The Republicans Blow It

Gov. Gregoire? Gag Me

Thank you for George Howland Jr.'s excellently written summary of Washington's governor election process ["The Republicans Blow It," Dec. 29]. I have forwarded his article to everyone I know, as I feel it gives the best perspective on the election without the feel of a right or left bias.

I do not belong to a political party and have never voted a straight party ticket. That being said, I know that my family, friends, and I feel that the recounts of this election had nothing to do with democracy. The supposed purpose of recounting is to give more credibility to the "winner." It is fairly simple to see that any credibility that Dino Rossi or Christine Gregoire might have received has been lost on what seems to be an easily gamed and highly flawed system.

Regardless of whether it is true or not, we non–King County residents are moving quickly to the belief that our views (and votes) are of secondary importance. The fact that this election was so easily swayed by the gaming of the system makes me sick to my stomach. I had little preference between Rossi or Gregoire before this election, but now I want to throw up when I hear the name Gov. Gregoire. She will now be a reminder to all of us not in King County of exactly how little democracy means in Washington, and how easily elections can be manipulated to produce the results that the counters want to see.

Seth D. Clemons


Election's Slippery Slope

This is not a game; voting is fundamental to our political system, and what is going on with the King County election process is a slide down a slippery slope to corruption ["The Republicans Blow It," Dec. 29]. The King County election system should be seriously investigated, and those found to have broken the law or guilty of gross incompetence should either be prosecuted or fired. The integrity of our state's election process is more important than who will be the governor for the next four years.

Martin Wayss


Suspect 'Discoveries'

I don't see how the Republicans blew anything ["The Republicans Blow It," Dec. 29]. King County worked the ballots to assure Christine Gregoire would win the last count. Every day they "discovered" more ballots. Where were these ballots at the first or second ballot count? Why did Dino Rossi win two, only to lose the last one by "discovered" ballots that came out from under every rug in the county?

Donamarie Goldsmith

Granite Falls

Give Up, Dino

The election for governor is finally over ["The Republicans Blow It," Dec. 29]. Christine Gregoire is the victor. In accordance with state law, we have had a mandatory machine recount. At the end of the machine recount, Dino Rossi was ahead by 42 votes. If King County elections staff had not failed to check hard copies of voter registration cards for 700 voters, Gregoire would have won. Again in accordance with the law, Democrats called for a statewide manual recount. After all counties certified their results, Gregoire won the election.

I hope that Rossi does what is best for our state and acknowledges that we have followed a fair process. Rossi should accept that our state's process of a machine recount and a manual recount has dealt him a painful, and valid, result. He should avoid the temptation offered by the extremists in his party, manufacturing conspiracy theories and making groundless claims of fraud. There is no evidence whatsoever of fraud, in King County or anywhere else. The chief of staff for Republican King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and a Republican member of the King County canvassing board told the Associated Press, "I do not have any concerns about fraud. I think the people in charge here are very professional." Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed certified this election. Now we need to work together to do what's best for the state of Washington. Dino, concede!

Joe Ryan


The Last Resorts

"Still Praying for Snow" [Dec. 29] covers a timely subject, but the article's credibility is compromised by the remarkable statement: "Even if the snow drought lasts into January, there still would be nothing to suggest a global warming–type trend in the Cascades."

Back here in the real world, there is little to suggest the absence of a warming trend in the Cascades. According to researchers who have been monitoring 117 North Cascades glaciers since 1984, all 117 are receding and seven have completely disappeared. Average shrinkage was reported to be 30 percent. Same thing at Mount Rainier, where the famous Nisqually Glacier is widely reported to have retreated by almost a mile during the last 100 or so years.

According to a United Nations Environment Program study of North American and European ski resorts, human-caused global warming is a threat to the sport of skiing. The study predicts that downhill skiing could disappear altogether at some resorts, while reduced snowfall might cut off skiing at portions of some areas within 25 years. The lead researcher for the U.N. study says that the "magic number" for ski resorts in 2003 was 4,265 feet above sea level. At that elevation and above, he says, there is reliable snowfall. Many Washington ski areas are based below that level. In the relatively near future, global warming is projected to push the "magic number" up to as high as 6,000 feet, according to the study.

Temperatures in Washington are predicted to rise by somewhere around 2 degrees by 2020 and 4 degrees by 2040. I'm no expert, but these predictions definitely suggest a warming trend in the Cascades. The Weekly assertion to the contrary sounds like wishful thinking.

Bill Bryant


Four-Bottle Eye-Opener

In response to Roger Downey's article on decanting and letting wine breathe/oxidize [Sips, "Breathe Deeply," Dec. 29], I thought I'd add a tasting trial I use to educate consumers on the advantages of decanting.

Take three or four bottles of the same wine for tasting. Open one bottle at the tasting, one bottle an hour before the tasting, one bottle three hours before the tasting, and one bottle six to 24 hours before the tasting, depending on the youth/aging potential of the wine. This trial technique makes it easy for consumers to benchmark the change in the wine from point to point and not have to depend on their memory to chart the progress of the wine. An eye-opening and palate-opening experience.

Kevin Cedergreen

Owner/Winemaker, Cedergreen Cellars


A Gay Casablanca?

I, for one, was thrilled to read Steve Wiecking's form letter concerning/ identifying the flaming undertones in the Lord of the Rings series [Small World, "Form Letter," Dec. 29]. I felt like the only one who noticed how badly Sam wanted to pounce on his dear Mr. Frodo. But I felt like the invisible man or the boy in the plastic bubble trying to convey this. The LOTR series seems sentimentally gay the way Casablanca was erotic and romantic. Maybe it's only fair and, more than that, high time that gays had their own genre of romantic film. Thank you to Wiecking for his straightforward and hilarious but sensitively restrained reviewing.

Helen Read


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