Re: "Why They Hate Us" by Laura Onstot (September 3)Dang those environmentalists and big-city politicians who try to run the lives of farmers when they know nothing at all about farming. I'm glad Laura Onstot knows enough about it to write the article. Having grown up on an Iowa livestock farm, I still was able to learn something from her story—that in Hobart, Washington (and nowhere else in the world, I'd guess), there are farmers asking the price of a bushel of hay. [Whoops, we meant 'bale.' Sorry, Clem (and everyone else who wrote)!—Eds.]As for the family on May Creek who watched their stream turn into a bog—you don't suppose that had anything to do with the way the land along the creek was used, do you? Bank erosion from grading and grazing, animals trampling the creek, livestock manure fertilizing reeds and grasses in the stream? Or was it all the fault of those big-city environmentalist/politicians? The primary nutrient feeding rural land-use protests these days has little to do with farming and much to do with real estate. It's money: Where there's a rural protest against environmental land-use regulations, there's someone nearby who wants to short-plat, subdivide, grade, build, and sell. Don't think so? I'll bet you a bushel of hay.—ClemI find it absolutely astounding that at a time when King County faces a $90 million budget deficit, the county plans to spend $5.5 million on a drainage project that will benefit a handful of landowners—NONE OF WHOSE HOMES ACTUALLY FLOOD!!!—just so they can save on their horse-food bills.—Eco BuccolicEnvironmentalists' biggest mistake is they think the protections they seek are free. That government jurisdictions, like King County, have an obligation (and the authority) to accomplish environmental objectives regardless of impact. In other words, the common good outweighs the individual good.—Tom CarpenterThese comments are directed at a certain class of liberal. You guys preach diversity, but are completely clueless when you have to deal with someone who is actually different. If someone supports the life of the unborn or the sanctity of marriage, you scream that we're imposing our values on you, yet you seem to see nothing wrong with imposing your values on people whose lives and livelihood you don't understand at all.—Jeff T.Ironic to see this headline after an encounter I had on my bicycle trip through the Cascades this past weekend. I took a photo of the Dino Rossi for Governor sign by the road 15 miles from Wenatchee. The bottom of the sign says, "Don't let Seattle steal this election." I couldn't believe it. You're worried that the citizens of Seattle who share the same state might vote to try to democratically elect someone—and this is "stealing"? Anyway, it was a stark reminder of the urban/rural wedge (and the way the Rossi campaign is trying to drive that wedge deeper to rally rural voters). From my experience and ideals, "us" vs. "them" is at the heart of most local and global problems. Hope we can keep finding common ground that protects the real interests of rural families.—Destiny WilliamsRe: "Neighbors in Arms" by Aimee Curl (September 3)I don't think there's anything wrong with walking your neighborhood at night to help prevent crime, but aren't you inviting trouble by announcing to the world that you're walking around with guns? And if this group finds it, how will they respond, exactly? Is someone in this group going to pull out a gun if they see a drug deal (or think they see a drug deal)? Make a citizen's arrest? What's scary to me is the lack of training and the impression left that this is a vigilante mob. Why not leave the house without a weapon and call the police if you see something suspicious?—Daniel SmithWhat's missing from this article is race. By the sound of people's names, this sounds like whitey vigilantes fed up and scared of living in the diverse neighborhood that is Beacon Hill. People running around with guns and terrorizing people of color is nothing new, it's just an adjunct to the Seattle Police's harassment. Which, incidentally, happens constantly on Beacon Hill. –KatieThe area being patrolled is one of the nastiest places in this city and the cops won't do squat about it. I'm bothered by crime in this neighborhood, but when I voiced this concern on another Beacon Hill blog on a post which dealt with crime rates in our area, another poster accused me of being a white yuppie (not either) and racist.So, thanks for doing this article so that I could get this off my chest. I'm sure I'll get called a white yuppie (OK, I'll take the white-yuppie paycheck if you're offering). I don't see how being concerned about the safety of your neighborhood has to do with what race or tax bracket you're in. THAT sort of thinking implies that any nonwhite person doesn't give a damn about their community—and THAT, Beacon Hill whiners, is racist thinking.—Beacon Hill Res.Let me make this clear. We are NOT an armed patrol—that is in error. Yes, I am the president of a Second-Amendment group here in Seattle, but this group that walks is separate. We are just concerned citizens walking our neighborhoods. If someone is armed, that is their right under the Second Amendment. Our purpose here is to report anything we see to the police, not act as vigilantes or police officers. I have lived here for 51 years and I care about this neighborhood. Use of force, by the way, is only used if your life or the life of another citizen is in grave danger, and yes, I would protect anyone who was about to be killed.—Mike CheneyRe: "Psychic's Donation Not Accepted" by Jesse Froehling (September 3)The decision to ban [psychic Alexandra Chauran] from helping [King County's Waste Free Holiday program] is ridiculous. I am a reader in Dallas, Texas, and often am solicited to read at charitable events, even those of churches, schools, and synagogues. My friends who read and I firmly believe in giving back, and we do at least one charity function per quarter. Any money collected for our services goes 100% to the charity or cause. Trust me, we raise a lot of money! We are always one of the very busiest booths. And somehow those people swearing they don't believe in psychics seem to always be the first in line.—KristenaThis shouldn't be a religious issue at all. Chauran has a licensed business and isn't a tax-exempt religious organization. The government is happy enough to collect her spooky taxes, so they shouldn't discriminate against her by other means. Shouldn't the ACLU get on this?—MaryOf course Chauran got turned down. If she was a competent psychic, her tarot cards, crystal ball, or tea leaves would have foretold the results. She should consider a career change.—MoonbeanRe: "Flare-Up in Margaritaville" by Laura Onstot (September 10)There is ONE big difference between Peso's and Matador that should make it easy to differentiate between these two establishments. While Matador offers consistently good service and food on a regular basis, Peso's is an overcrowded meat-market getting by on lots of tequila and a good location. The service at Peso's varies between snotty and downright hostile. I truly wish they'd go away, but then the downtown Planned Parenthood and clap clinics would probably have to go looking for new clients.—EricThose who can't compete sue their competitors. This case has no legal merit and shouldn't be clogging up our court system to settle a personal snit by a restaurant owner faced with competing against someone doing it more successfully.—ChrisThis is like Hillary suing Barack for winning the nomination or McDonald's suing Burger King for selling trademarked "fast food hamburgers." As it turns out, we live in a place called America, where trademark and biz law do not extend so absurdly far as to disallow innovation and entrepreneurship. When the case is settled Brian [Hutmacher] will be cryin' all the way to the bank. An expensive, petty waste of time...but as the saying goes, a fool and his pesos are quickly parted.—DanielRe: "Preen is the New Black" by Jonathan Kauffman (September 10)I also thought Spur was great. The food was delicious, the glass pours of wine were thoughtful and interesting, and they know how to make a proper cocktail (I can count on one hand the number of places in Seattle that do). I only had two complaints: First, with the exception of Maritime IPA, their tap beers were completely pedestrian, and second, the music was odd ('90s techno?), given the decor and how serious they seem to be about being taken seriously.—libbertineRe: "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" (September 10)As the designer of what I believe to be the original "What's Next? Gravity?" bumper sticker, it was part of a response to the Kansas School Board's attempt (in 1998) to remove the teaching of evolution from our schools (or to add creationism as an equally valid "theory"). We also put out "Darwin Loves You!" and "I Give Evolution Two Opposable Thumbs Up!"—WebmockerWrite to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment impetuously online!