Letters to the Editor

A SELECTION FROM THE STORY COMMENTS ONLINE: Re: "Friends in No Places" by Brian J. Barr (Feb. 27) It's not as hard as it sounds in the article for a country band to get booked in Seattle. I'm in the Rainieros, who play Sunday nights at the Little Red Hen. Our schedule is usually pretty full. More so than a lot of our indie-rock friends. It could be because we have more of a '50s/'60s honky-tonk sound. People around here seem to like that style more than the modern country approach.—Liam The Little Red Hen is the only club in Seattle where men of any age (some in their 70s) ask a lady to dance and expect nothing more. It's not a meat market. It has a sense of community. It's honest, not ironic. It's fun, not pretentious. It's busy, but never feels crowded. Country music lover or not, you should try going at least once. —Melina Re: "Bark Laws Have No Bite" by Brian J. Barr (Feb. 27) In Montreal, a city about the size of Seattle, residents plant a half-million new trees a year—every year for the past 50 years. The inspiration? A project that our beloved Seattle landscape architect Frederick Olmsted did in Montreal: He planted a million trees for a park-green corridor similar to the arboretum that he gave to us. He wrote in his journal: "Now I have given the City its lungs." Deeply moved by that knowledge, the city and its residents continue to plant trees. Perhaps Seattle would do well to take a deep breath as well.—Katherine Baril The loss of tree canopy in my North End Seattle neighborhood of Cedar Park has been very evident in recent years. Ironically, revisions of the city's policies and regulations involving properties with environmentally critical areas (ECAs), including steep slopes and riparian corridors, have contributed to the loss of tree canopies in our neighborhood by facilitating clustering of extremely large houses on small unit lots with very limited yard areas. While the native trees in the ECAs are protected, there is very little protection for the trees on the remainder of the lots.—Rolfe Kellor Re: "Loose Lease" by Mark Fefer (Feb. 27) Please, can I have some more disabled neighbors? Some Seattle taxpayers are glad to live near guys who used to sleep under viaducts and self-medicate with alcohol. In 2000, Hofmann House was opened without a campaign to tell the neighborhood that the men moving in all had schizophrenia and had spent a total of 20 years in psychiatric hospitals and prisons. Don't you think the wretched stigma around mental illness might have prompted knee-jerk NIMBYs to squelch such a project? The purpose is not, as you surmised, "to change people's preconceptions about what it means to have a homeless addict move in upstairs." It's to offer a chance at living a better life while saving public money. Once the men moved into Hofmann House, their colossally expensive collective record of ER visits and arrests stopped growing. All are working. Disabilities like schizophrenia are still incurable, and addictions are stubborn. But many sufferers can become good citizens if they have "housing first," guidance, and some understanding from journalists who will steadfastly refuse to feed public fears of having them as neighbors.—Judy Lightfoot In reading your article, it struck me that your tone is quite flippant. In speaking with the professionals you did, I am sure they made you aware that these are "pilot projects," no? It would stand to reason that once it has been established that indeed these people are having successes, costing less money to the taxpayers, and can be mainstreamed back into society or are able to manage their symptoms without causing disturbances to the general public around them—at this point it would make progress toward eliminating stigma when there are hard facts to show that it is working. The only differences between the people in these programs and your home-owning alcoholic or depressed person is money and possibly family support. Consider yourself blessed that you have at least one of these and don't have a debilitating illness that can put you on the street. Many of us are one paycheck away from the street as it is. Add in mental illness or chemical dependency and no family support and there you have these program participants.—seattlegrl Re: "Rockin' the Rim" by Mike Seely (Feb. 27) It would be a shame if we lost the Rimrock for the likes of what the new construction on 125th and Lake City Way turned into—corporate takeover of one of the last open spaces in the city of Seattle. Construction killed Cadillac Jack's to put in a Rite Aid, BECU, Panda Express, FedEx Kinko's, Sprint, Money Tree, and I believe that there are two other storefronts still available...likely only going to someone with a strict policy on employee dress and an unbending logo and color palette. Lake City still has personality of its own—some would say trashy personality, but personality just the same. We need to come together to help mold the future of Lake City or inevitably it will all be knocked down to put in a Wal-Mart.—Shawn Re: "Total Eclipse of the Starch" by Jonathan Kauffman (Feb. 20) We had a parallel experience at Danube (food: homey; check: astral). In our case, it was the wine selection, which hit $40 for anything decent and shocking for anything beyond. You are too kind about the second-floor experience, which feels carved out of an HVAC instructional video. What was with the exposed ductwork? The dead rose on the table didn't add to the atmosphere, and we felt roughly abandoned by the server (who was eating his own dinner down below, we noticed, as we left at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night).—Becca Cooper Those who must have a Czech food fix, but at a reasonable price, can check out the Little Prague Bakery and Deli in West Seattle. Think poppy-seed strudel!—Paul Write to us at letters@seattleweekly.com or comment online!

 
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