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					A partial collection of Ben’s writings – published & not…
(Chronologically presented…go to the bottom for the most recent!)

Sports: Sunday, April 07, 1996


Kingdome -- McDome Could Solve A Lot Of Problems
Seattle-area residents are faced with two critical problems with the Kingdome: Coming up with $150 million for
improvements and overcoming disgusting allegations concerning concessions and the concessionaire.

These problems can easily be overcome with an old solution. In a gubernatorial contest more than 15 years ago,
singer/songwriter Jef Jaisun ran a semi-lucid campaign whose platform called for (among other things) "painting the
Kingdome like a Big Mac, complete with sesame seeds on the roof."

Have county officials approached McDonalds? If we can have a KeyArena, why not a McDome? Wouldn't we all rather
buy Seahawk McNuggets than Kingdogs? Besides I've been dreaming about those sesame seeds on the roof for years.
Ben Schroeter, Seattle

Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Known dangers of using pesticides are ignored
Your March 11 editorial "Smart and safe to spray gypsy moth," endorsing the use of the pesticide formulation
known as Btk, exposes your staff's lack of forethought concerning the known dangers of pesticide use. The
Environmental Protection Agency has admitted (as far back as 1989) that it has allowed hazardous waste to be
recycled in pesticide formulations. It is a matter of court record that pesticide formulations that were cited as
safe by the Washington State Department of Agriculture contained hazardous waste. Furthermore, virtually all
applicators of these products in Washington state have extensive histories of violating laws during the

The WSDA and this newspaper have declared Btk safe, citing a "history of safe and successful use." To which
epidemiological studies of people sprayed with Btk are your referring? Has anyone checked to see if the
residents and animals of Ravenna that were sprayed in 1983 had higher cancer rates than the rest of the
population? All we know is that the Btk formulation is mostly inert ingredients and the manufacturer will not
tell us what they are. I urge people to look closely at this issue and I urge the P-I to rescind this editorial

                                                                                                    Benjamin Schroeter
Letters to the Editor
March 22, 2000


Roger Downey's article "Nuke the moths!" [3/9] may be closer to the truth than most of us know. The
Washington State Department of Agriculture's blessing of the Btk formulation as safe should not be accepted
based on some warped misconception that Agriculture has actually researched this formulation at length.
Remember that the WSDA in the past has given its blessings to Agent Orange and DDT. It is wholly possible
(and probable) that this pesticide formulation contains nuclear or other hazardous waste. The scary part of this
scenario is that it's legal.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is riddled with loopholes inserted at the
behest of big business which allow dangerous hazardous and toxic waste to be "recycled" in pesticide
formulations. FIFRA allows any chemical that does not act directly toward the intended end-use of the product
to be called inert. FIFRA also allows the manufacturer of pesticide products to declare these "inert" ingredients
as a trade secret (the Confidential Business Information or CBI rule) and not have to release to any person
exactly what the inert ingredients are.

The Btk formulation that the WSDA intends to spray over two square miles of Seattle is 97.9 percent inert
ingredients. The manufacturer of the formulation is claiming CBI and refusing to identify the contents. No
epidemiological studies have ever been conducted on any group of people sprayed with any Btk formulation.
Certain chemicals when combined act in concert with each other; these synergistic effects cannot even be
considered if we don't know the contents. How many people must die of strange cancers at young ages before
we stand up to this madness? The citizens of Seattle must say NO! to this insane behavior.

                                                                                      BENJAMIN SCHROETER

Letters to the Editor
Monday, May 22, 2000

How long before moth spray risk is shown 'conclusively'?

The EPA and the Clinton administration announced this week that there is finally a study that shows
"conclusively" the link between dioxin and cancer.


Thirty years after we suspected it and 20 years after we knew it, science has finally proven it. That word
"conclusively" is what science is all about.

Unfortunately, pesticide rules are shaped by politics. Our health officials are quick to clamor about the lack of
"conclusive" evidence linking Btk to human health effects.
Dr. William O. Robertson of the Washington Poison Center (which has been telling concerned callers and
health officers that Btk is "benign") recently pointed out the fact that there are as yet no "conclusive" studies
linking DDT to human health effects.

While technically and perhaps legally correct, it is not a bright conclusion.

It will be hard to ever conclude there might be negative health effects when 30,000 residents are sprayed with
Btk-based pesticides and our area doctors are not advised what to look for or how to report a possible exposure.

The public health department admits it has not instituted a way to test for Btk exposure (because it is considered

Btk-based pesticides in large doses have been "conclusively" shown to kill mice and fish. How big of a dose
does a Ballard or Magnolia resident need to have "conclusive" reactions? Do we want to keep trying to find out?

If we are lucky we will have "conclusive" results about Btk in about the year 2017.

                                                                                             Benjamin S. Schroeter

Letters to the Editor
May 24, 2000


The EPA and the Clinton administration announced this week that there is finally a study that shows
"conclusively" the link between dioxin and cancer. Duh. Thirty years after we suspected it and 20 years after we
knew it, science has finally proven it. That word "conclusively" is what Science is all about.

Unfortunately, pesticide rules are shaped by politics [see "Moth-eaten state," 5/18]. Our health officials are
quick to clamor about the lack of "conclusive" evidence linking btk to human health effects. Dr. William O.
Robertson of the Washington Poison Center (which has been telling concerned callers and health officers that
btk is "benign") recently pointed out the fact that there are as yet no "conclusive" studies linking DDT to human
health effects. While technically and perhaps legally correct, it is not a bright conclusion.

It will be hard to ever conclude there might be negative health effects when 30,000 residents are sprayed with
btk-based pesticides and our area doctors are not advised what to look for or how to report a possible exposure.
The Public Health department admits it has not instituted a way to test for btk exposure (because it is considered

Btk-based pesticides in large doses have been "conclusively" shown to kill mice and fish. How big of a dose
does a Ballard or Magnolia resident need to have a "conclusive" reaction? Do we want to find out? If we are
lucky, we will have "conclusive" results about btk in about the year 2017.

                                                                                     BENJAMIN S. SCHROETER
A series of letters I authored concerning the gypsy moth spraying in Ballard were published in
smaller local newspapers in 2000, and are maintained on the NO SPRAY ZONE website.
Here’s a sampling:

   Ben Schroeter's Guest Editorial in Magnolia / Queen Anne Paper.
     Aerial Spraying of Btk for Gypsy Moth in Ballard/Magnolia

I found Doctors' Duchin and Plough's letter of 4/12 to be a misguided and dangerous commentary considering
its source. The good Doctors letter contains both misleading and false information, which shockingly are the
almost verbatim words of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA - the lead Agency of this
project). It is a most unexpected and irresponsible treatise coming from this County's supposed leader of Public
Health protection.

Without saying that this project is safe, (which the good Doctors will never claim), they dismiss objections and
imply that we should not worry about this project. Amazingly, they claim to have 'researched the safety of Btk'
based on only two studies, (which were not conclusive or comprehensive) and did not even address long-term
teratogenic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic effects of Btk (Green et al 1990, and Capitol Health Region 1999). The
scary truth is that studies on these long-term effects have never been conducted and are not required for EPA
registration of the product. In fact the manufacturer discloses to EPA the ingredients and EPA has never done
any independent tests to even confirm the contents of Foray 48B.

