Uh, newspaper war

What would happen if the Seattle Times and P-I had a newspaper war ["Start the presses!" 3/9], and neither of them showed...on


"As a resident of First Hill . . . I'm in the process of losing my view of all of Lake Union, which I've enjoyed for the past 10 years—that's capitalism."

Uh, newspaper war

What would happen if the Seattle Times and P-I had a newspaper war ["Start the presses!" 3/9], and neither of them showed...on time...at the news stands?

In the week since the Times switched to mornings, deliveries to my favorite Deli news stand have been running two hours late. When I finally do get the morning P-I, late-breaking stories aren't covered, and they're not in the Times, either, thanks to early deadlines that are now required so both newspapers can get on the presses overnight. I expect that if the world ends at midnight, I'm not going to read about it in the morning.

Bravo to the Seattle Weekly for assigning reporter James Bush to write about this "newspaper war." It really is, after all, in his, uh, "league."



Aquarium inflow

It was only mildly amusing to read yet another Seattle resident claim their protest to some proposed project was NOT a NIMBY issue. In this case Mr. Jim McClurg, a resident of one of the new (and likely to be demolished during the next earthquake of any size—but that's another letter) waterfront condos, saying his opposition to a new aquarium was a "civic issue" and not based on the idea he might lose any of the view he recently purchased ["Sea monster?" 3/9].

Perhaps those opposing the aquarium should consider that if the current attendance (as stated in the article) is 70 percent from outside Seattle, which might double, we ALL gain by having those kind folks come and leave their cash behind: THAT's a civic issue, not whether some of the 235 folks who reside on the waterfront will lose a view that, had they been thorough enough during the buying process, they would've known was not protected. And that cash inflow is something all Seattleites should welcome.

As he suggests this view is "something we all share, and we all will lose," I look forward to Mr. McClurg's invitation, in the finest "civic" fashion, to come share the view—should I bring the wine or the brie?

I might add that as a resident of First Hill who lives on the ninth floor of a medium-rise condo building, I'm in the process of losing my view of all of Lake Union, which I've enjoyed for the past 10 years—that's capitalism.



Fish tanks, computers

I read with interest the recent article that addressed the possible construction of the new Pacific Northwest Aquarium ["Sea monster?" 3/9]. While the Open Spaces organization in opposition addressed some interesting viewpoints, I felt compelled to respond to a grossly misrepresented statement.

Opponents indicated that because the Seattle Aquarium was dubbed state-of-the-art in 1977 that the proposed new Aquarium would become outdated quickly as well.

Zoos & Aquariums have DRAMATICALLY changed in mission, scope, and design in just the last 20 years. New technology and conservation awareness have led these institutions to become the new "arks" and ambassadors for preserving our wildlife. In comparison, just look at the computer industry. The technology is growing faster than we can keep up with. You can not compare a computer in 1977 to one today just as you can not compare exhibit design from 1977 to today.

Let's get with the program and bring our attractions and institutions up to today's standards.



"First-class city"

Regarding the open space and development issues addressed in "Sea monster?" [3/9]: As an educator, I am thrilled at the prospect of the city taking the lead in developing a finer zoological institution that brings within reach the wildlife and secluded habitats of Puget Sound. The Waterfront would benefit from an attraction that exemplifies the beauty of our region while providing a unique family destination.

Benaroya Hall, the upcoming Experience Music Project, the expansion to the Pacific Science Center, and the upcoming development to the Seattle Public Library are all prime examples of what we are able to accomplish in bringing this first-class city into the 21st Century.

We should embrace these opportunities and support the prospect of building an experience that would bring visitors from all over the region to our fine city. Much like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Pacific Northwest Aquarium would only add to our Waterfront. Not take away.



First-class city?

Susan Trapnell ["Trapnell on target?" 3/9] has earned every penny of her pay. She unflinchingly enunciates the subtext of I-695, WTO, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., and the scrap-metal yard of Safeco Field to the impoverished citizenry. "Seattle," she says, in case anyone has missed the point thus far, "doesn't really like excellence."



Boeing and hula hoops

After reading Nina Shapiro's "The next generation" [3/9], I was struck by the simplicity to which this standoff between longtime Boeing employees and the recently acquired "new culture" management can be distilled. As of this moment BA stock is languishing at 33 3/4—a 27 percent drop since the initiation of the strike. The engineers have been off the job for four weeks, a gross income loss of $5,417 each (IF you believe Boeing's purported average engineering wage). The math clearly shows the engineering community will not recoup the lost wages, and likewise Boeing will not recoup the millions in lost revenue due to delayed deliveries, customer aggravation, and employee alienation. Obviously, something more than money is fueling this crisis, as was well presented by Ms. Shapiro.

So what does it boil down to? The Boeing executives have been swept up in Wall Street mania, all the rage in corporate America today. Certainly the drive to maximize shareholder return is understandable (it doesn't hurt the executive bonuses either), but how far will a corporation go? The pride once associated with working at Boeing is vastly diminished. The latest of the generations of families who have put their lives' efforts into building Boeing airplanes will seek other careers. In short, the community will lose a once-esteemed employer as it sinks into the abyss of greed. The question is simple: What cost to the local community are we willing to bear in the name of maximizing shareholder return? Remember, Harry and Phil, hula hoops, disco, and even the junk bond greed of the '80s were passing trends.



Boeing's pie

Your article on the SPEEA strike ["The next generation," 3/9] indicates just one of the things that is wrong with things in this country.

