Circling the Square

"Why are bums and winos given de facto control of valuable real estate in every large city in the nation?"

Salvage the Square

I loved this article ["Circling the Square," June 28]. I live in San Diego, but I think my heart is in Seattle. I've really loved the feel to Pioneer Square when I have visited, so I hope the true essence of the Square can be salvaged with all of the improvements planned.

Thanks so much for such an informative article!

Chantal J. Brown

San Diego, CA

A Bum Plot

Why are bums and winos given de facto control of valuable real estate in every large city in the nation ["Circling the Square," June 28]? Why do we never find bums and winos on Mercer Island? Why doesn't the state of Washington build all its welfare housing for people who will never hold a job in Adams or Lincoln County, where the housing costs would be half of the costs in King County?

I'll tell you why—bums and winos never vote Republican. The Republicans and rich Democrats in Washington state have a tacit agreement to cede the wino population to Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma and to cede those cities to the Democrats in exchange for never having to have the bums and winos in their neighborhoods.

Bill Wald


Boozy Confusion

More great stuff ["Heat, Drink, and Be Merry," June 28]. In reading this article, it makes one ponder why it is that Gus Hellthaler (owner of the Blue Moon) would have so much trouble getting a license upgrade ["Full Moon Fever," June 14]! So who really controls the liquor? I could probably get a liquor license in my car so long as I go to Wendy's once in a while! But then Tom Carr would try to make me sign a "Roaming Good Neighbor Agreement." It would seem that the state wants the revenue and makes it very simple to obtain a liquor license. But Seattle's city attorney will pick and choose who he wants to succeed and flourish as a business. Confused? Yeah, me too! Here's to state-run liquor and city attorney vendettas! Pour me a stiff one!

Rita Martinez


Not Kathy's Doing

I read with interest Mike Seely's report on the outcome of the recent court proceedings involving the case of Kathy and John Casey trying to run Conor Byrne out of business ["Freed Spirits in Ballard," June 28]. While I can certainly understand why they would want that space for themselves, the Caseys' attempts are misguided and becoming more and more underhanded the longer this issue drags on. And for John Casey to suggest, as he did in the article, that Kathy Casey is "instrumental in terms of what's happened down on Ballard Avenue" is a joke at best and an insult at worse. Kathy Casey has got nothing to do with the resurgence of Ballard Avenue.

The Tractor Tavern, with its consistently high-quality music lineup appealing to a variety of people, Hattie's Hat's rebirth, and the Sunset Tavern's interesting approach have made Ballard Avenue what it is. If not for those businesses, the street would have turned into another Belltown. Lucca and the other home decor shops, Souvenir gallery, and Portalis Wine Shop have all contributed to the success in Ballard, and Habitude Salon organized the first Ballard Art Walks.

What has Kathy Casey done for Ballard? Not a thing! Her tightly shuttered private facility down at the very end of the street is a complete nonfactor.

Patricia Devine


Remember Gomez

Knute Berger's article on Gov. Christine Gregoire's speech at Evergreen's graduation was excellent, but I hope he heard her speech in context [Mossback, "Gregoire the Globalizer," June 21]. The governor was followed by Jose Gomez, member of the faculty, who gave a made-to-order rejoinder to her boosterism. Gomez described his childhood as a member of a family of 10 Mexican immigrants, all of whom were farmworkers, including the children. Gomez's speech was not about globalization but was about what he called "the betrayed cycle of prosperity" that plagues low-income workers in the United States. It was almost as if Gomez had received a copy of the governor's speech the night before and wrote his own in opposition to it. Not Gregoire but Gomez should be remembered as demonstrating the best of Evergreen that day.

Nancy Koppelman

Member of the Faculty, Evergreen State College


Evergreen's changing

I want to thank Knute Berger for his article [Mossback, "Gregoire the Globalizer," June 21]. I was among the graduating class at Evergreen, one of the students who stood up and turned her back on the governor. There was a little bit of heckling in our crowd, some hisses, some sarcastic remarks about heading to the moon, but yes, all in all it was a silent, as Berger wrote, protest. I was surprised by the negative comments I got from fellow graduating seniors who wanted to know why I stood up, what good I thought I was doing, or why I needed to "make a statement" or who generally expressed their disapproval of "creating a scene." This was disheartening, and slightly infuriating, but this is really just an example of how the composition of Evergreen students is changing. Two business faculty were hired by the president against faculty vote. Faculty voted to boost existing areas of study, but the administration overrode faculty decision making. In reaction, faculty are threatening to unionize. Add to this a $17 million renovation project for the CAB building, $12 million of which is funded by students and will add almost $300 to student fees for a minimum of 10 years beginning next year, and you can imagine how Evergreen might end up an extension of UW in a short while.

Natalie Knight


Dump the Fish

I've been a regular at Hattie's Hat, off and on, for 20 years. It's warm, comfortable, and somewhere I never feel out of place, even as the years go by—just as fun at 42 as it was at 22. So, I agree with every bit of the Hattie's story ["Lights. Camera. Hattie's," June 21], except for one thing . . . the fish tank. It seems totally inappropriate in that space, almost like a Belltown chichi bar landed in Hattie's dining room!

Still, I'll never forsake what, over the years, has provided many good memories. In short, I still love Hattie's, and I'll get over it.

Heike Burr


It's 'Jahvv'

For years I have wondered: How the heck does Geov Parrish pronounce his name? It's become a bit of an obsession. Every time I see his name in print, my mind cycles through the same tired list of possibilities. Here are some of the forms my niggling and obsessive-compulsive sense of curiosity has considered:

Jovv (Jawvv or Jahvv), Jove (as in "By Jove!") , Juhvv, Jeeve, Jevv, Jeef, Jeff, Joff, Juff, Joaf (rhymes with loaf).

Or, perhaps the "G" is hard: Goff, Geff, Geef, Guff, Govv, Gove, Geev, Gevv, Gofe ("Gofer" without the "R"), Guvv.

There may be other possibilities, but I tire of this. If "Geov" is short for Giovanni or some twisted derivative of Geoffrey, why not give us a break and spell it out? Failing that, here's what you should do with his byline: Geov (Guff, or whatever) Parrish. This would allow me—and other OC people like me—to read the damn article without constantly going back to the byline and repeating: How the heck does this guy pronounce his name?

Bill Root


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