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a naturally occurring live microorganism that kills insects. In a purified form it can
be acutely toxic to mammals. Bt (both kurstaki and israelensis) is closely related to Bacillus cereus, a bacterium
that causes food poisoning and to Bacillus anthracis - commonly known as Anthrax. Just because it's naturally
occurring doesn't mean it's OK to be exposed to it. And the reference in the Doctors article to the fact that 100
million pounds of Btk is "used each year to control agricultural pests . . . by commercial landscapers, organic
gardeners and gardeners" is pure horse crap because Foray 48B is only 2.1% Btk and is not intended for use on
agricultural products.

If one simply reads the label for Foray 48B they will see it clearly states:

"Not for use on plants being grown for sale or other commercial use, or for commercial seed production, or for
research purposes"

Foray 48B is not for agricultural use and it is quite clear (from the label) that any resident near the spray or
'drift' zones growing vegetables, should NOT consume them and use caution handling them when throwing
them away.

Studies on Btk alone do not allow any health expert to consider the possible health effects that the current
formulation of Foray 48B (the pesticide the WSDA intends to use), will have on any exposed animal. Barbara
Morrissey of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) in Olympia recently studied Btk and Foray
48B concerning this project and has made a report to the WSDA. Based on the same data that was available to
Plough and Duchin, Ms. Morrissey came to the conclusion that: "there will be skin and respiratory problems" in
(some) people exposed to Btk and/or Foray 48B.
It is only a select few Health Officials that have been made privy to all the (97.9% inert) ingredients of Foray
48B. These 'informed' officials are prevented by law from disclosing them to the public (the Confidential
Business Information Rule). These 'inert' ingredients in Foray 48B have in the past included dangerous
chemicals on EPA list 3 such as sodium hydroxide (lye); sulfuric acid; methyl paraben; and potassium
phosphate. [see Swadener, Carrie, 1994, Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.T.), The Journal of Pesticide Reform, Vol.
14, No. 3, Fall 1994, pp. 13-20].[ ] One of the people who has viewed the current 'inert' chemicals in the Foray
48B product is Ms. Morrissey. Her conclusion, after acknowledging the existence of two chemicals on EPA list
3 and "multiple" from list 4B (the list was provided by the manufacturer - Valent BioSciences and unconfirmed
by any outside source) was that "we prefer them [WSDA] to not spray".

A DOH report (1993) of health surveillance activities indicated that almost 250 people reported allergy or flu-
like health problems during a previous application in this state. DOH has never followed-up with a study on
these people to check for long-term teratogenic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic health effects. This report, (as cited
by Swadener) as well as the whole Swadener treatise was inscrutability not evaluated by our County Health
Director. The overworked Dr. Plough is not the only official duped by the well-greased spin-doctors from
WSDA who with their federal counterparts the USDA, have been playing this PR game for many years.

In the mid 1970's DOH was forced to state that data failed to show a causal link between 2,4,5-T and human
birth defects. Just as now with Foray 48B, there is no supporting data. The data on DDT did show-up later and
there is no evidence to suggest that it will not show up down the road on this Foray 48B product. Since no long-
term studies on exposed populations have yet been done, prudence and common sense should reign when we
consider the Public Health. The common sense thing for our Public Health officials to do is say that this is not

WSDA's only public meeting happened (amazingly) prior to their bulk mailing notifying residents of the
project. While all residents were mailed notifications, many did not read them. Those non-English speaking or
illiterate residents cannot read the notices. People who live outside the spray area but work inside the area
received no notice at all. What about those just driving through? Is it just too bad they didn't happen to see the
helicopters? Spraying this chemical from helicopters over the middle of Ballard and Magnolia is nothing short
than an insane experiment on the City Residents. The Public Health is taking a back seat.

This whole project, when scrutinized, does not make sense. WSDA has no evidence that the Asian Gypsy Moth,
(which has accidentally come to North America on ships long before pesticides were invented) could even
survive here. WSDA has no evidence that any previous spray project ever worked. This is not a field they want
to spray, it's our city; and as yet not one citizen has stood up and asked to have their house sprayed from a
helicopter. For once let's consider the Public Health consequences first. Please let them experiment somewhere

Ben Schroeter

Mr. Schroeter has spent substantial time over 10 years researching pesticide issues and the Federal Insecticide
Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

                        DDT is Safe and Effective.
        Aerial Spraying of Btk for Gypsy Moth in Ballard/Magnolia
I am in possession of a letter to KING-TV's Ann Stadler dated October 19, 1978 from the Washington Forest
Protection Association touting a report prepared by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. This
report - "The Phenoxy Herbicides", requested by Congressman Tom Foley; extols the virtues of 2,4,5-T (DDT).
Mention is made to "scientific" studies that conclude that:

". . .the data permit the conclusion that there is no evidence to implicate 2,4,5-T as a causal factor in human
birth defects."

We now know we were misled on this pesticide issue and all the regulatory agencies that were supposed to
protect the public health didn't. 22 years later, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Dr. Alonzo
Plough, the Director of Public Health - Seattle-King County in a letter published in the Magnolia News, made
the following statement concerning the proposed 2000 Gypsy Moth Eradication Project:

"In summary, this product has not been linked to serious human health effects and has an excellent safety

Dr. Plough also indicated that gardeners use Btk when in fact FORAY 48B IS BY LAW SPECIFICALLY
sprayed by law should not be consumed and should be discarded, but nobody knows this.

The reason that Foray 48B has not been linked to serious health effects is because a study has never been done
for long-term health effects. The Health report they use says it is for short-term effects, results are preliminary,
analysis is ongoing, and that the authors are not liable for misinterpretation. Furthermore, a different
formulation was used in the4 spray project the study was based on.

Just because there is not yet a study to validate negative health effects doesn't make it safe. If our children play
on a Jungle Jim that was sprayed, then put their hand in their mouth, is it safe? Of course not. Our Public Health
officials should be guarding our health rather than pandering to Timber concerns.

There is no evidence the moths can live in No. America or that a spray program has ever worked in the past.
Now they want to spray residents of Seattle, most of whom (by the attendance here) don't even know it's
coming and they certainly didn't ask for it. This poisoning of America keeps on happening over and over and
over again. Why? Because it's not a story until people die. This is insanity. Saying you're sorry to my survivors'
gives me no comfort whatsoever.

Benjamin S. Schroeter

                       Ben Schroeter's Open Letter.
        Aerial Spraying of Btk for Gypsy Moth in Ballard/Magnolia

An Open Letter to the Community by Benjamin S. Schroeter TO: All Community Members

DATE: April 3, 2000

RE: The Ballard/Magnolia 2000 Gypsy Moth Eradication Project

SUBJ: Corporate America, Regulatory Agencies and The Public Health - a Prescription for Death and Disease.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer, and Andrew Schneider, have recently taken the time in a series of investigative
articles on vermiculite and asbestos, to uncover some of the dangers of toxic exposures that we, the American
public, would never dream could occur. Exposure by the media of the fallacy of our perception of presumptive
public health security is sorely needed and greatly appreciated.

