More Info on Salmon

And on Rainier Valley development and afternoon tea.

Re: "Caught in the Carbon Net" by Brian Miller (May 14)Deflating hype is an easy shot, and Brian Miller might have done more research before slapping this one back over the net. If Copper River salmon hype is too much for you, there are other cheaper, more local, and arguably better salmon available. The Columbia River spring chinook is regarded by many as one of the best-flavored salmon, and the Washington coast troll fishery is getting off to a slow start. Caught one at a time, and handled meticulously, troll salmon top the list for most connoisseurs.Yes, there will be locally caught wild salmon available all summer in this region. There is, however, simply no such thing as sustainably farmed salmon, no matter how near or far it is raised. A feed lot is a feed lot, and the amount of antibiotics and pesticides used—measured in pounds per pen per day according to their NPDES [National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] permits—is appalling.If wild salmon is just too upmarket for Mr. Miller, there are plenty of sustainably harvested alternatives—local albacore is abundant and a bargain, halibut and blackcod are recognized as some of the world's best-managed fisheries, and Dungeness crab is still available at reasonable prices.While our modern diet is vastly changed, hybridized, or genetically modified from anything even your grandmother would recognize, wild seafood remains the last authentic part of our diet—surely cause for a little celebration, and hype?—Jeremy BrownI'm lucky enough to live in Alaska, and I fish a year's worth of salmon in one weekend during subsistence setnetting (residents only). However, if I didn't live up here, I'd still find a way to get fresh-caught salmon for the same reason I go to the trouble and expense of buying organic beef.—LindaRe: "Hard Tracks" by Mark Fefer (May 14)I live close to this neighborhood, and simply can't wait for some redevelopment. This isn't racist, it's evolution. The Rainier Valley has, for more than 100 years, been home to the latest crop of immigrants—from the Italians (Borracchini? Oberto?), to a large and diverse Jewish population, to Chinese and Japanese, to Jim Crow–fleeing African-Americans during WWII, to Southeast Asians, to East Africans. But pockets of the lower Rainier Valley have remained decrepit for decades, occupied by few businesses other than churches, social services, and narrowly targeted ethnic shops. Decent restaurants, other than in Columbia City, do not exist. For all the whining some MLK restaurants do, there isn't any cleanliness or quality service to go with the marginal food. Reviews are padded an extra star to reward the Sound Transit hardship— the food generally sucks.But the land is cheap, and working-class people of any race and ethnicity can take a risk and invest in sweat equity to build up personal wealth and a future. THAT is how a community is built, and that is how I and my neighbors are proudly doing it, and trying to support the crummy restaurants until someone with a palate and a proper toque can recognize the potential that exists.Gentrify my ass. This is investment in our city, in our community, and in our future. Bring it on.—Feisty BrainThe photograph shows where I go to get my weekly fix of Vietnamese comfort food: Pho My Chau. Don't worry, it won't go out of business. Food that good will stick around, even if it does have to get more expensive.—JackRe: "The Juice Man" by Rick Anderson (May 14)By my count, this guy sold drugs for almost three years while the government—the feds and Olympia—stood by. You have to wonder if he—they—killed anyone.—Rob MeltonRe: "Shame and Fortune" by John Roderick (May 7)Amazing to hear about those early days, John. It was all true, just like you said. A thrill to be in the "next big thing" and a heartbreak to watch it slip away. Thanks for writing this article and reminding me of a really exciting and tumultuous time.Love, the Assistant Librarian at the David Lee Roth College of Intoxicated Underwear Models.—Stephanie WickerRe: "Saucer-Eyed and Jam-Fisted" by Maggie Dutton (May 7)The Sorrento Hotel has a lovely afternoon tea—it is served in their clubby Fireside Room (get a chair by the fireplace if you can; on a dreary Seattle day, it is wonderful). The tea selection is extensive, the pastry/sandwich/dessert assortment is delicious/ample and the service is always spot-on (helpful but not hovering). The availability of their full cocktail/port/champagne selection is also a nice addition. For my money, the warm atmosphere, great service, and wonderful food and drink make this one of the best, if not the best, high-tea options in the city.—Melissa Chadwick

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