The Fish-Stick King's Defenders and Detractors Speak

And more on Aurora Bridge suicides, embryos, and overpriced sandwiches.

Re: "Fish-Stick Colossus" by Laura Onstot (Nov. 19)The article would have us believe that Chuck Bundrant single-handedly forced legislation through strong-arm tactics and payola that benefited only his company. I should point out, however, that when the Magnuson-Stevens Act was being talked about, Mr. Bundrant was a little fish with many larger competitors, and while I will concede that Trident did benefit from the new 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, so did every fisherman in America.—TDFish sticks, fast-food fillets. We have this kind of man to thank for putting the "garbage" in junk food. I look forward to reading of his indictment. Great article.—Eric NotMyTribeI worked for Trident Seafoods in the accounting department from 1981-89. By far, it was the best company I ever worked for. I witnessed many times over Chuck's generosity and compassion when an employee, whether top management or a processor, experienced serious illness or death in their family (I handled payroll and employee benefits). He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was a farm kid from Tennessee. He never forgot where he came from, either. The reason Chuck avoided your request for an interview several times is simple: He is not a braggart, never has been, never will be.—Jean CherbergIt's ironic that Chuck's big idea was at-sea processing of crab, then he gets Stevens to buy out at-sea processors of pollock, and then he buys out Tyson and ends up with more at-sea processing. Is at-sea processing good? Looks like it depends if Chuck owns it or not. Chuck now controls more of the pollock fishery than the American Seafoods folks who supposedly controlled too much, necessitating [the American Fisheries Act]. Rags to riches? More like government-enforced monopoly.—entropyYou should ask the fishermen of Sand Point, Bristol Bay, and Kodiak how they like Trident. Every time a cash buyer would show up in town, with a competitive price, Trident would top their prices, and when the cash buyers left town, Trident would drop the price of the fish again. And anybody who sold to the competitors was disbarred from Trident. That hurt a lot of guys. They fished their big Bering Sea boats in waters where the little fishermen were. Councils failed to stop this. Borough officials became pro-Trident because they wanted to keep up the infrastructure through taxes; it was all they could do. If you needed gear or needed a loan for a boat, Trident was there. But you damn well only better deliver to Trident. If you worked on their boats, you did good . . . but if you were on an independent, free-enterprising boat, the deck was stacked against you. Chuck didn't discover Pollock fishing, he copied the Asians, who have NO respect for replenishing the oceans. He was nothing great. He just took the right people out to lunch.—TJBRe: "Life's Little Leftovers" by Nina Shapiro (Nov. 19)So we've finally done it, menstruation is murder. Women get their ovaries taken away for safekeeping, no one procreates without a license. Brave new world, here we come.—JAwesome, some fundamentalist wackjob who thinks God wants her to have 10 kids can continue spitting out little soon-to-be brainwashed kids. Meanwhile, millions of innocent, ALREADY LIVING people continue to die from diseases that stem-cell research could have cured. It truly takes a screwed-up mind to conclude that a clump of cells (most of which get "discarded" with your period) is more important than an actual living person.—ThomasThere is a vast difference between the post-amphimixis egg, and the egg that is lost every month due to menstruation. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the terms haploid and diploid. There is no dispute within the scientific community about when a new, unique human life begins. These embryos are new, unique human lives who will either be adopted, destroyed, or spend an eternity in stasis. They exist as much as any other child needing adoption, and all the mental gymnastics in the world do not change that fact.—LaurenRe: "Gumbotronic" by Jonathan Kauffman (Nov. 19)My friends in New Orleans refuse to believe me when I tell them what Marcela's charges for a muffuletta. The Napoleon House in the French Quarter (hardly a spot for low prices), charges not $32.00 for a WHOLE muff, but $10.95! I refuse to let my hankering for supposedly "authentic" New Orleans cuisine outweigh common sense.—MarkRe: "Inequality of Life" by Mike Seely (Nov. 19)Just blow up the bridge and lock up everybody in and around Seattle—voila, no more suicides on the bridge! Also, make sure you take away everybody's pills, knives, rope, guns, etc. Only the state can decide who lives or dies.—SteveI used to live in Seattle and returned to visit a friend whose wife jumped from the Aurora Bridge. The coincidence of this is that I also lost my fiancée, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge. She had tried several times and failed due to intervention. We had doctors and psychologists and all the available mental-health services and medications you could think of at our disposal and used them. You see, the problem was that she was determined, and there was no intervention to stop her from doing this, other than to try to continue treatment and hope for the best. In the end, though, she was successful.She had told me, though, that at one point she had gotten off the bridge just in time to escape from being caught, but did not rethink her attempt. She simply went to another location and tried there instead. The point of this is: If they are going to jump or take their life and determined to do so, a deterrent like a net or phones or preventing access is not the solution. The solution is to help these people and give them the support they need. The bridge is a landmark and is beautiful just the way it is. What a person does when they cross it should not be a reason to take from the bridge's natural beauty and design. It isn't going to end suicides. I know from experience.—RichCORRECTION

Our story on Trident Seafoods described former Bundrant competitor Bill Woods as a "current Trident executive." In fact, Woods is no longer with the company. Write to us at or comment online!

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