It is quite clear to all that have read the articles, that the agencies that are supposed to protect the public and
their health have been failing us since their creation. It is my opinion that the best way to get results is,
unfortunately, to publicize the death of many people while showing a direct correlation of agency failures to
protect public health. This was well done by Mr. Schneider in the vermiculite / asbestos articles as evidenced by
immediate corrective reaction from (ir)responsible governmental agencies.

The recent exposure of vermiculite and asbestos being "recycled" in lawn and garden products has illustrated
serious health oversights by our governmental agencies. Another serious "oversight" is ready to occur in Seattle;
with the Washington State Department of Agriculture's 2000 Gypsy Moth Eradication Project. The Asbestos
story and the Ballard Gypsy Moth Spraying story are one and the same.

It is the story about how corporate America has been "recycling" hazardous waste in consumer products and
(EPA approved, USDA recommended) pesticides. It is a story of science bought and paid for by corporate
America. It is the story of the poisoning of America. The issue is not about Ballard but about exposing the
American public to dangerous chemicals and toxic waste. It is about the relationship between corporate
America, regulatory agencies and death. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The facts of the Ballard spraying are standard for defining the corporate-governmental relationship. The story is
about the complete disregard of common sense by placing profit over public health concerns. It is about
government spin-doctors that do the bidding of the corporations. It is about "what we don't know will kill us".

The following facts about the Ballard project are not in dispute:

   1. WSDA wants to spray 750 square acres of residential and commercial area of The City of Seattle.
   2. The chosen product is a Btk formulation; FORAY 48B from Abbott Laboratories / Valent BioSciences.
   3. FORAY 48B is 97.9% inert ingredients. (see label)
   4. The Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) allows hazardous chemicals to be put
      in pesticides and not be disclosed under the claim of "trade secret" (as is the case here FORAY 48B).
      WSDA, USDA and the manufacturer are refusing to identify the inert ingredients.
   5. By admission of WSDA, USDA and the manufacturer; FORAY 48B has multiple unidentified inert
      ingredients which are found on EPA "List 4" and one unidentified inert ingredient that is found on EPA
      "List 3".
   6. Some of the chemicals on EPA "List 3" which have been found in previous FORAY 48B formulations
          o SULFURIC ACID
          o METHYL PARABEN

               See Bacillus Thuringiesis by Carrie Swadener; Journal of Pesticide Reform Fall 1994, Vol. 14,
               No.3. here.

   7. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for FORAY 48B clearly states that the following HEALTH
         o Medical Conditions Aggravated by Exposure - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Oral Toxicity - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Dermal Toxicity - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Inhalation Toxicity - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Corrosiveness - NOT DETERMINED (see ingredients in above #6)
               o    Dermal Irritation - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Ocular Irritation - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Dermal Sensitization - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Target Organs - Possibly skin, eyes and respiratory tract
               o    Special Target Organ Effects - NOT DETERMINED
               o    Carcinogenicity Information - NOT DETERMINED

There are two ways of interpreting the Health information from the MSDS. We can continue with our historical
disregard for common sense and listen to corporate and agency spin-doctors, or we can pay attention to the facts
we do know and opt to err on the side of caution.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if you get sprayed with sulfuric acid that it is probably and likely
not a good thing to have happen. Understand that for an Agency determination of adverse health probability
there must be a 95% chance that this is true. A 90% probability finding gets a "not determined" rating. It usually
takes at least 20 years of science to make the determination. Just the other day the P-I had an article about Agent
Orange (a USDA approved pesticide) being tied to diabetes. This took 30 years of science to figure out. A
governmental apology in the year 2030 for the spraying of Ballard residents in 2000 is no consolation.

The WSDA is implying that FORAY 48B is safe because it has never been determined (by at least 95%
probability) that it is harmful. Ask any officer of the EPA, USDA, Abbott Laboratories, or the WSDA if the
aerial spraying of Ballard and Magnolia is safe. They will never ever say "yes, it is safe". They will say that no
adverse health effects have ever been proven. They will say it is an approved pesticide. They will say that the
active ingredient is biological and approved for organic gardens. However, they will never say that FORAY
48B is safe.

The public health is at risk and we can not trust our government to watch over us. The known facts of the
Ballard Gypsy Moth project make clear the dangerous relationship between the regulatory agencies and
corporate America. Unfortunately, the law allows these types of projects to occur (which is a whole other story).
Libby Montana and vermiculite is small potatoes to the issue that faces Seattle. There are plenty of dead bodies
already associated to this systemic societal failure to grasp the issue and understanding of this relationship; lots
of dead bodies. We do not need a body count in the future and we do not want to have to count them here in

Ben Schroeter

Editorials & Opinion: Thursday, July 20, 2000

David Walker inquest
Police biggest threat to Seattle social order

The recent jury finding at the David Walker inquest further reinforces a disturbing trend in Seattle policing - that any
"threat" may be adjudicated through (violent) sanctified overreaction.
Just as the Seattle Police overreacted to a few street punks at the WTO, Officer Tommie Doran has now been judged to
have acted in an acceptable manner by killing Walker.

Walker, obviously mentally disturbed, skipped down the street only to be killed by an officer who felt "threatened," though
Walker never attempted to harm the numerous officers.

If it were a citizen that had killed Walker instead of a police officer, the prosecutor's office would have filed criminal
charges because the law requires it based on the facts presented. The Seattle Police, however, appear to be exempt from
criminal charges, leaving only our civil courts as an avenue of remedy. We can't bring David Walker back but we can
change how we react to what we perceive to be a threat. To that end, we now have an opportunity to fix the biggest threat
to our Seattle social order - the Seattle Police Department.

Benjamin Schroeter, Seattle

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, July 27, 2000

Reaction to perceived threat needs to be changed

The recent jury finding at the David Walker inquest further reinforces a disturbing trend in Seattle policing --
that any "threat" may be adjudicated through (violent) sanctified overreaction. Just as the Seattle Police
overreacted to a few street punks at the WTO by beating, arresting or tear-gassing thousands of protesters and
citizens (while being praised by their supporters for showing restraint), Officer Tommie Doran has now been
judged to have acted in an acceptable manner by killing David Walker. Walker, obviously mentally disturbed,
skipped down the street only to be killed by an officer who felt "threatened."

What if a drunkard was driving down the street and failed to stop for pursuing officers? Should police shoot to
kill that person? The driver would clearly be of greater danger to the public than a contained David Walker.

If it were a citizen who had killed Walker instead of a police officer, the city attorney would have filed criminal
charges because the law requires it, based on the facts presented. The Seattle police, however, appear to be
exempt from criminal charges, leaving only our civil courts as an avenue of remedy. The WTO and Walker
incidents have already cost the city of Seattle plenty and we'll continue to pay for some time to come because of
our internationally renowned out-of-control police force.

