TAKE A HIKE
I read Trevor Griffey's April 4 article "Gym vs. Market" [News Clips] and came up with a novel and simple solution [to the loss of parking if the Fremont Market is granted a street closure]. Let the Sunday visitors to Sound Mind & Body park their cars a couple of blocks away and WALK TO THE CLUB. After all, they're trying to get exercise, aren't they?
DON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
I have lived for 10 years in Fremont. The Sunday market has been my next-door neighbor for a few of those. The representatives for the market have not consulted with the people who live there. We were not invited to the meeting on March 27 [to discuss the market's request for a street closure. See News Clips, "Gym vs. Market," April 4].
The new configuration of the market deprives our building of the use of one of our exits for parking. There is also a major increase in vendors. Will they clean up our area? Pay for the extra garbage pickup? Tow cars that park illegally?
Now that I know their plans, I will be looking for a way to fight the market.
I am a charter subscriber to this great magazine [The Grand Salami] about the Mariners [News Clips, "A Mariners Shutout," April 4]. It seems the Mariners would be required to explain why Jon [Wells, Salami's editor and publisher] is being denied media credentials this year. It's not like sports writers haven't lambasted the Mariners' front office steadily before [general manager] Pat Gillick arrived. So why is Jon different from the rest?
I have read the Mariners' in-house publication, but even Safeway down here stopped carrying it because it wouldn't sell. It is a very bad puff piece.
If Jon doesn't have the credentials, he can't produce The Grand Salami, can he? Doesn't this violate some sort of anti-monopoly law? Didn't the state recently pass anti-bully legislation? If it can apply to schoolchildren, why not to corporations (which are acting like schoolchildren)?
Last season I took my granddaughter to her first Mariners game. At the gate, they took away her water bottle, saying she could buy water inside (yeah, at $3 a pop). Welcome to Mariners baseball! Anybody not willing to spend their bucks on Mariners products is not welcome inside the stadium; purveyors of products not endorsed by the Mariners are to be crushed by whatever means possible, legal or otherwise.
Robert B. Godwin
ELF NOT ECO
As a victim of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), I read Eric Scigliano's March 28 column ["All Together Now"] with great interest. Since May 21, when ELF members destroyed my office and laboratory at the UW's Center for Urban Horticulture in the mistaken belief that they were destroying another researcher's work on genetically modified organisms, my life as a conservation biologist has been incredibly difficult. My research on the conservation of rare plants and the prevention of invasive species in wildlands has been virtually halted for a year, as I attempt to salvage materials and recover what I lost.
I appreciate you pointing out that ELF does not deserve the "eco" label. That cheapens what those of us who have worked long hours over years to understand and protect the environment do. ELF criminals are simple thugs and vandals. I think "saboteur," as Eric proposes, is still too glamorous. They should get off their lazy destructive behinds and go out to learn something constructive about how ecosystems work; then they might deserve an association with ecology. They should engage in vigorous and open scientific debate; then they will deserve respect.
I am glad to hear that Eric intends to do more environmental reporting. People need to understand more about how the biological world works and the tools we have and the need to protect it. As long as people think molecular genetics necessarily means genetically modified organisms, we are in danger. Greater understanding of the environment means that there will be even less sympathy for terrorists like ELF.
HAVE A CHICLET, DEAR
Thanks to Jill Lightner for some refreshing new ways to celebrate my favorite holiday ["April Foods' Day," March 28]. However, I have to say that there are folks who really do have special dietary concerns, such as gluten intolerance and allergies to things like peanuts, that might require a trip to the emergency room if you try to slip a little of the offending substance into their food. I recommend less dangerous treachery, such as my personal favorite, Rubber Band Alfredo. Just be sure to load the cream sauce up with garlic to mask the unmistakable aroma of warm latex. Another tried-and-true trick is to mate a tube of anchovy paste end to end with your loved one's toothpaste tube and squeeze in a nice fat dollop. This is especially effective if you haven't pulled off a nasty surprise earlier in the day, and they think you have forgotten the date and they are off the hook for another year. Fat chance, sucker.
My grandmother was famous for slipping us kids Feenamint laxative gum and passing it off as Chiclets. She wasn't a jokester, she just believed in a good crap. I admit, I borrowed her idea once and made a chocolate cake with Ex-Lax frosting. Everyone loved it.
Thankfully my favorite holiday hasn't been turned into a florist event. After all, most of the noxious-smelling flowers, such as the Voodoo Lily (which smells like five-day-old roadkill), don't bloom until later in the season, when my transgressions are but a distant memory.
Public interest groups and city officials are justifiably concerned about construction of a second power line along an existing path through the Cedar River Watershed ["Troubled Waters," March 21]. The public has a right to pure water and to a reliable, efficient electricity supply. The two objectives need not conflict.
Bonneville Power Administration has made a concerted effort to address the concerns of city officials and environmental groups. City officials want to avoid an expensive water filtration plant. BPA has devised a plan to protect the watershed. It includes: (1) assembly of transmission towers, line stringing, and tree removal by helicopter, minimizing use of surface vehicles; (2) state-of-the-art tower footings that minimize soil removal ground-cover disturbance; (3) a river crossing that locates transmission towers at least 400 feet away from the riverbanks.
No construction activity would take place immediately adjacent to the river. The route widens an existing corridor containing lines that have operated safely in the watershed for 30 years. BPA considered other routes, but they posed equally difficult environmental issues and cost substantially more. Nearby residents also expressed stiff opposition.
BPA is assessing indemnifying the city for unanticipated consequences from the power line that would necessitate a water filtration plant. The agency has already acquired natural habitat adjacent to the watershed. It would more than compensate for land that is logged. BPA is confident that it can build the line without affecting water quality.
Environmental Liaison, BPA
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