BEEF WITH BBQ
If barbecue is, as proclaimed by Zachary D. Lyons, a way of life, then "where's the beef" [Summer Food, "Masters of Barbecue," July 2]? Lyons' self-congratulatory, undercooked, and overdone slab of opinionated blancmange was served up as the main course in the usually well-balanced meal that is the Weekly's food coverage.
I'm still hungry.
Other ways of lifelike, say, Buddhism, homosexuality, or Breatharianismhave history, dogma, liturgy, mythologies, and a deity or two. Barbecue, according to the imperious Mr. Lyons, just has sauce.
To make barbecue my way of life, I need more. Lyons' clichéd, macho meat romp could have been rendered down to "this meat good, that meat bad." Real information was as sparse as a vegan Thanksgiving no insights on grilling vs. barbecuing, no mention of the more smoke/less smoke controversy that embroils the BBQ community. He gave no recognition to regional styleseach pit-meister he mentioned harkens from a different place, such as Texas, Arkansas, etc. He didn't even mention West Seattle's Backdoor BBQ, which has got to be included in any top five "Qs in Seattle" list.
Send Lyons back to the salad bar.
Zachary D. Lyons should have his "barbecue license" revoked [Summer Food, "Masters of Barbecue," July 2]. Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association? Funny, I've never had decent barbecue in the Pacific Northwest. None of the joints comes close. Next time you have someone write a barbecue feature, find an expert.
CRITIC WITH TASTE
I have finally found a food critic who knows what's up [Summer Food, "Masters of Barbecue," July 2]. The last paragraphs of the article, letting the imposters have it, could only have been written by someone who eats food for the sake of eating good food. I'll keep my eyes out for any other suggestions Zachary D. Lyons has. Amen.
OPERA HOUSE GLOOM
Battleship gray, anyone ["The Ears Have It," July 2]? That is what LMN architects and the city fathers delivered to us in the brand-new Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Stand on the north side of Mercer Street, look up, and you will see the facade of the opera house, painted a grotesque battleship gray with vertical lines in a boxed shape going 100 feet straight up to nowhere! Nary a curve to be seen until one negotiates the Kreielsheimer Promenade and witnesses the slightly curved glass entrance. To be sure, the inside is gorgeous, with plush seating, a monumental stage, colors to die for, and amenities galore. But why was the Mercer Street facade neglected? Why does it look like an army barracks? Obviously when the money got funny, they skimped on quality. Seattle finally had a chance to make a statement about the arts by erecting a world-class structure that would be the envy of anyone. But they blew it. Now as we experience the dark, dank, gray days of Seattle, we can always look forward to the dark, dank, gray army barracks we call an opera house.
Steve Wiecking really slays me. "Bum Rap" was hysterical [Small World, July 2]. There's so much straightforward graveness in gay-issued reporting that sometimes I wonder who's listening anymore. A good crisp slap of wit is refreshing. I loved the marriage double-agent bit. God forbid gays try to muck up the sacred marriage record of over 50 percent ending in divorce. Thanks for the laugh.
Los Angeles, CA
STILL SICK TRANSIT
The saying goes: "You can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear." And you can't make an effective regional mass-transit system out of the light-rail proposal ["Tough Rail Road," July 2].
There is no doubt that Joni Earl is a charming person, and she may have made some administrative improvements at Sound Transit; the PR department has improved by leaps and bounds. However, it's the same pig's ear! A slow, dogleg train route from south of downtown to just short of the airport; it will do virtually nothing for congestion but will do great harm to the reputation of public transit.
By mismanaging the opportunity for a successful mass-transit system, this region is trading in its silk purse for a pig's ear.
NO RAIL REFORM
It may have been a good year for Sound Transit news headlines, but it's been another lousy year for those who read between the lines and those who care about transit ["Tough Rail Road," July 2]. Sound Transit had a good year for headlines because of millions of dollars spent on advertising and public relations. Those dollars have done nothing to help me in my general commitment to forgo driving; in fact, the PR sets all Seattleites back by maintaining an illusion that Link light rail will be the "regional transit system" we were promised and are paying for dearly.
Link is a local trolley, but with the expense of regional transit. It will displace people in Rainier Valley and will discontinue regional use of one of the major facets of our regional transit systemthe downtown bus tunnel. The key issue, though, is simple: The current light-rail plan is not what we voted for nearly seven years ago.
To talk about Sound Transit "reform" is a fallacy. The agency is working on a fraudulent foundation and is no longer in accordance with voter wishes. The real light-rail plan needs a revote. Until then, Sound Transit is operating in violation of public trust.
Secretary, Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives,
Kudos to Knute Berger [Mossback, "Blown Coverage," July 2]. I was pleased to see his piece on the strangely incomplete obits following Charles O. Carroll's death. They had struck me as woefully inadequate when I'd read them. While the events in question are now decades old, there is no place for the payoff system that seems to have been so rampant. Many have no doubt forgotten (or never knew) that Seattle had more than its own share of corruption, and not all that long ago.
OBIT HIT PIECE
A new job description for Knute Berger, aka Mossback, emerges after last week's "Blown Coverage" column: "obituary police." Does the dismissal of an indictment and lack of any criminal conviction of former King County Prosecutor Charles O. Carroll over 30 years ago deny normal sleep patterns for the likes of Berger, Lou Guzzo, and O. Casey Corr? Should all obituaries of famous people be re-examined and rewritten? How much ink and prominence would the obituary police give to the issues of alcohol, drunk driving, sexual harassment, and perjury when future obit writers tell the stories of Bobbe Bridge, Mike Lowry, Brock Adams, and Bill Clinton? Post-death hit pieces without proper context and perspective are very troublesomeperhaps a cover story of Seattle's colorful 1960s history is in order.
Alan H. Deright
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