We can't bring David Walker back but we can change how we react to what we perceive to be a threat. To that
end, we now have an opportunity to fix the biggest threat to our Seattle social order -- the Seattle Police

                                                                                                      Benjamin Schroeter

Letters to the Editor
Saturday, September 30, 2000
Columnist perpetuates myth about police at WTO

I'm incredulous that Susan Paynter is helping perpetuate the myth that it was but a few police officers who
failed to have their IDs visible, or that it was due to the donning of rain slickers or outerwear. In fact, of the
hundreds of Seattle and King County officers I observed at WTO on Nov. 30, fewer than 25 percent of them
had visible ID. (Check your TV footage; it wasn't raining). Despite the fact that all officers who were
videotaped assaulting innocent citizens did not have ID and the fact that a "policy" existed disallowing said
activity, no officers have been disciplined for failure to wear ID. Seattle police have proven that they are not
capable of enforcing this "policy" on their own. Duh. There must be teeth to this "policy" with penalties for
those who disregard it. Unless we can hold our police force accountable for their actions, anonymous
brutalization of citizens in Seattle will be an ongoing activity.

                                                                                             Benjamin S. Schroeter
                                                                             Schroeter Constitutional Justice Center


Letters to the editor

Adds up to murder

The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office has released its determination that Seattle actor Anthony Dwain Lee was
killed by four shots to the back by LAPD Officer Tarriel Hopper. It surprises no one here, in LA, or around the
globe. The fact that Officer Hopper was responding to a simple noise complaint at a party, then trespassed
around the side of the private residence only to shoot a black man in the back four times through a window add
up to murder. No more, no less.

The eyes of the world will follow the future events that stem from Lee’s murder. Seattle has already learned
through the David Walker inquest that any perceived ―threat‖ against an officer may be adjudicated by shooting
the ―threat.‖ While the two cases are markedly different, they are based on the same principle – ―Did the officer
feel threatened?‖ The LAPD will undoubtedly rush to Hopper’s defense by claiming Lee had what looked like a
gun and was on drugs.

I pray for Lee’s family and friends, who will have to watch Lee, in death, get dragged through the mud. For this
we will all be losers.

Stop the violence!

Ben Schroeter, Seattle

Letters to the Editor
February 14, 2001

Not surprising to read that Sidran is considering a run for the City's top job ["Mayor Sidran?" News Clips, 2/8],
but if Sidran thinks he has any shot at the mayor's race, then he is less intelligent than I thought. Sidran is no
Giuliani. Giuliani obtained "law-and-order" hero status by busting up the mob and sending them off to prison.
Sidran thinks he is a hero for promoting laws against sitting on the sidewalk and peeing in public, and having
poor people's cars towed. (Not to mention failing to get a conviction from 600 protesters he had arrested for
exercising their right to peaceably assemble.) Sidran as mayor would have its upside though—the new mayor
would provide lots of material for Seattle Weekly's seasoned writers. Can't wait for that.

                                                                                     BENJAMIN S. SCHROETER

Letters to the editor
Friday, March 9, 2001


Police presence in crowd could've prevented riot

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said, "I don't know of a single police tactic that exists to be able to insert
officers into the middle of a mob." He is correct; the idea is to have the police positioned in the crowd to begin
with, thus avoiding the creation of the mob in the first place. It's not rocket science and we all know it.

The same failure by SPD resulted in a few anarchists wreaking havoc during WTO. The SPD apparently views
any crowd as a hostile enemy.

Due to the now historical pattern of SPD failures in reacting to large crowd situations, those individuals bent on
creating violence and destruction know they can get away with anything in a Seattle crowd. Indeed, they
traveled from all over the state to come to Seattle to raise hell for Mardi Gras.

Mayor Paul Schell and Chief Kerlikowske are now posing questions such as "What was the role of private
sponsors, including a beer company and a radio station that targets teenagers and did the media behave

This deflection only shows that the mayor seeks another scapegoat for the city's continued failure to respond to
situations where the violent actions of individuals within a crowd was known by the SPD in advance.

The problem that faces the city in dealing with future special events is one of overcoming history. There is a
rough road ahead because there is only one way to demonstrate to troublemakers that the SPD is capable of
quashing violence immediately and appropriately. Until that demonstration is made, Seattleites will continue to
fear the department that is supposed to protect them.

                                                                                                     Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 1:40 PM
To: 'candyhatcher@seattle-pi.com'
Subject: Why did crowds tolerate sex assaults?

Re: Your article Why did crowds tolerate sex assaults? (@ http://seattlep-

". . . friendly groping morphed into assault."

"Do these women share responsibility for the street party getting out of hand? Absolutely. "

Friendly groping? Women responsible for the actions of others? Lady - you are out of your fucking mind.

Ben Schroeter

Letters to the Editor
March 14, 2001

    Letters to the Editor


Chief Gil Kerlikowske said, "I don't know of a single police tactic that exists to be able to insert officers into the
middle of a mob" ("Kerlikowske in the crossfire," 3/8). He is correct. What the chief apparently has failed to
acknowledge is that the idea is to have the police already positioned in the crowd, thus avoiding the creation of
the mob in the first place. It's not rocket science and we all know it. The same failure by SPD resulted in a few
anarchists wrecking (or wreaking—take your pick) havoc during WTO; no cops in the crowd. The SPD
apparently views any crowd as a hostile enemy.

Due to the (now) historical pattern of SPD failures in reacting to large crowd situations, those individuals (or
assholes—take your pick) bent on creating violence and destruction know they can get away with anything in a
Seattle crowd. Indeed, they traveled from all over the state to come to Seattle to raise hell for Mardi Gras.

Mayor Schell (or Smell—take your pick) and Chief Kerlikowske are now posing questions such as "What was
the role of private sponsors, including a beer company and a radio station that targets teenagers? Did the media
behave responsibly?" This only leads one to believe that the mayor seeks another scapegoat for the city's
continued failure to respond to situations where the violent actions of individuals within a crowd was known by
the SPD in advance.

The city has a rough road ahead because there is only one way to demonstrate to troublemakers that the SPD is
capable of quashing violence immediately and appropriately. Until that demonstration is made, Seattleites will
continue to fear the department that is supposed to protect them.

                                                                                                 BEN SCHROETER

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben"Jammin" [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 1:37 AM
To: letters@seattleweekly.com

Subject: The Weekly: Seattle's new Stranger?


The Seattle Weekly's attempts to get "hip" and stay "forever young" (See ex-Weekly Editor Fred Moody's Pacific
Northwest Magazine cover story, April 29, 2001), have sent the quality of this once great magazine into a free-fall decline
so rapid that it has created a loud sucking sound like Phil Conduit's jet headed toward Chicago.

The Weekly's attempts to gain back the demographic of the younger (and more desirable) readership perceived lost to
The Stranger have been to reconstruct the look and type of the magazine, while stealing away younger less talented
writing staff directly from The Stranger . . . and having them actually try and write. Case in point is Leah Greenblatt's
repulsive attack of a band's (Disco Biscuits) fans in her May 3 preview and her May 10 Days of our Nights.

Having recently come to the Weekly from the Stranger, Greenblatt is well versed in the "Stranger style" of music
journalism where the writers systematically smash the personal habits of a bands fans if the writer happens to have no
knowledge of the band or music, but has a personal dislike for someone he/she knows that likes the band. Greenblatt's
May 3 preview consisted of talking about hippie hygiene, and then devoted half her May 10 column to demonstrate the
spelling errors of the respondents instead of writing anything about music, which, based on the headline "MUSIC: Local
News", is what she should at least attempt to do.

