House in the Trees
As one of the current residents of the Egan House, covered in the July 6 issue [Turf, "The Soloist,"], there are a couple of things I would like to add regarding the article.
First, Kirsten DeLara implies that the house is "built for living alone." While I understand the sentiment, I would mildly disagree, as my wife, myself, and our three cats enjoy the multilevel layout and take full advantage of its unique functionality. The house is also ideal for entertaining—our many guests tell us they enjoy this urban oasis.
Second, and much more importantly, a fine opportunity was missed to report on the surrounding greenbelt. We see people stop to look at the house every day. Those who choose to linger and contemplate the distinctive juxtaposition of "house as art" and the natural environs are usually treated to a natural phenomenon as striking as the house itself: The trees above the house play host to a mating pair of red-tailed hawks and their offspring. These predatory birds soar above the greenbelt and occasionally dive through the dense trees to catch their next meal. Obviously not an intended effect of Robert Reichert's design of the house or the placement of it, these birds seem to share his penchant for inspiring a sense of romanticism in the midst of an urban setting.
Thanks for Brian Miller's nice description of that fine house in North Beach [Turf, "Mileposts and Milestones," July 6]. However, for every well-executed modern house, about 50 monstrosities are ricketied up in Seattle: Just walk around and spot the pressed wood, which is about the only modern feature, quickly concealed, that these new uglies have. Seattle missed the boat way back when it failed to develop its generalized Craftsman tradition. Frank Lloyd Wright knew what to do with it, and it didn't need to have become the exclusive icon of the well-to-do.
End of the Line
Nice article [Mossback, "The Monofail," July 6]. For a change, I agree with most of what Knute Berger says. One thing I think the media need to spend more time focusing on is the lack of a coherent (read honest) plan to build all of the "proposed" monorail lines—not just the highly publicized Green Line.
As a resident of Maple Leaf/Roosevelt, my earlier support for the monorail was predicated on the "promise" of a multiline system connecting the entire city. When it became apparent that the Green Line, if ever built, would be the only line built in my lifetime, my support ended.
I'm all for public transportation (I take the bus to work every day), but I simply refuse to pay inflated car-tab taxes for the next 30 years for a system I would never use. And now some proponents are floating the idea of raising the car-tab tax! Unbelievable.
A Sad Civic Victory
Knute Berger was correct in citing the defeat of the R.H. Thomson freeway as a twin project to the monorail [Mossback, "The Monofail," July 6]. In an awful, twisted, sad way, it will be a civic victory if the West Seattle–to–Ballard "beer run" is shelved for good. Despite sending more than $180 million down the gulch, saving $11 billion isn't chump change.
The monorail project demonstrates a problem that seems rampant in American politics today—a devotion to ideology over principle. A principle is to support effectively planned public transit. An ideology is to say that all public transit, no matter how poorly planned, costly, and ineffective, is always the right thing to do.
Berger and Rick Anderson are to be commended for their old-style brand of civic reporting that would have made Edward R. Murrow proud. Seattle Weekly was one of the first Seattle papers to recognize that the Green Line was deep in red ink.
I want to thank George Howland Jr. for his evenhanded article ["Cancerous Campaign," July 6]. He got the facts, laid them out, and added insight and compassion. It's always a pleasure to find a journalist who operates this way, and these days it's all too rare.
Participating in that race against the clock to raise enough money to try to save Andy Stephenson's life was thrilling, moving, and altogether unforgettable. We are a community of a new kind, and when we act together for something we care about passionately, we can accomplish the impossible.
Andy died on July 7 [see story] and is deeply mourned by me and thousands of others whose lives he touched. In his last weeks, Andy spoke often of wanting to leave a legacy—it was what hurt him the most about the libelous attacks. Well, his legacy is safe, and we share in it and honor it as we carry forward his fight for free, fair, and uncorrupted elections. We won't forget his "mantra," a phrase he said thousands of times and a central goal of his work: "Voter-verified paper ballots!"
Oh, please. Geov Parrish thinks the response to "Strippergate" in 2003 was overblown ["Throwing the Bums Out," July 6]? He's right. He thinks the backlash against Judy Nicastro and other former council members was taken too far? Again, right on. He thinks their successors haven't gotten anything useful done? Right again. He wants to blame the public? Don't make me laugh.
It was Seattle Weekly that broke the Strippergate story, it was the Weekly that harped on it again and again to build the hype, and it was the Weekly that spoke in favor of the very "reformed" City Council that Parrish is whining about today. The public's fault? Hardly. They may have cast the votes, but the Weekly's irresponsible reporting may have been enough to turn the tide in favor of today's do-nothing council.
I attended the same show Steve Wiecking attended of The Last Supper, a one-woman show by Mary Carter [Opening Nights, July 6]. I enjoyed the play, the philosophical/ ideological questions raised, the wonderful company present, the ambience of the waterfront hideaway, and the exquisite meal.
I'm shocked at how mercilessly and sadistically Wiecking attacks the actress and the play. Having met Wiecking during the following dinner, I had no idea that he could be that nasty a character assassin. Wiecking was misassigned to cover a one-woman show with such an intimate audience. He might be more impressed by something with special effects, lasers, and wires than a performance in which the audience must interact. Interaction, apparently, is not in Wiecking's repertoire. I don't believe he uttered a single word to the group throughout the meal. Perhaps Wiecking disliked the parable of the five loaves and two fish because the fish were distant relations!
I would hope that people do not take his attack terribly seriously and they attend the show. Actually, I hope few people read his review at all, since he tried to spoil nearly every twist in the performance by describing each one in some detail. It's very sad; I always thought that the Weekly was an open-minded local. Maybe the Weekly is worth its selling price after all. Nothing.
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