SHARE THIS, PLEASE
As a Seattle City Light employee and someone who provided [writer] Trevor Griffey with background information about Project Share, I wanted to clarify a few items in his article ["Commitment of Energy," March 14]. First, let me say that this is not an official statement and no one at City Light reviewed this letter.
Except for the one-time $400,000 in matching funds last year, Project Share is solely funded by voluntary private donations. Anyone can make a one-time contribution, or customers may have $1, $5, $25, or any amount they choose added to their [electric] bill to go to Project Share. Every penny goes to direct assistance; City Light absorbs all administrative costs.
Although Project Share has income guidelines to assist those most in need, because it is funded voluntarily, there is some flexibility in who receives assistance. It was in part designed to catch people who might otherwise fall through the cracks of other assistance programs. Share can help those who have to live paycheck to paycheck but then lose their jobs or who suddenly cannot work due to a catastrophic illness or injury.
It would have been helpful if in your article you had performed a true public service by letting people know that they could call 684-3000 if they need assistance. If another 10 percent of customers contribute just a dollar a month, it would double the amount available to help those who need it, so it would have been an incredible service if you had told people they could call to donate to Project Share.
And by the way, since Project Share is strictly voluntary, I won't mention how many of the Weekly staff don't contribute.
GO WEST, MONORAIL
I just finished reading Erica C. Barnett's article "Bridge Bombshell" [March 7], regarding the monorail and West Seattle. As I recall, West Seattle heavily supported the monorail during the last referendum. Now it seems it may be too expensive to bring the monorail over the water to West Seattle.
This is the second or third article I have read that states [that] extending the monorail to West Seattle is problematic. I can only think that the stage is being set for West Seattle to be excluded from monorail service. What sort of process uses biased estimates and studies to subvert the public will?
While West Seattle is being coaxed into giving up the monorail, we are also being converted into believing that the fate of the Viaduct rests with a toll road or an underground tunnel. The costs for the Viaduct replacement are beyond calculation, and during its reconstruction, traffic will be impossible. The fate of the monorail and the Viaduct have huge implications for West Seattle. But it will not be merely West Seattle's problem. Wait until I-5, the streets of downtown, and I-90 try to absorb the additional traffic filtering from the area.
This city seems incapable of implementing any sort of transportation plan that does not discriminate against West Seattle.
Perhaps this might be a reason for the government to encourage marriage ["The Office of Marital Influence," March 7]. In the past, I thought welfare benefits were reduced or even denied if there was a husband in the house, so the needy had to "break up" a marriage to get benefits. Now it sounds like it will be OK for the father to openly live in his home, [which is] a more beneficial situation for the children.
Sharon Kay Ricketts
[George Howland Jr.'s] "Chopping Block" [March 7] was very informative. In adding hundreds of workers over the last four years, it sounds like city departments engaged in some empire building during the good times, and now are hunkering down during budget cuts. Naturally they would like most of the people they hired to now be considered direct-services employees [allegedly the last target for cuts]. You mention that [Mayor Greg] Nickels wants to look at "how we do things." One outside-the-box idea would be to consider ending the city monopoly on providing public services.
Allowing open competition among city workers and reliable private companies for simple low-tech work (like fixing potholes and cleaning parks) would let the city shop around and find the best services for less money. That is what other cities have found, especially Indianapolis. The savings could be used to protect vital public safety and human services from cuts. Anyway, keep up the in-depth reporting—the city needs the scrutiny.
So Jello Biafra won't be performing with his old band and lets everyone within earshot know that daring to tour without him betokens "a new frontier of scams" ["Night of the Living Dead Kennedys," March 7].
Turns out the pop-left poster boy is not only a political prima donna but a world-class rip-off artist and sniveler to boot. Did the reporter check out deadkennedysnews.com/faq.htm, and if so, was the information therein assessed objectively?
Besides, it was the DK's intriguing and complex (by punk standards) melodic structures and time changes and their chugging wall o' crunch that kept me along for the ride, not Biafra's ponderous pontifications. And Brandon Cruz is a seasoned frontman who's long proven he's no mere child-actor oddity. There's always room for Jello? Not on this bus, kids.
Hurray for Mark D. Fefer's review of Pamela Paul's The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony ["The Young and the Deluded," March 7]. I am going to make the review required reading for couples getting married in my church.
He provides a masterful summary of Paul's book, [including] judicious samples from her research. Fefer concludes that many newly married [couples] find themselves "ill equipped to handle the actual demands" of marriage. This is because of "our ongoing 'matrimania' and the pressures and self-deceits it engenders."
Fefer helps those preparing for marriage [be] more realistic about [its] difficulties That is a hard case to make to the starry-eyed. What he has written will bolster the sacred warning in 1 Corinthians 7:28 that marriage brings "worldly troubles."
But because marriage for all of its troubles still remains a holy estate, it is not shorn of all glory. For not only can it provide love, companionship, and family, but as Martin Luther argued in 1523, its very problems can turn into a goad "to teach and compel us to trust God's hand and grace." With that newfound faith, one can receive blessings in marriage amid all the stress and disappointment.
The only way to get to that surprising conclusion is to have first been gripped by marriage's difficulties long before ever having been married. Because Fefer's review goes a long way toward that goal, I give it the highest marks.
The Rev. Ronald F. Marshall
THE RIGHT TRACK
In last week's article "Sound Seizures," we reported that Sound Transit planned to build its light-rail line through the Rainier Valley in 1,000-foot segments. The line, Sound Transit reports, will actually be built in 2,000-foot segments. Seattle Weekly regrets the error.
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