Punk Rock vs. Bullies

I was honored to be interviewed for James Ross Gardner’s article “Mean Kids” (July 2012). The article does justice to the harassment I went through. 

“Mean Kids” gives readers a closer look into what really happens in schools. Many adults and parents fail to realize that bullies never learn it is not okay to single out other people who are different. I laughed out loud when I read about James’s experience with punk rock. Besides my parents, punk rock taught me tolerance as well. Maybe bullies should listen to the Dead Kennedys.
Christopher Borth
Colbert, Washington

Size Matters

Thank our lucky stars Seattle failed to get the go-ahead from local government to bid to host the Olympic Games (“Torched,” July 2012). That is instead a success in my book. London will likely be a transportation mess and on lockdown as a prime terrorism target during the Olympics, not to mention deeply in hock during dreadful economic times. 

It’s time to get over this “world-class city”–itis. Seattle is a medium-sized city with a lot going for it; better it should try and make its functions work effectively for all of its citizens and the people who work here and take part in its economic activity. 
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Techies in the Mud

The real reason Click!’s broadband network in Tacoma is not more popular is partly due to fear of Comcast, failure to build vertically and treat muni broadband as a utility, and, not least, cost to the subscriber (“Disbanded,” July 2012). I keep hearing the same excuses for Seattle’s failed broadband effort, which are based upon what the options were in 2005, but the options are different and less costly today. It should be embarrassing to a city that claims the high-tech road like Seattle to be stuck in the mud on this.
Michael Simmons

Political Proce$$

So glad Josh Feit and Erica C. Barnett are back on the scene. Thanks to Seattle Met for helping to keep PubliCola running.

The Washington State campaign finance system (“Do We Have the Right Security in Place?” PubliCola, July 10, 2012), now in effect nationwide via Citizens United, will not play well on the big stage, at least for anything approaching true representative democracy (as opposed to populist, advertising-based demagoguery). Will it mean Romney will land in the White House with a Republican majority?

This Is a Choice?

Forty-one other states have charter schools, and I haven’t heard about any of them becoming an education paradise (“Is It Time for Charters?” PubliCola, July 17, 2012). 

The charter school initiative, I-1240, doesn’t offer any real accountability. It would be up to the charter school authorizing commission to close a failing charter and it is extraordinarily unlikely that any of them would vote to do that. 

I-1240 also allows any school to be converted to a charter if half of the teachers vote to convert it. A conversion charter could devastate any district in this state. Unable to assign students to a converted school, the district would have to offer all of its students seats at other schools—assuming it had other schools. Teachers could use this power to extort all kinds of demands from the district.

Charter school proponents talk about the status quo as if it were a choice of this reform or no reform. That’s a false choice. The real choice is this reform or other reforms. And, since the other reforms have proven more effective, I’ll choose them.
Charlie Mas
via publicola.com

Arena Yes, SoDo No

Seems the location of the new arena is highly shortsighted (“At First People Laughed,” PubliCola, July 20, 2012). That land should be available in the SoDo area to grow port traffic, if Seattle still wants to remain viable as a competitive West Coast port destination. The area is already a transportation nightmare. It would be better to locate an arena in some neighboring urban centers. Downtown Bellevue and Renton come to mind, perhaps even Southcenter. This way, the team can offer fans more parking as well. 
via publicola.com


You forgot Emerald City Beer Company (“Beer Book 2012,” July 2012). All-American products, all-American lagers—only brewer in the entire state like it.
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Ear-to-Ear Beer

I’m surprised Maritime Pacific brewery in Ballard is not on the list for best smile (“Beer Book 2012,” July 2012). They have great beer.

For the Love of Bread 

Michael Seidel makes the best cookies (“Tilikum Place Cafe Pastry Chef Starts the Troubadour Baker,” Nosh Pit, July 12, 2012). And the challah bread is to die for. Totally worth the calories.
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Brownie Points

We look forward to Mondays because it means the Troubadour Baker’s box will arrive (“Tilikum Place Cafe Pastry Chef Starts the Troubadour Baker,” Nosh Pit, July 12, 2012). We add extra bags of brownies and cookies to our weekly order to give as gifts to our friends.
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Wheel of Fortune

Great to have a Ferris wheel. Unfortunately, what a ridiculous price: $40-plus for a family of four. No thanks! (“Seattle Great Wheel Opens June 28 (Tentatively),” Tripster, June 6, 2012). Chicago has a similar wheel and the price is $6 per person. 
John Swift
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Needle to Nowhere?

It’s a tourist attraction, not something that you’re going to do every weekend (“Seattle Great Wheel Opens June 28 (Tentatively),” Tripster, June 6, 2012). It’s a little pricy, but at least you know there probably won’t be a long line when you get there. And it costs a hell of a lot less than the Space Needle, which is basically just an elevator ride.
Christopher Lawrence
via seattlemet.com

Shopping List

Great list of local retailers (“Seattle’s Most Seattle-y Shops,” Wear What When, June 28, 2012). I look forward to the next installment and discovering more new places to shop. 
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More Seattle-y-er

I think Sonic Boom is an excellent shop, but Easy Street has been in business the longest and has Eddie Vedder selling for them in a pinch (“Seattle’s Most Seattle-y Shops,” Wear What When, June 28, 2012). Not to mention the live shows that are scheduled or just pop up. 
Chris Jansen
West Seattle

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