Men = Fresh Produce?
DEAR EDITOR: I read with sadness your recent article about women on the prowl ["Cougar Mountain," Aug. 8], and lamented the loss of self-control and respect that men and women have towards each other. Many of my close friends are in the same age range as me—mid-40s—and we continue to search for real men, not just those willing to be "bagged." By the way, is that paper or plastic, since men have been reduced to grocery status?
Offended and Amused!
DEAR EDITOR: Well, thank you for offending me while simultaneously making me laugh at the absurdity of your "investigative piece" on the American cougar. She appears to be extinct, or at least at risk, as the best you could do was find a bunch of Canadian women who seemed not the least bit interested in hunting for prey, and the cover woman, whose "experience" with a young buck was a onetime thing and largely unfulfilling and one she will not pursue again.
As a woman over 40 and dating someone younger than myself, I would like to say that to be categorized, labeled, and even fetishized is not something I embrace. The intelligence, humor, and kindness of the man in my life are far more valuable than his prowess in the bedroom. Intelligence, humor, and all-around good looks will always be the primary factors in anyone with good taste and grace.
Tale of a Ticket
DEAR BRIAN MILLER: I was a recipient of one of Lake Forest Park's $67 tickets for running a stop sign on the Burke-Gilman—at a driveway serving two homes ["Stopping Power," Aug. 8].
After getting the ticket, I did some research and learned that the stop signs were added following the construction of the trail on the request of a King County Council member at the behest of some constituents owning homes along the trail. No transportation analysis was done, and the signs do not meet any engineering standards.
I contacted Cascade Bicycle Club, who suggested contesting the ticket and gave me some good arguments to present—that the signs were arbitrary, and that I was riding in a reasonable and prudent manner (as I always try to do). The judge listened patiently to my statement, then dismissed the charge. I wasn't sure if my argument swayed her, or if there was simply a mistake in the paperwork, but I was happy to have saved $67 (at the expense of an hour or so of my time). I intend to donate it to Cascade Bicycle Club's legal fund to help cover the cost of challenging Lake Forest Park's silly ordinance.
DEAR EDITOR: Upon reading "Greenbacking" by Aimee Curl [Aug. 8], I am glad that I am not part of the Seattle City Employees' Retirement System. If I were, however, I would want the highest return for my retirement. Dollars for my future. Mana ged by professionals who make a living creating high returns for me. Sure, sell Caterpillar because someone stood in front of one and got killed. Huh? What if Caterpillar (which, as I understand it, did not drive one over Rachel Corrie) is a very successful company gaining in value each year? What about my rent? What about my health care deductibles? What about me, Mr. McIver? Even green liberals can be sued for disregarding fiduciary responsibility.Theodore M. Wight
Wind Isn't the Only One
DEAR EDITOR: Brian Miller missed the boat when he stated that "The wind-farm industry still depends on federal tax credits to be competitive per watt" ["Power Trip," Aug. 1]. Get real!
Every type of central-plant energy production in this country is federally subsidized. The dams on the Columbia and other major rivers were built with federal money and the resulting water and power practically given away. It's still heavily subsidized compared to buying water or power on the open market. The coal, nuclear, oil, and natural gas industries all enjoy plenty of tax breaks, loan guarantees, insurance waivers, and the like.
There is a wholesale run on federal lands right now as the Bush administration rushes to auction off oil and gas leases, on federal lands all over the West—often at bargain-basement prices. This is a subsidy for the petroleum industry if I ever saw one! The newly passed federal energy bill has big subsidies for the nuclear industry, too, via government-guaranteed loans. These subsidies are needed because private capital is shying away from nukes like a crackhead avoids the cops.
While folks in nearby states might pay 12 cents or more for residential power, our federally subsidized power is far cheaper. As my old boss at the warehouse said, "Cheap resources are wasted." We are wasting electricity here because we can. I would love to see City Light set a threshold for power consumption and then hammer those who are using more than necessary. The extra money should be used for education and energy-efficiency programs for those living on fixed incomes and the poor. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of them living in this town.
I Loved Best of Seattle!®
DEAR EDITOR: I don't know where to begin in critiquing your recent feature on the Best of Seattle® [Aug. 1]. I suppose the cover would be a good place to start. Who is "We"? I must say that "we" doesn't include me. I do not love capitalism. I find our culture of gross consumerism boring and utterly bland.
You seem to place the honor of having given our lives any sense of pleasure upon businesses, which create the "nightlife, street life, and good life." Indeed, pretty much every "best of" you mention in the feature requires spending money in some way. Quotes like "Buy by the crate; you can always tie the kids to the roof rack of your Passat" make me cringe.
The tone and delivery of your writing is obviously intended to spoon-feed a passive, consumerist culture. As if we don't know how to spend our money fast enough, we need the Seattle Weakly to tell us how to blow our hard-earned paychecks. So while you are evidently out to promote a system that is unsustainable, I must say that I am not along for the ride with you. My favorite things to do in Seattle are free or by donation. The most memorable experiences I have ever had have been mostly by free admission.
I must ask you, can you swim? Because I can, and I have already jumped off of the ship that is sinking with you on it years ago. Face it, capitalism is not going to last. But, hey, what a way to go, right?
The editor responds: (a) There were at least 50 items in our "Best Of" issue that didn't involve buying anything or paying admission; (b) yes, I can swim, but not very well.
I, Too, Loved "Best Of"!
DEAR EDITOR: The Weekly's cover declaring its love affair with capitalism was sooo cool. What a daring, edgy, bold, humorous display. Yep, it's the capitalist pigs whose policies may destroy the planet, but, as you say, "what a way to go."
Actually, though, they don't make this system work. Your very own articles have detailed how wage earners and homeowners pay all the taxes, and do all the work, often lose their homes, and end up under bridges. But piffle, you say? Why nitpick? Rounding up immigrants who dare to want to work—well, that probably hurts local business, but you have to look at the BIG picture. Scaring undocumented workers keeps wages low.
How great that these captains of industry save all that money on health care and decent wages. They also spread the wealth by paying minuscule wages in other countries, and invading them to make sure our moguls have oil to sell. Let's hear it for private profit!
Suspicious of Paul
DEAR EDITOR: I always have admired Ron Paul's conservative views on limited government, sovereignty, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, but became leery of him when he was nominated as the "If it feels good, do it" Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in 1988 ["Potheads for Paul," Aug. 8]. We have enough vices in our country and don't need to legalize more of them.
I suppose when you look at potential presidential candidates, you have to also look at who supports them. With people like "self-made millionaire" Marc Emery—whose goal in life, it appears, is to get himself and others high—on Paul's side, "I'll have to take a pass, man," when you hand me a Ron Paul for President ballot.
Corrections: Last week's story on cyclists being ticketed on the Burke-Gilman Trail misstated the governmental body that overruled Lake Forest Park on trail improvements. It was the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, not the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Also, in our Best of Seattle issue, we listed an incorrect phone number for the Columbia City Cabaret. It's 605-9920.
Seattle Weekly at firstname.lastname@example.org.