HOOD DOES GOOD
If all reporters and editors could produce stories with the same level of sensitivity and gripping language with which the story about Donna O'Steen's murder was written ["A Killing in the Neighborhood," May 30], then the public would no longer loathe journalists, and victims' families would no longer fear them. (The police still might, though.) Your coverage of this story is unconventional—like nothing I've seen, heard, or read before—and does a better job of evoking both sympathy for O'Steen's family and outrage at the injustice of the crime than any inverted pyramid could ever do.
Then again, if all reporters and editors could produce the same kind of high-level, intensely memorable stories as you and [writer Michael] Hood do, Seattle Weekly wouldn't stand out as so unique, would it?
GLENN WAS GAY
While I agree with your article about homophobia in baseball [News Clips, "Homophobia Sucks," May 30], you are mistaken about there never being an openly gay player. Glenn Burke played for the L.A. Dodgers and the Oakland A's in the mid-70's and was openly gay. Many people say that the pressure and harassment that he suffered as a result was the main reason that he never lived up to the promise of his minor-league career. There is a book about his life called Out at Home.
Burke died in the '80s from complications of AIDS. He was a brave man and needs to be remembered by those of us who enjoy sports and despise homophobia. He was the first out gay man in baseball, and maybe someday his number will be retired from baseball, like Jackie Robinson's. We can work toward that in sports, just as we work on these issues in the rest of our society. After all, isn't baseball America's sport because it is a microcosm of our society—the good, the bad, and the changeable?
Eds. note: While Burke's sexual orientation was known by many in baseball, he did not actually come out in public until after his career ended. But we agree that his number should be retired —not only did he help break down barriers, but he reportedly invented the"high five"!
IT'S A BRITISH FLAG, IDIOT
Geov Parrish is correct in his assessment of "Scandal Mongering" [May 30], but whether the people who rake in our federal tax dollars are incompetent or idiots is not the question; the question is, when are we going to say we've had enough? Dysfunction and startling displays of ignorance are mild terms for most federal offices, and I know this from experience. During my employment with the Social Security Administration, I was flattened to learn that my supervisor had no direct experience as a supervisor or even in the job she was asked to oversee. It's obvious promotions in the federal sector have nothing to do with competent service. Hundreds of us were herded into a large auditorium and advised what forms to fill out to give each other annual awards (i.e., more public dollars). After Sept. 11, I erected the British flag to honor the memory of my grandfather, who was a gunner in the Royal Air Force. A supervisor actually asked me what country the flag came from. I am personally disgusted with the federal government. I wish more of us were vigilant in our desire to not only have the FBI reconfigured but to take a sweep across most agencies who use our tax dollars indiscriminately.
THE CORE IS THE ISSUE
Erica C. Barnett's article on the monorail ["Safe Route," May 30] is yet another in the long list of pro-monorail pieces by Seattle's press. Her comments regarding the furor over a Second Avenue route clearly show her and many Seattleites' lack of knowledge on the monorail. This is not really about losing views or the noise from the trains. This is about a major impact to our urban core. The monorail proposed to be built will not be significantly better or prettier than the current Fifth Avenue route. One needs only look at the pictures of the Las Vegas monorail being installed to see that. In the circuslike setting of Las Vegas, it is appropriate, but not in a real city like Seattle. The guideways will cause trains to run as close as eight feet to buildings, and the stations will cover the entire street and sidewalk where they are placed. Erica also steps into a major problem of the proposed monorail by saying it would serve bus commuters better on Second Avenue—so what? The bus riders aren't contributing to our traffic woes. The real intent and need for Seattle is to get people out of their cars, not to shift bus riders to a different form of transportation.
Erica's comment that Belltown residents live "downtown" is a clear slight to their right to livability. She's basically saying, "How dare you want a nice environment? You live downtown." It is exactly that attitude that will keep people from moving downtown—in the end, the best way to get people out of their cars.
GIVE BACK THE PRESENTS
Please send my thanks, appreciative laughs, and a few tears and heavy sighs to Michael A. Stusser ["Fallen Starr," May 30]. I grew up with Rabbi Starr (and Michael), and my heart has been heavy and pissed off. I, too, will remember the positive things the rabbi brought to my life and congregation. It is too bad so many incredible, intelligent, powerful, and inspiring men have a hard time remembering one important thing: In the end, you can, and probably will, get caught.
P.S. Tell Michael please, yes; he should give back all his bar mitzvah gifts.
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS CONDOS . . .
" . . . Washington State Ferries are addicted to taxpayer subsidies . . . " ["Thorne-y Subsidies," May 23]? Is the Weekly paying Philip Dawdy so much that he can afford a trendy condo in Belltown and walk to work? If so, you're being gouged for poorly reasoned criticism. If not, Dawdy is as "addicted" to taxpayer subsidies as [ferry director/CEO Michael] Thorne and the rest of the Puget Sound population. Thanks to Tim Eyman and his squadron of flying monkeys, ferry riders are probably the least-subsidized commuters in the region. The fare for a vehicle and driver from Fauntleroy to Vashon is $14.75. A Metro two-zone peak fare is $2. And a drive on I-90 from Issaquah to Seattle is free.
There's no question the ferry system has its share of problems, and I'll save my opinion about farm subsidies for another rant. But before Mr. Dawdy starts casting stones, he might first want to examine the glass in his own house (or condo).
Kathryn L. Schipper
ONE NOT-SO-DEADLY (BUT STILL BIG) MISTAKE
In his preview piece on the ballet Seven Deadly Sins ["Hard Jewel," May 23], Roger Downey erred in stating that George Balanchine was "a young Russian choreographer with no musical theater experience" when he collaborated with Brecht and Weill in 1933.
After the death of [ballet impresario] Diaghilev in 1929, Balanchine worked extensively in the London Theater, creating dances for the Cochran reviews and for Sir Oswald Stoll's variety show. He also made dances for the film Dark Red Roses. He worked with Tilly Losch in the 1929 Cochran review and was able to make dances suitable for her limited talents when she starred in Seven Deadly Sins. Hardly a stranger to the genre.
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