Geov Parrish did a fine job discussing the confusing exploits of Mike Webb and the faltering 710 KIRO ["Tangled Webb," April 12]. The mini-mart adventure and Webb's tussle at Dick's Drive-In with the SPD are both so strange and hard to digest. Yet I'm sure we all know someone who has outlandish trouble that is sometimes proven true.
Those munchie runs explain a lot of really long commercial breaks in his show, and I'm familiar with his destination, having been sent there for hard-boiled eggs and Red Bull during my 2003–2004 internship with the morning show. I could paint a very dark picture of the station from all the things I saw or was privy to, but it would not be fair to the many talented and truly professional people who've worked there.
During the last few years, however, KIRO chose to give prime spots to annoying centrists and reactionary conservatives while bumping around progressives or putting them on late at night. It paralleled the movement of corporate media all over the country. What's more puzzling is that these choices were made just as a progressive station pops up in our state—one with star power that KIRO could only dream of. The looming demise of the station we all knew would be more depressing had I not already turned away from KIRO so many times that I just stopped turning back.
Is Vinnie Progressive?
What a shame it had to end this way for Mike Webb ["Tangled Webb," April 12]. As a daily commuter from Seattle to my home in Everett, I would listen with great joy to The Mike Webb Show each night as he called the Bush Crime Family to task for their evil deeds. Now, it appears Webb has to be called to task for his "alleged" evil deed (insurance fraud). The bigger issue of Geov Parrish's story is what the hell is going on with KIRO radio! I, too, was puzzled with the summary dismissal of Webb and all the other hosts. I called The Ron and Don Show, Webb's replacement, to ask where he went, and they said, "Oh, that guy . . . he's history." But they would not elaborate as to why. Repeated e-mails to KIRO's station manager have never gotten a reply. How unprofessional to not answer listeners' e-mails and to not respond to Seattle Weekly's interview requests for this story. Looks like I will have to settle with listening to Air America until somebody takes over KIRO and turns it around. My only other alternative is to have satellite radio installed in my car, because all of Seattle's radio stations suck and there is no other progressive voice, unless you call The New York Vinnie Show progressive.
We Need More Webbs
In response to "Tangled Webb" [April 12], I can only say that as a broadcaster, Mike Webb has always been heads above the rest of the mainstream corporate media crowd. His willingness to confront authority and challenge the hypocrisy of the right wing in the U.S. has been a rare example of courage at a time when most talk-show hosts have been moving to the right.
Webb's show sparked debate on subjects usually avoided by most talk-show hosts, including gay rights, stolen elections, and civil liberties in general. Always sympathetic to the underdog, Webb brings a progressive point of view to talk radio—something which is sorely lacking in the U.S. I was always shocked to find that I was listening to a corporate-owned station when I heard his commentaries on local and national political and social issues. I must agree with Geov Parrish that despite the controversy surrounding him at the moment, Webb will most likely find a way to continue as a progressive voice in the media.
As an independent broadcaster (KBCS), I am painfully aware of the lack of diversity in the U.S. media. If we had more media personalities and journalists speaking out against George Bush's plans to invade Iraq, we may have been able to avoid the current debacle in the Middle East and save thousands of precious lives. We need more brave voices like Mike Webb speaking from the left.
Boon For Belltown
I think it's a great idea to have parking kiosks operate at night ["Parking Sticker Shock," April 12]. Evening bar-hopping in Belltown will turn into a biathlon of drinking and running to your car every two hours to feed the meter. Asking a cute guy if he has change for a dollar will be a great icebreaker. Restaurant tables will turn over quickly, since no one will be able to linger over dinner. Moviegoers who select hour-and-50-minute films and skip the previews and popcorn will still make it back to their car before a ticket gets slapped on their windshield. It's a great way to keep downtown lively at night.
No Money in Ballet
Mike Seely is comparing the NBA to . . . ballet ["The Board-Crasher Sweet," April 12]? Please. There's no money or celebrity in ballet. My mother can name five basketball players off the top of her head and she doesn't even like basketball, but I'd be surprised if Seely can name any ballet dancers other than perhaps Baryshnikov or Nureyev. I'm sure that the Sonics budget for one week would fund all dance in Seattle for a year. He asks why the Mariners and the Seahawks get government (read: taxpayers) assistance but not his beloved Sonics? Because the other teams beat the Sonics to the cookie jar. There's tons of money being made in the NBA—maybe the Sonics should consider spending some of it on their stadium.
Knute Berger's piece put a needed spotlight on the possible demolition of the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) for another Selig tower [Mossback, "No Building Is Sacred," April 12]. Berger made important connections between the mayor's new zoning plan and the loss of our city's heritage and livability. Historic buildings are endangered by the plan, which raises height limits and puts intense pressure on older, shorter buildings.
I recently founded the group Save Our Sanctuary (contact: email@example.com) to save the beautiful FUMC. This is our only historic church downtown, and we are about to give it an iron wrecking ball to celebrate its 100th birthday!
Our city has a proud tradition. Victor Steinbrueck and other dedicated citizens saved Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square in the 11th hour. The Trinity Episcopal Church was so damaged by the 2001 earthquake that the tower nearly collapsed. The church raised $6 million to their great surprise. FUMC might think of raising dollars instead of razing buildings. Many people in this city would be eager to drop a check in the collection platter for such a cause.
Chair, Save Our Sanctuary
Geov Parrish's "Signature Waste of Time" [April 12] accuses Initiative 86 of being "strictly an advisory affair and therefore toothless." When civil rights activists sat in at all-white lunch counters to protest Jim Crow laws, they were "advising" the proprietors to change their policies. Was that toothless? Political movements use a variety of tools to move their messages. Resolutions and statements of principle are not mere symbols—they are important tools in changing how the world works.
Perhaps Parrish should visit Garfield High School and take a look at the state of military recruitment there, about a year after the PTSA passed a "strictly advisory and therefore toothless" resolution against it. The recruiters have left because they are not welcome—and nothing illegal has occurred. There are millions of people around the country who are not comfortable with military recruitment in their children's schools, but they often feel isolated and without a mandate to speak out. Passing I-86 will give the residents of Seattle the confidence that their neighbors and colleagues feel the same way they do, and the success at Garfield can be multiplied many times over.
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