This type of "journalism" is not only nauseating, it demonstrates contempt toward the very people that allow her job to
exist - all of us "ancient" 40-year-old readers of the Weekly. Will this new negative and obnoxious style help The Weekly
back to it's feet? I have yet to see a pierced and tattooed teenager sitting on his skateboard on Broadway with a Weekly
in hand commenting on the nifty new typeset and the wonderful editorials . . .

Ben Schroeter - Publisher
Seattle's Best Live Music

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben"Jammin" [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 3:51 AM
To: rritter@theolympian.com
Subject: Keep up the . . .

Keep up the poor journalism. I stumbled across an article - Evergreen grads hear Kesey: 21st-century students
get 21st-century call to action by ALMA D. SHARPE. Her Reference to Kesey - "The man remembered for his
"Further" Volkswagen bus . . . " just goes to show that at the Daily Zer0 you can just make things up if you
don't know the answer. Had Sharpe read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, or simply performed
some cursory research, she would have known that "The Bus" called "Further" was in fact a 1939 International
Harvester . . . Close enough in Olympia I guess. No wonder I used to use the paper to wipe my ass . . . .

Seattle's Best Live Music

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run
free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

Letters to the Editor
Monday, July 23, 2001
More scrutiny please on airport project

Thank you for the informative article on the status of the Sea-Tac third runway. I find it fascinating that despite
the project having not completed the necessary environmental review and permits, it is proceeding forward
undaunted by this small oversight.

Apparently, the Port of Seattle has a crystal ball, as they know enough about the future decisions of the
Department of Ecology and the Corps of Engineers to push on with millions of our tax dollars.

More likely than the port's possession of a crystal ball is a cozy relationship with the agencies that we have
entrusted to safeguard us from environmental destruction. This issue deserves greater scrutiny.

                                                                                                    Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben"Jammin" [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 12:27 PM
To: editpage@seattle-pi.com
Subject: RE: This year's failure to cover HempFest

P-I Editor,

After last years HempFest, the Post Intelligencer printed a short AP article that represented the crowd of
nearly 100,000 attendees as 10 to 15,000 people. By failing to assign one writer to cross the street and
get a story, and then publishing an AP article that severely misrepresented the crowd size at this
important political event sent a strong message of editorial bias' to P-I readers.

This year, P-I staff completely ignored the more than 150,000 people that streamed in front of the large
waterfront windows of the P-I offices to attend this civil rights event. Yes people smoked pot, but there
were over 75 speakers, educational workshops on the benefits of the hemp plant, People gathering
signatures for civil rights initiatives, and of course political candidates and parties getting their message
out to the huge crowd.

The sum of the P-I‘s representation of the whole event was reduced to a single picture of a crazed-looking
volunteer. The P-I has been entrusted to provide objective coverage of Northwest events, but when P-I
staff chooses to dismiss the meaning of political and civil rights events through misrepresentation, then
the P-I has (in essence) become a dangerous censor by limiting free speech.

Shame on you.

         Ben Schroeter

Editorials & Opinion: Sunday, September 02, 2001

Letters to the editor
Streets of Seattle
'Reclaim the Streets' from Seattle police

Overstepping bounds

Prior to the actual march, some of those involved in the march/protest/party (whatever... ) were trying to pass out free food
to the homeless. The police accosted these people and dumped out the food they had brought. Assistant Chief Jim Puget
has told this paper that this was done because they didn't have a health permit ("Weekend protesters say police went
overboard; cops rebut intimidation charge," Times, Aug. 27).

Excuse me? The Seattle-King County Health department is supposed to enforce this kind of activity. Are the police now
acting as judge and jury, bypassing all administrative procedures that are in place to address this type of generous

If I had seen the police dumping food for the homeless, I would have joined the march myself.
- Ben Schroeter, Seattle

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 12:02 PM
To: editpage@seattle-pi.com
Subject: Pesticides . . . round two

Heather Hansen's 9/7/01 letter vilifies the P-I staff for an August 20 article ("working to prevent poisonous
classrooms"), implying that the information used by the P-I was inaccurate or unreferenced because it
originated from "activist" literature, not a trusted source (like the Environmental Protection Agency). Her letter
does not specifically refute any of the few statistics published in the article because they happen to be accurate .
. . many actually originating from EPA documents.

Hansen maligns other "activist" groups information while hiding behind the veil of an activist group
herself. Her organization, Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, is a pesticide industry advocate
organization. WFFF maintains an undisclosed membership base, and has, as a matter of record, lobbied against
virtually every legislative attempt to strengthen Washington State pesticide rules. Hansen's claim of working
hard to get the pesticide notification bill passed is correct however, as WFFF worked closely to craft a watered-
down version than was a shadow of what those "activist" children's organizations requested.

Benjamin S. Schroeter

Letters to the Editor
Friday, October 19, 2001

More opinion than news in story of two candidates

Kery Murakami's Oct. 8 article, "'Seattle way vs. 'my way'" has got to be the best advertisement Mark Sidran
has purchased yet. Offered as a news piece, it reads like a glowing endorsement for Sidran, reiterating over and
over that Sidran's way is the difference we need from the old and ineffective "Seattle way" that is Greg Nickles.
This article, via its construction, is an unfair representation of actual news. Commentaries such as these belong
on the opinion page with the rest of your endorsements.

                                                                                                    Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 7:21 PM
To: virginia.swanson@ci.seattle.wa.us
Subject: Permits for N30

Ms. Swanson,

I have read that you won't issue a permit for November 30. Is this your decision, or are you simply acting on
orders from the 12th floor? Mr. Howland's article in the Seattle Weekly indicated you denied the permit
because of the presence of the DSA carousel, to wit:

       "We don't usually issue two permits for groups [to share the same space] that are not clearly

How quickly we forget history. Remember the TV clips and photos of protesters riding the carousel during the
WTO gathering at Westlake? The only harm that was done to the carousel (or to the DSA) was Schell's creation
of a huge "No Protest - No Shopping" zone, that kept all citizens from traveling downtown for almost a week,
preventing charitable donations.

The carousel is not a McDonalds. The carousel is not a Starbucks. The carousel does not represent corporate
greed or abuse. As an effort to raise money for children's charities, the carousel represents all that is good about
our country, our city, and our citizens. The carousel is not only "clearly compatible" in association with 1st
Amendment activity, it has a demonstrated history of safe operation right along with this very same 1st
Amendment activity.

The only message that is sent by this denial of an otherwise slam-dunk permit, is that the 12th floor will be
ready to squash and squelch any 1st Amendment activity that will occur at the site that is most fitting for the
remembrance of the day. The denial only serves to make illegal what will most likely occur anyway, giving an
excuse for the 12th floor to use a heavy hand and an iron fist to mute the voices that wish to be heard in the
city's center.

It is an police accident waiting to happen. You know it. You have the power to prevent it. Yet you will let the
inevitable occur without any effort to mitigate the potential future disaster.

Shame on you.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 7:36 PM
To: Seattle P-I Editor (E-mail)
Subject: Here we go again..

