"Mr. Howland . . . and council member Nicastro sense a highly visible, highly unpopular minority to pummel, and so they do so completely. . . ."

Judy in disguise, with glasses

I quote from the fifth paragraph of "Judy's rent rumble" [6/8]: "Nicastro estimates an average Seattle one-bedroom (apartment) has seen its rent jump by 25 percent over the last five years." That works out to just slightly over 4 percent compounded annually, a calculation that should have been the end of any article on "runaway rents."

Mr. Howland could have compared that 25 percent five-year increase to increases in a number of commodities and services. How much has the price for gas, food, and entertainment (just cable rates to start with) increased over that same time period? How much have advertising rates for the Weekly increased over that time period? How much have property maintenance costs increased in the last five years? My property taxes have increased by 32 percent in the time period 1995-2000.

Mr. Howland, ever eager to visit the wisdom and powers of government on us, does not seem interested in looking at any comparative measure of inflation. He and council member Nicastro sense a highly visible, highly unpopular minority to pummel, and so they do so completely with the requisite name calling.



T-birds rule!

First of all, you will have to excuse my writing skills. I am a former pro hockey player. My writing skill[s] leave a lot to be desired. I don't know much about your city other than the times I played junior hockey against the T-birds in the old rink downtown. The reason I am writing is the article Mr. Cohen wrote about hockey ["Totally pucked up," 6/8]. I think it is great that he has such a passion for the great game of hockey. I am more amazed that you have printed the article in the Arts and Culture section of the paper, that is awesome. I played in New York with the Islanders organization for seven years and often read The Village Voice and you would rarely, if ever, see anything on hockey! I am sure Mr. Cohen is aware of the Seattle T-birds Junior A team. Having gone through the system of the WHL to get to pro I can tell that the great hockey Mr. Cohen has talked about, the enthusiasm and excitement, is right under your nose, in your fine city. So keep up the good work. I will be named today the new head coach of the Thunderbirds and just wanted to let know what a treat it was to look in your paper this morning and find an article on hockey.



Best hip-hop

Jon Caramanica has just written one of the best hip-hop articles [Slanguistics, "Blind faith," 6/8] I have read since living in Seattle. Not to say that many of the articles in the papers about hip-hop are bad, but it is really refreshing to read an article about an underground m.c. He writes the article using Quasimoto lyrics and it sets a nice mood. Good job, John. Thank you for recognizing the underground and not writing about m.c.[s] that all the other papers rely on like Eminem.



The city, the Valley

While we are pleased that Seattle Weekly is interested in "the future of the Rainier Valley" (Geov Parrish's Impolitics, 6/1), we hope for more accurate reporting that doesn't do a disservice to the many residents who have been involved in planning for light rail and the light rail station areas which will be coming to their community.

For more than a year and a half, community-based committees have been helping make decisions about development that should happen around light rail stations, in accordance with the goals and vision of their Neighborhood Plan.

Contrary to Parrish's claim that all roads are leading to gentrification, the City of Seattle, Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), and Sound Transit are working with local residents to protect the character of their community while ensuring there are new opportunities for home ownership and small businesses. In fact, SHA's revitalization of both Holly Park and Rainier Vista will ensure that neighborhoods around the Othello and Edmunds stations enjoy a substantial supply of housing affordable to low-income and working families, as well as low-income independent and frail elderly households, for decades to come. For the commercial spaces planned for each redevelopment, the intended market is the very home grown businesses along Martin Luther King Jr. Way that are being displaced by the light rail.

Seattle's Strategic Planning Office (SPO) is working with communities near each of the proposed light rail stations and will continue to be a partner with local residents as decisions are made. To receive more information or get involved, residents may call Carla Main at 684-8501 or visit SPO's Web site at www.ci.seattle.wa.us/planning/homesap.htm.


Rainier Valley transit

Thank you for covering recent developments in the urban removal project in Rainier Valley. Mark Fefer's article on Sound Transit's impact on businesses ["I have a nightmare," 5/4] editorialized that small businesses "could get a boost" and "are clearly looking for a windfall" from the light rail plan; he couldn't find a single business owner (as opposed to property owner) who supported that position. Geov Parrish's June 1st column on the station area upzoning in combination with federally funded makeovers of Rainier Vista and Holly Park [Impolitics, "The future of Rainier Valley," 6/1] addresses the real issues, but there are some additional relevant pieces to the puzzle. Not content with the number of small businesses that are being wiped out by Sound Transit, Seattle Housing Authority has also threatened eminent domain to acquire the properties it wants for its commercial area.

