Full Moon Fever

"Bummer to see the beloved Blue Moon force-fed a rectal thermometer by the city, when the fever is emanating from King Nickels' office."

Moon's a Safe Haven As a semiregular visitor to the Blue Moon Tavern, I've come to appreciate it as a solution to the problems of a troubled neighborhood, not as the source of the problems ["Full Moon Fever," June 14]. There is certainly a rough crowd that inhabits the area—homeless folks, chronic inebriates, mentally ill people. It's sad that our society offers few solutions for these miserable souls. That said, I've always felt safer in the Blue Moon than in the surrounding neighborhood. The staff and regulars at the Moon are watchful and patient. It's a bastion of socialization for all types of people—a rare haven of acceptance, where individuals are judged by their behavior, not their appearance. The rule is simple: If you act fairly civilized, you'll be tolerated at the Moon. Isn't that the best we can hope for anywhere? I've never seen drug activity, sales, use, or otherwise happening in the Moon. I also can tell you that the staff adamantly makes it clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Peter Mitchell

Seattle Catch-22 for Club owners Thanks for Mike Seely's superb coverage of the Blue Moon issue ["Full Moon Fever," June 14]. The city has placed the Moon squarely in the crosshairs of a classic catch-22. If club owners report drug activity in their vicinity, then they are guilty of operating a drug haven. If they do not report it but act to clean up the premises on their own, then they are still guilty of being a drug haven. No one could live up to such expectations if the city puts them under scrutiny. The Moon's owner apparently has chosen to keep drug dealers out by 86-ing them. Good for him. He should be congratulated and not persecuted. Let's see the city turn its attention to the street activity in Pioneer Square and Belltown. That's where the real problem lies. Patrick McRoberts

Seattle A Time-out for Tom What's up with lawmakers these days? First it's the smoking ban, then it's a ban on fortified beer, now it's the legendary Blue Moon Tavern getting a spanking because it won't sign a silly piece of paper ["Full Moon Fever," June 14]. Soon, they'll be passing laws on how we should wipe our butts! I say, enough already! This isn't some fascist country (or is it?). We're still the land of "freedom" and "tolerance" (or are we?). Autocratic nut jobs like Tom Carr should receive a good spanking and be sent straight to their rooms for some good old-fashioned "time-out." Angelika Niewierkowicz

Seattle Don't Blame Bar Bummer to see the beloved Blue Moon force-fed a rectal thermometer by the city ["Full Moon Fever," June 14], when the fever is emanating from King Nickels' office. It is obvious to any U District scenester that the mayor and city attorney are clueless in understanding what really ails the U District. As Gus Hellthaler points out, and neighborhood associations confirm, the issues of public intoxication, vagrancy, drug use, and drug dealing in the area of the Blue Moon neither emanate from nor are nurtured by this iconic institution. The city's own policies have created this desperate situation. The chronic alcoholics and addicts that now call the U District home were once residents of downtown areas where the mayor's office spearheaded drug stings while forcing stores to sign "Good Neighbor" agreements preventing them from selling "fortified" beer and wine. Naturally these people moved to the U District, where stores sell fortified beverages and drug dealers openly roam the streets. The decades-long efforts of Hellthaler and staff to rid the Moon of all drugs not flowing from hardy taps behind the bar has long since forced U District dealers to flee to safer neighborhood venues. Yet the city cites the Moon "86'd" list as proof of dealing, instead of commending Hellthaler for taking initiative to ensure that dealers are kept out permanently? For all of City Attorney Tom Carr's efforts to paint the Moon as a "breeding ground" for drug sales, he fails to mention that the grand total haul of his "six undercover narcotics buys" yielded less than an ounce of pot. Good Lord, Grandma! The place is unsafe! Ben Schroeter

Seattle Carr is Off Base I had to respond to the Stalinist propaganda promoted as facts by Tom Carr ["'The Current State of Affairs Cannot Be Tolerated,'" June 14]. I have been a neighbor and patron of the Blue Moon off and on for the past 35 years. Not once have I ever had anyone offer me anything other than beer. His phony speculation and slanderous accusations that the Blue Moon is a smoky den of drugs is so far off base, he seems almost on some personal vendetta. What gives? Did he get stood up there? Or somebody dumped him? Insulted him? Made fun of his bald head? He should go after the homeless junkies, beggars, drunks, and gangbangers on University Way, not one of the few businesses that have been and will be around longer than he or any of his cronies will ever be. D. Myers

Edmonds Keep Kevin's Story Alive Thank you for the article concerning my husband Sgt. Kevin Benderman's case and his stand for conscientious objection ["That Other Defiant Soldier," June 14]. They are making things very difficult for Kevin at the moment, but he's strong and he's in good spirits. When I write and share this article with him, he will want to make sure that I have told you thank you for him as well. A very well-respected attorney has agreed to take Kevin's case on appeal. He has seen the record of trial and recognizes the inconsistencies and the fact that the Army abused its own regulations to put my husband in prison for something he didn't do. This attorney is a CO himself, from the Vietnam War—and he believes 100 percent in the significant merit of Kevin's case. We all hope that Kevin's case will help to bring conscientious objection greater public awareness, and define it in a way that it is understood to be a way of life, not just soldiers saying no to war but for all citizens to consider. We are working on raising the $2,500 retainer fee for the attorney now. Thank you so much for keeping Kevin's story alive. It matters more than you know. Monica Benderman

Hinesville, GA Banner for Benderman Thank you for Rick Anderson's article about both Kevin Benderman and Ehren Watada ["That Other Defiant Soldier," June 14]. Stand Up! Seattle and Olympia Amnesty International have been holding an educational campaign by bannering for Benderman's freedom over the freeway at Fort Lewis once a month for the last five months. The banner reads: "Free Kevin Benderman, Conscientious Objector, From the Ft. Lewis Stockade." We invite anyone who believes it is important to support the courageous stands of Benderman and Watada against the invasion and occupation of Iraq to join us. It is a highly visible way to remind the Fort Lewis community and the world that the majority of Americans are against this war. Next bannering is on June 24 from noon to 2 p.m. at Exit 119 off I-5. For more info, check out standupseattle.org. Linda Jansen

Seattle DHS Disappoints Geov Parrish hit it on the head ["Foiled Again!," June 14]. I worked in criminal justice integration for 10 years, but recently left when I had to admit that the Department of Homeland Security—which oversees justice integration—is doing more harm than good. DHS is spending tens of millions to trap folks like young women sneaking over the border to . . . clean our homes, and for this they need lots of expensive doodads. I could no longer face myself and contribute to this stupidity. What a waste. DHS eliminated programs that had been around for decades so they could do a "better job." Who are they kidding? Nancy LaPlaca Denver, CO Contribute! Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com. 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.

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