George Howland's article "Rent Race" (8/12), a profile on Judy Nicastro and her campaign, was a fairly accurate and well-written piece, though I have a few reservations. Howland is concerned that folding Local Housing Needs Local Laws would leave renters in a disorganized state, I feel that to be not entirely true. For had the group continued in it's then present state of fighting over rent control vs local control, the group probably would've folded anyway. Also, a group that is perceived to be arguing amongst itself would have lost, not only potential new members, but the politicians at both the state and local levels and the effort would be for naught. However, I think George misquoted a statement that reads in part, "A majority of Local Housing's members wanted to directly advocate for rent control, not solely stick to Nicastro's strategy of local control." Reality was that there were a minority that wanted to advocate rent control—even if it was not the right solution. The majority of us did want local control as we were all mainstream renters, not some left/right wing radical with a political agenda. Besides, keeping the group together, just to keep a cause going as it was, was risking political suicide on Judy's and our part for obvious reasons.
That said, worrying about the demise of LHNLL may be moot to many renters as they may not even know that the group existed—much less even care. However, with Judy advocating a renters rights bill and a right to renew a lease (among other things) as a city council candidate, may be on the minds of many renters as they begin to prepare to make decisions on who to vote for next week.
former co-chair, LHNLL
The rent race is still on
I wouldn't want Seattle Weekly readers to assume that the demise of Local Housing Needs Local Laws (see "Rent race," 8/12) has meant an end to the campaign to repeal the state law (RCW 35.21.830) which bans local rent control laws and other tenant protection measures. In fact this effort has been—and will continue to be—supported by both the Seattle Displacement Coalition and the Tenants Union. Also, as a result of Local Housing's outreach efforts, five Democratic Party legislative district organizations have passed resolutions in favor of repealing the state ban.
This campaign is far from over, and there is still a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done. The Seattle Displacement Coalition will be continuing the successful outreach efforts that began under Local Housing.
Kris Weber, Volunteer
Seattle Displacement Coalition
The best thing I have read lately in the Seattle Weekly is that the GOP is at last leaning (lurching, shambling, slouching?) to "the midstream" ("Pragmatic picnic, 8/26). I'm tired of being ashamed of being a fan, if not always a supporter, of the GOP. Contrary to popular opinion, there are a whole slew of reasonable, intelligent, caring people who proclaim their Republicanism. Congratulations to the GOP, and I'm sorry I missed the picnic.
Black Eagle, MT
Word to the Derd
As a resident of unincorporated King County, I can tell Nina Shapiro ("War on the Plateau," 8/26) why I'm voting for Brian Derdowski and giving his campaign my time and money. Brian Derdowski has a proven track record of defending rural King County and its citizens from sprawling growth that is both fiscally irresponsible and destructive to our bountiful and beautiful environment. Brian is the only councilmember who takes leadership in this battle. For years, Brian has helped citizens groups fight to mitigate the impacts of the proposed City. His top priority has always been the best interest of the community. His popularity is very threatening to those with vested interests in keeping 'business as usual.'
It is absurd to blame Brian for the chaotic sprawl allowed by the 13-member King County Council. Too many times he is the lone voice of sanity, demanding simply that the County follow our State laws on Growth Management. The mess on the Sammamish Plateau is the result of 15 years of unplanned sprawl. It has been all too easy for the County Council to irresponsibly allow rampant growth outside of cities, in unincorporated areas, and promise to pay the piper years later with late and inadequate roads.
As for Mr. Irons, it seems to me he's wearing a new coat these days. All of a sudden his anti-growth PR is strikingly similar to Brian's message. Voters would be wise to beware of him; I think that coat is made of sheepskin.
In reference to "Generation landslide"(9/2), even though we have a superior candidate in Thomas Whittemore you think we should vote for Chong because of name recognition or Wills because of exuberant fundraising? I think the Weekly is unwilling to get down to the nitty-gritty of city issues and find out which of these three has the best grasp on council issues and the best ideas for the city. I've never heard of not voting for someone because they're too intelligent for us (Whittemore "simply knows far more about government than his listeners, and his earnest examinations of city policy often fly over the heads of campaign audiences"). I'm voting for the smart guy—Thomas Whittemore.
Well, if I'm stupid enough to venture into politics, I'm fortunate that Seattle Schools' war against education has well prepared me for a few hard knocks. In Nina Shapiro's "Tough school" (9/2), she said my messages "sometimes veer into the realm of conspiracy theory." Main Idea: A+, Context: Incomplete.
As an example, Shapiro used a message in which I advised my correspondents that school board director Nancy Waldman's husband is an attorney who represents the Mariners, followed by my question, "What's the REAL reason" a planned teachers' strike at the Mariners' stadium was called off? Even though my school politics reports are often written tongue-in-cheek, can people be blamed for speculating in a school district shrouded in secrecy and plagued by scandals and intrigue? . . .
Now THIS is a conspiracy: The Blue Angels streak across Seattle at the same time the media are promoting the late John Stanford's new book (copyright John Stanford—after Bantam gave him a $400,000 advance???) and Vice President Al Gore (who wrote the Foreword to Stanford's book) is climbing Mt. Rainier. Then, legal charges against what may be the nation's most corrupt teachers union (WEA) are dropped about the same time an October Seattle Al Gore fundraiser is announced. Recall all those White House plugs for Stanford and Seattle's world-class schools, throw in a curious 4th of July burglary of Seattle Schools' legal office and a scandal-plagued police department that refuses to release the police report while the media remain mute. Nah—must be coincidences!
The nut-cakes you ought to be focusing on are . . . the seven boobs who call themselves "the Seattle School Board," one of whom doesn't even live in Seattle and none of whom I've ever seen in a school.
Our dubious choices
Oh those silly jet-setting Port Commissioners ("Fear of flying coach," 8/12). We just cannot seem to rein them in, no matter how hard we try to trip them up. Every few years some well-meaning journalist exposes their frivolous spending and travel habits, but, come election time, we all have forgotten about these minor details and continue to reelect the same old ones.
Travel and so-called "learning, familiarization, and educational" expenses aside, the real abuse of public funds somehow always seems to evade the public spotlight. How about those view-blocking real estate investment deals along the waterfront. I've heard they hire some pretty smart and expensive lawyers to cover their backs on some of these dubious real estate deals.
We shouldn't forget, however, that we are the ones who vote for these hard-working (often in trying conditions abroad, sometimes in countries with very crowded golf courses) public officials.
We welcome succinct letters commenting on articles in Seattle Weekly. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and legal considerations. Please include name and daytime telephone number for verification. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to email@example.com.