She's Not Suing
It is disappointing to me that Seattle Weekly chose to publish an article ["In Too Deep," Dec. 6] without first verifying its facts, especially considering it was written by a reporter unknown to the newspaper.
I am not now nor was I ever pursuing a lawsuit, against anyone, regarding Zak's death. While I had retained a law firm, it was only to investigate his death. Upon hearing the results of the investigation, I had chosen not to move forward with a lawsuit. This fact was pointed out to the Florida publication in response to a similar article run over two weeks ago, but it chose to ignore the discrepancy; now, this irresponsible error has been republished, and this time it hit much closer to home.
We will probably never know exactly why and how Zak died that day, but without hard evidence on anyone's behalf, I chose not to bring a lawsuit. I weighed this decision very carefully and with full integrity. Therefore, it is disappointing and hurtful that a publication in my own backyard would frivolously print an article before giving the details the due diligence they deserved.
The aftermath of Zak's death has been hard enough; being portrayed as an irrational and lawsuit-happy widow makes it that much worse.
The editor responds: Ms. Jones is referring to one sentence in our story: "[Ms. Jones'] Fort Lauderdale attorney, Joseph Slama, says she is preparing a lawsuit. . . . " Last week, after our story appeared, Slama called the story's Florida author and mentioned a decision regarding the suit, but only spoke off the record. We believe the statement as published to be correct. Let the record show that Ms. Jones ultimately decided not to file suit. Readers can judge for themselves whether our story was "frivolous" and portrayed Ms. Jones in an unflattering light.
Death by Euphoria?
For over 20 years, I was both a life insurance company investigator and later a PI, investigating traumatic deaths and disabilities. I investigated a number of deaths due to scuba diving ["In Too Deep," Dec. 6].
Autopsies, equipment tests, license reviews, and interviews with witnesses and friends offered no resolutions to the causes of those deaths. My feelings were that euphoria based upon the joy of what they were doing caused the tragic deaths. But who knows.
I am astonished at the suspicion (and even hostility) this amazing woman, Trish Millines Dziko, is engendering ["Schooling the District," Dec. 6]. Good heavens.
For people to say that they are not really sure where she comes from and/or who she is smacks of unjustified paranoia. I think that Ms. Dziko is exactly who she appears to be. She is frank and open about her life, her background, her home and family situation, and her desire to increase educational opportunities for Seattle's youth. The people who are so suspicious of her ought to take a good look at their own selves and figure out why.
I have been interested in her path ever since I read about her several years ago. She is an inspiration and to be commended. Perhaps the idea of private money to public schools is still a topic that ought to be dialogued about, but give the woman credit for having a vision that will greatly benefit our youth. Other Microsoft millionaires take a different route to fame and fortune (take a drive around South Lake Union, and you will get an idea). I have never had the idea that Ms. Dziko is into what she is doing for her own personal gain.
Shame on the Rainier Beach PTSA president who led a walkout at the meeting where Ms. Dziko was presenting. And shame on Don Alexander, who apparently takes pride in being rancorous rather than helpful. A very wise person once said in my presence that there are two kinds of people—builders and destroyers. Which one is Ms. Dziko, and which one are those who are so suspicious of her?
Be Nice on the Bus
Forgive me if this is a little late. I just recently read a letter in the Nov. 8 issue, in the "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" column, in which an "exasperated commuter" on Metro complained about other bus riders saying "Good morning" and "Thank you" to the driver.
I am a Metro driver. First of all, the Uptight Seattleite's description of Metro drivers sounded a little condescending, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say I don't think he intended it to sound that way. Metro drivers run the gamut from those with barely a high-school education to attorneys and other professionals who, for whatever reason, tired of their chosen field and took up bus driving. Many of them are part time and have other jobs in addition to driving the bus.
What I'm writing about is that the "exasperated commuter" is both right and wrong. On one hand, we do "give a fuck" about acknowledging our riders and vice versa. One reason is for security purposes. Troublemakers are less likely to cause problems if you look at them and say "hello" or acknowledge them in some other way. Another reason is a friendly greeting from a "lowly" bus driver may be the only good thing anybody says to them all day and can make a world of difference in somebody's day or even life.
Most of the people I greet on the bus are friendly, but as with any job dealing with a large cross section of the public, you're going to get people such as the "exasperated commuter" who hate themselves and therefore everyone around them and can't stand to see anybody being friendly to anyone. Fortunately, they are in the minority.
We really don't give a "flying fuck" when it comes to people like them! They can just pay the fare, sit in the back (or wherever), and shut the fuck up! Just get on/off the bus and don't cause any trouble, and everybody is happy. Once you're off the bus, you can go home, kick the dog, yell at your spouse/kids, be an asshole, do whatever you like, just as long as you don't cause any trouble on the bus. Personally, I'm sick of people moving here from out of state and doing nothing but whining and complaining about our social culture (and the rain).
Moral of the story is Metro drivers are human beings, too. My advice to "exasperated commuter" is to take a good laxative, then have an espresso in the morning, have a microbrew after work, and find a girlfriend/boyfriend. If they still want to be a jerk, fine, just not on the bus.
I love this column [Ask an Uptight Seattleite]! Thank you so much for explaining to us foreigners the peculiarities of the Seattle culture!
I come from a country with a very social culture (Brazil), so I am used to having lots of friends and social interaction. Since I came to Seattle a few years ago, I've been hanging out with people from all over the world. I've also met many Seattleites, but even though they are always friendly and polite, I've never succeeded in establishing a real friendship with any of them. They always invite me to past events ("Ooh, I should have invited you to come with us"), but never to future events. When I invite them, they always say, "I'll let you know if I can go," but they never "can." How often do you people hang out? Once a year?
Column's a Keeper!
Please keep this column [Ask an Uptight Seattleite]—he's brilliant!
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