edition of Last Days, David Schmader cites the Talmud: "Furthermore, the Talmud states that a fetus is 'mere fluid' until 40 days out of the womb...." The tenor of the citation seems quite approving, so I can only assume that Schmader agrees that a less-than-40-day-old infant is "mere fluid." But even so, in the next clause of that same sentence, Schmader insists that "no one's advocating chopping up newborns." In that case, I think it's a fair question to ask, "Why not?" I wonder if Schmader has the courage to follow his implied conviction to the bitter end.

James R. Cowles, Seattle

DAVID SCHMADER RESPONDS: The Talmud condones ending the life of the fetus to protect the life of the mother. The "39 days as mere fluid" refers to the spiritual development of the newborn. Anyone who takes that statement to condone infanticide is a dingbat.