"Gary Locke is a decent guy and brilliant on policy issues, but his leadership is questionable."

Food metaphor madness

All the whining and complaining from people who wish they had a different kind of governor than the one they've got is nuts in my book ["Governor Soccer Dad," 5/18]. While it may not be politically correct to say so, when I go to a Chinese restaurant I don't expect to order lasagna. I order from what's on the menu. Yes, I wish Gary Locke were a lot more like me. I was just crazy about former governors Mike Lowry and Mario Cuomo. One of those governors got 'lost' and one got beat. Times have changed, and so have I. Perhaps the time is ripe for a celebrity ego-freak government basher like John Carlson, but I'm betting the sensible people will hire a seasoned, responsible CEO to keep running our state. Those are the choices on the political menu this year. Bon appetit!

NORA PORTER

PORT TOWNSEND

Election hooky

Thank you for publishing your article on Gary Locke ["10 things Gary Locke could do if he had a spine," 5/18]. Some points in the article are right on target. He wants to be known as the education governor, but would not support a living wage for one of the most important jobs in our society, the teacher. He certainly had no problem giving himself a raise. He refuses to take a strong stand on the environment and that really worries me. Should he be reelected, he may very well see the extinction of the salmon under his administration. The author was absolutely on target when he accused him of pandering to the farmers and the Association of Washington Businesses. His main interest is to stay popular, not do the right thing. Removal of the dams will not significantly raise our power rates. The four dams in question only provide about five percent of this region's power. If only Locke had the courage of the governor of Oregon. I am a staunch Democrat. However, I will never give my vote again to this man. I will skip the election before I do that.

LORRAINE BROOKS

VIA E-MAIL

Elian-Geov exchange

Geov Parrish's column "10 things Gary Locke could do if he had a spine" [5/18] was liberal socialism at its best. To address each of Parrish's suggestions individually would be cumbersome, but suffice to say that socializing health care and expanding welfare via the WorkFirst program while penalizing businesses that produce tax revenues and jobs would do Marx and Engels proud, not to mention Fidel Castro or Kim Jong-Il.

As well, giving teachers more money won't solve education problems. Teachers make more money than ever while working with smaller class sizes than ever, and yet student scores continue to decline. What's wrong with this picture? Until school districts and the teacher's union are actually accountable for their performance, nothing will change and scores will continue to fall no matter how much money you throw at teachers. Public education has become a bigger monopoly than Bill Gates could ever dream of building, although Microsoft is better at what they're SUPPOSED to be doing than teachers have been.

Restore I-695 cuts to transportation? From where? Raising taxes is political suicide, and no state program exists whose advocates won't cry bloody murder if they're threatened with the shifting of a single penny from their budget. Good luck!

I think Gary Locke is a decent guy and brilliant on policy issues, but his leadership is questionable. Problems exist that need fixing, but socialistic responses that drive businesses and jobs out of state is no answer (unless the "answer" is to make us all wards of the state).

Hey, here's one answer: Let's keep Elian Gonzales here and send Geov Parrish to Cuba. They'd both be happier.

BRUCE BASKIN

GALVIN

Cruel cover

I was deeply offended by your imagery for the governor of Washington on this week's cover [5/18]. I did agree with some of your 10 points of action he might undertake. However, as a woman who has spent decades of her life with a distorting congenital spinal disease, I think the real impact of your "cartoon" was to demean those of us who have spinal diseases. I am a citizen who does have and does act upon my political beliefs. But my bone structure does not "make a statement." You demeaned me. What you printed was not just in poor taste: It was cruel. Your using that depiction says more about your publication than it does about Governor Locke's action or inaction.

MYRA LUPTON

MERCER ISLAND

Moth governor

I LOVED your cover on the May 18th issue. What an appropriate representation of our very own governor. As a resident of Ballard, when I was awakened at five in the morning by the sound of helicopters flying about two feet above my house, spraying for that one gypsy moth AGAINST the protests of the residents of the affected neighborhoods, I decided I would NOT be voting for Locke EVER AGAIN. Thank you for fearlessly portraying his true nature.

B. BIERNAT

BALLARD

Pissing on Ballard

Mr. Downey's article concerning the moth spraying campaign waged by the state of Washington in the air over Ballard, Magnolia, and Interbay ["Moth-eaten state," 5/18], raises the larger issues of corporate science—which, as Ralph Nader recently said at a UW lecture, "Isn't science at all"—calling the shots.

Indeed, on the morning of the first spraying, KIRO radio's Dave Ross had, as the indisputable voice of order, a UW professor who also was simply reciting the "talking points" of Downey's article. The approach is to manage the situation as a political PR campaign. The whole thing reminds me of a used-car salesman trying to calm down a pissed-off customer—Governor Locke, the WSDA, the UW, probably the "science" division of Weyerhaeuser, and all of us upstanding, take-your-medicine if you know what's good for you, law and order, don't even think about nothing, just buy more crap, kind of folks.

My roommate had the idea of a WSDA helicopter protruding a phallic nozzle and pissing all over Ballard.

Lots of doing [in] Big Business these days. Plenty of us plugged into Corporate World, where Topdown is the Law, and you had just better do your damn job, Mister. Only now we're wakin' up and seeing the Soul we sold was our own, and the Land of the Corporation ain't much different from the supposed Land of the Free.

Yes, Mr. Downey, much more going on here than spraying.

WILLIAM M. FERREN

SEATTLE

Duh

The EPA and the Clinton administration announced this week that there is finally a study that shows "conclusively" the link between dioxin and cancer. Duh. Thirty years after we suspected it and 20 years after we knew it, science has finally proven it. That word "conclusively" is what Science is all about.

Unfortunately, pesticide rules are shaped by politics [see "Moth-eaten state," 5/18]. Our health officials are quick to clamor about the lack of "conclusive" evidence linking btk to human health effects. Dr. William O. Robertson of the Washington Poison Center (which has been telling concerned callers and health officers that btk is "benign") recently pointed out the fact that there are as yet no "conclusive" studies linking DDT to human health effects. While technically and perhaps legally correct, it is not a bright conclusion.

It will be hard to ever conclude there might be negative health effects when 30,000 residents are sprayed with btk-based pesticides and our area doctors are not advised what to look for or how to report a possible exposure. The Public Health department admits it has not instituted a way to test for btk exposure (because it is considered "safe").

Btk-based pesticides in large doses have been "conclusively" shown to kill mice and fish. How big of a dose does a Ballard or Magnolia resident need to have a "conclusive" reaction? Do we want to find out? If we are lucky, we will have "conclusive" results about btk in about the year 2017.

BENJAMIN S. SCHROETER

SEATTLE

Life isn't fair

Is it fair of you to describe the recent approach Amazon.com has taken to confront its slow season as 'manipulative' (Kiss My ASCII, "Up the river

 
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