To the Editor:
As a concerned member of the Seattle arts community, I want to commend Eric Fredericksen for his article ["Off The Mark," May 6], which helped to shed a bit more light on what has become an increasingly murky pile of goo.In the meeting held at Behnke Center on Tuesday evening, May 4, the OTB board showed at least a polite willingness to listen to our concerns, but seemed ill-prepared for the outpouring of support for Mark and the pointed criticism of their decision. As a result, they did little to clarify the situation, and in fact only served to increase the level of frustration with their actions. The open letter which accompanied Mr. Fredericksen's article states with far more eloquence than I can the general consensus of the arts community, locally, nationally, and internationally.

The board of directors of On The Boards has made a grievous, possibly fatal error, and we can only hope that by the time this letter has the chance to see the light of day, they will have come to their senses and done the right thing by reinstating Mark Murphy.

Chris Comte


To the Editor:
I would like to be the first to ask for the resignation of On the Board's board of directors. But please, before you pack it up, do the right thing and reinstate Mark Murphy.
Michael Levis

To the Editor: Your article about the born-again Christians coming to town was neither clever nor intelligent--just trashy and bigoted. ["Welcome, Ex-Gay Conventioneers!" April 29, Dan Savage and David Schmader] If an individual who formerly led a gay lifestyle decides to go straight, what's it to you? Why do you feel you must attack former gays (who have chosen to follow Christ) in such a vicious and hateful manner? What part of "live and let live" do you not understand? Obviously, it makes you very agitated and upset that other people have come to a different conclusion about the gay lifestyle than you have.Don't these people whom you ridicule have the same right to freedom of action and choice that you do? Homosexuality is not "programmed." Go ahead--show me the "gene" that determines homosexuality. There is none. This is only a theory, totally unproven, which the gay community has seized upon to justify their abdication of choice in the matter. And in knee-jerk fashion, they all become irate when confronted with the idea that freedom of choice exists regarding sexuality.

Catherine Hazur


To the Editor:
I cringe when I hear the HATE directed at taggers [Letters, April 29]. Peter H., Hank Matisse, Kirk De Grasse, do you have or know of any teenagers trying to grow up in this FASCIST STATE we refer to as "Seattle"? If you did, you would realize that Mr. Mark Sidran has his thumb on them. They can't skate, go see their favorite bands, or hang out with their friends in public without being harassed by the mean-hearted cops in this Godforsaken burg! I have heard nothing but bad things about cops, and I can't believe the audacity they show in their language and manhandling of minors. What is left for these kids to do?I am a painter, and someone near and dear to me (a budding genius himself) has been a tagger in the past. I instructed him on the matter. I said if he wanted to paint, he could use my supplies. But it's not fair to ruin other people's property. How would he feel if my shop's expensive signs were tagged?

But I was missing the point of tagging. I believe that the youth of "America" feel very insignificant, and they feel tagging is a way to immortalize themselves--one way to say I EXIST and you (the Establishment) cannot kill my spirit! If we continue to turn to the police and demons like Mark Sidran instead of implementing programs and opportunities for youth, we will ALL lose our freedom and our right to call this America.

How about the businesses who get tagged trying preventative measures? Could they possibly be making more money in this booming economy? Be creative. Live outside the lines of hate.



To the Editor:
It was nice of you to report on the April 22 march to protest the bombings of Serbia and Iraq [April 29, "Kosovo, So Far Away," Samantha M. Shapiro]. However, Shapiro's treatment of the event seemed pretty superficial.She failed to mention the size of the crowd (perhaps 400-500 protesters), the length of the march (from the Federal Building to Westlake Center), or the diverse array of groups and individuals who came together to express their horror that the United States military is bombing and killing civilians. Instead, Samantha focused on the weather, the speakers who preceded the march, and one noisy, drunken man.

The latest estimate I have seen is that 400-500 civilians have been killed in Serbia, Kosovo, and the surrounding areas in the first five weeks of bombings. U.S. planes are also still bombing Iraq regularly, several times per week, in the "no-fly zones." The people of the United States are largely responsible for the continuing death and destruction. We need to act to stop it.

Ruth Wilson


To the Editor:
Though language barriers, finances, and pressure from parents can make it quite stressful to be an international student in the U.S., for columnist Charles Mudede to call Kai Ting Hung (Kenny) a hero is inappropriate [April 29, Police Beat].Holding a teacher and the staff of SCCC's English as a Second Language department hostage and threatening them with knives and bombs is not an act of heroism. It is one of desperation. Though no one was hurt, many involved were traumatized by this event. Kenny's classmates are shocked and embarrassed, and hope his actions do not reflect badly on them or their countries. None that I know view him as a hero, as Mudede wrote. Nor do we see him as a criminal. We see him as a victim. And we are sad.

Kate Forster
English Teacher


To the Editor:
Charles Mudede considers Kenny Hung "somewhat of a hero to those in the international community" because he took a teacher hostage and threatened her life. The international community should be outraged at Mudede for claiming that they share his opinion.I certainly am outraged. I know the teacher involved, and she is an eminently fair and caring person; in no way did she deserve what befell her. I have had Kenny as a student myself. His failure was entirely his own doing, and it came as no surprise to him; he repeatedly failed to attend class or complete assignments. We listened to Kenny, but he didn't listen to us.

I have no idea which country your Police Beat writer is from, but virtually all of the foreign-born students I know (and as an ESL instructor, I know a lot of them) regard teachers with respect and gratitude. One presumes that Mudede himself owes what writing talent he possesses to teachers. He should honor them instead of a violent lunatic.

Let us suppose for a moment that an angry man whom Mudede had written about came to the offices of The Stranger, and took him hostage. Suppose this irrational individual was armed with knives and Molotov cocktails. Would he be a hero to Mudede? Or would he be a hero to the millions of people who are sick to death of stupid journalists?

Tom Davis

[Editor's Note: Every week, the publisher of The Stranger inserts a voucher worth $10 into a random copy of The Stranger. You can read about the lucky winners every week in the "Publisher's $10 Give-Away" box on our "Fun Time (Time for Fun) Fun Page" at the back of the paper. Following the publisher's lead, two readers recently began inserting a $10 vouchers of their own into random issues of The Stranger.]

To the Editor: Congratulations to the winners of our first and second Readers' $10 Give-Away. Casey, who says she feels like "the luckiest person in the world," tells us she's going to take a friend for a drink "somewhere to be seen, someplace swank.""I would buy any newspaper that had a check in it," said Seth, our second winner. Seth will be taking a fabulous dream vacation to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe.

Best of luck next week--you too could find a $10 prize from us in a copy of The Stranger. If you want to increase your chances, says Seth, you could "kill everyone else." Good thinking, Seth. No doubt you'll be called in for questioning later.

Rich Garella

Elena Garella