Nina Shapiro's feature article reporting on AIDS in the African-American community is strategic and powerful ["The New Faces of Aids," Oct. 23]. Her journalistic effort took courage. What better way to combat the dilemma than with such dynamic front-page coverage. The service she is providing to our community is shining.
Rick Anderson's article about my legal battles with my sister over my brother Jimi's musical legacy contains at least two major errors that need to be corrected ["Litigious Experience," Oct. 23]. First is his description of our dispute as "a nasty, high-stakes legal fight wherein each side calls the other bastard. . . . " While it's true that I have been defamed in this way, I have never said or even suggested that Janie Hendrix was illegitimate. Janie was legally adopted by our father, Al Hendrix, on April 4, 1968, which for me at least settles any issues of legitimacy. My point has simply been that Janie is not a blood relation of Jimi Hendrix, and that by presenting herself as one, she is misleading the public.
I also take issue with the final lines of Anderson's article, in which, after noting Janie's assertion that "the family of Jimi Hendrix" is "pleased to be a part of" a new Hendrix show her company is co-producing, he adds: "Most of the family, anyway." In fact, Janie and her company do not represent most of the Hendrix family. They represent only Janie's blood relations and one Hendrix cousin. The majority of the family—including everyone on Jimi and my mother's side—is, like me, estranged from Janie.
Rick Anderson responds: Leon Hendrix's lawsuit flatly claims that Janie is illegitimate.
THE NEW MATH
There is nothing shocking about this story to anyone who is familiar with the "new paradigm" in education ["The Buck Slides By Olchefske," Oct. 23]. In the spirit of education reform enacted by the Legislature as HB 1209 in 1993, math is no longer a matter of exact amounts but of "guesstimates," where the ability to explain the steps involved in solving a problem is more valuable than arriving at a correct answer. In other words, if the reasoning is correct, the answer is "right," even if the actual answer to the problem is wrong.
Taxpayers, parents, and grandparents who expect fiscal accountability are strictly operating in the old paradigm. Of course, the old paradigm got us to the moon and back again. I wonder how far the new paradigm will take us?
DON'T PASS THE BUCK
Thank you for "The Buck Slides By Olchefske" [Oct. 23]. I have been making phone calls to local principals, the superintendent's office, and the legal office of the Seattle Public Schools to encourage them to hold Olchefske accountable. I would love to see a superintendent with knowledge of, and a passion for, improving education leading the district. I'm concerned that if this opportunity is allowed to pass, Seattle could be stuck with Olchefske for a long time. He's not the right person for the job.
ONE JEW, ONE OPINION
I am the unnamed moderator of the panel "Two Jews, Three Opinions" that Christopher Frizzelle dinged in The Nightstand's redux of Northwest Bookfest ["Festering," Oct. 23]. I generally enjoy Mr. Frizzelle's (albeit smart-assed) column, but I take exception to Mr. Frizzelle printing that I used the pronoun "he" for God.
I do not have a concept of God as a he, and I consciously work against the easy reflex to refer to God as a he. I find it hard to believe I would have used he in referring to God, particularly in so public a forum. True, Mr. Frizzelle prefaced his paraphrase of my questions with "along the lines of." When purporting to express someone else's view of God, however, a mite more specificity is advisable.
From his critique, it is clear Mr. Frizzelle is not interested in exploring "self, community, and spirit" (the panel's subtitle), at least at Bookfest. It should be equally clear that I am. Which is why I asked four writers who eloquently wrestle with those issues in their work to join the panel. The interplay between self, community, and spirit contributes to, if not inspires, the best writing. I can think of no better place than Northwest Bookfest for such a discussion.
Alle C. Hall
SUPER SONICS STORY
Mike Seely's Sonics preview was terrific ["Punk-Ass Preview," Oct. 23]. I'm from Seattle but now live in N.Y.C. I've been pissed at the Sonics for a couple of years, and the NBA has left me feeling alienated lately (how can it not when your "hometown" team is the Knicks), but this article got me mildly excited again for the Sonics and the upcoming season. Even more impressive, I was laughing the entire time.
New York, NY
PUT ON THE BRAKES
I wonder if anyone else in the Seattle/Puget Sound area has a case of transportation overload besides me [Mossback, "The People's Boondoggle," Oct. 16]. Monorail, R-51, I-776, not to mention Sound Transit—each one will cost me something (choose: money, views, time, and/or quality of life). We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why can't we focus on one thing at a time and finish what we've started before launching additional megaprojects? We have one of the best bus systems in the country, so who says we can't get it right. Now we've started light rail. Perhaps when it's completed, we won't need a monorail or more road construction. I for one will be voting no on all the ballot measures. Let's do one thing at a time and get it right.
Why have opponents of the monorail resorted to a smear campaign against the other side? Knute Berger accuses unnamed "monorail buffs" of McCarthyism [Mossback, "The People's Boondoggle," Oct. 16]. Ron Sims says he was "threatened" for not supporting the monorail proposition. The opponents of monorail dumped a demand on the ETC for everything but the used toilet paper, looking no doubt for evidence that the whole proposal is a fraud. This is a strange way indeed to debate a brick-and-mortar project like a transit line, but it fits right in with the knife-fight rules of modern elections—what Bill Clinton identified as the politics of personal destruction: Don't debate the ideas or contest the facts; instead, paint the other side as liars, con men, and cultists. If you can't convince the people that the proposal is wrong on its face, maybe you can convince them that they can't trust the people making it.
If monorail wins, the opponents will have two choices: contribute their concerns and ideas to make this a successful venture, or continue to carp, undermine, and try to litigate it to death. That choice will show who the real fanatics are.
I read your review of Chiso and was very disappointed ["Grazin' Asian," Oct. 16]. Roger Downey states that when it comes to sushi, he can take it or leave it. It seems to me, then, that he is not the best person to review a sushi bar/restaurant.
Sushi is the kind of food that one becomes "addicted to." I am one of those people. I have eaten sushi many places, on both coasts, and in my opinion, Chiso is in the top echelon of sushi bars. Not only do I drive across town to go to Chiso, but it is the only place I go now. Perhaps you should have a sushi lover review Chiso next time.
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