"Don't bother with a rooster. A hen without a rooster is like a fish without a bicycle."

Dear margaret,

(yes, I deliberately intended to spell your name without capital letters as I feel you do not deserve to be capitalized in any way!) As a real estate broker for over two decades, I totally resent each and every line in your recent article ["Big Bad Realtors," 4/6] in which you infer all real estate sales associates are wolves in dress-up clothing [?—Eds.]. The real estate industry, much like journalists, attorneys, doctors, accountants, teachers, [. . .] do indeed have what would be termed "bad apples" whereby those "bad apples" would put money before the best interest of the consumer. Indeed, however, the bad apples in the industry are far outweighed by those of us who never put the client's interest in a back position to right/wrong for the receipt of a buck. For the majority, we realize, just as the other professionals listed above, that our livelihood depends on repeat and referral business.

It is the hope of those of us who have ownership in maintaining legality and professionalism in our industry, that you would take a moment to reread your most defaming article and express an apology.


Home sweet home

Margaret Friedman's article on "Big Bad Realtors" [4/6] contained several factual mistakes. However, the most glaring mistake was the [suggestion] that real estate agents apparently can state there are multiple offers on properties they have for sale when, in fact, multiple offers do not exist.

First of all, the real estate agent would be subject to civil liability if the Buyer could actually prove there was no pending offer or there were not multiple offers and the Buyer had raised the Buyer's offer based on the misrepresentation. Secondly, it would be a violation of the Washington Real Estate License Law (RCW 18.85.230) for a real estate agent to misrepresent there is one or more offers pending on a parcel of property when in fact this was a false statement.



Antirooster stance

Now that I finally take the plunge and get some chickens of my own—a lifelong dream of mine—it's suddenly so trendy to have a few hens strutting around in your urban backyard ["Home to roost," 4/6]. At least I can still say that I'm just ahead of the curve—soon everyone will have their own home egg factories and I can announce to everyone that I had chickens when chickens weren't COOL, man.

I must take offense to the article's blatantly antirooster stance, however, as I own a fine and spunky little rooster by the name of Otis, who stands by his hen Bettie Mae. Although he does make a little noise in the morning, I believe it's less obnoxious than a dog barking all day, if not somewhat quaint. My neighbors haven't made any moves to strangle him yet, for which I'm truly grateful. As for his benefits, he's very watchful and defends my hen against anything he sees as a threat, including lawnmowers. He keeps her company and points out the choice peckings for her so she gets the lion's share of the food. I also believe (without any proof to back it up) that fertile eggs contain more nutrients than infertile eggs, being actual embryos rather than simply ovum. She even seems encouraged to lay more in his company, so I think it's a good match.

So please, be careful of your depictions of roosters in the future.



Rooster attack

Bethany Jean Clement ("Home to roost," 4/6) had a lot of fun with the idea of raising chickens in the city limits of Seattle. She missed some salient points.

Don't try to breed or grow your own chicks. There's too steep a learning curve. Don't get chicks unless you are ready to follow through. These critters create excrement and need to be supervised. Yes, the McMurray company will send you some chicks, but they are prone to disease, need heating equipment, and they will soon grow into adult chickens. You could also go to Agway.

Don't bother with a rooster. A hen without a rooster is like a fish without a bicycle. The rooster is mainly there for entertainment. The hens will ovulate just fine whether he is there or not, and a rooster can get "broody"—very territorial. Any farm kid who has been attacked by a rooster will tell you it's no fun.

If your goal in keeping chickens is to get eggs, you will do fine with a couple of Rhode Island Reds (everyone knows that brown eggs are better for you). Any farmer can tell you that a farm-fresh egg has a certain je ne sais quoi. There is no finer breakfast food than two farm-fresh eggs over easy!!!

A guy down the street from me keeps honey bees. There are many other examples of urban gardening in this town, and I am delighted to see that the Weekly is providing coverage.



Oh, Canada

I am not one of those oversensitive Canadians who gets appalled at the constant South Park digs at my homeland. I even chuckle along with my Yanqui friends as they throw in extra "eh's" when addressing me. But as self-deprecating as I might be about (ah,the "-out" word; another source of endless fun) my nationality, I was taken aback by your recent article on the Juno Awards (The Culture Bunker, 4/6).

