Terrified of Greenway
Mark D. Fefer's "Big green money machine" was well-written, supplying a realistic description of what's going on with Washington's depleting forests. What's missing (and this isn't your fault) is the impact of the other senses that also provide a realistic view on these issues. Have you ever walked though human waste spread on a previously logged forest? The sight and the smell are repulsive. This can't be good for our water.
Weyerhaeuser and the Mountains to Sound Greenway are like chameleons. Most people go through this area via I-90 and get the false sense that the forests are being moderately impacted. This is at least what I see from the car. On the sides of the mountains that you can see, there is moderate logging and some reforestation projects. On the back sides of these mountains are slash piles, clearcuts, and biosolids that are spread by the tons as if it were Miracle Grow. But you can't smell that from your car or read the little yellow warning signs.
The proposed gravel mine near North Bend is another visual hoodwink. You probably won't see it, but it may affect your water. Cadman is partner in this endeavor with Weyerhaeuser and is proposing to operate a huge mine for 25 years, as you reported in your article. What isn't mentioned is that the site sits atop one of the largest aquifers in the region and is connected to the Seattle watershed. Cadman contaminated the Monroe aquifer and could do the same to Seattle's water supply.
Your readers should not believe the camouflage that big bucks can produce. Nor should they believe what they read. I warn them to go look for themselves; they will see and smell what the big resource consumers are doing. MTS is just getting spun around believing they are doing good, but hiding the systematic consumption of the environment. Mark Fefer, I invite you to come take a look at the valley's Weyerhaeuser lands. I have a Weyerhaeuser recreational permit and own private land surrounded by Weyerhaeuser land. I have the access and know right where to take you so you can see for yourself. I am also very close to the proposed gravel mine, and the pillaging of this region's irreplaceable resources terrifies me.
S.S. Lady Liberty
I have been a live-aboard since '83 and have battled this issue since '85, when the federal government turned jurisdiction of federal waters over to the states [see "Overboard with live-aboards," 4/27]. Since that time, many states have been making living aboard a vessel illegal and then using their newly acquired enforcement policies to leverage control.
I believe that the blanket prohibition of live-aboards is a policy that couldn't possibly be enforced. The cost would be prohibitive and [it is] ultimately discriminatory. Any attempts to do so would be a war waged by the state not only on its own, but guests as well. In this state, which depends heavily on transient resident boaters, it would be a giant no trespassing sign that would face the world.
Thanks for getting behind this cause. It's not just a battle about living aboard a boat. It's about civil rights, about choosing a lifestyle that suits us, it's about discrimination, it's about the government determining our fate without allowing input into the solutions, it's a battle that's far from over on many fronts. This just happens to be my home, and what front is more sacred? If I have to, I'll hoist my panties and bra up the highest mast and set fire to them. Keep your eyes open for the 50-year-old naked lady out on the bow with a torch in her hand.
The bright flash
I am disappointed in the article "Sweet sixteen" by Geov Parrish [4/20], which portrayed the protesters as being "disorganized," and ultimately how we were "foiled in their attempt to shut down" the IMF/ WB meetings. Geov does mention the relative media success of the protests, but the subheading and underlying focus on how "the officials meetings went undisrupted," and focusing on the police response and victories only mimics what most of the other media missed. The real goals of the A16 protests were met tenfold, and if looked at carefully, the argument that the police managed to "prevent [the] protests from shutting down the IMF and World Bank" doesn't make sense. I would have expected Geov to highlight the bright flash of democracy and victories that were attained in DC by the protesters, instead of ignoring history as it passed right in front of him.
Police failed to prevent, weeks before the protest, the former WB/IMF officials who came out on the side of critics, denouncing their former employers. Astounding victory was won when former WB chief economist Joseph Stiglitz said the IMF was in desperate need of a large dose of democracy and transparency.
Even though the "convergence center" was raided, a similar, far more powerful victory was won by the protesters. This one the police did not foil. A large corporation called Starbucks was pushed to adopt more fair-trade policies. Four days before the planned protests, Starbucks was figuratively "shut down" when they caved in and announced they would carry fair-trade coffee that is grown by farmers who are paid a living wage.
