Your May 12 issue featured the Seattle Weekly Music Awards. Phooey. There should be no awards for the present-day overamplified yelling and squalling that attempts to portray itself as "music." The vast majority of the groups that now play will not be remembered beyond a few years. Contrast the present scene to the composers and bands of previous years who continue to be listened to, even after their deaths.
Seattle Weekly won 24 awards in the Excellence in Journalism Competition sponsored by the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, including the Sweepstakes Award for the most honors in the non–daily newspaper category. The awards, announced last week, were for articles published in 2003. Seattle Weekly's winners were writers Rick Anderson, Tim Appelo, Lawrence Cheek, Dick Clever, Philip Dawdy, George Howland Jr., Merilee D. Karr, Brian Miller, Kathryn Robinson, Andy Ryan, Jeanne Sather, Eric Scigliano, Nina Shapiro, Carlton Smith, and Priscilla Turner; artists Jacobson Fernandez and Johanna Goodman; and design director Karen Steichen. The paper earned nine first-place awards (Anderson , Cheek, Howland, Sather, Scigliano, Shapiro, Goodman, and Steichen), six second-place awards (Anderson, Appelo, Dawdy, Howland, Karr, and Shapiro), four third-place awards (Howland and Dawdy, Smith, Robinson, and Fernandez), and four honorable mentions (Clever, Miller, Ryan, and Turner). The first-place winners were Anderson's "The War Hits Home" (Aug. 20), about a Snohomish County soldier's burial, for breaking news coverage; Shapiro's "The Big, Bad Border" (Sept. 10), about U.S.–Canadian border security, for government and political reporting; Scigliano's "Burn the Forest for the Trees" (Oct. 1), on Bush forest policy, in consumer and environmental coverage; Sather's "Running With Fear" (Dec. 10), her personal account of living with cancer, in science and health news and features; Anderson's "The School Board Flunks Google 101" (Oct.
15), about the Seattle superintendent search, in education reporting; Cheek's "A Walk Around the Lake" (Aug. 6), a circumnavigation of Lake Washington, in leisure and lifestyle reporting; Howland's "Biotech Land Rush" (Nov. 19), about South Lake Union and other places, for business reporting; Goodman's cover illustration of Green River Killer Gary Ridgway (Nov. 12); and various cover designs by Steichen.
Where are the emulators of the long-lived giants such as Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Harry James, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, etc.? Not only does the present music lack legs and integrity, but so do the bands' contrived, smarmy photos as they strike phony poses. Why can't they just line up and look right into the camera instead of trying so hard to look cool?
Rick to the Rescue
Thanks to Rick Anderson for getting out the truth about Station 31 ["Firehouse Theater," May 12]. As a firefighter at Station 31, I appreciate his article and hope the citizens of Seattle can understand what we have been going through. It is painful to see our brothers and sisters spend 20 to 30 years of their lives protecting and serving Seattle, only to die from cancer one or two years into retirement. They deserve better from our city and mayor. They deserve a fair investigation at the very least. I felt Anderson's article exposed our situation to the light and dispelled the lie about the honorable intentions of the mayor's office.
Director, Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 27
Tent City's Record
The 2003 One Night Count of people who are homeless in King County estimates that on any given night, at least 1,500 people are homeless and unsheltered in areas outside of Seattle ["Tent City's Tenacity," May 12]. The most striking finding of this recent count was the number of people seeking refuge in neighborhoods outside of downtown Seattle. However, we also know that there are fewer resources dedicated to addressing homelessness in our suburban communities.
The county has failed to meet the most basic needs of the community. And our benign neglect of this growing problem has left people who are homeless with little choice but to take matters into their own hands. We applaud the participants of SHARE/WHEEL for providing a safe, sanitary environment for people struggling to survive. Philip Dawdy's article portrays an accurate picture of this and of Tent City's track record in other communities.
Imagine if all the energy directed against Tent City were instead directed toward finding solutions to homelessness? We urge the King County Council and citizens of suburban King County to welcome Tent City and to advocate for additional short- and long-term responses to homelessness throughout the county.
Nicole Macri, on behalf of the Seattle/King County Coalition for the Homeless Steering Committee
Goldschmidt is No Rumsfeld
I'm writing to object to a sloppy analogy in Knute Berger's May 12 column [Mossback, "Evil Gone Wild"]. Berger compares Neil Goldschmidt's apology in The Oregonian to Donald Rumsfeld's and George Bush's apologies for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, calling it "a useful, pro forma start, but not much else." He ignores the fact that Goldschmidt (a) compensated the woman financially for her injuries years ago, and (b) resigned from public life before issuing the apology. Obviously neither of these actions will undo what he did, but they represent more than "a pro forma start." By contrast, Bush hasn't offered the Iraqis any money, and Rumsfeld sure as hell isn't going to resign any time soon.
Also, calling Goldschmidt a rapist, while legally correct, is inflammatory and misleading. In everyday language, rape refers to sex obtained without consent, usually through violence. A 14-year-old's consent isn't legally recognized, and it shouldn't be. But, although both acts are despicable, there is a difference between having sex with a willing 14-year-old and beating, threatening, or drugging her into compliance. There are many words for what Goldschmidt did—exploitation, abuse—that are more accurate than rape. If he's going to be tried in the court of public opinion, he deserves to be accused of the correct offense.
Is Canada Evil?
I was appalled to see Knute Berger condemning the abuse at Abu Ghraib and ex–Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt having consensual sex with a teenage girl under the banner "Evil Gone Wild" [Mossback, May 12]. Does he really think the two events are remotely comparable? Berger says: "Goldschmidt . . . admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl back in 1975. Only he didn't call it that." Well, neither does Canada—where the age of consent is 14. Is Canada "evil" in Berger's estimation? Anyone who is old enough to reproduce is old enough to accept some responsibility for whom they have sex with.
Thanks for George Howland Jr.'s kind and thoughtful words about Jenny Wynne's untimely and unexpected death ["In Memory of Jenn," May 12]. It is heart-wrenching to experience our children leaving us before their time. But Howland's words brought comfort. This is the second time this year that depression has taken a young person from my community with absolutely no warning.
I hope legislative people read and heed Philip Dawdy's article on funding mental health ["Give Them Shelter," May 5]. And I hope that people suffering from depression will also hear the offer of the Crisis Clinic, as help is only a call away.
State Representative, 32nd District
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