GIVE 'EM HECK!
I'm not surprised that Mr. Eyman gave you two hours of his precious time ["The Bad Man Speaks," Aug. 29]. That was quite a powder puff you threw at him. A few suggestions for the interview that he will refuse to grant you: Test his knowledge of public finance. Ask him how he would finance the public services his initiatives have devastated. Ask him if he really cares. Then have him explain why his initiatives invariably contain a flaw that allows him to rail against the judiciary while he floats another "corrective" initiative for all the additional salary it brings him.
Tim Eyman is perhaps the greatest showman since P.T. Barnum. Instead of truly putting him to the test, you merely fed the enormous ego that will continue to turn the public against our true leaders.
The Weekly could do better.
Reid H. Shockey
Though you failed to endorse my state Supreme Court candidacy, I thank you for reporting that my fight with the state bar over lawyer ethics is worth paying attention to ["Judging Jeanette," Aug. 29]. But you are mistaken to declare that lawyer ethics "has nothing to do with a Supreme Court election," because the court both writes and oversees enforcement of the ethics rules for both lawyers and judges.
The court's most important function is to supervise all aspects of the justice system and its players—no constitutional or other rights are secure if the system or its key players are corrupt or unethical, or if lawyers may deny moral responsibility for serious harms they facilitate or enable (such as Enron). Society now suffers immensely from the self-serving 1983 lawyer ethics rules that foster the present "hired gun" lawyer culture.
Many prominent law professors and other professionals have been trying for two decades to change those rules and that culture. The incumbent, Justice Johnson, has chaired the court's rules committee for eight sleepy years, oblivious to these national developments. If you are happy with the culture of lawyers, you are in a distinct minority.
Candidate for State
Supreme Court, Position 4
WATCH YOUR MOUTH
It is hardly a surprise that the National Meat Association's weekly newsletter would offer food irradiation as a "positive proposal" ["Mystery Meat," Aug. 22]. Despite rave reviews from irradiation proponents, consumers are wary of this technology—and rightfully so. Irradiation doesn't just kill bacteria. It disrupts the chemical composition of everything in its path—depleting vitamins and creating new chemicals in foods. The FDA regulates irradiation as a food additive because new substances are created by the process.
The meat industry blames weak sales of irradiated food on federal rules that require it to be labeled and has spent years pressuring the government to allow the word "pasteurization" to be used instead. Consumers know that irradiation and pasteurization are distinctly different processes and have said resoundingly in recent market research by both the FDA and the USDA that such a labeling change would be "sneaky" and "deceptive."
Eliminating bacteria must begin at the source—by slowing down the lines in meat plants, improving sanitation practices, and strengthening the USDA's inspection system—so that contaminated meat cannot fall through the cracks and land on our dinner plates.
Rick Anderson does a public service in reminding us of the devastation that is constantly heaped upon the most seriously mentally ill members of our state's citizenry ["Back to the Streets," Aug. 22]. Forced by further budget cuts to discharge yet more severely pyschiatrically impaired patients, Western State Hospital is shrinking to the point of utter nonfeasance.
This is only the latest move in the ongoing evaporation of mental health services. For years, communities throughout this state have had to deal with the consequences of inadequate mental health care. This latest "cost-saving" move will, in the long run, result in heavier costs in other areas of our social fabric—in increased and intensified emergency room visits and in higher rates of incarceration.
Of course, psychiatric services in the King County Jail are already stretched to the max. And many mentally ill persons who do not wind up in jail simply languish homeless and forgotten on our streets. This is a situation we have all grown used to. Sadly—unconscionably—it is a situation that is not about to change anytime soon.
Anderson writes that the King County Jail is, unofficially, the state's second-largest psychiatric hospital. Ironically, if Western State continues to shrink, our jail may indeed become the largest purveyor of psychiatric services in this region. This state of affairs is nothing short of disgraceful.
NO RIGHT TO PARTY
Organized opposition to the Teen Dance Ordinance came mainly from industry-insider profiteers looking for a scapegoat to blame for the inevitable decline of Seattle's so-called "grunge scene" ["Slow Dance," Aug. 15]. As they watched their gravy train leave the station, they mobilized legions of underaged would-be rebels who should have been working on their grades instead of their dance steps. While the minors' oblivious parents cashed in on the economic boom of the 1990s, anti-TDO activists convinced the under-parented teenagers that they have the "right" to party all night in an unsupervised, Ecstasy-fueled frenzy of freedom.
Now a weak-willed City Council and a pandering, electioneering mayor have rubber-stamped a piece of legislation that will certainly lead to tragedy. The ever- arrogant "music scene" should sober up for a few hours and imagine the backlash that will erupt when some 13-year-old girl is gang-raped at one these precious events where the ratio of attendees to security personnel is, at best, 250 to one. No one under 18 needs to be dancing and partying in some uninsured, unregulated dive at 4 a.m., and no responsible parent would allow it.
Walter D. Smith
NO FAN OF CRITICS
After further examination though, it becomes clear that the person who REALLY has the issues isn't Woodring, but Stoesz. Woodring didn't get into cartooning to please Stoesz, as I'm sure Stoesz didn't get into "writing" to please Woodring. The only thing worse than a movie critic is an art critic; worse than that is an art critic who thinks their visions actually matter in the scheme of things as it pertains to someone else's work.
Art is supposed to be subjective, it's beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. That doesn't seem to be Stoesz's bent; he's looking for something that's not in Woodring's art for him personally. It's presumptuous for a jagoff like Stoesz to think someone else's art should conform to his narrow feeble visions of what's right to him.
Contrary to information in a story about Don Van Blaricom's lawsuit over sexual allegations by his daughter ("Fighting Back Rumors," Aug. 15), several local newspapers did report the outcome of the trial.
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