While all the future light rail station areas have 'Concept' documents in the works, only those in Rainier Valley have zoning changes that are not in keeping with neighborhood plans. The process is being rushed in the neighborhood where the rail will be built last. Those who wonder whether Sound Transit will ever be able to afford to expand to serve their neighborhoods should wonder whether their neighborhoods can afford to expand to suit Sound Transit. Surely there is a kinder, gentler way to build transit-oriented development.



Dategirl vs. Hustler II

I enjoy your Dategirl column very much. Letter writer Paula Henderson called the subject matter disgusting trash and compared it to Hustler magazine in its portrayal of women [Letters, 6/8]. I believe the opposite; Hustler and its ilk do objectify women and often portray us in an unrealistic and demeaning way, while Dategirl discusses sexuality in a realistic and unapologetically sexual manner from a woman's point of view, reflecting the real life experiences of many many single women.

There is nothing wrong with having and expressing your sexuality—even for women! By the way, the Dategirl column is buried way in the back of the paper in the middle of the classified ads and is not that easy to find. I think you all have done a fine job of hiding this potentially offensive (to some) column. If Ms. Henderson is so annoyed by Dategirl, maybe she should not go to the trouble to seek it out again.



Steamed veggies

I wanted to comment on Jim Anderson and Patricia Devine's restaurant review of Carmelita ["Veggie-dom," 6/8]. It seemed to me that these two reviewers had an unusually negative opinion of nearly every aspect of their dining experience. Their contempt for this establishment becomes plainly apparent in the very first paragraph and seems to only pick up steam from there out. Their sneering descriptions (giant insect, pretentious, cat food can shape, dental fractures) at worst border on cruelty and at the very least extreme pettiness. I was left with the impression that these reviewers had some sort of alternate agenda going into their dining experience.

I typically look forward to your restaurant reviews because on the whole I find them balanced, whether the reviewers enjoyed their dining experience or not. They typically provide the diner with some valuable insight as to what may lie ahead for them. If you have had a bad experience, that is fine. A public service is performed by informing us. This review, however, comes across as mean-spirited, petty, and almost laughable. I had to read the article three times to make sure I was not missing something. I wasn't. I find that a review such as this is of little value to the public and it does a great disservice to the reviewed establishment. I hope in the future you can stick with your normally balanced and informative reviews.



Knute's address

Knute Berger's piece on racism [Uffda, "Seattle's race problem," 6/1] exemplifies the sort of sloppy rhetoric which paralyzes and marginalizes the left. What is racism? I have been in and around politics for 35 years and I've only seen people offer a definition once or twice.

Basketball about race? Probably. About racism? No, maybe that is why it is so popular. Or maybe it's because it's a good game. Kennewick man and Knute's racism? How safe. What safer box can Knute find for his racism. Why not his address or his girlfriend's picture ? Wouldn't that tell us more? Or what about his politics? God forbid that some with access to an editorial page should offer a definition, a hypothesis, a conjecture, a few facts, some history and then set out to prove something (after going to the library). Better that they assure us they too have faults attached to this 9,216 year old bag of bones in a river—but for the rest of us: It's basketball! Elitism. Arrogance.

Slade Gorton's anti-Indian politics gets votes because the Indians, like the pigs of Animal Farm, want equality and then to be those who are a little more equal. Not free and a little more free.

And then there is the article at U of W. In Seattle, the most politically correct city in the USA, the black students can burn satire, because there are so few African Americans that people are still trying to establish (show) their acceptance of them. Jason made a mistake by resigning. When someone as politically correct as Pres Morgan is on your side, it's time to look over your shoulder—and scratch your head. OK, make Norwegians the butt of the joke and the Norwegians will then get the benefits. Criticize the responsible and the criticized will have the power and the responsibility. That's how the politically correct benefits the status quo.

When the left fails because they have no clear agenda, they only blame the right. They don't examine their own position.



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