More on Gospel

I would like to respond to Mike McGonigal's article "My Gospel Conversion" [July 21]. I am a longtime aficionado of gospel music, and while he did a good job with his interviews and discussing the genre musically, it needs to be pointed out that he did not discuss the Seattle gospel scene to the extent that he could have. He did not even make a single reference to Kent Stevenson. Stevenson is a major influencer, contributor, and make-things-happen person. His work worldwide with Urban Rhythms gospel chorus and with the Seattle school system to introduce gospel to the next generation, his many collabo­rations with other local and industry composers, musicians, and performers, and, finally, his ability to bring together local talents to make for unforgettable concerts certainly merit significant mention in any discussion of the local gospel music scene, and he really should have been interviewed.

Also, with seven A.M.E., or African Methodist Episcopal, churches in the Puget Sound region, I am curious as to why McGonigal only mentioned one in his listing of resources at the end of the article.

Lea Keyes


Praising Pat

It was with great joy that I read the gospel music article featuring, among others, our own wonderful "Pastor Pat" ["My Gospel Conversion," July 21]. That she is a supremely gifted artist goes without saying, but she is so much more—teacher, pastor, parent, and friend to every person and organization in Seattle. If you need help galvanizing people to a cause, you call on Pastor Patrinell Wright. Bless you for your praise, and thank you, Pastor Pat!

Christine Bekkouri


Unitarian Groupies

Reading Mike McGonigal's "My Gospel Conversion" [July 21], I realized a few things. That Greater Seattle's radio listening audience is largely deprived of this soul-stirring and "real" secular music. That Seattle's main Christian station, KCMS 105.3, plays bilious music that has musicians coming up with rhymes for about four words: God, cross, heaven, and saved. Gastric distress, indeed—after about only three songs. That this delivery is disguised by solid rock and roll or "cute girl" approaches doesn't do a thing to cover up the fact that this is bad music.

The Creation Festival West will have "thousands of teenage-to-20-something music fans"? Sounds like there's a large chance to get practice in, er, creation there. Smells like teen spirit without experience in any music form other than these equally brainwashed peer-group head­liners, who may be true Christians or may be . . . Unitarians getting a fat paycheck and lots of innocent, spirit-filled groupies. Have fun; God will provide . . . the sunscreen and other protection, we hope.

As a bluegrass musician with Dan Tyack's "gospel music for Unitarians" approach, I've often dreamt of tuning in and hearing an integration of bluegrass secular, gospel, and good old-time religion. Good music is good music and will catch people's ears and hearts—look at the surprise audiences and runaway sales that O Brother, Where Art Thou? realized for an example. It'd be good for the digestion.

Tom Brisk


Mossback is the first to express "priority" in transportation spending that I have seen ["Roads to Ruin," July 21]. It would be interesting to see where on the city's priority list the proposed $3.4 million for 0.7 miles of bike trail would fall in a serious assessment. This bike boulevard from the Ballard Locks to 60th Street has no trail on either end, and it has a serious negative impact on the neighboring properties. A cost of $5 million per mile for this bike extravaganza is huge compared to the present spending for all of Seattle's road maintenance. It is simple; let us see performance audits in Seattle transportation.

Bob Allison


The Hunt's Point Poor?

I can afford to live in Everett but not in Hunt's Point. Even in Seattle, I might be below 80 percent of the median wage. Should Seattle subsidize me ["Federal Cuts Hit Home," July 21]? I would like to live in Hunt's Point. Should Hunt's Point?

There are towns in states east of the Rockies where 80 percent of Seattle's median income would make a person one of the richer people in the county. The problem of rent subsidies raises two questions. First, the working poor: Should the middle-class taxpayers subsidize them so that the local employers can make lots of money by paying the working poor substandard wages?

Then there are the winos, dopers, and legitimately disabled people who will never hold down a job. Why should the taxpayers subsidize them in Seattle when they could live in Mississippi for half the cost to the taxpayers? They prefer to live in Seattle? Well, I prefer to live in Hunt's Point.

Or is the real reason for the subsidy that people on welfare never vote Republican?

Bill Wald


Mining Our Business

Fred Hill Material's pit-to-pier project ["Economy vs. Ecology," July 14] has benefits for the environment that must be viewed in balance with the negative impacts normally associated with such a project. Unfortunately, Tim McNulty's inflammatory and inaccurate language, when added to the shrill language of the project opponents, merely confuses the issue.

Fred Hill plans to mine sand and gravel and transport it to barges at a Hood Canal pier. To get to the pier, McNulty says, "Each vessel would have to negotiate a dicey passage under or through the opening of the floating Hood Canal Bridge." That "dicey passage" is 600 feet wide, 100 feet wider than the Panama Canal. For a tug with barge, there is nothing "dicey" about this transport. Nor is passage through that opening "dicey" for the nuclear-missile-laden Trident submarines traveling through it on a regular basis to Bangor.

The Jefferson County commissioners voted unanimously to approve Fred Hill's permit because they hear opponent John Fabian's rhetoric for what it is—language that points to this project as a blight on the Hood Canal environment, when many of us locals know the true blight is all of us who live here, with leaking septic systems and cars and oil and grease from our roadways. Fred Hill's sand and gravel will be used to rebuild hundreds of miles of shoreline on Hood Canal and the rest of Puget Sound. That job is not simple; it is certainly not to be dismissed as just "removing bulkheads." The pit-to-pier project is being built with such substantial mitigation on its immediate environment that the environment may very well benefit. The project should be considered "model," not a threat to Hood Canal.

The sand and gravel most usable for the Sound's beach reconstruction and for other construction is where nature has put it—near Hood Canal. Stewardship of the world's resources requires that we mine the sand and gravel where it lies, in ways that are environmentally acceptable. We want to live in buildings. We want airports and roads. The local environmental community needs to quit foisting the mining of the world's resources for the First World off on remote sites in the Third World—where we can't see, hear, or regulate the impact.

Chris Van Dyk

Bainbridge Island

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