Point: no point

Your cover story on Paul Allen ("Paul Allen's Tinsel Town Nightmare," 6/17) sets new standards for pointlessness and offensiveness. It ends, "Allen

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Letters

"Remember the pathetic frenzy after Ellis' blubberfest, to give the Mariners everything they wanted? The County Council and the PFD wrote the Mariners a blank check, and now they want to cash it."

Point: no point

Your cover story on Paul Allen ("Paul Allen's Tinsel Town Nightmare," 6/17) sets new standards for pointlessness and offensiveness. It ends, "Allen is anything but ready for his Hollywood closeup." Who would be ready for a sensationalist cover illustration and headline introducing a rambling six-page article that contains virtually no information?

Actually, there was one sentence that was news to me, referring to Allen's "scheme . . . brokering a half-billion-dollar Seattle stadium deal after voters rejected it." While I voted against the stadium, I thought voters approved it. Thanks for getting to the bottom of this!

Bruce Burger

Seattle

Welcome to Allen town

The recent Hollywood article on Paul Allen ("Paul Allen's Tinsel Town Nightmare," 6/17) has all the substance of a Hostess Twinkie and reeks of National Enquirer trash-can journalism (I am surprised you didn't send somebody to poke through the dumpsters behind any of Paul Allen's houses.)

What is abundantly clear in your article is that the plaintiff's lawyer is taking a "Whiplash Willie" approach here, attempting to shore up a shaky to nonexistent case by asking as many invasive and offensive personal questions as he can think of. To my eyes, it was a sorry display, not worthy of repetition in the Weekly.

This much I do know: Paul Allen's wealth has made him a public figure, but a very reluctant one (as all acknowledge, he values his privacy highly). There is a limit to how much the press can titillate the masses' desire for infotainment at the expense of noncelebrity private citizens. This article crossed over that line in a tasteless display of now all-too-standard "celebrity journalism."

Paul Allen has a longstanding track record as public-spirited Washington resident, with more plans to do the same in the future. I'd like to think that this entitles him to a little more restraint than he got in your gossip-mongering article. Where I come from, if people work hard to benefit their community over an extended period, this entitles them to some respect and goodwill.

William S. Bailey

Seattle

Slick Willy's stadium

The surprising thing is not that the Mariners are trying to extort another $100 million or so from the beleaguered taxpayers (see "There they go again," 7/1), rather it is that there is anyone left so naive as to think they would (should) do otherwise.

This is, after all, the age of the new morality. Our President twice swears to uphold the law, and promptly commits perjury. His VP, and Pres wannabe, while deploring his boss' private life, reminds us of the fine distinction between a person who lies and one who merely misleads. Our own state representative runs on a term limits platform, but when faced with same limits suddenly "sees the light." Contracts? Don't be ridiculous. Professional athletes routinely demand that their contracts be discarded and rewritten. Or how about the WEA teachers?

They sign a "no strike" clause which they honor right up until they decide they need more of the taxpayer's money, and then go on strike. As icing to the cake, they wonder why they get no respect. Not all that different are the Mariners who sign a "no-more-cost" contract which they honor right up until they decide they want more money from the taxpayers, and then file suit, all the while threatening to let Griffey Jr. and A-Rod go if they don't get the money.

Hang on folks, next we have the rapid transit which is already over budget without a shovel of dirt being turned.

Fred Armstrong

via e-mail

If they build it, you will pay

The whole Mariners scenario was predictable (see "There they go again," 7/1). First there's outrage over the request for the money. Then, as in the Seattle Times, there are news articles that explain how the Mariners' request is perhaps not so unreasonable and maybe the team is entitled to the $60 million.

Now momentum will build behind this point of view, the County Council will cave, and the Mariners will get the money. The council may as well save everyone the trouble and just write the team a check right now.

And the Mariners may very well have a case. Remember the pathetic frenzy, after Ellis' blubberfest, to give the Mariners everything they wanted? The County Council and the PFD wrote the Mariners a blank check, and now they want to cash it. It's pitiful. But the County Council and the other political leaders are just reaping what they sowed in 1995 when they completely caved.

I'm moving to Montreal.

Pat Moody

Stanwood

Frank's switcheroo

So Mr. Catalano now uses a PC running Windows instead of a PC running the Mac OS—big deal! (See "Internet Appleiance," 7/1.) So he now feels that Apple makes computers that are little more than Internet appliances—so what?

Why do journalists (yes, he's a journalist—he wrote an article for a publication—he's a journalist) insist on slamming Apple when they decide to switch platforms, and why didn't he do this when all the others were doing it—when they had really good reasons to? Is he thinking so different that he jumps ship at a time when Apple is producing quite definitely the best computers on the planet?

I too switched platforms, but in my case it was from a Dell running Windows 98 to an Apple running Mac OS 8.6. It's in the shape of a blue and white translucent box and has changed my world for the better.

Paul Clark

Seattle

The Gutenberg challenge

Finally someone in the media has come close to discussing the heart of Koolhaas' difficult assignment (see Quick & Dirty, "Cool House," 6/24): when we strip away the architectural hoopla, what should a library really be?

Simple assumptions that it needs to be "wired to accommodate computers" may or may not be relevant in a decade or two. Since Gutenberg there may have never been a year when it was more difficult to design a library. How will we use the emerging digital technology? Will a reference section of paper be of only historic interest? The imperative to build a flexible structure that is adaptable to a variety of uses is, I am sure, part of the city librarian's program and must be part of the public contemplation.

David Sucher

via e-mail

Exploring arts

I want to respond with enthusiasm to your recent article by Emily Hall about the "alternative" art scene in Seattle ("Making a Space Case for Art," 6/17). As someone who is thoroughly excited by what is currently happening here, it is invigorating to read something that recognizes the talent, energy, and life that is to be found in the arts community. I have become active in this community because of the energy and commitment of the people around me, and can only see brilliant things on the horizon. There is so much sheer talent here it's unbelievable. Kudos to you for what I hope proves to be an ongoing commitment to explore what is going on, which, I argue, isn't so much the "alternative" art in Seattle, but rather just art in Seattle. Knowing we can count on you to enhance the dialogue between artists and wider audiences inspires us to continue the pursuit of rich and meaningful work.

Speaking of sheer talent, I need to attend to one detail in reference to ArtSpace's Box Populi event. To give credit where credit is due, I want to acknowledge Jeff Miller and Lorna McLawrence. Box Populi was developed by the three of us, out of Jeff's idea for a blind auction. As for the execution, this event would not be what it was without Jeff's intelligence, commitment, and stamina.

Christian French

via e-mail

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