ON THE MONEY
Great story about Emerald Downs ["Horse Heaven," April 18]. Ms. Mooney did a fabulous job describing the entertaining quirks of horse racing and the track. Emerald Downs is absolutely a "passionate world." It is not a world of cigar-chomping, unshaven middle-aged men; it is, in fact, children and grandmothers and just plain interesting people who come together to respect the power and grace of the Thoroughbred. Plus, you can win money.
New York City, N.Y.
Emerald Downs racetrack is not horse heaven ["Horse Heaven," April 18]. Twenty-three horses died on the track last year, a record. Track officials don't care. In response, they appointed an industry-stacked commission, which made only the most minor of changes for the 2002 racing season. If you race these fragile, magnificent creatures for human entertainment, there are going to be dead horses. In fairness to Emerald Downs owner Ron Crockett and his staff, maybe they will go to horse heaven.
Wayne Johnson, Ph.D.
As someone who's been a horrified but passive bystander since the war on the Palestinians began, I applaud Kristen Schurr, Jake Mundy, Jackie Wolf, and all the others who've showed such courage and commitment to this devastating situation ["A Rumor of War," April 11]. For too long, Americans have been silent—perhaps in part out of guilt about the tragedy inflicted upon Jews throughout history. It's time to speak out! Anti-Israel sentiment is not the same as anti-Semitism. NO ONE deserves a homeland at the expense of others— not Jews, not Palestinians, not British colonists in 1700s America. Until the U.S. stands up to Israel and refuses to fund the slaughter of thousands of human beings, Israel will continue to act as though Jews alone deserve consideration, recognition, protection, and support. Until both sides realize that their extremists are acting just the same and stop rationalizing their own actions while vilifying those of the other side, peace will be out of reach.
I want to thank you for your coverage of the war between Israel and the Palestinians ["A Rumor of War" and "What Would King Solomon Do?" April 11]. I would like to add what I believe was missed.
The present war is not about terrorism. Both sides regularly use terrorism to advance their goals. [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon is no stranger to terrorist acts, having been a partner to the massacre of hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed Palestinians in his ill-advised foray to the outskirts of Beirut. This war is about land. For many Israelis, what we refer to as the occupied territories are Judea and Samaria. This land cannot be given up. The view from the Palestinians is no better. When they talk of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, they mean return to land within Israel. Both sides will die to hang on to the land they have.
Is there a solution? Yes, a border between Israel and Palestine manned by peacekeepers that do not let Palestinian suicide bombers into Israel or Israeli tanks into Palestine. What about the settlements? They must be dismantled. They were always against international law. What about Jerusalem? I can't say. I am biased. I want Jerusalem to be part of Israel.
What can I do? I can ask my senators and my congressperson to discontinue all payments to Israel. I can ask that the United States recognize Palestine as a nation. I can avoid traveling to Israel until the government has changed its policy.
I care for Israel. It was a righteous nation. After the victory in 1967, there was no desire to hold on to the land occupied as a result of the war. Thirty-five years has been too long. It has become difficult to give up the tomb of Abraham and Sarah. I want the Israel I knew as a child. It is still there, underneath the present heat of war. Sharon is the wrong man, leading down the wrong path.
I am amazed how easily taxpayers have forgotten about the frivolous expenditure of public money upon private interests ["City Payoff," April 11]. The most glaring examples—two stadiums, one of which was turned down at the polls. We are indirectly supporting two major league sports franchises. This "payoff" is collected via taxes; all [Seattle] residents pay whether they like it or not.
Sound Transit is a viable, multicounty transit agency that has been given the unpopular task by popular electoral demand of creating an alternative to automobile travel in this congestion-ridden city. If money has to be taken from the general fund in order to relocate utilities, so be it. This investment in infrastructure is long overdue. Those who oppose Sound Transit do not speak for the majority, nor do they live in the Rainier Valley with its clandestine bus service, potholed streets, and neglected neighborhoods.
Investment in transit infrastructure is less popular than sports stadiums or other high-profile public expenditures with those who wish an instantaneous solution to a problem which should have been addressed decades ago.
Every week I stand in front of the newspaper display faced with a decision. Loyal as I am, I always opt for your publication instead of that clique-y rag next to you. I was dismayed that you slaughtered Teatro ZinZanni with TWO ho-hum reviews ["Send Out the Clowns" and "Edible Food," April 11]. I had the pleasure of enjoying Teatro last weekend, and I can't stress enough the word pleasure. I went with friends, and we unanimously enjoyed the show and the grub and the service. Your remark about the Russian hand balancer (though lighthearted) is ridiculous. Where else do you propose to see such a feat of human strength? Are you suggesting that it is anything less than amazing? Perhaps Three Stooges-type yuks would have warranted the $100 that you admittedly didn't have to spend. And what is "weird" about samosas? Is it because they are a (gasp!) foreign treat originating very far away from the home of the Whopper?
One of the strong points for me was the way Miss Mabel and crew engaged the crowd to kiss, to dance, to laugh. Perhaps you [Steve Wiecking and Bethany Jean Clement] cannot enjoy each other's company [and] have taken your frustrations out on a production that did its best to please your snooty-journalist-pants.
Teatro ZinZanni is a great time. And to doubly brandish it otherwise . . . well, that was very Stranger of you.
In our reportage on Shorty's Coney Island of April 11 [Chew], we mistakenly wrote that the hours of said establishment were noon-2 a.m. every day, causing some poor reader to end up standing outside there sadly the next Saturday at lunchtime. Shorty's is actually open on weekdays noon-2 a.m., weekends 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Please note that the "Find the scariest clown portraiture in Shorty's" contest is still unwon (what do you have to do to give away beer around here?). Locate the most terrifying clown art on the premises (in our estimation), and we will buy you a pitcher of PBR! E-mail your answer to email@example.com; only the first correct response from someone of legal beer-drinking age gets beer (sorry, kids).
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