The Seattle Police Department is once again defending an officer who has killed a potential criminal. Less than
30 minutes elapsed between a call to police, and a 23-year-old man dying on the floor of his room from police
gunshot wounds. The distraught and drunken man had been threatening harm to himself and was obviously
contained in his room when officers arrived. Why did these officers feel compelled to rush a drunken and
suicidal man in his room with a "taser" gun. The officers put themselves in danger unnecessarily and ended up
taking the life of a man that most likely could have been talked out of his room if they had waited for SPD
officers trained to negotiate with barricaded suspects.

What prompted the officers to confront the deranged man when he was already contained in his room? Isn't it
SPD policy to secure the area and wait for the SPD hostage negotiator or other trained officer to arrive and
attempt to safely talk the man from his room? Would an hour or two of waiting until the man passed out or
surrendered have been an appropriate response?

The path this incident will take is already known; an inquest jury will absolve the officer, declaring him
justified to fire his weapon because he was "threatened". Is it really that simple? This appears to be just
another in a continuing string of brutish overreactions by Seattle officers that are too quick to resort to lethal
force in situations that call for restraint rather than immediate resolution.

It is hard to correct behavior that is later declared justified by inquest juries, and yet this improper police
behavior needs to be addressed and reformed before more citizens die unnecessarily.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@home.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 2:04 PM
To: postmaster@thestranger.com
Subject: Get me a box of donuts...

Seattle Police Murder Patrol

So the SPD wanted to prevent this guy in Lake City from killing himself and, in doing so, killed
him? Fascinating. They are there to stop him from killing himself but instead do the job for him. Where's that
damn irony in that huh?

He was locked in a room? The cops were where? Outside? And they feel threatened how? Oh wait a minute...
he's banging on the walls. Somebody shoot him. And please tell me why the hell a roommate in the house
could disarm him without use of a gun but it took two cops to shoot the guy dead?

They wanted him down immediately. Their coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts must have been getting cold.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 4:21 PM
To: letters@seattleweekly.com
Subject: Bush Dancing...


Thank you for James Bush's article on the 'Teen Dance Ordinance' and David Osgood's untiring fight against it.
The one thing that the article made clear, was that the very venues/events that the original law tried to regulate,
don't seem to be covered by this law in the first place. The recent publicity surrounding the teen ecstasy ring
that (supposedly...heh, heh) operated at events held at Club FX is a strong case in point. It is shocking to learn
that Seattle cops are claiming that they, along with Federal agents, actually allowed drug-dealing to our city's
teens to go on for two years, while harassing other venues without this problem!

The enforcements of this Ordinance seems to have only affected or hurt the core group of long-time, honest
concert promoters and their patrons. I pray that Mr. Osgood is successful in his Federal case, and is able to
allow the citizens of Seattle to freely dance once more, without the threat of arrest!

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com] On Behalf Of Seattle's Best Live Music (E-mail)
Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2002 3:35 PM
To: feedback@mirror.co.uk
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Peter Buck


Re: Peter Buck cleared.

Okay, please stop teasing us Americans about O.J., it strikes me that justice works in similar fashion in the U.K.
It appears that Mr. Blundell must have consulted Johnnie Cochran on proper criminal defense techniques. I
found much humor in Buck's defense team reaching to Bono as a character witness; it must have been hard to
find someone who has never seen Buck drunk. While my impressions from meeting Mr. Buck concur that he
has always been nothing but a very nice gentleman, quite frankly, there are few in Seattle who have seen Mr.
Buck sober. I can't help but picture Mr. Blundell telling the jury "If the lout don't fit, you must acquit!"...


Letters to the Editor
May 8, 2002


Mariner management are Seattle's new "thought police." Under the bogus claim that the word "suck" is a "dirty,
dirty word," they asked Mariner fans to remove their shirts under threat of eviction ["M's Fans Still Suck," May
2]. But is the word "suck" in and of itself so dirty, or is it the thought behind the word that is so offensive?
Methinks they are enforcing the latter. I wonder if Mariner brass would allow a "Yuck the Fankees" shirt? There
is only one way to find out, and when the dreaded Yankees return this summer, I will be wearing mine . . . as I
sit chained to my seat . . . lest the Mariner gestapo try and evict me for not thinking clean enough for them.
It's bad enough that I bought that stadium for the Mariners; to hell if they're going to tell me what I can think
about the Yankees in my facility.

                                                                                                                   Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 11:24 PM
To: chrowetrns@aol.com
Subject: you and the chief

Dear Mr. Mayor of Sultan,

I laugh out loud every couple of years when a new Sky valley feud in Sultan creeps up. Cops selling coke,
Mayors and Police Chiefs feuding. It's like an episode of the Simpsons, except the TV coverage is much more

I used to stop in Sultan all the time for pizza, gas, whatever...but for years now, I keep on driving through your
town. I'd hate to get caught up in your little spat. Nothing worse than pissed-off cops...

Whatever you did...or the chief did...it smacks of corny juvenile small-town bullshit politics...just like in the

Good job dummy...

Ben Schroeter - President (and ex-Sky valley resident)

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 1:32 AM
To: john.zavis@seattle.gov; marybeth.turner@ci.seattle.wa.us; steve.ripley@ci.seattle.wa.us;
grace.crunican@seattle.gov; anne.fiske-zuniga@seattle.gov; thomas.carr@seattle.gov; kathryn.harper@seattle.gov
Cc: 'Mayor Greg Nickels -'; 'Jan Drago -'; 'Nick Licata -'; 'Peter Steinbrueck -'; 'Heidi Wills -'; 'Judy Nicastro -'; 'Richard
Conlin -'; 'Richard. Mciver -'; 'Margaret Pageler -'; 'Jim Compton -'
Subject: Comments on Postering Rules

I have many angry comments about this proposed rulemaking, and unfortunately I do not have time to read it
through carefully because of the sneaky way you tried to get it by without people knowing. I believe that this
proposal has significant impacts on the city and it's citizens and I disagree with your finding of no significant
impact. The following issues I object to:

1. Your publishing of the DNS notice in the Daily Journal of Commerce is exactly what SEPA did not want
you to do. You purposely placed the notice so that those people most likely to be effected by the rule changes,
would not see the notice and therefore not be able to comment. An ad in the Stranger would have been cheaper,
and would have reached your target audience. You should be ashamed of yourselves for attempting this blatant
circumvention of the SEPA rules.

2. (4.5.1 The top of the sign shall be no higher than 6 feet above the ground) Height restrictions of 6
feet? Why? This is based on what need? This is an arbitrary and capricious rule that only serves to limit the
available space for posting. It is also contrary to the standard posting procedures practiced in Seattle for many

3. (4.5.3 Signs shall not face the same direction as any traffic control sign on the same pole or post.) Again, this
is an arbitrary and capricious rule that only serves to limit the available space for posting.

4. (4.6 Sign attachment methods. Signs must be attached to poles and posts with tape, string, staples sized at or
smaller than 0.050 gauge, 3/8" (9.5mm) long, or by other methods that do not diminish worker safety and that
allow signs to be easily removed when their display period has ended. Attachment methods not allowed include
nails, staples larger than 0.050 gauge, 3/8" long, and glue.) So a 1/2" staple is now illegal? Will you arrest all
the people that put up yard sale signs with nails, or just the rock clubs that use staples larger than you like?

