WATCH OVER THE WHALES
In reading the article on Springer and the plight of the southern resident orca population ["Free Springer," Aug. 1], I was struck by the hypocrisy of the whale-watch boat community.
Recent scientific studies demonstrate that boats with tourists swarming over the orcas significantly impact their survivability. The frequency of the noise from boat engines decreases the effectiveness of the whales' sonar in the range used to hunt fish by 95 percent to 99 percent, and the boats' presence causes an increased metabolic rate that causes higher food intake demands at precisely the time the whales have a harder time finding salmon.
This is consistent with findings of detrimental impacts of boat presence/noise on other whale species. Similarly, the Weekly article noted that as boat traffic increased around Springer, her health deteriorated.
While declining salmon populations and toxins introduced into our waters over the last few decades may be significant contributing factors to the whales' decline, those causes cannot be altered immediately. The damage caused by the boats can.
The whale-watch boat community and its supporters, including several quoted in the article, profess to love the orcas, yet they refuse to acknowledge that the boats' presence might impact the whales' survivability. They refer to the scientifically supported concerns about the impact of the boats as a "witch hunt" and a "scapegoat." Such unsupported, broad denial in the face of science and common sense demonstrates that the whale-watch boat community loves the money they make off tourists much more than they love the orcas.
Anyone who travels to the San Juans and cares about the orcas should boycott the whale-watch boats.
CLEAN UP THE WATERS
I think it's horrible that the hope of having our waterways cleaned was placed on the endangered species rating of orcas ["Free Springer," Aug. 1]. Aren't our waterways polluted enough that a major cleanup should be done nonetheless? Since 1995, the Northwest orca population decreased 15 percent, signaling our need to rid our waters of Washington's industrial discharges. Persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (PBTs), like dioxin, mercury, and lead, pose a serious threat to living beings, and for decades, industries have dumped millions of pounds of these toxins into our waters. The effects have been so horrendous that the Washington Department of Ecology plans to phase out these dangerous chemicals, starting with mercury. It will be a much-needed first step to finally cleaning our waters. I look forward to the day when Ecology's PBT-elimination plan successfully concludes, when our waters are once again safe for fishing and swimming, and orcas, in greater numbers, can roam the Sound safely in good health.
BEST PLACE TO BLOW UP
I accept historical revisionism as a fact of life and am prepared for, and even look forward to, the Weekly's skewed vision of the real world. Matt Villano, however, goes too far with his assertion that " . . . the Kingdome was one of the best places on earth to watch football" [Sports Guy, "A Big Bust," Aug. 1]. Uh . . . no, it wasn't. It wasn't even the best place in Seattle to watch football. It was sterile and ugly and boring, not "classic and futuristic," at least not in a positive sense. It was "classic and futuristic" only to an admirer of East European architecture circa 1965—just a big concrete lump. The only Best Places on Earth list the Kingdome was on was "Best Place to Blow Up on a Sunday Morning."
Stadiums are more than public arenas; they're television studios. A sizable portion of people's first impressions of a city comes from watching the city host a sporting event, be it the Olympics, the World Series, or a regular season football game. The positive economic impact of a top-notch stadium that Mr. Villano dismisses out of hand is very real, as is the negative impact that comes from a domed stadium. Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Atlanta all have domes. All three cities have reputations as either iceboxes or saunas. The domes, of course, aren't to blame for those reputations, but they're not helping anything.
I know Mr. Villano is the Sports Guy, but I don't know what his bona fides are for the job. He doesn't seem to like sports very much, and his observations ("fans sitting on their fats asses drinking $7 beer"?) are of a variety too crude and retarded even for Mitch in the Morning. He makes Art Thiel seem like Jim Murray.
A BIG BUNCH OF BULL
I'm writing in regard to Matt Villano's article in the Aug. 1 Seattle Weekly [Sports Guy, "A Big Bust"]. The article was so negative and unfounded that it's hard to believe he gets paid to write. He states that " . . . the $430 million tin can will be used no more than 30 times a year." This is utterly false. Between exhibition games, Seahawks regular season, soccer games, and college football (WSU plays their first game there this year), the number of games will be over 30. Plus, the Seattle Bowl will most likely be played there, which will mean a huge midwinter revenue boost for the downtown area. At least the Seahawks were cool enough to allow the public to use the grounds freely at their grand opening, which I attended, unlike the Mariners organization, who treat Safeco field as if it's hallowed ground. Villano also exaggerates when he says tickets are $55. You can get good seats for $20 to $30.
