Mark Fefer's cover story weighing the pros and cons of N.Y.C. vs. Seattle arts scenes ["Bite the Big Apple," May 9] was a breath of fresh air amidst what has been a seemingly endless string of unreadable stories on Middle Eastern issues. Not that the latter stories lack validity or were poorly written—it's just that's what I pick up The New York Times for. I grab the Weekly for creative, funny, provocative coverage, which has been sorely lacking of late.
If Fefer's story points to the Weekly regaining its sense of humor and alternative soul, then I say: "Hear! Hear!"
THE FULL PROFILE
Yes, the Racial Profiling Task Force recommended collecting data on traffic stops that included officer ID ["Low profile," May 9], but the vote was almost evenly divided. Many Task Force members did not support the use of officer ID in data collection. Misuse of data is a very real issue and council member Compton is correct in supporting identification by squad.
Racial Profiling Task Force Member
PUTTING OUR MOUTHS WHERE OUR MONEY IS
Two pages to say you don't know much about Phish, nor Palestine, nor movements for social change ["The Phish Factor," May 2]: Is the Weekly trying to become The Stranger (I'm too hip to know facts!)? Why the concern for the occupation of Palestine? Because it's an outrage (and yes, there is no shortage of outrages nor people working against them) AND because the U.S. supplies the money and guns that create the outrage. For 35 years the Palestinians have been under military rule, and for 35 years there has been resistance. And a stream of U.N. declarations that the occupation must end. The movement is growing because the facade of distortions is crumbling to reveal the truth—the horrendous repression of military occupation. All occupations end—our work as U.S. citizens is to hasten that by demanding that our money goes toward justice, not military repression.
[Samantha Shapiro] says Israel can't be racist because of the ethnic diversity of its populace ["The Phish Factor," May 2]. I doubt that the Palestinians being discriminated against, humiliated, arrested, and killed find comfort in the ethnic diversity of their persecutors any more than the Jews in Auschwitz found comfort in the fact that their murderers were Germans, Italians, Austrians, Poles, and Slavs. You can play semantics till the cows come home, but it's still unfair negative treatment of a people. The "racism" refers to the victim, not the perpetrator.
You also wonder why we "lefties" (is there a condescending, generalizing, patronizing word like "lefties" for you, Ms. Shapiro? Ms. Shapiro-y perhaps?) are so keen on attacking Israel when there are other states being just as vicious to the Palestinians. Good point. Firstly, I'm glad you admit that Israel's actions are on a par with those of these other states—that shows you're not entirely blind to the facts. Secondly, and this is not something I'm proud of, I think the left does concentrate on Israel because of the enormity and systematic nature of their oppression. Empire building has always angered the left, and Israel is one of the most virulent of imperialist groups. The left [are] sensitive to hypocrisy, too, and America's support for this rogue terrorist state whilst it declares its intention to destroy rogue terrorist states does anger Socialists such as myself. Finally, the day that Seattle Weekly runs a column defending the actions of the Saudi government, Saddam Hussein's attacks on Kurds, or Bush's attacks on Afghanistan, and does so in strident, racist terms, is the day I will write a letter in reply.
Your comment that we should feel no pity for Palestinians because "these are people who cheered when the planes hit the Trade Centers" was racism plain and simple. You invited us to feel no pity for a whole people based on the actions of perhaps 10 or 20 people, and you chose an emotive issue to attempt to persuade people not to think too deeply but simply to go along with you.
One last point. Many people do not live in the stolen lands of the Native Americans with ease. Many of us carry a burden of guilt about the treatment of this continent's original inhabitants, just as many Israelis feel guilt and horror at what is being done in their name in the West Bank. Clearly you aren't one of them.
I was very happy to see an article drawing attention to the Duwamish Cleanup Coalition ["Duwamish Showdown," May 2], but you did not include their Web site. www.duwamishcleanup.org has a wealth of knowledge and ways for community members to get involved.
WHAT MEANS A BARBARY COAST MADAM?
I read your review of the Alki Homestead in "Seattle Weekly's 100 Favorite Restaurants" [Eat Out 2002, April 25]. I am not sure what a Barbary Coast madam means, but it did seem rather offensive. [Owner] Mrs. Nelson has always taken a great deal of pride in decorating her "home" with the antiques of the past. One would need to look at the pictures in the entryway to understand the past of the Homestead to understand the decorations inside. In my opinion, there is nothing that suggests a Barbary Coast madam, although there may be a generation gap and your taste is not that of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The lace tablecloths are something of the past, which few restaurants bother with. Pink is Mrs. Nelson's favorite color. She has a courtyard that has nothing but pink flowers, done in good taste. The creamers and sugar bowls are silver, the antique chests that adorn the room have silver that can only be wished for. Many of the fixtures are crystal and the lights that adorn the fireplace are hand-painted. Mrs. Nelson believes in a good meal at a reasonable price. I know of very few restaurants that serve salad with the meal, yet alone soup, salad, biscuits, and a full-course meal.
The family-style chicken is seconds, not all you can eat. Pork chops are not served, and the ham is not a slab but a healthy order of sliced ham.
Mrs. Nelson is not open for lunch, she is open at 5 Wednesday through Saturday and 3 on Sunday. She also is not cash only and accepts most credit cards.
I do agree that dining at the Homestead is like being at Grandma's house. I do not agree it has the taste of a Barbary Coast madam.
Eds. note: We regret that we erred about Alki Homestead's hours and the fact that they accept credit cards. To the best of our knowledge, however, pork chops are served—and we consider likening the decor to that of a Barbary Coast bordello a compliment of the highest order.
TRAIN TO NORTHGATE
In last week's "Ballot Congestion," King County Council member Dwight Pelz was quoted as saying that Sound Transit "is nowhere near ready to go out" to Northgate with its proposed regional light-rail line. Pelz actually said the transit agency was "nowhere near ready to go out on Phase II," an as-yet-undefined second light-rail segment that could include a connection to the Eastside but doesn't include Northgate. Pelz says he supports getting light rail to Northgate and believes the agency can do so with the money that would be provided in the regional package proposal submitted by county executives last week.
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