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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 6 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 36
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Letters

A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Thank you, Shaun Knittel, for your articles on the recent crime activities on Capitol Hill ['Take Back the Night,' August 23, et al.].

I just came back from Amsterdam, my third visit, and I wanted to share my perspective on the differences between these two cities.

With roughly the same population these two cities also share a commonality in 'party centers.' Seattle has Capitol Hill and Amsterdam has the Centrum (city center).

We walked at night through the Centrum, Vondelpark and other side streets, and we felt very safe. There was a sizable police presence on the weekends when 'rowdies' from England visit the town to party. (Not too unlike what happens on the weekends on the Hill!)

This 'safe feeling' comes from the heavy investment from the city government to fund its police force. Without it, over time, the tourism trade would fade away as well as residents choosing to live in the suburbs and commute to the Centrum for work.

I've lived in Washington for 30 years, at one point living in Capitol Hill for six years. But I had to move from CH as the crime, aggressive [panhandlers], and druggies made the area unpalatable. The difference between Amsterdam's Centrum and Seattle's Capitol Hill is like night and day. I just don't feel safe on the Hill anymore. (And I'm a yodan!)

So why am I writing you? I wanted to tell you I support your efforts to report on the crime on the Hill - but encourage you to report that it's a city government failure to not fund SPD adequately. If they continue with the 'status quo,' more people will leave CH resulting in lower property values, and merchants will see a drop in business. Well, you've heard the story before. It's happened elsewhere.

Best regards. Keep up with the great journalism!

Jeff Stevens
Auburn



THE MARCH MUST CONTINUE

Fifty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Americans - of all backgrounds - flooded our nation's capital to stand up and speak out on the social and economic injustices plaguing our country. On that sweltering August afternoon, we heard a minister from Montgomery reveal a dream that would inspire change for decades to come. While we come together today to celebrate that historic moment and reflect upon the progress our country has made, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. demands that we not rest on our laurels, but continue his march toward justice. From Seattle to Selma, and everywhere in between, we are reminded the fight for equality is far from over.

'The right to vote is at the foundation of American democracy and has been fought for by civil rights pioneers like Dr. King. Yet this foundation has been eroded by a Supreme Court ruling that rolls back protections from discrimination provided by the Voting Rights Act. It is another reminder that the fight for equality requires constant vigilance. However, the battle on behalf of all those who wish to exercise their rights at the ballot box does not end here. I am proud to represent a state with a long tradition of carrying the banner on behalf of equality, civil rights, human rights, and respect for others. So as we recommit to Dr. King's vision today, we must double down and continue marching in the name of those who still seek a fair shot and equal opportunity in America.'

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Washington, D.C.

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