Outnumbered, ignored

What a great piece of research and writing on your third runway story ["Risky runway," 9/28]. The timing couldn't be better. Those of

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"Bravo to you (and frankly, I'm in shock) for being willing to question the most sacred of all Puget Sound cows (a.k.a. pigs)— the Port of Seattle's precious third runway."

Outnumbered, ignored

What a great piece of research and writing on your third runway story ["Risky runway," 9/28]. The timing couldn't be better. Those of us living down here in this community, and representing them in Olympia, have long felt outnumbered and ignored. Your journalistic efforts have helped balance the picture. Thank you very much.

REP. KAREN KEISER

33RD DISTRICT

Choked, silenced

A million thanks to the Seattle Weekly and Roger Downey for your outstanding cover feature "Risky runway" [9/28]. You hit three homers here: hilarious cover art, hip photos, and well-researched copy. Downey gave a voice to the airport communities, choked and silenced by the years of indignities heaped upon it by the Port of Seattle.

More importantly, the Weekly understands how the unchecked power of the Port of Seattle Commission is truly a threat to the democratic will of the people of the Puget Sound region.

Should the third runway fail and the Port of Seattle go bankrupt, I hope that we can find one last flight out of Sea-Tac, to send these arrogant fools on a long, one-way trip.

CHRIS GOWER

NORMANDY PARK

Cost, schedule

Roger Downey's reporting of the Port of Seattle's third runway ["Risky runway," 9/28] is the best factual, clearly written summary of the project that I have read in the eight years of following the fiasco. I thank him very much for the effort he put into it.

However, I do think there is another investigation and story that should be reported regarding the runway. That is the cost and schedule. Roger stated in his report that the cost is now $773 million, the number given to the public by the Port in June 1998. It was not generated via a task-by-task estimate of work, but by escalating the cost of money from the $217 million given in 1992. The $773 million was also quoted before many the environmental problems were discovered and before the "Sea-Tac Wall."

The completion schedule is another story. If it has currently slid from 1996 to later than 2006, which is also a fictitious date (but a 10-year slide), the solution to the air transportation problem also slides 10 years. The state of Washington needs to do better. The Port of Seattle is better qualified to organize a WTO conference than plan a third runway in the worst possible location in the Northwest region.

JIM BARTLEMAY

DES MOINES

Cows, pigs

Bravo to you (and frankly, I'm in shock) for being willing to question the most sacred of all Puget Sound cows (a.k.a. pigs)—the Port of Seattle's precious third runway ["Risky runway," 9/28]. Duplicity abounds when the Seattle City Council can tell Eastern Washington they should remove their dams for salmon while closing their eyes to the equivalent of a dozen dams being constructed; thereby, sealing the fate of Des Moines and Miller Creeks, not to mention the standard of living for major communities. I guess since the third runway is in South King County and outside of Seattle City limits, the implications are just not close enough for them to care.

MARIA LITTLE

SEATTLE

Usual suspects, disaster

Roger Downey wrote an eye-opening account of the shenanigans going on at the Port of Seattle in trying to promote their billion-dollar boondoggle, namely the Sea-Tac third runway ["Risky runway," 9/28]. However, he really didn't address the issue of who was responsible for keeping the project going in the '90s, despite the insurmountable problems.

If one were to explore who were the boosters of this flawed plan, some of the usual suspects surface: Paul Schell (now the mayor of Seattle); Doug Sutherland, (now running for state land commissioner); Gary Locke (now the state governor); Pat Davis, (still a Port of Seattle commissioner), and Norm Rice, (ex-mayor of Seattle). These are the players that gave you stadiums you didn't ask for, sponsored the WTO, supported public money for private parking garages, and cajoled the Puget Sound Regional Council to give the green light to the third runway.

Is it any wonder that we may have another economic and environmental disaster on our hands? It's clearly time for new leadership to talk about siting a regional airport, outside King County, now.

JANE MITCHELL

VIA E-MAIL

D'oh! D'oh!

Washington would not be first to have a pair of female senators should Cantwell beat Slade with a spade [Uffda, "Last stand for Cyanide Slade?" 9/28]. Unless either Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein has some deep secret no one knows (or wants to know) about, California has had the honor of having two female senators for some time now. It's time to row that boat ashore, Canute [sic].