I am not here to defend the Juno Awards. Frankly, I'm as dismayed about them as you all seem to be. I also hate its American counterpart, the Grammies, but I don't dismiss the American music scene based on the winners, presenters and performers on that show. Why bring down the entire musical output of a nation based on an awards show? Not seeing my faves make "The Cut" (Grammies, Oscars, Junos, whathaveyou) time and time again tells me that no awards show can possibly speak for an entire industry. Evidently, you don't agree.

It's sad enough to experience firsthand the ignorance of many Americans toward Canada. Articles like the one in question only serve to extend that ignorance to the Canadian music scene. It doesn't take much searching to find out that there's much more to Canadian music than Bryan Adams, Alanis, and Celine Dion. If this is news to you, well, God Bless America, I guess.



Kids' rock

Thank you for your story "Musical youth" [4/6] regarding the all-ages scene in Seattle. JAMPAC has worked tirelessly with the WSLCB and 21 and over club owners to increase access to all-ages concerts. It hasn't been easy and we have a long way to go.

In 1998, JAMPAC began lobbying the WSLCB to lift the 9pm rule, which at the time made it impossible to put on an all-ages concert in a 21-and-over venue. JAMPAC's direct lobbying efforts saw that ruling lifted and changed in such a way that it now allows food, liquor, entertainment, and minors to occupy the same "dining" space in clubs. JAMPAC began encouraging 21-and-over club owners and promoters to put on "matinee" shows, and we held meetings educating them on the process for working within the perimeters set by the WSLCB in order to put on safe and legal all-ages concerts.

The new vitality of all-ages music in Seattle is the result of two years of hard work and activism within the music community, and direct lobbying and courage from the 21-and-over clubs. The current prosperous effect is not philanthropy; it is an investment in our music community's future.

Young and upcoming bands (maybe the next big thing?) need as many venues as possible to play for music lovers of all ages. Seattle is recognized internationally for its musical and artistic talent. That recognition is sustained by the cultural and economic vitality our music community contributes to our city.

While a city-funded venue sounds like a wonderful idea, it is not realistic considering post I-695 economics. As witnessed by the current boom in all ages concerts, the solution lies in reducing regulation and letting the free enterprise system prevail.



LA story

Having just walked into my LA apartment after a three-month stint in Seattle, I was somewhat perplexed by Jackie McCarthy's "I love LA" diatribe ["So long, suckers," 4/6] in which she outlined her reasons for abandoning Seattle for the sewer-strewn streets of LA. As a longtime Los Angeles resident who is finally packing it in, I would not want to be held responsible for bursting Jackie's bubble (in LA, the mantra is "what's that got to do with me?"). Nevertheless, I feel it's my duty to clarify some of the more flagrant inaccuracies contained in her farewell.

On the issue of Seattle traffic being comparable to LA traffic: I don't know what part of LA Jackie has been driving through, but my five-mile commute via surface streets takes me a whopping 40 minutes. The traffic in LA is not simply bad, it is unbearable; the LA City Council has decided that since only poor people and immigrants ride buses here, there is little need to waste the hard-earned money of far more important people on anything as frivolous as a functional public transportation system (of course, those important people do find it tiresome when their maids are unable to arrive in a punctual manner).

As for the displays of "fairly reasonable" LA citizenry Jackie mentions, this infectious joie de vivre she cites as being a refreshing change from all those depressed Seattleites was on display this morning at the market as I watched a petulant, well-dressed man scream at an untrained, underpaid, ill-treated, semilegal immigrant behind the check-out counter because they didn't have his favorite "nondairy fat-free organic creamer."

With over 22 percent of LA residents now living below the poverty line, it's no mystery why LA (like Mexico, Brazil, and East Timor) remains affordable to people like Jackie as the distance between the Haves and the Have-nots has grown to such grotesque proportions that the Haves have the luxury of paying Third World wages and prices to the Have-Nots while collecting First World salaries themselves (alas, what's that got to do with me?).

Perhaps my 10 year stint in LA has left me cynical, but it's hard to understand why Jackie believes that a cheaper manicure and the ability to practice downward facing dog next to the latest Hollywood bimbo enhances the quality of her life. However, since these are some of the life essentials that Jackie cites in defense of her move to LA, I am most relieved to report that she will find Los Angeles to be everything she's looking for in a city. As for those overcaffeinated Seattleites who failed to provide Jackie with proper entertainment value for sustainable living (enough with the goddamn global fair trade discussions, eh, Jackie?), perhaps they should view her departure as a selfless act of community service.



Letters, letters, letters, how we love letters. We love them so much that we may edit them for length and legal considerations. Also we might call you (neat!), so send your name and daytime telephone number. Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com

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