Horses Are People, Too

SAY "NO WAY!" Thank you for the exposé on the questionable management of City Light chief Jorge Carrasco ["Power Grab," Feb. 13]. As long-time City Lighters, we find Carrasco's proposal to outsource power marketing especially appalling. The private contractor will take a big cut of profits the utility would otherwise keep, anddisregard the city's long-term interests. And remember Enron? It was deregulated, profit-dominated power marketing that triggered the crisis of 2000-2001. The Carrasco model of "cleansing" management of experienced people and contracting out as much as possible is running the department into the ground. An ever-reduced workforce will not be able to handle coming storms, be they caused by weather or the economy. Then our very own "Smartest Guys in the Room" will jump ship, leaving the public holding the bag. Workers who have run the utility for years know best what works, but Carrasco is threatening, terrorizing, and silencing them. The management philosophy of turning profitable functions over to private companies so they can suck the city dry comes not just from Supt. Carrasco but from Mayor Nickels. Taxpayers and employees alike need to tell the Mayor and the City Council "No Way!" to attacks on the retirement program, contracting out, and the continued mismanagement of City Light.Doreen McGrath

Larry Works

Arlene Geist

Seattle

NO CREDIT DUE How can Jorge be given credit for improving the financial condition of SCL? We had an enormous rate hike to pay down the debt incurred during the energy crisis. The rates have remained much higher than before. The ratepayers have given him a whole ton of money more than any previous superintendent. It would be stunning if he could not improve the financial condition of the utility with this much extra money.Philip Irvin

Seattle

NO PARKING? NO DUH! For years, the patrons of West Seattle Bowl have been using, free of charge, the next-door Hancock parking lot ["Spare Change," Feb. 13]. The developer [Blue Star] working on the new Hancock and Whole Foods building brought in Diamond Parking, who now charges a nominal nighttime fee. One of the leaguers, based on "the principle of the matter," says he won't patronize the new businesses because of the developer's treatment. The patrons then park on the streets, displacing those who live nearby—legal, but offensive. Are we talking about the "something for nothing" principle? Give thanks for the past free ride courtesy of Hancock, and make alternate parking arrangements like a responsible driver. If league bowlers won't be respectful, then stay home—I don't want you in any neighborhood. The [bowling alley] operators complain that as tenants, they couldn't negotiate parking and property rights with the developer. Well, duh, you don't own the property! It's nice that Blue Star talked with you, but it's the owner who has to sign off. There are a lot of long-term unknowns resulting from Seattle's redevelopment. Greed, gentrification, and densification threaten Seattle's parking lots, architecture, and neighborhood connections. I'm glad that Hancock will stay, and I will be happy if the Bowl eventually thrives and survives. In the scramble, my fear is that we lose both the institutions and the respect for others that helped shape the neighborhood in the first place.Kerry Peterson

Seattle

INVISIBLE HAND DOESN'T BOWL Bowling requires a lot of square footage, and that's very expensive these days. If there's such a demand for bowling, the owners need to raise the prices to cover costs, or actually buy the damn alley so that they can't have the rug jerked out from under them by some landlord who (surprise!) wants to maximize earnings on that very expensive land. Complaining about the loss of bowling alleys is like bemoaning the lack of drive-in movies: They are no longer economically viable. Too large a footprint, and too little revenue in these times.Travis Hartnett

Seattle

DINGED CHARIOT Let me get this story straight ["Horse and Run," Feb. 13]. If I am driving my car downtown and hit another car or bus, and no one is injured, I can just drive off and Seattle PD will do nothing other than take a report. I won't get arrested or cited. Is this a great city or what?Hal Longan

Seattle

DON'T FORGET THE HORSE Now maybe we can begin the discussion of outlawing horse-drawn carriages in the city. The unnecessary stress and risk these poor horses are subjected to is something we should all consider before climbing into one of these carriages. Of course, I think it is shameful that the police don't seem to be taking Graf's accident as seriously as they should, but let's not forget the other victim in this—the horse.Torrie McDonald

Seattle

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