FRED KETTEMAN

VIA E-MAIL

Eds. note: Many thanks to the 1,034 readers who wrote in to point out this grievous mistake. Another astute reader notes that some other state (Maine, if we recall) also has two women senators. Knute Berger has resigned in shame over his error; see his farewell.

Scorpion, rock star

Ralph Nader ["Ralph rocks Seattle," 9/28] negative as a scorpion? Well, there's an awful lot of bullshit to call on the prevailing parties. Like a rock star? Yeah, I hear that he finally did buy one new suit to replace his old one. That Ralph, what a prima donna!

OK, so the Key Arena SuperRally was not what we're used to seeing from Nader. But Shapiro, like so many who would cast Nader as idealist/pessimist/spoiler/all of the above, asks the wrong question. The question is not whether a viable third party is on the rise—the Greens are here, and the Libertarians and Natural Law folks have had local candidates on the ballots for years—the question is how can Nader (and the rest of us) contribute to the rise of the Greens and other third parties?

Nader may appeal to many of us as a savior of the downtrodden, alienated, dispossessed, and/or just plain pissed off. But I believe his run for president is just as much about making an organized attempt to promote the Green Party platform and support policies that would democratize what currently passes for political process here in the USA. This work includes developing the Green party, as well as giving other alternative, less-monied parties increased access to the process (while my vote will go to Nader, Buchanan needs to be let in to the debate as well), and increasing democratic action and opportunities at the local level. Nader's run is about a long-term campaign to do all of this. I'd love to see Nader in the White House, but what I really expect to see is Nader get 5- 15 percent of the national vote in November, which would make the Greens eligible for millions in public campaign dollars during the next go-round. These dollars would give the Greens a better shot at access to press and debates, with any national campaign bound to boost local Green candidates by association. Because the Greens support a more open process, in the long run this is likely to benefit other third parties as well.

Anyone who expects a third party—Green or otherwise—to emerge full strength and take on the established corporate behemoth of Bush/Gore et al. during one election cycle needs to start thinking in terms of the long haul. Nader's numbers in November are the beginning, not the end.

KIMBERLY KINCHEN

SEATTLE

Microsoft, paychecks

Rick Anderson's willingness to blur the truth is appalling ("Software, soft money, and Libertarians," 9/28). If he wants to report on Microsoft's soft-money donations—fine. But, when Anderson starts lumping together the personal contributions of Microsoft employees to federal candidates—limited to $1,000 each—and pretending they're contributions from Microsoft, he's crossed the line. Can't honest Microsoft employees spend their paychecks however they please without a nosy hack looking over their shoulders? Geez!

GEOFF BRAUN

VIA E-MAIL

Reprehensible, lousy

I am disappointed that Geov Parrish thinks "no matter how reprehensible Maria Cantwell is, she must be supported" [Impolitics, "Dump Slade!" 9/28]. That's no way to live! The damage Slade Gorton will do to the world in another six years is nothing compared to the damage we do to our own souls by voting for lousy candidates out of fear.

The giant concentrations of power that rule this world can jail us and kill us and grow us in vats for our organs, but they don't really defeat us unless they get us to participate half-assed in our own degradation, as they've been doing for years with the likes of Cantwell, Locke, and Gore.

In case you haven't noticed, our government is now wholly owned, and voting this or that candidate into office no longer affects the important decisions. We've got to find some other crack through the pavement. And in the meantime, the only significance of major-office voting is the emotional subtext: Are we going to keep settling and backing down or let go of the consequences and stand up for what we really want?

RAN PRIEUR

SEATTLE

Love, smell

Loved the much-touted September 30th Bright Eyes show at the Paradox ["The other side of happiness," 9/28] and didn't notice any of the venue downers Laura Learmonth mustered in her music listing for the event [Music calendar, 9/28]. Learmonth managed to cast the Paradox as a "dank, foul-smelling" venue no less than three times in one paragraph. C'mon, really, L.L.—turn that frown upside down.

The Paradox is a great place to see an intimate show with Bright Eyes or any other band. As a recycled theater, it's greener than the occasional aluminum can and newspaper sort box on the curb, and it doesn't smell either. Unless, of course, it's packed with bodies for a sold-out gig like Bright Eyes. But then, that's not the theater you're smelling, now is it?

