Hazard Lights

"Sometimes drivers are oblivious, sometimes homicidal, but either way you have to assume there’s a vehicular assault in your future."

Mack mopeds

I just read Brian Miller's article ["Hazard Lights," Oct. 18]. How prescient. I was nearly sideswiped twice today on my rainy commute from Ravenna to Alaskan Way. The second near miss (inches) included a spectacular death wobble recovery. My wise father-in-law says it every time he sees me: "They don't see you." I am considering a Mack truck mod for my Vespa.

Nice one. Thanks for drawing attention to this issue!

Chris Henry


Ride Right

As a frequent bicyclist and motorcyclist, I'm well acquainted with the near-death experiences at the hands of motorists described by Seattle's moped crowd ["Hazard Lights," Oct. 18]. Sometimes drivers are oblivious, sometimes homicidal, but either way you have to assume there's a vehicular assault in your future. My sympathy dissipates quickly, however, when confronted with open disdain for traffic laws. On a recent trip home, a large group of mopeders "corked" the 520 off-ramp intersection at Montlake, preventing traffic from moving while they got their entire group through the intersection. If members of the Mosquito Fleet feel rude, confrontational riding that ignores traffic laws is acceptable, they shouldn't be surprised when motorists return the favor.

John Schussler


Flying Mosquitoes

Good story by Brian Miller ["Hazard Lights," Oct. 18]. Reminds me of the time a church lady I knew pulled out in front of me at Aurora Village. I recognized her as my front wheel hit her door and I soared over the roof of her Ford to land in a three-point stance on the asphalt. (Just a knee gash, and fortunately she had insurance. Of course I was wearing a full face helmet, gloves, and leathers.)

Three cheers for the Mosquitoes! But contact the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for safe riding courses. Then move up to a lightweight 500 cc twin made by one of the Japanese manufacturers—you can buy them used cheap. They won't save you from church lady, but they will keep pace with traffic and help you outrun the really evil car-mongers. Just my opinion.

Bruce A. Scholten

Durham, England

Surviving the Streets

If you drive a motorized vehicle, you need to obey the law of the road ["Hazard Lights," Oct. 18]. If you die when you don't, that's Darwin's theory. The other one is McLintock's saying: If we got bad stock, cull the bad stock.

Jon Mark MacDougall


'Uptight' Gets it Right

Kudos to the genius who came up with Ask an Uptight Seattleite. It nicely summarizes, without, of course, acknowledging it, the wearying complex of layer upon layer of vague, fog-enshrouded subterfuge that characterizes "social life" in this city. To make it even better, it takes the reader right to the edge of being satisfied, but refuses to go there. How Seattle! I love it. Next time a freaked-out newcomer tells me "this place is totally Twin Peaks" and asks me to explain exactly "what is wrong with people" in our idyllic little micro-universe, I'll have somewhere to send them. Thanks!

Peter Toliver


Change Is Good

What a refreshing new column [Ask An Uptight Seattleite]! It is about time this particular aspect of Seattle life was subjected to some satire and derision.

Listen to me. Ignore the uptight mossbacks who fear change at Seattle Weekly. You guys are taking the paper in a nice new direction. In fact, I regularly seek it out now, where before I only read it when I was desperate.

Keep up the good work.

Eric Hansen


Raising a Glass to Roger

For the sake of our state's pristine reputation for fine wines worldwide, hopefully Jay Field at the Washington State Liquor Control Board will stick to his guns and enforce his agency's own regulatory laws [Sips, "Wine vs. 'Wine,'" Oct. 18]. Since Gov. Christine Gregoire and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles are now aware of this issue, it should be easily resolved, as neither are lightweights. Thanks to Roger Downey for having the guts to tackle this important issue. He should be commended for bringing about the demise of deceptive labeling and helping our state liquor board become the first nationally to make regulatory history.

Lisa Schoonover


Population Growth is the problem

Apropos Gustavo Arellano's column a couple of weeks ago about Japan vs. Mexico [¡Ask a Mexican! "Cooking With Corruption," Oct. 11]: As a norteamericano, I'm not so sure the U.S. is to blame for Mexico's problems, especially the bit about the feudal state, but Arellano does make some excellent points in his answer to the Lettuce guy. However, it seems to me he forgot one key difference between them: population growth. Japan has managed to keep its population pretty much constant since World War II. As an island nation with no rich neighbors needing their excess labor, they had to take care of everything at home.

Mexico, in contrast, has the U.S. right next door, very happy (in spite of all the anti-immigration chatter) to absorb its excess population. It's pretty sad when 12 million obviously very hardworking and industrious citizens have to be "exported" to the U.S. in an attempt to keep their economy in balance. Japan apparently chose after WWII to reduce their birth rate and keep their population approximately in line with their food and other resources. They had tried invading other countries to increase their access to natural and food resources, but with disastrous results in the end.

Bob Holtz


Lack of Local Voices?

I used to enjoy picking up the Seattle Weekly and reading informative local news and an alternative perspective on national and international news. Over the last few months, I started noticing there was less "news" in this publication. The last edition I picked up seemed entirely void of any interesting news for me.

I also resent the lack of interest in local voices and wonder how many of the current writers live in Seattle and for how long? Is there any local voice left in the Seattle Weekly? Anyone who has lived here long enough to know any history of this town?

Melanie Richardson


Editor in chief responds: Our managing editor and I are both Seattle natives. So is one of our staff writers. Two others are Washington natives. We've no idea where the rest of the crew came from.

Speak up! 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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