September 2012

Hero Worship
Feedback Lounge rules!!! (“Unsung Bar Heroes: The Feedback Lounge,” Sauced, August 16, 2012).

Opening Remarks
I stopped by Ballard Station pub on Tuesday night (“Bar Openings: Ballard Station Public House,” Sauced, August 10, 2012). I found the remodel to be excellent. It was clean, simple, and relaxing. A digital jukebox provided a variety of music that was not overbearing so you could still have a conversation. In the back there was a nice space to play steel-tip darts (real darts). It looks like a nice space to bring a large group of friends or coworkers for a party or gathering. 


Mood Swings
Tips are absolutely not required without table service (“Should Diners Leave Tips at Food Trucks?Nosh Pit, August 20, 2012). I leave a tip in the jars from time to time, but only when I’m in the mood.


Tipless in Seattle
Yes, you should tip at food trucks the same as you would tip for takeout (“Should Diners Leave Tips at Food Trucks?Nosh Pit, August 20, 2012). Food truck work involves early-morning prep, loading up, setting up at the location, cooking in tight quarters, and dealing with whatever crazy thing goes wrong that day so that the customer can have a tasty lunch or late-night snack. What the crew on a food truck makes hourly has no bearing on the fact that they are providing a service to you, and frankly, it’s none of the customer’s business.

Tips for Trucks
Yes, absolutely (“Should Diners Leave Tips at Food Trucks?Nosh Pit, August 20, 2012). I always leave something. It may not be the 20 percent I leave at a sit-down restaurant—but they are providing a service and actually making my food, which is more difficult than what a server does. I’m not saying either is easy—any job in the restaurant industry isn’t easy...

Wild Hares
I had the opportunity to pick up a copy of Seattle Met on my last flight out of Sea-Tac. As a longtime hiker of the Northwest, I found the Mount Rainier feature very interesting. There is only one correction that I noted, in the section titled, “Where to Go: Trails Everyone Loves” (“The Ultimate Guide to Mount Rainier,” August 2012). Of course the Burroughs Trail had to be right there on top because it is so stunning. However, those catcalls coming from the rocks are not marmot whistles. Although Mount Rainier has a fine population of marmots throughout the park meadows, the shrill whistles in the rocks around Burroughs are pikas—often mistaken for a rodent, they are members of the rabbit and hare order.
Doug Scrima 

Editor’s Note National Park representatives confirm that both marmots and pikas live in the Rainier wilds and emit similar whistling calls.


Missed Park
No mention of Carkeek Park (“Park City,” July 2012)? For shame.


Pick and Choose
So, Baumgartner wants to hold extremist views on abortion, views that are almost identical to those of his party, and he doesn’t want to have to explain them to the voters or the media? (“Republican US Senate Candidate Baumgartner: ‘Go Fuck Yourself,’ ” PubliCola, August 21, 2012). He only wants to talk about jobs and Afghanistan? Must be nice to run for public office and then decide you don’t want to talk about said extremist views.

Hey, Baumgartner, if you are so upset over Afghanistan, why don’t you have a little conversation with your Republican president George W. Bush and Republican Congress that pushed not one, but two wars on the country without a single exit strategy or long-term plan in place?

I’m guessing he doesn’t want to talk about that either.


Potty Mouth for Senator
Although Mike Baumgartner claims that there was a hostile email exchange, my personal opinion is that nothing justifies the use of gutter-trash vulgarity (“Republican US Senate Candidate Baumgartner: ‘Go Fuck Yourself,’ ” PubliCola, August 21, 2012). 

Despite my previous support for Baumgartner’s candidacy, I now intend to withdraw it because it is clear that his use of the vulgarity, coupled with his failure to realize how appallingly indecent it was to act like that, is a clear sign of his lack of demeanor to serve as a U.S. Senator. However, I would really love to see what the previous email said that he claims set him off.
W01029 PHM

No Free Ride
Removing the downtown Seattle Ride-Free Area sure seems like a political decision rather than a technical one (“The Impact of Eliminating the Ride-Free Area,” PubliCola, August 17, 2012). It feels like Metro was trying to get more money out of Seattle and was using the removal of the RFA as a threat. Metro probably deserved more cash, but going through with the threat is a little like throwing the first nuclear weapon in a cold war—everyone loses. Adding an 11 percent delay to every trip is crazy. Imagine the productivity loss by these travelers.
Matt the Engineer


Garden of Delight
I was pleased to see the article “Small Space, Big Change” in the August 2012 issue. I was even more delighted to see that the picture of the remodel that Karl and Kathy Salmonson did at their home in West Seattle included so much of what I had designed for them in the garden. I was disappointed my name was not included as garden designer. This house remodel and its garden work so well together for the lifestyle of the couple who live there because of the sensitivity of the designers to make the whole project work.
Thomas J. Allsopp


Keep the Key
KeyArena is generating tax revenues for the City of Seattle, which the new arena would not do, since all tax revenues generated would go to pay off the new arena bonds (“An Arena Analogy: Hansen Gets Two for the Price of One,” PubliCola, August 16, 2012). KeyArena still gets big touring concerts, such as Madonna’s two shows later this year. If Hansen’s arena is built, KeyArena will lose most if not all of the major concerts, and could lose the Storm and Seattle U basketball. 

Marvelous Marge
Marge Stockham is a ball of fire-energy, a woman of awesome compassion and generosity, and she makes great pickles (“The Gatekeeper,” July 2012). Long live the Marges of this world! We wonder whether the Sounders, Mariners, or Seahawks have considered giving the CenturyLink field usher her own sports card and Bobblehead? 
Clint and Kay Kersten

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