I've . . . been solicited by prostitutes, and witnessed public urination more times than I care to recall. Why is that worth preserving?

THE MONORAIL NEEDS A VOTE

I read "The Monorail Needs a Checkup" [Aug. 8], and I have to wonder if George Howland has thought through some of his arguments.

The Elevated Transportation Company is NOT Sound Transit. It's done things differently every step of the way. Maybe, as [ETC board chair] Tom Weeks says, it learned from the mistakes of UN-Sound Transit, or maybe that's what happens when the idea gets started by a taxi driver and his friends instead of rich developers and city bureaucrats. Stop comparing them. They don't have the same mission, and they don't seem interested in attacking each other. Why not report on the ETC's plan, or even compare it to light rail's, instead of setting the two up for a shoot-out?

Howland says we need "intelligent, hostile opponents" to "pick every nit and turn over every rock" in the plan. Apparently, he doesn't think the hundreds of community meetings, festivals, and parades the ETC has been to in the last year is enough. Or the ads in both dailies, bus ads, and a Seattle-resident mailer. Maybe he's been talking too much to City Council member Conlin, who apparently thinks that the thousands of people who sent comments to the ETC aren't intelligent or capable of asking the right questions. Or to [County Council member] Pelz, who knows that thousands asked tough questions already, and that's why routes have been changed, the proposed board now has some elected officials on it, and there's a cap on how much money the monorail authority will be able to borrow. Pelz just thinks he knows better than the rest of us what's good for Seattle. The ETC spent two years listening to us and making corrections to its plan instead of listening to him and other pro-Sound Transit folks who are afraid to lose their pet project and pork monies for their friends.

You want to see what a monorail looks like running though downtown? Look at the monorail on Fifth. We don't need to waste taxpayers' money on a stupid mock-up. We didn't ask the city to build a fiberglass mock-up of the new library, did we?

Look at the monorails in Japan or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that each move tens of thousands of people every day. They saw OUR little monorail and wanted to build their own. We've waited a long time to expand our monorail, while they've jumped ahead of us. We've waited two years for the ETC to complete their plan. We've had our say. We want to vote on it. NOW.

Michael Taylor

Seattle

GET OUTTA THE WAY!

I am tired of the Weekly's negative coverage of the monorail plan ["The Monorail Needs a Checkup," Aug. 8]. You have devoted more than one cover story complaining about the inadequacies of the Metro bus system, yet you support no mass transit alternative. While you playfully assume the role of devil's advocate, you threaten the only viable mass transportation plan our city may see in years to come. Momentum is key, and you're standing in the way. If you, along with monorail opponents, end up squashing the monorail initiative, I suppose you'll have many opportunities for future cover stories about how our mass transit systems sucks.

Ben Mori

Seattle

A MAN WITH A PLAN

Your article about the most recent environmental lawsuit shows how complicated responsible management of state lands can be ["Darth Doug," Aug. 1]. We need to clarify two misperceptions.

The article stated that the Department of Natural Resources would not complete an environmental impact statement for our "timber cutting plan." That is incorrect. We are in the middle of a two-year EIS process. The EIS will cover all aspects of the sustainable harvest calculation, which is required by law every 10 years. Everyone is invited to comment, and a document answering questions from the public is on our Web page (www.wa.gov/dnr). The article appears to confuse the "Forest Resource Plan" with the harvest calculation. The plan is a collection of policies that apply to management of state forest lands. It does not set a harvest level. DNR did temporarily extend the plan, which was due to expire. DNR prepared an EIS on the plan in 1992 and adopted that EIS with additional environmental analysis prior to its decision to extend the plan. A new plan and EIS will be completed within three years, after the sustainable harvest calculation is finished.

Finally, our EIS process is the most open and comprehensive ever done for the sustainable harvest calculation. In February, a Washington Environmental Council board member thanked DNR for its openness. Despite repeated opportunities to discuss their concerns, the WEC never raised them until it filed the lawsuit, even canceling a meeting two weeks prior to filing the suit.

We encourage anyone to visit our Web page or contact us with questions.

Bruce Mackey

Washington State Lands Steward

PUSHERS AND PROSTITUTES AND PISSERS, OH MY

I hardly qualify for "yuppie" status, but I would rather see the development at First and Pike proceed than keep things in their current state ["Turning a Corner," Aug. 1]. I'm not without empathy for low-income-housing recipients, and I sure the hell don't support the developer reneging on its obligations. That said, I walk along First every day and am appalled by what I see at that intersection. I've seen muggings and drug deals, been solicited by prostitutes, and witnessed public urination more times than I care to recall. Why is that worth preserving? As [housing activist] Joe Martin put it, "This is not any other intersection in the city. This is First and Pike." It is one of the jewels of our city. "Yuppifying" doesn't compliment the Market area's unique atmosphere, and I would like to see other alternatives, but it is a far cry better than letting the place be overrun with predators, pushers, prostitutes, and pissers.

Matthew Smith

Seattle

A SIDE OF TUMS, PLEASE

First of all, I want to thank you [Marty Smith] for your column, which is damn entertaining. Secondly, as I am a native of St. Louis as well, I thought you might like to know the name of the dish you mentioned from there [The Ask Master, July 25]. It's called a Slinger, and from what I remember, it included fried eggs and a hamburger patty all covered in chili—a frightening invention that was only appealing after a heavy campaign of boozing on Laclede's Landing. [Eds. note: Other letter writers mentioned hash browns and sausage thrown into this "invention" as well.] One restaurant at Union Station that served this dish after the bars closed would include Tums with the meal (which, of course, proved necessary). Anyway, thanks again and keep up the great work.

Christopher Dyer

via e-mail

A MAD HATTER

As a milliner/hatter, I found [Mark D. Fefer] did the hat business no service by "Topping Off," July 18. Your essay was strung together by cheap shots, generalizations, and no real information about hats. Lookey-loos like you are the reason I closed the Eclipse Hat Shop. And before you dug deep into your pocket for the thrill of a $36 crushable fedora and asked how Byrnie Utz Hats keeps their doors open, did you realize how ill-mannered you are?

A guy in a well-fitted suit, wearing a hat that fits correctly is not in costume or, as you put it, "some kind of retro speakeasy fop." There are few people in Seattle that wear fabric other than fleece. You should have interviewed the guy from the Lusty Lady, as I'm sure he knows a lot about hats. You also need a dictionary, as a fop is a conceited pretender of wit. Ask any shopkeep on First, and they will tell you Patrick is one of the best-dressed men in Seattle.

Well, a hat makes the man, and to quote Elbert Hubbard, "No cheap, apologetic, sneakerino tightwad ever wore a Stetson—it wouldn't fit him."

Sharon Hagerty

Seattle

P.S. Nothing is more retro or clich頴han a press card in a fedora

Cheap shots welcome! Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.

 
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