THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE
When are the monorail people going to show us what their project is going to look like ["Miles to Go," Feb. 7]? Where are the drawings and computer-generated renderings showing what it would be like on the street underneath this behemoth structure?
If the past is any indication, a future Seattle with monorail [won't] look good. Note the city's long-standing negative attitude toward downtown skybridges, the squalor under the Viaduct along the waterfront, and the reluctance of Belltown developers and businesspeople in warming to Fifth Avenue under the existing monorail. A few years ago, the Rainier Valley and Roosevelt neighborhoods stopped elevated light-rail proposals in their tracks when it became clear what the system would look like from street level. The visual and environmental impacts of a monorail, with its huge elevated station platforms hanging darkly over our heads, will destroy any life and ambience that make the neighborhoods [it's intended to serve] worth going to in the first place.
By withholding graphic information about [such] impacts, by keeping the proposal vague and making it all about corridors and ridership, speed and reliability, [they're not giving us] the full story. We need to be informed voters. Show us the pictures.
TIM'S A PUPPET
Rick Anderson's take on Tim Eyman's recent confession [to lying about taking money from his campaigns] was sharp and insightful ["Confessions of an Anti-Tax Crusader," Feb. 7]. But I would offer another possible motive for his coming clean: [Maybe] the corporate interests he fronts for became nervous over the state Public Disclosure Commission's request [for more accounting information] and ordered Tim to "Fess up."
Eyman has always been a poor marionette, but his slapstick performance under the lights suggests some jumpy hands at the strings. I suspect a larger story here.
TIM'S A BARGAIN
I was Tim Eyman's business partner and treasurer for I-695, I-722, and I-745. I resigned from the campaign and sold my shares of the corporation back to him [after the 2000 election].
When I-695 passed in 1999, Tim planned to give up politics. [Among other factors] the time he'd spent on initiatives hurt his watch business, so he felt he had to quit for his family's sake. I believed it would be detrimental to taxpayers to lose him as an advocate for lower taxes and smaller government, so I convinced him to continue but take payment [see "Confessions of an Anti-Tax Crusader," Feb. 7].
I assumed our donors would not begrudge him making money from his effort. We all know that Olympia is full of high-paid lobbyists fighting for bigger government and higher taxes. Tim was the only lobbyist for the taxpayer. Shouldn't he be compensated as well? So in 2000, I authorized payment of $45,000 for [Tim's] salary. Considering the number of hours he worked, it probably averaged out to about minimum wage.
This would have been fine except Tim could not bring himself to admit he was a paid political consultant. To him, consultants are unethical mercenaries, whereas he believes in his causes and would never advocate for an issue just for money. He bought into a notion that money is inherently evil, which is why he lied.
I believe [Tim] is being too hard on himself and so is the media. He needs to be held accountable, but I hope people will try to understand his reasons and show compassion. He deserves that for the countless hours he's devoted to helping taxpayers. He is one of the few people in this state who has the courage and ability to take on the entrenched tax-and-spend politicians and succeed. It scares me to think we may lose him in that role.
No one has been more successful at qualifying or passing initiatives with grassroots fund-raising than Eyman. Anyone who disagrees should file an initiative and try to get 250,000 signatures. Whatever Tim is getting paid for being a lobbyist for the taxpayer, it is a bargain.
Paul Loeb's defamatory letter [Letters, Feb. 7] attacks me for speaking out [about Port Commission candidate Christopher Cain] in George Howland's article "The Mark of Cain" [Jan. 24]. He implies that I should recuse myself from activism because everything I (or my husband) do taints my efforts.
Loeb's attempt to tar me with the brush of what he asserts was a "stacked-deck commission" is off the mark. The Port did not invite me to participate on its Harborfront Development Strategy (HDS) advisory committee meetings. I barged in and crashed their meetings because I wanted to hear what they were up to. Only after I informed the committee that I intended to stay did they invite me to participate.
While serving on HDS, I reminded committee members about the need for more government accountability and encouraged the Port to get out in the community and speak with citizens. Most importantly, I emphasized how imperative it is to protect the Port's navigable waters and shoreline properties for water-dependent and maritime-related uses.
There is no easy way around the fact that Port districts are a complicated form of government—hard to understand and easy targets for criticism. While economic development, trade, and commerce may not be the most sexy topics for public discourse, that is the Port's business. If you are fundamentally opposed to these matters, you are not likely to think kindly about the Port.
For those who are thinking about running for Port Commissioner in the future, make sure you have your sails ready for the storm, because I check everyone's background and credentials to make sure qualified candidates are Port-worthy.
PRIEST SHEDS HIS ROBE
Thank you for an interesting and funny look into the world of this priestly rebel [Small World, "Yes, Father," Feb. 7]. Bravo to you for printing it. Bravo to [ex-priest-turned-gay-pornographer Richard] Wagner for a life dedicated to the enrichment of the human condition.
EXPERIENCE NOT WORTH IT
"The LP Show," an exhibition of often-obscure album covers, is on view at the Experience Music Project ["Bigger Is Better," Jan. 31]. This scaled-down (by about 1,000 covers) version of a show held in New York City last year will travel to Pittsburgh to be seen in its original expanded form later this year. The admission price in N.Y.C. was a "suggested donation" of $2 and it will be $8 in Pittsburgh (where Friday evenings are free). In Seattle, it will cost you a whopping $20 to see EMP's truncated version. Although I have a strong personal interest in viewing this exhibition (I collect albums, in part for their cover art), I am not willing to submit to EMP's egregious pricing policies. Highway robbery is the kind of "experience" I would rather forgo.
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