When The Seattle Times decided that employing a cranky thief was more

Wake up and smell the 'organic' coffee

A very, very sad day for PCC shoppers. To fire their CEO of nine years because, as the board states, "a change was needed" is pretty bad. [See "Food fight at PCC," 12/28/00.] As a recent employee, all I have to say is PCC let another "good" one go. Since departing them back in July, I have talked to many customers who also have left. When will [PCC] get a clue and see what it takes to run a successful natural food chain or, for that matter, any grocery chain.

Who are they kidding by saying that the Ravenna store is not economical enough for us, so it is doomed to close in January. The Ravenna store has been very profitable before and after the opening of Whole Foods. I know because I have seen the numbers, and they don't lie.

I hope the board steps back and takes a good look at what's going on. . . . Jeff was one of the top CEO's that I had the pleasure to encounter in my 33 years in Seattle in the grocery industry. PCC is a great natural food grocery company. I hope the board wakes up before it's too late.



Grateful to Children's

After reading the recent article in Seattle Weekly regarding Dr. Flavian Mark Lupinetti and Children's Hospital ["Tearing at Children's Heart," 11/30/00], we feel compelled to respond. Like Darius Soleiman, our son desperately needed surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. Until the operation, we had followed the recommendation of our pediatric cardiologist at the University of Washington to postpone it as long as possible. When he decided that intervention had become critical, he highly recommended Dr. Lupinetti. We researched and discovered that Dr. Lupinetti possessed an excellent reputation not only in the United States but also worldwide.

Through our research we discovered that his colleagues held him in high regard and considered him the best and most skilled in his field. Although we had considered other medical centers, our research confirmed the decision to proceed with surgery in Seattle at Children's. It was because of Dr. Lupinetti that we brought our son, Daniel, to Children's. Our experience with him was positive, and the surgery was successful.

Three years later, in a life-threatening emergency unrelated to his heart condition, we reconfirmed our trust in Dr. Lupinetti and Children's. Due to the quick response and professional attention initiated by Dr. Lupinetti, Daniel survived. During the ensuing weeks at Children's, as during the heart surgery and its recuperation period, never once did we witness any incompatibility between Dr. Lupinetti and the staff. Currently, at 22, Dan is leading a healthy and normal life. We feel grateful for Dr. Lupinetti's expertise and fortunate to have his caliber of surgical skills in Seattle.

Rather than criticize and judge the actions of Dr. Lupinetti, the community needs to understand its good fortune in having a surgeon of his quality at Children's. Please note that this is a high-risk, specialized field. Perhaps the "politics" referred to in the article and the lack of support by administration at Children's should be carefully investigated. Is it possible that Children's Hospital is not ready to accommodate such highly specialized care?

The hospital secured the services of Dr. Lupinetti because it considered him a highly skilled surgeon, not a facilitator of communication. The latter skill can be developed by many professionals. This is not the case in the training of a pediatric cardiac surgeon. As professionals, we find the continuing lack of administrative support toward Dr. Lupinetti surprising and questionable. In most places of business, this administrative behavior would not be acceptable.



Christmas Hill

When I returned home from family obligations in Tacoma on Christmas Day, I expected to find my Capitol Hill neighborhood in full swing despite the ongoing Christian holiday. Boy, was I wrong! Bauhaus locked up at 8pm, Coffee Messiah had been closed since 4 that day, and Aurifice (that cybercafe of devil worshippers) didn't open at all! With the notable exception of Ileen's, Noodle Studio, and Jack in the Box (where I really wanted to be), Broadway was shut down tighter than a drum. So where's all the "cultural diversity" that Capitol Hill is so acclaimed for? Hypocrites!



From the mouths of strangers

As a British citizen, perhaps Colin L. Turner [see "Fefer and vitriol," 12/21/00] should familiarize himself with British immigration policy during the Mandatory period in Palestine before taking offense to Mr. Fefer's opening remarks in his review of Into the Arms of Strangers ["One-way ticket," 12/14/00]. British foreign policy was, and continues to be, guided by Realpolitik.

Mr. Fefer should also note that British policy decisions such as the abandonment of the promises made in the Balfour Declaration, the turning back of ships filled with Jewish refugees from Europe during the war, and the stranglehold placed on immigration of Jewish survivors to Palestine from the DP camps in Europe hardly classify England as "among the most sympathetic nations."

