GOOD DECISION

O-o-o-o-h, how good it feels to read that, thanks to Tim and Patty Crawford, a court has found that [the city of Shoreline]

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"The Port of Seattle has forgotten both its mission and its master—the economic welfare of the people of King County."

GOOD DECISION

O-o-o-o-h, how good it feels to read that, thanks to Tim and Patty Crawford, a court has found that [the city of Shoreline] must comply with fish habitat buffering rules ["Battle Creek," Jan. 31].

We ruralities have felt unreasonably burdened with what seems like the full responsibility of giving up land use for fish recovery. May there be ever more court decisions for the cities to share the load.

Maxine Keesling

Woodinville

TURNING GREEN

In summing up the prospects of the Green Party ["Still Running," Jan. 31], Geov Parrish fails to mention the impact Green candidate Joe Szwaja's 2000 campaign has had on the 7th District's Jim McDermott.

Once a backer of Fast Track and NAFTA, Rep. McDermott recently voted against handing over Congress' trade- negotiating authority to President Bush. Part of Rep. McDermott's turnaround on trade is attributable to Seattle's increased anti-globalization activism following the 1999 WTO [meetings], but part is also due to Joe Szwaja. Two years ago, Szwaja ran a terrific grassroots campaign that spotlighted an entrenched incumbent's record as a booster of corporate-managed trade. Joe won a lot of votes (the highest percentage for anyone running as a Green for federal office) and, in doing so, pushed McDermott back into line with key Democratic constituency groups like environmentalists and organized labor. My union local [Office & Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 8] endorsed Joe Szwaja in that race, and I'm proud of it.

If you want to see what Joe is up to these days, dial up www.joeszwaja.org. It's his new Web site, and you'll find him there weighing in on issues national and international, local and statewide.

Mike Maloney

Seattle

CAIN DEFENDS CANDIDACY

I don't deny anything about my past ["The Mark of Cain," Jan. 24]. I am not proud of what I did. If you have made mistakes, serious or otherwise, you have two choices: You can either learn from them or run from them. I paid my debt to society through the court system. I paid my fines and served my time. I have been held accountable for my actions. Should I let what I did when I was a juvenile hold me back from seeking social, economic, and environmental justice? I think not. In today's world, we are lucky if half of the electorate even gets out of the lazy chair to vote.

There are so many social and economic issues, from an unjustifiable third runway to the "privatization" and gentrification of the working waterfront, where the Port of Seattle [POS] has forgotten both its mission and its master—the economic welfare of the people of King County.

These and other issues are why, despite my "troubled" history, I thankfully received the support and votes [when I ran for Port Commission] of so many King County residents, who also are demanding justice from the POS.

Christopher R. Cain

via e-mail

WRONG TARGET

Hate to say it, but I think you folks blew it with the piece attacking Port of Seattle critic Chris Cain for being an ex-felon ["The Mark of Cain," Jan. 24].

Cain acknowledges that he screwed up badly, getting arrested as a young man 16 years ago, but he served his 90 days and that should be enough. Our state's system for restoring voting rights of ex-felons is so byzantine that plenty of people get caught in the technicalities. As a result, we have one of the most regressive situations in the country on ex-felon voting rights, right up there with the states of the old Confederacy, who passed their laws explicitly to disenfranchise blacks during Jim Crow.

Cain did also pay his taxes, if belatedly. It wasn't tax evasion. From what the article says, he ran short on cash and eventually squared things away. I'd balance that relatively minor sin against the wonderful job he's done raising the immense array of abuses by the Port. I'm also troubled that you describe Patricia Stambor as a presumably neutral "good government advocate." Pat was on the stacked-deck commission that recommended [bringing] yachts into Fishermen's Terminal to begin with. Her husband Howard Stambor's law firm, Summit Law Group, proudly lists the Port as a client. I'd hardly call her a neutral observer. The Weekly has done some good reporting on the Port and its abuses, but given its massive impact on our community and creation of massive corporate boondoggles like the $150 million it sunk into Bell Street Marina and the cruise ship terminal, you'd be better off investigating the Port's mini-Enron alliances than attacking those individuals who are trying to bring some belated accountability.

Paul Loeb

West Seattle

WRONG Rx

If Roger Downey's purpose was to stir up fear of natural medicine, he mixed the wrong prescription in "What You 'Know' Could Hurt You" [Jan. 24].

He fumes about [people] being suckers for allowing themselves to be taken in by the "financial clout of the food-supplement lobby," but most of his examples have nothing to do with food supplements.

Many of his examples did not come from the alternative-health community at all: Cholesterol causes heart disease; ibuprofen is better than aspirin; low-calcium diets prevent kidney stones. This is the dogma of the dominant medical societies and the drug companies that support them.

Downey seems to relish sticking his sharpened pen into straw men. No one who has read a newspaper in the last 10 years or who has any critical-thinking ability believes that jogging is the best all-around exercise. And trying to create fear of kava because "persistent use at high levels screws up your liver" is voodoo; the same can be said for most drugs and at much lower doses. Weekly readers are smarter than to fall for this kind of fabricated hysteria.

Isn't Downey's outrage about the supplement lobby's [clout] like an Enron investigator arresting secretaries for stealing paper clips? We all know who has the real power and influence over medical policy and consumer habits. Is there a health-food store on every corner or a drugstore?

Mr. Downey may have decided to take two aspirin and call an M.D. in the morning, but the rest of us are looking for reporters who can present facts that clarify, not cloud, our health decisions.

Tom Ballard

Seattle

JABBER, NOT JOURNALISM

I want to compliment Eric Scigliano on his piece about The Atlantic [Media Column, "Kelly's World," Jan. 17]. I was wondering if it was just me! [Atlantic Editor Michael] Kelly seems to think that he has earned the right to make wild assertions and draw absurd conclusions (e.g., G. W. Bush being a "liberal") based on a version of American history that lives in his head.

The articles in The Altantic all seem to end just when one would expect a couple of well-researched paragraphs to balance out the (on the whole) ill-considered rhetorical jabber masquerading as journalism. Oh well. Kelly is out to co-opt the "liberal" label for his "conservatives." (Once again, as I have for over 30 years, I ask myself what they conserve besides their own wealth and privilege.)

I think Kelly is REALLY irresponsible and you hit it pretty square. Too bad one column in the Weekly won't magically transform him or The Atlantic. From now on, I shall have to pass it up in the supermarket in favor of that nasty old Harper's.

Rob Bulkley

via e-mail

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