"I feel fully supported by the entire staff at Gatewood, including Dan, in this challenging, life-changing process."

Stories: So many sides

There are so many sides to every story.

I have worked at Gatewood Elementary [see "Rotten to the core," 4/12] for the past two years, specifically because of our restructuring program. Implementing a new way of doing things, especially in a school, is a demanding and difficult job.

In working with Dan, I have never felt sexually harassed, coerced, threatened, concerned for my safety, or felt my evaluations were based on anything other than my job performance. I have felt challenged into thinking in new ways, pushed to exert my potential as an educator, and expected to re-examine my beliefs about children, schooling, and learning. At the same time, I feel fully supported by the entire staff at Gatewood, including Dan, in this challenging, life-changing process.

At Gatewood, we are truly putting theory into practice. This is hard—overwhelming at times—and thrilling. I take true satisfaction in what I do—coupled with frustration, soul searching, and changes in my beliefs as an educator and as a human being. I would not have it any other way.



Article: Strange

Christopher Sandford's article on U2 ["Jurassic four," 4/12] was strange. I've been reading the articles and reviews of the tour at youtwo.net since the tour began and this one sticks out like a sore thumb in its massive negativeness. He even stooped to attacking the band because they are 40. Like 40 = crappy music and 20 = great music. A very superficial view of music's worth. I suppose all the people that loved the show and other reviewers are wrong and Christopher is right. It's pretty obvious that he's not a fan. On reading his article, the impression I got was of a writer trying to get noticed and just plain snottiness.



Wearer: English

Being an English wearer of the Utilikilts' Workman's model, my attention has been drawn to the article by Roger Downey ["The breeze between your knees," 4/12] in the Internet version of your journal.

Seattle should be proud of Steven Villegas! He has devised one of the most comfortable male garments it is possible to wear. Back here in the U.K. there has not, as far as I am aware, been any direct publicity given to the Utilikilt, so it comes as something of a surprise to those who see me boldly striding out in this unfamiliar man's skirt. Am I on the receiving end of verbal abuse and wolf-whistles? Certainly not, but the compliments are frequently and freely given by complete strangers.

Having worn traditional Scottish kilts and Highland Dress for over 40 years, and having discovered the joy of sporting masculine-styled skirts two years ago, I am sufficiently confident of the image presented by the various Utilikilts models that I have recently given up my order for a second garment from this remarkable company.

Mr. Downey refers to the photographs submitted to Utilikilts by satisfied customers. I confess to being one of those and am proud to say that Megan Haas, who tends their Web site (www.utilikilts.com), has devoted a page there to my images and, indeed, appointed me as their very first "Utilikiltarian of the Week"!

All hail, Utilikilts!




Reader: Feverish

I haven't seen the performance of the version of the Shakespearean play which this article ["This mortal coil," 4/12] is critiquing, although I did feverishly read Hamlet in high school, with a strongly felt affinity for Shakespearean storytelling, deeply moved by the passionate collage of imagery that other writers seemed less skilled with communicating (if such a complex internalization of experience did in fact occur within themselves which perhaps could not in their case be communicated) and which contributed to the incredible richness of the story, and further which I had always believed was a key part of the story. I feel that this article was written with such a rarely observed penetrating insight that I felt it absolutely necessary to support this somehow more commonly invisible (if it actually is present) understanding and sympathy for the objectives in the profound elaborations of the author. When I recognized such a capacity for the depth of consideration for another human being's life work, I suddenly became aware of the rarity of its presence in my own life. Thank you very much for displaying this noble quality in a human being with such artistry. I will appreciate it for the rest of my life.



Club: Less than forward

I loved the article on 24 Hour Fitness Club [News Clips, "Flat or fit?" 4/5]. I purchased a membership in January, and the contract I have says I will receive my money back if they do not open by May 5, 2001, should I wish to rescind my membership. Can you tell me (and others) what sort of incentives the club might be offering in order to retain those members who joined in good faith and are putting up with an overcrowded club and very limited equipment (not to mention a single changing room and no showers or lockers)? While the staff are friendly and helpful, the club has been less than forward in providing information about the situation to us.



Show: Rare bird

"Mind Over Matters" (Saturdays and Sundays 6-9 a.m. on KEXP 90.3) truly represents some of the last and finest remaining news and information on local radio and TV that speaks to the concerns of a broader range of average citizens, from an independent point of view not filtered by corporate America [see "New experience," 4/5]. Where else do they report regularly and in-depth on issues such as homelessness, gentrification, lack of community, privacy issues, workers' issues, sustainability of the environment, genetically engineered "food," protection of civil liberties, globalization and the alternatives to it?

It's truth, food for thought, and mind-expanding programming that's actually different, in our homogenized, corporate-sanitized media age. This show is what "free speech" is really all about, but it's becoming a very rare bird indeed. If Paul Allen cares as much about Seattle as he says (and for some strange reason, I think he actually might), he will care enough to protect this very endangered and nearly extinct species.



Death: Tragic

We were shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic death of 17-year-old Angela Miller at the Echo Glen Children's Center [see "An eerie echo," 4/5]. Our hearts go out to her family and friends who are suffering a terrible loss.

We were also alarmed to read that Echo Glen administrators did not immediately contact law enforcement officials to begin an investigation into her suicide and refrained from notifying the public about the incident. It is a very serious matter when a child in the state's custody dies. A fatality review process is already established for the rare case when a child in foster care dies. We want to make sure that comparable steps are in place to cover similar circumstances for children in juvenile rehabilitation.

We are asking the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to answer some questions about this incident that the Seattle Weekly story helped raise. Is there a policy for investigating and publicly reporting deaths of children in juvenile rehabilitation? If not, why not? What are the internal procedures for handling such a death?

We strongly believe that law enforcement should be notified immediately when an event of this nature occurs. We also believe the public has a right to know when such a serious incident takes place in our state's public facilities. An internal review process should be followed to determine why and how the death occurred. Finally, mental health counseling should be available for residents and staff to deal with the aftermath of such a disastrous event.

It is our intention to work with DSHS to ensure these measures are being taken. If necessary, we are prepared to take legislative action. We want to ensure that administrators and staff in our state's juvenile rehabilitation facilities are adequately trained in response procedures for tragic cases like Angela Miller's.



Letters: Good and good for you. 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. Please include name, location, and phone number. Rarely do we print anonymous letters or ramblings unrelated to material in the Weekly. Letters may be edited.

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