Is it just me or does a pattern exist here: Monica Lewinsky = WASP bourgeoisie princess, "worldly" as far as being a lifelong subscriber to

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Letters

Princess and the POTUS

Is it just me or does a pattern exist here: Monica Lewinsky = WASP bourgeoisie princess, "worldly" as far as being a lifelong subscriber to Vogue but never really evolved past Seventeen, with clinically borderline, inappropriate sexual proclivities (yes, granted, made just to suit her POTUS with the mostest).

In light of Ms. Brinkley's expos鬠"Confessions of A(nother) White House Intern" (8/20/98), is this personality profile some kind of job requirement to work in the White House?

Erika Courtois

via e-mail

Grow up

After reading Seattle Weekly's "Confessions of A(nother) White House Intern" (8/20), I would like to know who is seriously interested in Elizabeth Brinkley's juvenile opinions of the local men and Yale students. Her opinions are boring and serve no purpose. Let's face it, for every person who the superior, self-righteous Elizabeth Brinkley considers to be an asshole, there is an person of equal or superior stature who considers her to be an asshole. Why can't we slow down on all of "the language." I should hope that Seattle Weekly would strive for a degree of maturity and leave all the gratuitous "name calling" to The Stranger where it belongs.

paul stines

seattle

No concurrency here

In response to Mark Fefer's articles "Stacking the Deck, Packing in Development" (7/30) and "The County's Fig Leaf" (8/6), I would like to set the record straight regarding the concurrency tools King County uses to ensure that transportation improvements keep pace with development.

First, let's be clear that King County has not "rigged" its transportation modeling in an effort to grease the wheels for more development, as Fefer's articles provocatively state. In the coming months, a hearing examiner will issue his opinion as to whether there may have been better ways for King County to measure future growth and traffic in the proposed Beaver Lake development. We welcome that independent assessment.

The real story here is about citizens tired of sitting in traffic, increased housing demand, businesses needing to stay competitive, and governments trying to juggle these competing needs in an effort to manage growth and maintain our quality of life. Until someone can show us a better way to accurately predict how a proposed housing development may impact an area years before a single shovel of dirt is turned—where people will likely work and where they are likely to drive—we have no choice but to rely on the best information we have available to model these future activities.

Second, contrary to Fefer's assertion that King County staff "has rebuffed all such requests [for a copy of its traffic program]," it's worth clarifying that all materials related to our concurrency program have consistently been made available to citizens. The county has complied with every public disclosure and discovery request. If the county believed a request was not pertinent to an appeal, it asked the hearing examiner to make that determination and complied with whatever the hearing examiner decided. Had the reporter asked, we would have told him we have spent more than $100,000 this year alone responding to approximately 30 detailed public disclosure requests on this topic.

Third, Fefer's articles were inaccurate and incomplete regarding how the county performs its concurrency test. Contrary to his claim, the county's model does not routinely lower scores when a threshold is exceeded. He also failed to mention that the county's concurrency program is a two-part test designed to measure both average congestion and traffic on critical corridors during peak afternoon commute times only. A proposed development must pass both tests to enter the permitting process. Even then, developers must perform appropriate mitigation in order to obtain necessary permits. He also has only reported on arguments made to the hearing examiner by the appellants and the cross-examination of county staff regarding the use of the county's model.

Is the county's concurrency program foolproof? Absolutely not. Nor can it be. But, it is the county's responsibility to do its best to aggressively plan for and see to it that roads and other transportation improvements are built to accommodate development within a six-year period. In fact, over the past two years individuals representing a variety of interests have worked with us to develop and refine our concurrency standards. No, we are not secretly plotting or cooking the books. Nor are we rigging our computers to achieve a selfish result. We are doing everything we can to contain growth to prevent sprawl to the Cascade Crest. And there is a growth-management tool we use to help us achieve this goal. It's called concurrency.

Ron Sims

King County Executive

Mark D. Fefer responds: I believe Executive Sims is right that I should have reported how much time and money the county spends responding to public disclosure requests about its arcane concurrency program. Otherwise, I stand by what I wrote.

Way more

I'd like to clear up one fact in Mike Romano's article on possible cuts the Seattle-King County area faces in the McKinney Homeless Assistance Program (see "Unkind Cuts," 8/20).

Following the most successful campaign in our 77-year history last year, United Way of King County directed nearly $10 million to agencies and programs in King County that provide shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry and employment services for the unemployed and underemployed.

The allocation decisions were made as a result of the implementation of United Way's strategic plan that gives us greater flexibility in directing donor contributions to the most pressing needs in the community. Additionally, hundreds of thousands more dollars go to agencies who are providing similar services which are ancillary to their primary mission.

The $5 million the article referred to were dollars allocated in fiscal 1996-97. Recognizing there was a much greater need in the community, volunteers at United Way dramatically increased support for shelter, food, and employment services in fiscal 1997-98.

Jaime Garcia

Vice President

Community Services

United Way of King County

Gross misjudgment

I found Nina Shapiro's graphic play-by-play recount of a D&X procedure ("Fetal Stealth," 8/13), describing it in detail and using loaded slogans such as "fascinating but gruesome," "gross," and "comes out in pieces" deeply disturbing . Ms. Shapiro's tactics of anti-choice rhetoric show disrespect for the lives represented in these horrific accounts. Who can say Ms. Shapiro is acting in the best interest of the reading public, when nearly everyone comes away feeling disgusted and wronged? Above all, I was most angry because of her lack of common sense. The "in your face" tactics she used creates an extremely volatile situation—promoting and provoking further violence against women, including restricting access to reproductive choice.

Initiative 694 is the most direct and dangerous attack on a woman's right to choose since abortion was legalized in this state 28 years ago. Although its supporters claim the initiative would only ban one type of abortion, its impact would be far greater because of the broad and contradictory way I-694 is written. As Ms. Shapiro pointed out, it is "frustratingly vague." What she does not point out is that the very reason pro-choice activists "have to guess at why this initiative might apply" is specifically because of the way I-694 is worded—this initiative places the doctor-patient relationship in jeopardy because its odd and vague language means virtually any abortion could be investigated and prosecuted as a felony.

Ms. Shapiro should use discretion and scrutiny in the rhetoric she uses to voice her opinion.

Jason Bennett

Seattle

Nina Shapiro replies: "Discretion" here seems to mean censorhsip, something a number of readers wrote in to demand. The details of abortion are undeniably disturbing, hence Bennett's "disgust." Why not recognize abortion for the complex moral issue that it is?

Recovery effort

It was good to hear one voice (Mark Worth, Media Culpa, 8/20) saying that John Stanford should step down. Stanford is spending all of his time and energy with his illness. On top of that, he is of retirement age. Effort should be put into finding a permanent superintendent, now. Let us get on with business.

andrea Sparling

via e-mail

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