PEARL OF A STORY
With Pearl Jam's new album coming out, there's no shortage of articles and reviews. But just when I was beginning to believe that so-called "music writers" were generally ignorant on both counts, I read "Yield Not" [Nov. 6]. Fred Mills has painted a lovely and humanizing portrait of an amazing band. And by not ignoring the silliness and the tragedy of history, he allowed me to glimpse the very interesting and talented people who make it happen. Much of what I've read on this topic lately has been disconcerting. Not because some reviewer doesn't like the record. Obviously, I'm a fan, but I have no problem with differing musical tastes or opinions. Instead, it's the pseudo-authoritative and unintelligent pronouncements and predictions that get on my nerves. Mills' article has enhanced my experience of the music and given me a broadened sense of where this band is going and where they've been. Nice work.
The sense of being centered, whether it be geographically, spiritually, or creatively, is what home feels like. With Pearl Jam finding and talking about their centered, balanced lives, it's no wonder their music continues to find and keep a certain kind of fan ["Yield Not," Nov. 6].
But how un-rock 'n' roll to be that way! It's not really rock 'n' roll anymore, anyway. We're fools to expect it or seek it in our well-worn paths of familiarity. Now, it's about an elevation of mood and a celebration of sounds and performance: getting energized vicariously through Eddie and co. After all, it's been 10 years for all of us—we've bought houses, had babies, and struggle with building pension plans. We don't want to turn on Pearl Jam and hear Ten with the shorter hair. We want to hear and see the continuation of our lives and the mood and atmosphere Pearl Jam has given us while we pass our days.
MAKING THE CASE
What a wonderfully written article Bob Mehr wrote on Neko Case ["Nobody's Angel," Nov. 6]. His writing is poetic without posing and real without being low brow. I've read a lot on Neko, and his piece is the pinnacle. The quality of his work is on a par with hers. Thanks for a real keeper.
The article "Still Subtracting" [Nov. 6] was excellent. The $34 million budget shortfall in the Seattle schools should never have happened, and the solutions to it are unconscionable. Many good folks have lost their jobs to cover the superintendent's boondoggle, as well as services to schools and students being cut, selling school property, and depleting the rainy day fund and other savings accounts. It is very significant that the Seattle Education Association, which represents 5,700 teachers and staff, has asked for Mr. Olchefske's resignation.
Why does the board still have confidence in the superintendent? Can the school board be impeached?
The careless alacrity with which Greg Nickels has proposed slashing traditional support to this city's critical network of community health clinics is shocking and deeply disturbing [All Politics Is Local, "Clinical Illness," Nov. 6]. The moral cynicism and outright indifference of Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis seem to characterize this administration's stand on a number of pressing social issues. At a time of intensified economic distress for increasing numbers of this municipality's citizens, Nickels' proposed harsh budget cuts to those programs that serve the poorest of the poor are evidence of either ignorance or heartlessness— maybe both. Should Nickels' budget go forward, one thing is certain—there will be more desperate and demoralized people crowding this city's emergency rooms. Others will defer obtaining necessary care until they can no longer ignore their pain and will then attempt to access whatever help they can—however costly—within a shrinking system of health care options.
George Howland is right in demanding that Nickels step back from his reckless stance and meet with knowledgeable community people like Mark Secord and work to iron out some humane resolution to these pressing concerns. Those of us who voted for Nickels and placed him in office are unsettled by his apparent lack of interest in community health care. There is time for him to redress this serious and misguided pattern. And if he proves unwilling to budge, hopefully socially conscious and conscientious members of our City Council will have the heart and wisdom to set matters aright.
COUNCIL MEMBER'S CURE
"Clinical Illness" is an illuminating piece [All Politics Is Local, Nov. 6]. Like George Howland, I went to the Country Doctor right out of college, because my first job didn't provide medical insurance. I will be voting to restore funding for the community clinics, and I believe a majority of the City Council agrees.
Seattle City Council Member
TIM NOT SO TINY
I read with amusement Seattle Weekly's anti-Eyman articles and supportive reader letters in past weeks. Now that Nov. 5 has come and gone, it's obvious the editorial staff was/is far from comprehending the thoughts and feelings of mainstream Washingtonians ["Voters: Our Way, Not the Highway," Nov. 6]. Why doesn't the Weekly get it? It's not who Eyman is, it's what he represents that makes him so important! He represents US, and our anti-politician, anti-tax-increase viewpoints. Seattle Weekly would do well to assimilate this truth and quit being such an out-of-touch, left-wing rag that serves only as motivation to more vigorously broadcast my/our mainstream Seattle/Washington viewpoints and values. The silent majority has spoken.
As one of the participants of the "Use of Force" seminar the Seattle Police Department offered in October, I'd like to compliment Trevor Griffey on his article that appeared in the Oct. 30 Seattle Weekly ["Cops Up Against the Wall"].
I would like to emphasize that the training the police receive seems to be tailored to condition paranoia. In one of the scenes that we were shown, a man with a knife confronts an officer, than turns his back to the officer and proceeds to stab his female companion.
One is left to wonder who would be stupid enough to turn his back to a police officer who supposedly has his gun drawn? How likely is this scenario to play out? Is this teaching a young police officer how to cope with a realistic situation, or is it conditioning him to see all civilians as a potential threat?
To this participant, the seminar on the "Use of Force" raised more questions than it answered. It was good that the Seattle Police Department made this first effort of reaching out to the community and starting a dialogue. However, the process of having a completely open discussion, where the participating officers and civilians can learn and understand each other, needs to evolve.
John M. Denooyer
Commissioner, Seattle Human Rights Commission
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