Bravo for Roger Downey's excellent article about the perseverance of Cornish ["The Kids Are All Right," Oct. 12]. As a former employee, I wish only that Downey had mentioned someone who represents the heart of the institution far better than President Sergei Tschernisch does. That is the beloved director of registration and records (and unofficial crisis manager), Adrienne Bolyard, who in her 20 years of service to Cornish has put out innumerable administrative and emotional fires that threatened its survival. She has personally enriched the lives of scores of young artists, as Cornish's students, including her fan Brendan Fraser, will affectionately attest.
No Soul at Starbucks
Thanks for Knute Berger's empirically accurate and normatively whiny take on the direction Seattle is heading [Mossback, "Nanny Seattle," Oct. 12]. I, too, find it all a bit nauseating; even worse, I expect my hometown of Tacoma to go the same way. The question is: Is there anything anyone who can't stand Starbucks can do about it? Answer: probably not, unless you favor some zany form of totalitarianistically enforced mediocrity.
The funny thing is, the joke is on the gentrifiers. The aesthetics and prices that they came for were actually created by the folks they push/buy out. Once they're gone, so's the soul, and all you're left with is an iced mocha latte and a $2,000 laptop. (But who knows—if all the interesting folks have to leave, maybe the "new Seattle" will turn out to be Bremerton.)
Broadway Needs Sidran
As a resident of Capitol Hill who has seen parts of Broadway turn into a ghost town due to concerns about civility, I take exception to Knute Berger's recent article "Nanny Seattle" [Mossback, Oct. 12]. There are many Seattle business owners that donated to Mark Sidran's campaign because we saw him as a man who would clean up the sidewalks so that people could more comfortably patronize our business instead of driving to Bellevue. Reducing public nuisances like graffiti, panhandling, heroin use, trespassing, and intoxication has nothing to do with Mayor Nickels' attempts to regulate private clubs with the four-foot rule.
My customers include former Rick's dancers who have moved to places like Green Lake and Kirkland to get away from the urban decay of central Broadway. I believe the goal of the civility laws was to transform Seattle into a city more like San Francisco than Singapore. A socially progressive town where tourists can feel safe and a gentleman's club performer's right of expression is respected.
I agree U Village is similar to Bellevue. Where I differ with Berger is in interpretation. Stuart Sloan and private enterprise gave Seattle what it wanted. A place where you can shop without tripping over nodded-out junkies and drunks. A place where you are not harassed by the pseudo and real indigent asking for money instead of work.
There is no shortage of funky neighborhoods in Seattle. Like San Francisco, Seattle has grown up. Haight-Ashbury houses and condos sell in the millions. Like Seattle, it is still a fun place to hang out on a sunny day.
Thanks for Philip Dawdy's eye-opening article about the police who were assigned to investigate lap dancers ["It's a Hard Job," Oct. 12]. It seems grossly inappropriate that one police officer would need 300 lap dances to assess whether something illegal occurred during these sessions. I'm appalled that our tax dollars went to giving some Lynnwood officers hand jobs. The whole "operation lap dance" reminds me of The Scarlet Letter or the biblical story of the stoning of an adulterous woman. Women, even in our hip, liberal, cosmopolitan city, are blamed for the evils of society. How can the police who took part in the activities press charges and cast all the blame on the dancers? Didn't the word "hypocrisy" ever occur to them?
Lap Dancing, Bible Thumping
An irony of Seattle's strict new strip club policy ["It's a Hard Job" and Mossback, "Nanny Seattle," Oct. 12] is that Bible-thumping red Texas has the most strip clubs of any state, and brother Jeb's Florida ranks second. Darwin-thumping, blue (nose?) Washington, home of the ever-vigilant SPD vice squad, ranks in the bottom tier and is sinking.
Russell B. Garrard
Dredge the Port
George Howland Jr.'s article on the Port of Seattle is the most insightful story written about this influential stealth government I have read in any paper ["Port in a Storm," Oct. 5]. While Howland astutely highlights how the commission's balance of power is in play this election and the disproportionate influence wielded by unelected Port CEO Mic Dinsmore, he does not note the significance of the new commissioners' ability to hire the next port executive. With the Port's ability to better represent the public's interest never more evident, it is mystifying that the Washington Conservation Voters have chosen not to make an endorsement for Position 3. There is a clear choice between the candidates, Rich Berkowitz and Lloyd Hara. As noted, Berkowitz's support for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and unsuccessful opposition to the stationing of the Neah Bay rescue tug make for an easy environmental distinction. Of even broader importance is the candidates' ability to be a public representative on the commission and not represent special interests like those who want to increase tanker traffic ["Tankers in the Sound," Oct. 12], on whose behalf Berkowitz lobbies. While former Seattle City Treasurer Hara may not be a true blue greenie, he does not have such flagrant conflicts of interest as those that should disqualify Berkowitz. The Port desperately needs closer public scrutiny if it is ever to represent the King County taxpayers who subsidize it. A new commission and more of such articles by Howland would go a long way to that end.
Race of A Salesman
I disagree with Steve Wiecking's commentary and objection to the all-black casting in Death of a Salesman ["Art, Death, and Race," Oct. 12]. It reminds me of the resentment people had to black actor Ving Rhames being in the part of Kojak (if he had been a non-Greek white, I don't think the white/Greek reaction would have been the same).
The attitude is: "This play is for whites only—minorities stay out." It was written with a white climate in mind, but so what? Reality is stretched all the time in the entertainment business, but it's when minorities play "white" roles that lack of realism seems to become a problem. These type of objections are a cover for discrimination
Kids' Book Clones
Bravo for this terrific review ["Of Mice and Magic," Oct. 5]! Roger Downey hit Christopher Paolini and Brian Jacques right on their numbskulls. My 10-year-old read the first (snore) and listens to the latter on tape. The Redwall actors (including Jaques' son in the leading mouse role) are charming (to our PNW ears)—all those exotic fuzzy burrrrs and brrrrogues —but the books are (you got it) all the same.
As for Diana Wynne Jones, the darkness of her Charmed Life made a mighty impact on me back in the 1970s, decades before He Who Shall Not Be Named started cropping up in the Harry Potter thrillers. Fortunately, my offspring reads her, too.
Make an impact: Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be less than 250 words. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.