Good Cop, Sad Cop

Mouths shut too long

My family knows the difficulty of dealing with a loved one with severe bipolar disorder, and because of that, we can tell when a person with bipolar disorder is coping well with their illness ["Good Cop, Sad Cop," March 30]. When Sheriff Sue Rahr was asked if she knew there were other officers on the job with mental illnesses, she replied, "I wouldn't know." By adding that how the sheriff's department handled mental-health issues for its officers would depend on job performance or behavior on the job or if the officer reported their condition, the sheriff was asking those with such problems to keep their mouths shut about it.

Well, there has been way too much keeping our mouths shut about mental-health issues, and not just on the police force. As Angela Holland said when she took a health leave to deal with her problems, "I was ashamed." And that's the biggest problem. We don't talk about mental health, we are ashamed of mental illness, and therefore, we are frightened of those with mental-health diagnoses. Holland faced up to a mentally ill man in crisis by giving him respect. She knew that's what anyone would want in the circumstances because that's what she wanted, what we all want. And what she didn't get.

Susan Petty


Cop should be applauded

The intelligent thing for the King County Sheriff's Office to have done would have been to applaud Holland for being responsible, and then support her efforts to keep herself healthy ["Good Cop, Sad Cop," March 30]. Then the KCSO would have had the perfect employee to cultivate as someone to deal most effectively with the many offenders who are mentally ill.

The KCSO now has the opportunity to open the door to the other officers who are still in the closet, and therefore more at risk, with their depression or bipolar disorder.

Judy Eron

Alpine TX

Not an isolated event

As a minority, it doesn't surprise me that a cop would have mental or psychological issues—it's likely fairly typical ["Good Cop, Sad Cop," March 30]. When a cop's behavior deliberately escalates a nonviolent situation into a violent one, where a "suspect" who didn't harm anyone winds up dead, shouldn't we be concerned about his/her psychological condition? Holland might not have had a bipolar episode in which someone was left dead, but that begs the question of why we suffer cops who have periodic paranoiac episodes.

Mark Kittell


What about refusal?

Instead of writing about how KCSO Deputy Holland was let go by the department for her bipolar illness ["Good Cop, Sad Cop," March 30], you should have detailed why she wasn't fired for her refusal to work on the riot-control teams.

Jon Gilbert


Quit bashing Allen

Seeing yet another editorial denigrating Paul Allen and Vulcan's attempts to re-shape urban Seattle is growing tiresome ["A Gift That Gives Back," March 30]. Allen clearly isn't doing these things as a matter of pure charity, and his company is entitled to accomplish them without taking a loss. And, by the way, the net result of these projects will be to bring Seattle closer to the high standards enjoyed by Portland.

Thomas Beeler


Maritime space is lost

During the city's negotiations with Vulcan for sale of the Bay Freeway properties, the SLU Planning Committee proposed the cultural space obligation as a step toward implementation of the South Lake Union neighborhood plan ["A Gift That Gives Back," March 30].

We saw an opportunity to attract another cultural attraction to the neighborhood or help development of the maritime center, ensuring that large numbers of our population and tourists would be drawn to a destination activity.

The irony of converting the cultural obligation to park construction is that the final park design eliminates spaces for maritime heritage that were shown on draft plans. These funds would be used to eliminate the opportunity for a maritime cultural presence by completion of a park whose main customers will be feathered poopers.

Mike Foley

Mill Creek

Where will trolley go?

I appreciate your concern about where our region is headed with regard to transportation ["Trolley Town," March 30]. I believe that we are now digging ourselves out of a 30-year hole due to voters choosing not to support alternative transportation solutions in 1968 and 1970.

The trolley gives the waterfront and Pioneer Square neighborhoods a neighborhood identity. I believe that the park—when opened—will attract huge public support and could easily become the most visited, most popular waterfront park in the region and perhaps the state. With the proper care and development, it will give the public enjoyment and access to Elliott Bay, to the Olympic Mountains, and to art for years to come.

Larry Phillips, Chair

Metropolitan King County Council


Don't blame the kids

Village idiots indeed! Knute Berger forgot one fact about children that makes a huge difference in his argument—children are the result of a lifestyle choice [Mossback, "Village Idiots," March 30]. If making one choice means you can't afford another (a house in Seattle), please don't blame the kids.

And lest some think Seattle will soon be devoid of children, dry up, and blow away, I would encourage them to get out of their SUV, and walk, take a bus, or bike around some of the less affluent hoods in Seattle. We have plenty of well-behaved kids here.

Karl Derrick

West Seattle

What makes it 'Haida'?

As a Haida citizen and artist, I am left to wonder what is it that makes Penker's iconography "Haida." I suspect that Viennese artist Elisabeth Penker is neither genetically or culturally Haida ["Picking Up the Thread," March 30]. So I am left to wonder if the artist and or the reporter are simply inspired by the notion of "Haida" and that this inspiration, once expressed, meets some private test of Haidaness?

Or perhaps I imagine too much, and it is simply that in Seattle the notion of appropriation "drifts like fragments of icons floating in the paper's white space."

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Massett-Haida GWaii, B.C.

Curling comes out ahead

Having worked where I can see the M's up close and personal since 2001, I can confidently say that there is one huge difference between them and any curling team ["We're No. 1*," March 30]. The curling team has adult leadership.

Jay Kridner


The last word

OK, I know this article was from a while ago [Touchy, Feely," Sept. 29, 2004], but I must say, not all kids that listen to Atreyu smoke pot. I'm 13, Atreyu is my favorite band, and I'll have you know, I don't smoke pot.

Amanda Utter

National City, MI

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