5. (4.7 Signs over signs. Signs shall not be placed on top of each other. The limit is one sign thick on poles and
posts.) What is the safety concern for one thick as opposed to 3 thick, or 5 thick? What data do you have to
support this determination which appears to be arbitrary and capricious.

6. (4.10 Dates. Signs shall bear the date of posting on the lower left-hand corner in printing no smaller than 18-
point type or type ¼ high.) It is not practical to place dates on posters. Posters could be printed one month for
posting the next. There may be no way to determine the posting date at the time of printing.

7. (4.12 Removal Process. A sign that is in place after the expiration of the period of display authorized above
is considered litter. The person or organization posting the sign is primarily responsible for removing signs
when the display period has expired. Members of the public may also remove expired signs either to replace
them with signs of their own or to simply remove the litter. City forces may remove signs as litter 48 hours after
the authorized display period ends. If the City does the removal, the cost of labor and disposal will be charged
to the person or organization posting the sign to the extent allowed by law.) This makes a presumption that the
event advertised was posted by the venue. This is often not the case, and this flimsy rule means that one person
could "set up" another person by posting items with the other's name (without their notice) - only to turn around
and "turn them in" so they can be fined or charged for removal.

8. (4.13 Contact Telephone Number Required. Permitted signing shall bear a contact telephone number on the
lower left hand corner adjacent to the posting date in printing no smaller than 18-point (¼ inch) type. The sign
sponsor will be responsible for the costs associated with the removal to the extent allowed by law.) This again
creates the possibility of the problems I mention in #7 (above), but by requiring contact names and telephone
numbers, the city is now disallowing any anonymous posting of political materials which is in direct opposition
to freedoms provided for in the state Constitution

Ben Schroeter - President
Seattle's Best Live Music - www.seattlelivemusic.net
Wharfrat Publicity - www.wharfratpublicity.net

And then…

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com]
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2002 5:57 PM
To: 'Richard McIver'
Cc: john.zavis@seattle.gov
Subject: RE: Comments on Postering Rules

Thanks for replying Richard.
One man's visual clutter is another man's art... (smile)

I personally am repulsed by the use of our poles for commercial service companies such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? I see a distinct
difference between a commercial service company using the poles for free advertising, and local bands and clubs using the poles to
advertise performance. Truth is, there is little money in the arts... Of course it was a service company that took the issue to the
Supreme Court, and the ruling appears to make no distinction between the two; although the ruling, which alludes to the poles as a
"public forum", seems to fit for a sign advertising of performance, garage sales and so forth, but not necessarily for a for-profit
business advertisement with no time value whatsoever. Then, in my opinion, it becomes a "commercial forum", an idea that I don't
think was argued...

But the whole argument about it being a safety issue for light pole climbers is hogwash, and some of the new requirements will only
cause the city to be engaged in further expensive litigation. Who will get billed for breaking the new rules? It will, undoubtedly be
selectively applied, possibly based on sign content, which will create new litigation.

It is upsetting for some club owners that someone else; a band, or a band's friend, can poster something with their club's name, and
they could get charged for it? That issue needs to be more clear, if not removed. If the city intends to bill anyone, shouldn't the
penalty/rate be in the rules?

Is it realistic to have a 48 hour policy? Why not a 30 day policy? If the policy is simply to not cover previous postings, (which I think
that all the posterers will agree is "uncool", then in order for someone to place a poster, they would have to remove the previous one,
and that would pretty much keep the poles fairly clean right? Maybe try that first?

Why a 6 foot minimum? I prefer the signs at 9 feet, because it keeps them away from the hands of juviniles that may rip them down
and discard them in the street.

And finally, the whole idea of posting names and numbers, and posting dates will not pass constitutional muster, because it defeats an
individual's right to free speech if they choose to remail anonymous.

Just some ideas...


Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter1@attbi.com]
Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 11:32 AM
To: letters@seattleweekly.com
Cc: Skip (E-mail)
Subject: Blethen


No matter how much I hate the dog killer Blethen and his pit bull tactics on local newsrooms and offices, I can't
really place the blame for the possible death of the P-I on Blethen's impending attempt to pull the plug on the
joint operating agreement. The P-I has proverbially shot itself in the foot with it's disgusting editorial migration
to the right from their long-standing lefty ways; causing me (and everyone I know) to cancel our
subscriptions. With their mostly mediocre local reporting, and an ever more right-leaning editorial board, the
only difference between the two papers is the damn globe on the P-I's expensive waterfront homestead.

Ben Schroeter - President
Seattle's Best Live Music - www.seattlelivemusic.net

Letters to the Editor
August 27, 2003

While the traditional 4:20 Joint Toss is still alive at Hempfest [Buzz, Aug. 20], many staff ran around making
sure vendors did not sell any smoking paraphernalia. What? A Hempfest without the traditional smoking
utensils? Despite the fact that selling a smoking utensil is legal under city and state laws, Hempfest organizers
were worried that Asscroft and his band of federal goons would swoop down and enforce the new "Rave Act,"
which can send the organizers of an event to long jail terms (20 years or a fine of not more than $500,000, or

Just 30 miles south on this same Sunday, at the corporate Clear Channel White River Amphitheatre during the
Sprite Remix Touran event specifically aimed at teenage youthvendors openly sold the glass pipes that are so
popular for smoking herb . . . to skateboard-toting kids.

I hope that next year Hempfest organizers choose to test the powers of our government, because it is only
through a judicial decision that an unjust law can be overturned, and our government kept in check.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: benschroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 1:37 PM
To: 'paul@wa-democrats.org'
Subject: Gregoire - the wrong choice? Recount? where now?

To: Paul Berendt, State Party Chair, WA. St. Democrats

As an environmentalist and someone who considers myself to be a democrat, I am quite upset with the
party‘s recent choices for governor. Locke was an environmental travesty who didn‘t do crap for our
environment, (as evidenced by his utter failure to even mention environment in his platform…or anywhere
for that matter in the 2000 election) and I was unable to support his reelection campaign.

This year marks the second consecutive governor‘s race that I have been forced to write in Mickey

Gregoire, someone whom I have monitored closely since she plundered and polluted the state as the
director for the department of Apology…er…Ecology, was about the worst choice of any Dem I could think
of for governor. It comes as no surprise to me that all the lefty dem. civil servants that I know that
worked directly for Christine or were indirectly forced to enforce policies that originated from her office(s)
could not (or would not) vote for her. I consider her to be no more than a wolf in sheep‘s clothing, and
would wager that there are at least 43 other dems that worked under Christine that didn‘t vote for her
either because they feel the same way as I do.

The numbers clearly support my contention that Gregoire was defeated by members of her own party.
While Kerry won Washington by 7 percentage points and 52% of votes cast, Christine only managed 48%
and lost 140,000 people that voted for Kerry!!! (Even if you deduct the 75,000 less people who voted for
governor than president, it‘s still a net loss of 65,000 dem. Voters.) Why? How?