Timothy Wayne Bayer
I hate what Seattle sports reporting is becoming—a place for wanna-be East Coast transplants with no appreciation of the local culture. [Matt] Villano's "expos颠on the new Seahawks Stadium [Sports Guy, "A Big Bust," Aug. 1] is just another example of the reasons we native Seattleites support the stories about how much it rains and how bad the traffic is.
Is this guy for real? Where did he get the impression that the stadium was going to be used for ANYTHING but Seahawks football and a scattering of other soccer and football events? I would suggest that he go back to where he came from . . . but that would be impolite. I'm sure he would be more comfortable in a city where the local morons lean on their horns in traffic just to hear themselves complain out loud, even though it doesn't make traffic go ANY faster or smoother. His whining about the stadium is just as noteworthy as the horn-honking and just as annoying. Hey! Matt! There is a reason you have TWO ears and ONE mouth. Poke your head out of the window and take a listen! NO HONKING! When you understand THAT about our city, THEN you will make a better reporter ABOUT our city.
Oh yah, the stadium. . . . As for the design . . . AND your further lack of Seattle AND football knowledge . . . IT'S A FOOTBALL STADIUM! The bad weather is an advantage playing teams like St. Louis, which has its best games indoors and suffers playing in the cold and wet. Fans love it when it rains, because that almost certainly means victory for our Husky and Seahawk teams.
You are out of touch with the spirit of Seahawks fans. Learn about who you are writing to. Otherwise you are just pissing into the wind. You just get urine all over yourself and make yourself look foolish.
FATHER KNOWS BEST
Thank you for answering the backward cap question [The Ask Master, Aug. 1]. I have told my teenage daughters for years to avoid dating men who wear their caps backward, because it is just wrong. I could never back that up, but now I can. I will clip and save that week's column and "whip it out," so to speak, if perchance I see a young suitor with his cap awry.
A POISON PEN
In response to Christopher Frizzelle's take on the Best Place to Avoid Tourists [Best of Seattle, "The Undiscovered City: Winners," July 25]: Gee, why didn't I think of that? Instead of saving money for a life-enriching journey, I should save for an extremely dangerous [stomach stapling] surgery with no proven health benefits. After all, there are locals who might be forced to look at my hideous body. It all seems so clear now. . . .
Mr. Frizzelle's offhand bigotry chills me. Please, Chris, do stay home, and while you're at it, unplug your computer and phone. Perhaps that will decrease the spread of your crude and poisonous wit.
SELDOM IS HEARD
I'm writing to clear the air about a few issues surrounding Andrew Bonazelli's "Anti-Christ Superstar" [July 25]. Had I known of his hidden anti-Christian/anti-Pedro the Lion agenda before the interview, I certainly would not have done it. I feel my responses to his questions, my relationship with [Pedro frontman] Dave Bazan, and even my music were misrepresented. I tried to be candid with him and talk about things that I would talk about with anyone. Now I know this was the wrong thing to do.
Seldom's sole purpose is not to subvert Christianity. It remains a casual concern of mine that people of a certain religion may choose to not listen to/appreciate my music based on what I may or may not believe in; however, these particular "Christians" are only a small percentage of Pedro the Lion's huge Christian and non-Christian fan base. Seldom has plenty of fans that also love Pedro the Lion and vice versa.
What Bonazelli failed to touch on is how much Seldom appreciates being able to play music and tour with Pedro the Lion (although he did a pretty bang-up job at making it sound like I totally resent Dave, his band, and his fans). From nearly the beginning of Seldom's formation, Dave has been one of our greatest supporters. I owe him immeasurably. In addition, I must add that Casey, KC, and I love Dave's music. All of us have played in Pedro the Lion at one point or another, so it doesn't really make sense for us to criticize something that we are and have been a part of.
Bonazelli took a sound bite from a 20-minute conversation that he thought he could elaborate upon and used it to express his opinion, not mine. I don't enjoy being called an "Anti-Christ," and I don't enjoy having my friends wonder where they stand with me due to crappy journalism. I guess I've learned my lesson and will think twice before speaking with the press again.
EATING OUR WORDS
In the Eat Out listings in the Aug. 1 issue, we printed the wrong address for the restaurant Mesob, which in actuality is located at 1325 E. Jefferson (phone: 860-0403). Our apologies to Mesob and confused would-be customers thereof!
Also, in Hot Dish, Aug. 1, we erroneously wished Hales Brewing a happy 15th anniversary; Hales turned 19 this past July 4. In addition, Hales' location was incorrectly reported; it is in Fremont. Our apologies and many happy returns.
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