Protesters may have been disrupted by the harassment and aggressive tactics of the DC police, but by that time it was too late. The terms of the debate had been defined already, the public relations defeats had already been won and they were won by us. The word "capitalism" was used on CNN and in The New York Times instead of just "the economy." The World Bank agenda was hijacked. The usual mantra of "deregulation, privatization, structural adjustment" was replaced by honest talk about speeding up debt relief and spending "unlimited" sums on the African AIDS crisis.
In his analysis of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) protests held in Washington, DC ("Protest and protection," 4/27), Geov Parrish writes that "it's hard to imagine a public event in the District of Columbia that was so notably white." To simply limit the descriptions of the protester ranks as "so notably white" ignores the depth and breadth of people of color that I met in DC during the protests, and devalues their experiences that brings them to take part in the fight against globalization.
I came home from the World Bank/IMF protests invigorated from all the well-informed, committed, and inspired people of color I met and interviewed on the streets of DC. They had traveled from all around the United States and all over the world to be a part of the protests, and hailed from different generations, faiths, sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds. They were students, workers, educators, journalists, and community organizers. They spoke strongly and passionately about how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies were significant sources of their struggles against gentrification, sweatshop labor, environmental racism, the global trafficking of women, poor access to HIV/AIDS treatment, police brutality and racial profiling, and the rise in the prison industrial complex over education. Protesters were DC residents as well: tenants facing evictions in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, where the majority of residents are low income and people of color, held an antigentrification march and rally that linked their displacement to those worldwide who have been unjustly displaced by the World Bank and IMF.
Indigenous communities, people of color, and low income folks are those who are most directly affected by the forces of privatization, globalization, and corporate plunder of our basic rights. We will continue to educate, agitate, and organize against these forces in the name of our very survival on this earth.
*NSYNC: Good for kids
I read your article [Slanguistics, "*NSYNC: Race traitors!" 4/27] and I don't think you should down them so much. *NSYNC is good for the kids, although I was very shocked that they put out a song "Digital Getdown," as a mother I was upset with the lyrics, for the fact that this group is geared towards teens and children. But overall they are fine. But it's just a fad anyway, the "Boy Bands" will just be gone as fast as they came! Then you will have another band or singer to bag on!
Wow, were we excited to see your terrific article on FareStart's new executive director, Megan Karch ["Head of the table," 4/20]. We worked with Megan for the 11 years before she came to Seattle and we know that she will be a dynamo for FareStart. We believe in the power and dignity of work for all people and Megan is a person who can make that happen in Seattle and elsewhere. Besides our pleasure in seeing an old friend, we thought the writing and tone of the article were just right. Thanks so much for covering a good story so well.
Please inform Michael A. Stusser that sushi is NOT raw fish (Nikko, "Counter culture," 4/20). That is a popular American misconception started by fad-seeking Westerners and perpetuated by the fad-reporting media.
Sushi is vinegared rice that, ideally, is prepared by cooling with a hand-held paper fan. Sushi can be eaten in a variety of ways including with the unfortunate dead raw fish. But sushi also comes veggie style and even cloaked by pockets of fried tofu called inarizushi. The seaweed wrapped stuff is called norimakizushi, and the kind held tightly in the fingers while being molded by the sushi chef is known as nigirizushi. It's considered polite to eat sushi with one big bite so that the part that you didn't chew off doesn't crumble onto the plate or table. And, while cold Kirin beer is delicious, cold sake is not—heat it.
YAYOI LENA WINFREY
Eat at Carol's?
I'm with Brett Herron ("Food Critic/Dominatrix" letter, 4/27). Bitch bitch bitch = Kathryn "Katty" Robinson, resident food whiner. Here she is with this ideal job, gorging on all kinds of onolicious [sic] food for a living and what's her usual cry? Listing what's wrong with everything, from the decor to the stencil work on the walls, to the seasoning of the mineral water, to—now—the miniscule nitpicking details of human behavior when applied to waiting on the public. Damn. Can we get a restaurant critic who seems to actually ENJOY her job for a frickin' change? She's lucky a photograph of her doesn't accompany her reviews. 'Cause honey, you think being overly solicitous is a bummer? Try some phelgm and urine with that steak poivre. Compliments of your hapless victim, er, server.
CAROL BANKS WEBER
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