A Working Disregard
DEAR HUAN HSU: I want to compliment you on your timely, accurate, and well-written article ["Diesel Fuming," March 7]. After using Metro for about five years without so much as hurt feelings, I've been directly threatened twice in the past three weeks by two different jerks. The first time the driver completely ignored my request for the police (I had to call myself), and the second time I just got off the bus but alerted the driver to the problem guy.
Metro can say what they want on paper, but in practice what I have seen is a working disregard (by Metro and probably the drivers union as well) for the safety of the majority of passengers.
A Realistic Portrayal
DEAR EDITOR: Thank you to Huan Hsu for the realistic portrayal of riding Metro with criminals and no law enforcement in sight. My kids and I refer to the stop at 85th and Aurora as a drug stop instead of a bus stop. Also gives a whole new meaning to Pimp My Ride.
A Floating Nuthouse
DEAR EDITOR: City buses are floating nuthouses. It doesn't matter what city you're in, there are always troubled routes, drunks, thug kids, sex offenders, smelly people. But you'll also find the downtown office workers, the exhausted girl who just got off from working at Taco Time, the grandmother who is rushing to take care of her grandkids, the UW student, the guy from the mayor's office. We're all just trying to get home.
I've ridden buses on and off my whole life. There are always incidents—some dangerous, some humiliating, and some just plain funny. It's the beauty and the tragedy of a communal experience.
I'm glad the Metro police are there. I'm glad they grab the sex offender. But what is up with the cowering-passenger situation? We need more No. 15 route guys to stand up and tell the offender they're going to kick his ass. Pity the drivers—they have no backup, no protection. I've met one female bus driver who has been attacked, spit on, and punched in the face. She couldn't get out of the driver's cockpit in time.
An Unpromising Career
DEAR EDITOR: As the author of the essay cited by Karla Starr [Tome Raider, March 7], I feel a clarification is in order. It is true that David Guterson is the only graduate of the MFA program at UW—which, incidentally, is ranked among the Top 10 in the country—who makes a living exclusively from publishing. But it is also true that there isn't a poet in America who is able to make a living exclusively from publishing (not even Maya Angelou). The point is that good literature doesn't necessarily make big bucks. I believe that the creative writing industry—which includes hundreds of academic programs, thousands of literary magazines, scores of not-for-profit organizations, etc.—now provides a kind of patronage to both emerging and established writers.
As to the apparent "sameness" of the work that emerges from these programs, only someone as knowledgeable about the subject as Karla Starr would dare venture such a generalization.
A Semi-Good Idea
DEAR JOHN METCALFE: Thanks for the good article ["The Truckers' Magic Carpet," Feb. 28]. It makes me wonder why no one has suggested creating "truck-only" lanes on I-5. Honestly, it would make a million times more sense than the HOV lanes. Commuters and car pools can be easily replaced by mass transit, changes in behavior, etc. But the unhindered movement of goods and materials is absolutely vital to our economy and way of life. Why don't I see anyone taking up the cause?
A Plea For the Seattleite
DEAR EDITOR: I just want to say I absolutely love the "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" column. I've become addicted to it. As soon as I see the latest Weekly, I grab up a copy and immediately turn to that column, and I have always gotten at least one big laugh from it. Please don't get rid of that column! Keep up the great work!!
A Disgraceful Ad
DEAR EDITOR: What's with the insidious, full-page American Spirit ad in the [March 7] issue? Don't you care how destructive those ads are to your community? How irresponsible of you to support the R.J. Reynolds corporation in its efforts to get the young people of Seattle addicted to nicotine.
A Discriminating Reader
DEAR EDITOR: I wanted to let you know I think SW's music coverage lately has been great. I love Reverb, but I wish there would be more frequent posts to it. Brian, Travis, Hannah, and Aja—keep up the good work.