No bribes!

Thank you for the millenium survival package that accompanied the release of your "Best of Seattle" issue (SW, 7/22). I appreciate your thoughtfulness,


"How about the best place to meet women in wheelchairs? Or the best place to meet pigeon-toed women, or the best place to meet blonde women with big boobs and no brains?"

No bribes!

Thank you for the millenium survival package that accompanied the release of your "Best of Seattle" issue (SW, 7/22). I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I feel it would be inappropriate to accept your gifts.

Congratulations on a fine issue.

Kathy Best

Metropolitan editor

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Sick joke

We, not the royal, but several women who read your most recent "Best of Seattle" issue (SW, 7/22), are appalled, sickened, and not feeling very forgiving about the "Best women-watching" segment.

Thanks for the quick and dirty objectification—of your mothers, sisters, daughters, and (thankfully, we are not included in this final and most horrifying category) wives and lovers.

We assume that humor was intended; and we love a good joke. But then let's take this joke even further, now that you have gotten us off to a good start. How about the best place to meet women in wheelchairs? Or the best place to meet pigeon-toed women, or the best place to meet blonde women with big boobs and no brains? This is, after all, what you are really implying. . . .

Insulted, and no longer reading the Weekly, we remain,

Objects #42378, 64721, and 83265

via email

Jesse and Strom live on

After having breezed through your "Best of Seattle" issue (SW, 7/22) with so much enjoyment, I hate to be a spoilsport, but someone unfortunately needs a reality check. Under #60, "Best reason to welcome the new millenium": "Jesse Helms just has to be gone by then."

I fled S.C. in 1956 to get away from the likes of Strom Thurmond (shame! shame!) and every year since have looked forward to his passing from the scene.

Sad to say, bottom scavengers like those two catfish live long and ugly lives. They thrive on shit.

Tom Smith


Bummed out

My name is Ruth Ellen Rader and I am writing to you about "Bum's rush" by Eric Scigliano (Quick & Dirty, 7/22).

I am now living at the YWCA emergency shelter not far from the downtown library; I have returned here after a year and a half. The last time that I was in Seattle, I was on the streets, homeless. I slept on a mat on the floor at night and tinkered with the computers at the library quite a bit during the day.

I eventually left Seattle and migrated to Florida. Now I am back and this time am going to get a job and settle down here for good. I traveled across this country extensively, from Maine to Minnesota, Missouri to Montana, Texas to Tuscon, Portland to Pennsylvania. And during that time, I visited many libraries, in big cities and small towns, and I've seen how other communities have handled the situation.

It sounds to me like the library system and the City are playing pass-the-buck with the issue. Nobody wants to take the responsibility for resolving the controversy.

Well, I hope I don't get caught in the crossfire. Because with my "situationally" homeless status right now, I run the risk of falling under the ax that might be used to cut off an "undesirable" segment of the population. I'll bet that if you met me, you probably wouldn't want to exclude me; but then, if you saw me, you probably wouldn't even guess that I am homeless . . . so to speak, anyway.

Ruth Ellen Rader


Sparks will fly

I disagree with Geov Parrish's assessment of the Seattle City Council race (Impolitics, "Democracy's dullards," 7/22). This year's council race gives Seattle voters the chance to build a progressive majority. Such a majority would fight against the current council majority's corporate give-away habits.

Parrish underestimates the strength of Judy Nicastro's exciting upstart campaign and completely ignores the grassroots organization of Curt Firestone. Nicastro has shown courage and leadership on the affordable housing issue and has built a strong network of support. Firestone is challenging Margaret Pageler—a strong ally of City Attorney Mark Sidran. He has spoken out against the Pageler-Sidran agenda (poster ban, sidewalk sitting, parks exclusion) in no uncertain terms. Both have scored the King Council Labor Council endorsement, in spite of well-known opponents.

I would invite Geov Parrish to watch these candidates in action and see some sparks fly.

John Tirpak


Animals and AIDS

I would like to clarify a misconception attributed to me by Mr. Scott Van Valkenburg in a letter to the Seattle Weekly on July 8, 1999. While it is true that the human immune system is unique, it is also true that an HIV vaccine cannot be developed without animal testing. Developing an HIV vaccine has proven to be a difficult task. The virus's effects on the immune system are complex and our knowledge of how we can prevent its acquisition miniscule. We will not "know" all about the virus's ways of getting into the body for many, many years (if ever). But, like polio, measles, and more recently rotavirus, we can use empiricism to develop logical candidate vaccines. There is an overwhelming abundance of scientific evidence that animal models greatly speed the discovery of cures for any number of conditions and diseases that take the lives of both humans and animals. Animal models are not always perfect—and that really was my point in the statement attributed to me by Mr. Van Valkenburg.

Dedicated scientists throughout the world are using every tool at their disposal, including the responsible, humane use of animals, to find ways to halt and reverse the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS, which now infects millions of human beings on this planet and continues to shorten the lives of millions more.

Lawrence Corey, MD

Head, Virology division

University of Washington


Bye-bye, Anonymous

Good article ("You lost!", 7/8). There were, however, a couple of slight errors.

1) "And your banking and credit history—sensitive and personal data in the lives of even the most innocuous among us—is anybody's baby if your bank decides to pimp it out."

Not quite. Credit history is governed by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Absent a permissible purpose under FCRA, a consumer credit report is not legally obtainable. Calling it "anybody's baby" is simply incorrect.

2) "And your driver's license info is for sale to telemarketers and insurance companies."

This is a gross distortion. Driver license and vehicle registration data are governed by the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act. Consumers have the choice of "opting out" of having driver and vehicle data about them released to direct marketers and certain other users. (Of course, it does not allow consumers to opt out of having the information released for the purposes of having the subject served with legal process. Nor should it.)

In this discussion, the distinction should be made between government policies and private sector policies. Government can coerce us to release information about ourselves (filing income tax returns, census forms, cash transaction reports, etc.) whereas Citibank, the direct marketers, Intel, etc., cannot. Sometimes this distinction gets lost in coverage of privacy matters.

Privacy is freedom from unauthorized intrusion. It is not necessarily the right to control what others say about oneself. In today's networked world, privacy is still possible, but anonymity has all but fallen by the wayside.

Bill Fason

Houston, Texas

Stamping out problems

I read "Stamping out crime?" (7/8) on the problems that DSHS is encountering with the federal government and wanted to let you know that there are people out here who are helping to alleviate this. DSHS has contracted with the MultiService Centers of King County (North, East, and South) as well as with CAMP (Central Area Motivation Program), Neighborhood House, and Fremont Public Association to educate and inform applicants about the process as well as the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) that will come to King County in the fall.

We are hoping that together we can lower the error rate and make food stamps accessible to all who qualify.

Anastasia Diamond

Food Stamp Education Advocate

We welcome succinct letters commenting on articles in Seattle Weekly. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and legal considerations. Please include name and daytime telephone number for verification. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or email to

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