BRYAN ZUG

SEATTLE

Bush, bother

In the Weekly of 9/21, James Bush ran a piece in his 4th & James column criticizing SEAMEC for an article in the Seattle Gay News (SGN) on anti-gay judicial candidates. I don't know if he contacted the SGN for clarification, but he certainly never asked us. Here's what we would have told James Bush if he'd bothered to call us:

First of all, SEAMEC has been providing political information to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) community since 1977. We wouldn't have lasted this long if we fabricated stories, and we didn't in this case. The existence of an anti-GLBT "slate" in King County Superior Court races was well known in law circles. Every judicial candidate we interviewed mentioned it to us, the straight ones as well as the GLBT ones.

Second, SEAMEC invited every candidate on the ballot to complete a written questionnaire and participate in an interview. Candidates Jensen, Morgan, Thompson, and Budigan had the same opportunity as everyone else to come and tell us their story. They didn't, so we made our recommendations based on the evidence we had available to us.

Third, of course we realize that it's normal for candidates to have opponents. But of the 10 judges Gary Locke appointed since the last election, only the three GLBT ones drew primary opposition. Just a coincidence?

Fourth, the Republican Party's endorsements of judicial candidates was never raised in the SGN article. Obviously, the Republicans can endorse whoever they want; and there are some Republicans who have the guts to break with their party's leadership and support equal rights for the GLBT community. (To find out who they are, refer to our Web site, www.seamec.org.) The article simply cited specific anti-GLBT remarks by Linda Thompson at a specific Republican Party event.

Finally, why sneer at Mary Yu's "exceptionally well qualified" rating from the King County Bar Association? If there's evidence to the contrary, let's hear it. Otherwise, it might be best to check facts before weighing in with an ill-informed opinion.

MIKE ANDREW, PAT D

SEAMEC COCHAIRS

SEATTLE

James Bush responds: The mere act of running against an incumbent judge doesn't prove anti-gay bias, nor does the failure to respond to a questionnaire from a political organization. We heard the rumors too, but Seattle Weekly found no evidence of a coordinated anti-gay judicial slate.

Peeping, respect

I'm glad to learn that Seattle PD has rejected participation in that high-tech peeping-tom extravaganza known as COPS, and sorry that the King County Sheriff's department hasn't ("Uncivil action," 9/21). Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart is doubtless correct that people like the show and happily sign the release after being caught on camera, but that fails to justify participation. Some citizens wouldn't mind a police-monitored camera over their beds, but I would hope that police would respectfully decline.

Urquhart says regarding media ride-alongs, "we want the public to know how we do business." File that one with "the check's in the mail" and "naked women smeared with chocolate syrup is art." Does anyone think we will get anything approaching the unvarnished truth form these productions? I'd more readily trust a department that didn't feel the need to score cheap public relations points.

Tell your County Councilperson that in a department with time for extensive coordination with TV crews, there must be room for budget-cutting.

RUSSELL B. GARRARD

SEATTLE

Hot, hot kilt

I am standing and applauding in front of my computer as I read your story online about Seattleite Steven Villegas finding a market among men for his innovative Utilikilt [Fall fashion, "Nice legs, babe!" 9/21]! After decades of uneventful pants-wearing, I found kilts and skirts four years ago and have never wanted to be in pants again! I'm a married man, and my wonderful wife accepts with a shrug the obvious demonstrations of delight coming from women on the street who, in contrast to all those years that I've been running about unnoticed in pants, are really admiring me in my kilts. The Utilikilt looks to me to be a huge step in the direction of masculinity that so many men need. Look out, world! This is a hot, hot trend happening here!

BOB PETTINGELL

VIA E-MAIL

Weird, freaky

I must say that I like this article [Fall fashion, "Nice legs, babe!" 9/21]! It's about time that someone came up with something else for men to wear besides the usual drab stuff.

I just wish that society in general would be more accepting of men who would like to break out of the traditional stereotype of what men should wear and what they should look like—why should women get to have 100's of choices in their fashions & style while men only get a handful at best?

If men dress differently, society immediately labels them as weird, freaky, mentally unstable, etc. I consider myself of average intelligence and character, and yes on occasion when I feel like it . . . I do wear a skirt! In public no less!

FRANK STROCK (THE SKIRTD1)

VIA E-MAIL

You, letter writers, light up our life; you give us hope to carry on. Please include name, location, and telephone number. Letters may be edited. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com.

 
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