Mayor Nickels Begs to Differ on Gas Usage, and Other Letters

Mayor Nickels Disputes Gas-Usage Story

In a press release on Tuesday, Mayor Nickels' office took issue with a story that appeared in this space last week. In that story ["Guzzlin': The Sequel," June 13], Rick Anderson reported that the mayor's gas usage has increased since he started using a hybrid as his primary vehicle, compared to when he was using a Cadillac. Here is the correction issued by the mayor's office:

In the nine months after the Toyota Highlander Hybrid began service, fuel usage dropped 37 percent compared to the same period when the previous car was in use.

The mayor's security detail began using the Toyota hybrid in late June 2006. Records show that fuel consumption from July 2006 through March 2007 was 523 gallons lower with the hybrid than the same nine-month period beginning in July 2005, when the less fuel-efficient car was used. [emphasis the mayor's]

Seattle Weekly responds: The figures we reported in our story are correct. The mayor's office simply prefers a different set of figures.

On May 4, we requested fuel and other records for the mayor's Toyota Highlander Hybrid dating back to June 1, 2006, when the vehicle was purchased. We also asked for the same records for the mayor's Cadillac DTS Luxury III for the 12 months prior to June 1, 2006. The city said it could not break out gas purchases separately by vehicle, but provided us with the mayor's total gas purchases for the period March through December 2006. In response to a second request, the city also provided figures through April 2007.

In our story, we looked at the most recent months of gas-purchase data provided by the city—October '06 though April '07, a period that begins when the mayor's Cadillac ended its service. We compared that with the mayor's gas usage during the preceding March-August period, when the Cadillac was still being used. (The city's figures do not record any gas purchases in September.) Comparing the two, and noting that the earlier period is a month shorter, we reported that the mayor charged more than 800 gallons of gas, costing $2,400, in the recent period, compared to 260 gallons at a cost of $870 in the earlier period. The city doesn't dispute that. The mayor's office argues that its own 9-month-to-9-month comparison is the more appropriate one.

We stand by the accuracy of the story.

Bad Priorities

DEAR EDITOR: Let's see: AP classes, high GPAs, class president, newspaper editor, valedictorian, working to raise awareness of genocide, deciding which college to go to. Sounds like these girls have their priorities straight. Too bad the coach can't say the same ["Designing Women," June 13]. Practically every word the coach says is dripping with contempt for teenage girls. Hey, they can be challenging (I know, I have one), but if you simply don't like them, you shouldn't be coaching them.Stacey Bryant


My Right to Heckle

DEAR EDITOR: I am a die-hard Cubs fan. Having seen several games at Wrigley Field, I am always disappointed at the lackadaisical fandom at Safeco. This code of conduct ["Red Scare," June 6] is just one of a multitude of things about Safeco and Mariners management that illustrates the lack of pure baseball in Seattle. Case in point: You would not have a "Stitch and Pitch" night at Wrigley. Fans there would not tolerate it, nor would they be so distracted from the game as to knit. At Wrigley, most fans score the game religiously, argue about ump calls, argue about pitching changes, argue about position changes, and heckle the other teams' players—in short, they are INTO THE GAME. At Safeco, they seem to want a carnival experience that is nonoffensive to anyone, and "Wow!" it just so happens there might be a baseball game out in the field!

This code of conduct is, for me, another nail in the coffin to Seattle ever truly being a baseball town. I'm not advocating utter chaos and violence in the stands—there should be some decorum. However, it is a disturbing day when a fan cannot heckle without the P.C. police kicking him out of the game. Sadly, I'm not surprised Safeco Field is leading the charge in diminishing the long-standing fan tradition of heckling.Frank Prohaska


Critics Hammered

DEAR EDITOR: Kudos to Tom Finkel—excellent article on Lucinda Williams' rants "Sweet Old (Man's) World," June 6]. Finally a ball-peen hammer sledge into pop fashion's condescension and naïveté.Tom Killorin

Lake Forest Park

Underestimating Charles

DEAR EDITOR: I haven't seen the film The Life of Reilly based on Charles Nelson Reilly's one-man stage show, but I have to take issue with reviewer Mike Seely's characterization of Reilly as merely "an eccentric D-rated actor" ["SIFF Picks & Pans," May 30]. Unfortunately, in some respects, he is best known popularly for his outrageous personality as a panelist on Match Game from '70s TV, but he also won a Tony Award for his performance on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in the early '60s and was featured in the original cast of Hello, Dolly! And he also has credits as an important theater director.

On top of all this, he was one of the first—perhaps the first—male performers to present himself openly as a gay performer. (Paul Lynde, as gay as his persona was, remained tragically closeted.) His one-man show's film documentation may be poor cinema, but Reilly himself was an important icon.Mark Gallaher


Clarification: In last week's "Designing Women," Huan Hsu wrote that Brad Hamilton hired Aaron Silverberg to coach the Ballard High girls' tennis team. While Hamilton interviewed Silverberg and was asked for his input during the hiring process, Ballard athletic director Doug Bruketta was the person who made the final decision to hire Silverberg.

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