I detest unions, but feel they are a necessary evil. They came into existence only because of the dastardly way employers were treating their workers. More than a few people died because they took a stand for their beliefs in the union movement. Remember the Haymarket Affair?

Even though I detest unions, I was forced to belong to one for a period of five years while employed by a well-known large transit agency. The union did not protect me when I would not keep my mouth shut over things that were not right. The union did file an unfair labor practice because of the actions of a supervisor, but later, without my knowledge and without informing me, traded it away for something else they wanted in contract negotiations.

The statement by Boeing spokesperson Conte is indicative of the crass attitude towards its workers. Boeing is no longer a family, but a team, according to Conte, where you are discarded if you don't "pull your own weight." This came about because of a "cultural audit." In addition, again according to Conte, "the company has had to deal with fierce competition from Airbus. . . ." EXCUSE ME, but don't Airbus workers have much better working conditions than their counterpoints at Boeing? Doesn't this also apply to many or most workers in Europe when it comes to benefit packages and working conditions?

Perhaps one of the goal of ALL unions in the US should be to trim the salary and benefit packages of ALL CEOs and other top executives to where they are more in line with the ratio of the differential gap in wages and benefits in the rest of the industrialized world, instead of the oft-quoted figure of 250 times what the the average worker makes? Business cannot exist and make a profit without workers. It is way past time to share the pie of profit more equitably!



Eyman's "solution"

Your article regarding Tim Eyman's new initiative, I-711 ["BUS-ted," 3/9], makes the statement "Eyman's initiative clearly hopes to divert the billions in taxes that will be collected by Sound Transit for light rail, heavy rail, and buses in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties over the next 10 years to road construction." However, I would like to point out the following fact. According to King County Executive Ron Sims, the passage of I-711 would not divert the taxes slated for Sound Transit into road construction. It would only stop the collection of those taxes. In essence, we would get the same amount of money for roads as we do now, which is less than it used to be since the passage of I-695. Tim Eyman's 'solution' to traffic congestion is to leave us without transit and without roads, stuck in traffic, with no choices and nowhere to go.



Universal contempt

While it is true that the Westboro Baptist Church operates the hateful Web site named in your article on the Dean of Seattle ["Guess who's coming to supper?" 3/2], I would like to point out that this church consists largely of the members of one family and that they are not affiliated with any other legitimate Baptist church, convention, or organization. I hope your readers will not regard all Baptists in the same light as these extreme few. This church visited Canada, and although we could find no reason not to let them in, they were greeted with universal contempt when they got to Ottawa to deliver their message.



The Gnome's calling

I'd like to thank the people who wrote to remind the Gnome of my full name and resume and assure the rather defensive sounding Mr. (Ms.?) Gnome that I have no "henchmen" [The Metro Gnome, 3/9]. Those who contacted you did so on their own. No hard feelings then. I realize that we all have our own callings in life. Some spend their time creating art, playing music,interacting with other artists, studying, teaching, attempting to spend a few moments of their lives in the presence of the higher power that sends its messages thru the poetic language of music. And some spend their time concocting catty remarks, ill-informed judgements, off handed slights, and opinionated assessments of people that actually have the courage to present what they do and not hide behind fictitious nom-de-gnomes.

I'm glad I have the job that I do.



PS. I'm 47 years old. Jimmie Dale is 55.

SPD field trip to New Orleans

Like many, I was dismayed to see the violence at the Mardi Gras partying near Pioneer Square from the vantage point of my television. I was born and raised in New Orleans, and have partied very hard in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, and have never been bashed by a baton. Not to say that excess police force never gets used in New Orleans, but with hundreds of thousands of people jamming the streets, many inebriated beyond the point of less-than-perfect judgment, the cops don't usually hang out in riot gear or pepper spray the merry-makers. Was the crowd really rioting or did the stupidity of a few start the domino effect of escalating tensions? I have firsthand witnessed the partyers who are idiots downtown and nearly run over them as they dash from between parked cars like unsupervised children. In my opinion, the cops need to go to New Orleans Mardi Gras to learn how to deal responsibly with large and small crowds, and the party animals need to go there to learn how to party responsibly.



The removal of stupidity

"Those Drinky-Drink Kids!" by Brian Henderson is one of the most stupid and poorly drawn ones ever seen in this world. I have been ignoring Mr. Henderson's strip for some time now in the hopes that it was just a temporary thing. Last week, I thought my prayers had been answered. Crackerbox was back! This week's issue (3/9)—stupidity returns! What was last week?! A tease?! Seattle Weekly has proven, at least to me, to be a reliable source for not only information on various subjects but also for a well put together paper.

So, how in the world did you come to the conclusion to get rid of Crackerbox and to replace it with something like Those Drinky-Drink Kids? I understand Humour and maybe reaching out to maybe the local youth. But come on. My 10-year-old twins can draw better!

Again, thank you for your time and hopefully your removal of stupid and the return of goodness and comedy.



Dear Cherry

Hey girl, I am sending you one of (I am sure) many farewells [Cherry Pop, 3/9]. I moved to Seattle a year and a half ago and have been reading your column faithfully ever since. It was very refreshing to read a column from a woman's perspective, especially since you talked about real issues that the average woman can relate to. I am sad that you are quitting, and I wasn't prepared. Sob. It's like losing one of my routines, one of the more pleasant ones, I might add. Good luck in your future and with your new man. You are the woman!



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