Pacific Northwest | September 14, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineSeptember 14, home
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Vision on track

The author of "Playing for Keeps" in the Aug. 10 edition of Pacific Northwest magazine is looking for leadership" with vision, voice and guts..." Well, there is one man active in Seattle politics who definitely has a strong vision as well as the voice and guts to realize it. I am talking about Dick Falkenbury, who not only had the vision of a monorail system in Seattle, but also the voice to persuade a solid majority to approve his vision in three elections. And it took guts to do it given that our current "leadership" was dead set against the idea.

If you're looking for leadership, look to Dick Falkenbury.

— Karl Scheer

Just the right stroke

My phone was ringing off the hook on Sunday (Aug. 3, "Seattle in a shell") from rowers and non-rowers throughout Seattle who were thrilled at how accurately you captured the essence, the culture and the history of the sport in Seattle. To my knowledge there have been no other stories locally that took such a personal and heartfelt look at the sport.

A link to the online version of Pacific Northwest magazine was picked up by a national Web site for the sport of rowing, which posts links to all stories on rowing around the world. This was timely as it coincided with the opening of the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic and provided our city with an international audience. I received several calls from U.S. team coaches and athletes who saw the article and were talking about it in the village.

Many thanks again to you, your photographers and editors for capturing and memorializing the sport of rowing in Seattle.

— Mike McQuaid
Communications / Sports Information
George Pocock Rowing Foundation

Fueling the debate

Fascinating article about the Tango, the ultra-compact electric car being developed in Spokane ("The Little Car That Could," July 27). I might even be interested in buying one when they become available. However, I'm confused about how you can bill it as a pollution-free car. Being electric doesn't mean it doesn't generate pollution; it just means it moves that pollution from the point of use to the power plant where the electricity to charge the batteries is generated. Many of those power plants burn coal and oil, so there is still a need for fossil fuels. Also, since no system is perfect, the process of converting electrical power into chemical power to store it in the batteries, and then convert it back to electrical power when needed, also consumes resources.

Don't get me wrong — I love the car. I think it would solve a lot of problems. Total fossil-fuel emissions, however, is not one of them.

— Ken Morain

Fearless and tired

My husband just suggested that I read Valerie Easton's short article, "A Time for Every Season" (Plant Life, July 27). I think he wants me to use one of the statements you made into a cross-stitch wall hanging: "Fearless planting results in a fearsome amount of work!"

We have a B&B on Orcas Island and have 1.8 acres. When we bought it a little over six years ago, it was basically "mowed green stuff" — you couldn't call it lawn. We've planted, landscaped, dug up rocks, rocks and more rocks, placed many rocks as landscape elements, etc. My husband says I'm not happy unless I get some dirt under my fingernails daily, and I think he might be right.

We spent all last fall, winter and early spring remodeling the inn, and I was a prisoner inside. It was a mild winter and the weeds had a field day while I was kept inside for months on end! Now many have gone to seed while I've been playing catch-up — my husband says "job security." Now the unusually hot (by Northwest standards) summer and many new plants are dying or very stressed. Water is very precious and expensive on an island, but it was so hard to pass them by when I finally did get out to the nurseries in late spring. So many wonderful plants to enjoy. Each year we reduce the "lawn" more and more and use it basically as a path for viewing the planting areas.

I did enjoy your piece, and do relate.

— Helen Allen
Orcas Island

How about more color?

Having read Pacific Northwest magazine for years — and now reading ColorsNW, a new Seattle publication, I find myself wondering why Pacific Northwest and Parade have such limited stories on people of color.

While historical perspectives of the Native communities are periodically featured (usually with a braid and a totem pole), it would also be interesting to read about more contemporary Northwest residents, perhaps involved in music; business; drama; crafts; foods; poetry; religion; politics and non-traditional businesses — including those outside Seattle.

As our community continues to diversify, it would make good business sense to cover a broader scope of the community and your readership — which extends beyond your subscriber list.

Good luck with your publication.

— Vaughnetta J. Barton

Letters to the editor are welcome. Write Editor, Pacific Northwest magazine, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111, or e-mail and in either case include a telephone number for verification.

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