While the kindertransport was certainly a bright spot in an otherwise hostile and unsympathetic area of British foreign policy immediately before, during, and after World War II, one kind act doth not a pattern make.



A newsman's 'extensive vocabulary'

[Seattle Times publisher] Frank [Blethen] is no stranger to bad taste ["Frank the Flamer," 12/21/00]—like shooting his neighbor's golden retriever a few years ago (the dog survived but Frank pled guilty).

We caught our Seattle Times delivery person stealing from us, and our daughter . . . got a very threatening response; we complained. When The Seattle Times decided that employing a cranky thief was more important than having a law abiding subscriber of 25 years, we cancelled. Frank Blethen was involved in this decision.

Nice to know a newspaperman has such an extensive vocabulary.



One film left off

The Weekly's film list ["Flashback 2000," 12/28/00] is admirable for its noted risk and Brian Miller's willingness to shun Hollywood and films put together by corporate idea people thinking of lowest common denominators.

While I have yet to see You Can Count On Me, I think that Requiem for a Dream may be the most daring, elusive, disengaged portrait of drug addiction I have seen since Drugstore Cowboy. It was also far more effective in its message about addiction.

The performances are completely heartbreaking, and if Ellen Burstyn is ignored come time for the Oscar nominations, then there is absolutely no justice. Additionally, Jennifer Connelly continues to amaze in what may lead to a lasting career in entertainment. I haven't seen an actress propel herself this hard and this far since Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas.

Requiem was fearless and . . . ambitious. . . . Arguably, it may be the best film I have seen all year.



Just say 'no,' Guv

The governor announced [recently] that he had "committed $212 million in new state and federal funding to save wild salmon runs and provide clean water for people, fish, industry and agriculture." We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to restore habitat after it has been destroyed, but the state continues to permit new operations which will destroy similar habitat, and that must stop or taxpayer funding for salmon recovery will be never-ending.

On Maury Island, it's an ongoing battle of habitat preservation vs. whether the state will permit barging of sand and gravel over valuable salmon and herring habitat. A multinational corporation, Glacier N.W., desperately wants permission to rebuild a dilapidated dock and open a barging facility in the middle of sensitive habitat. Since 1995 environmental impact statements have shown that Glacier has spilled incredible quantities of sand and gravel into the shoreline at its DuPont and Steilacoom facilities. When Maury Island was last used in the 1970s, enough sand and gravel was spilled to decrease the water depth by 12 feet and valuable eelgrass has only recently recovered from those operations. . . .

Hopefully, the governor will show leadership on preservation not just spending money for restoration.



Pop Gunn

Where, oh, where did you find Angela Gunn? Her stuff is consistently interesting, about things that matter to me, and hugely enjoyable to read. She is the best thing in print, online, or on any other infomedia.

Note: I have never met, corresponded with, done business with, . . . or had any other kind of relations with Ms. Gunn. She is not a relative, nor have I any vested interest, financial or emotional, in her continued fame and fortune, apart from looking forward to reading her column EVERY FREAKIN' WEEK.

Oh, and your other writers are pretty good too, especially Geov Parrish.



The road from Cuba to Vietnam

The news hype over EliᮠGonzᬥz was probably no accident [see Impolitics, "White noise," 12/28/00]. Journalists had discovered by the end of last spring that the demonstrations in South Florida had been organized by two old "Company" veterans of the 2506 Brigade. Their names seem to litter our history at home and abroad, from the execution of Che Guevara through Iran Contra.

Over the past two years, I've developed more than a casual interest in the reexamination of the last half-century's history. Yesterday, I found an interesting passage in a controversial book [The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by Victor Marchetti]—"just barely" published during the 1970s. The passage refers to the real-life counterpart of Oliver Stone's "General Y":

[in South Vietnam] . . . he initiated various psychological-warfare programs and helped Diem in eliminating his political rivals. His activities, extensively described in the Pentagon Papers, extended to pacification programs, military training, even political consultation: Lansdale helped design the ballots when Diem formally ran for President of South Vietnam in 1955. He used red, the Asian good-luck color, for Diem and green—signifying a cuckold—for Diem's opponent. Diem won with an embarrassingly high 98 percent of the vote.

It sort of makes you wonder about the news from Palm Beach.



Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com. Include name, location, and phone number. Letters may be edited.

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