Was it the way Christine took credit for fighting the tobacco companies? Taking credit for something that
any AG would have done; an absurd and self-absorbed way of taking credit for doing her job; turned me
off completely. Were others turned off by this idiocy? Was it because the office of AG never took
responsibility for all the in-fighting and screw-ups that occurred under her watch? Or maybe our fellow
constituents just plain saw through that sheep‘s outfit to the wolf that lives inside…
Christine does not deserve the damn office. Instead of wasting money on a recount, try funneling the
money toward running a candidate in 2008 years that dems can vote for, I‘m tired of voting for Mickey.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 3:11 PM
To: opinion@seattletimes.com
Subject: re: Woman sentenced in sex-trade case


On 12/18/05, quietly tucked away in the Local Digest on page B3, was a short article outlining the sentencing of
two women who were engaging in one of the most vile and insidious crimes that it has been my horror to see:
human trafficking. One woman received a sentence of six months in prison and the other 90 days of home
monitoring. Smuggling disenfranchised women across borders for the purpose of prostitution is a heinous,
sinister and disgusting act of violence. There is something seriously wrong with our existing system of crime
and punishment when we put people in prisons for years for doing nothing more than simply possessing drugs
and yet slap the hand of people committing monstrous acts of human abuse and suffering.

What pray tell is the message we are sending???

Ben Schroeter

Thursday, December 28, 2005

Letters to the Editor

(Note: This is a substantial rewrite on my part for size, and some unwanted editing from the PI.)

Moving summer concerts a bad idea for neighborhood

The Saturday article on Summer Nights concerts moving to Gas Works Park was disturbing and comments from
Seattle Parks Department spokesperson Dewey Potter were quite unsettling.

This blindsiding of Seattle residents shows the city has little respect for residents' input on this taking of Gas
Works. Seattle parks offer one of the few joys that provide equal access to all economic classes and this gift to
One Reel smacks of special catering to the elite who can afford high concert prices. The city has utterly failed
its residents' due process rights, and has failed its duty to conduct a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act)

Last year's concerts drew few complaints, but those concerts were held at south Lake Union, a business district
with plenty of parking. You cannot compare that with lower Wallingford, where history shows that events in
Gas Works severely affect the neighborhood with parking woes and noise complaints. Picnickers, fishermen,
dog-walkers and joggers will be forced to recreate elsewhere or endure long traffic lines, no parking and a rift of
cyclone fences, police boats and security personnel.
The city's music lovers won't suffer a cultural void from the loss of the Summer Nights series, as there is an
overabundance of summer concert series that will book the acts if One Reel can't: Concerts at Marymoor,
Woodland Park Zoo, Ste. Michelle Winery, White River Amphitheater, etc.

To quote Potter, "Balancing the public benefits of the concerts with the impact of the concerts"? Hardly.

Ben Schroeter

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

City officials alienating Seattle constituents
(This letter was originally sent to the members of the Seattle City Council, the mayor, parks Superintendent Ken Bounds
and city attorney Tom Carr. It is reprinted with the author's permission.)

While I appreciate the concerns of Wallingford residents pertaining to the "slamming" of the Summer Nights concert series
into Gas Works Park without review or comment, my concerns are not as much about the particulars (noise, traffic, etc.)
as with the lack of process and the lack of respect for the rights and feelings of Seattle residents.

In the 24 years that Charles Royer, Norm Rice and Paul Schell ran this city, these leaders - in conjunction with your
predecessors on the City Council - went to extraordinary lengths to build community relations with Seattle residents and
neighborhood groups.

Yet, in four short years, Mayor Nickels and his "regime" have effectively burned every bridge to the Seattle populace,
while defiantly flipping the bird at the entire city so that he can build on his "vision" of what Seattle should be.

Exactly what message is sent by announcing this move to the public the day before Christmas Eve?

Unfortunately, Mayor Nickels' vision (and his methods of enforcing it) do not sit well with Seattle residents. His
administration's behavior has been not only spiteful and malicious but now the activity is breaking the law.

More shocking to me than Mayor Nickels' behavior have been the actions of the City Council, who have been party to this
scheme to give away one of our beloved parks. When Mr. Della revealed on Jan. 4 that he had knowledge of this "move"
to Gas Works Park since October and not only did not consult the neighbors, but actively assisted in the siting, it struck
anger in citizens that quite justifiably deserves being directed at the council, too.

Even more disturbing than all this is that One Reel was telling potential sponsors as early as September that the concerts
would be sited at Gas Works.

What in God's name has happened to our city that such devilry could even take place? What on God's green earth are
you people thinking? "Let's slide this under the carpet while nobody's watching"?

The process here is wrong from the word "go." It is not only un-Seattlelike, but it smacks of Ollie North-esque backroom
dealing that would be expected from the Bush administration but not from our city government.

It's time that the council steps up to the plate and says no to this foolishness, and it's time to start building the bridges
back that Nickels has torn down. A good start would be to say no to this decision instead of having to force a judge to say
just that.

Our city and its future are in your hands.

Ben Schroeter
Pritchard Beach
-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 1:07 PM
To: opinion@seattletimes.com
Cc: sports@seattletimes.com
Subject: Re: Schultz: Sonics may leave without cash


I am shocked that Howard Schultz has the nerve to ‗demand‘ taxpayers pony up $200k to improve the
Coliseum…er…Key Arena. It was only a short 11 years ago that taxpayers spent $75.7 million dollars for a
badly needed upgrade for then Sonics owner Barry Ackerley. It was built to be an up to date venue
replete with upgraded seating, luxury boxes, and other amenities that would help the Sonics stay fiscally

What seems to really be the problem now? The problem is that the Sonics stink. A good team would fill
seats. The one game I attended this year was only half full and now Howie wants us to bail him out?

When Ken Behring tried that maneuver with the Seahawks in 1996 we bounced his butt back to California.
Maybe it‘s time we bounce Schultz back to…er…Madrona, and he can take the 7th floor with him.

Ben Schroeter - Seattle

Here's a few letters (none of which have been published....)

Subject: Re: City will repair wetlands harmed by new complex
Date: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 08:28:02 +0000


Thank you for publishing Mr. McClure's article "City will repair wetlands harmed by new complex" concerning
the (allegedly) accidental devastation of the Hamm Creek headwaters by the City of Seattle. Unfortunately the
paving of wetlands is never an accident, mistake, or "oversight" as claimed by city employee Brenda Bauer.
Quite simply, had the city completed an appropriate environmental checklist as required by SEPA, (or if
someone had actually gone out and taken a look...) the city would have easily seen that they were planning a
project in the middle of a sensitive wetland. The facts indicate, (and I believe) the city did just that and through
sheer arrogance, decided to proceed forward hoping not to get caught. Enter Mr. Beal.

Thank god that through Mr. Beal's zealous pursuit of this despicably located project the City of Seattle is now
forced to mitigate the damage they caused. That and city apologies however are not enough to right the wrongs
of this debacle. Not only should the officials responsible for this "oversight" be terminated, if the city had any
sense whatsoever (and the desire to get it 'right'), they would ask Mr. Beal to oversee and manage the entire
creek restoration project. Mr. Beal's years of tireless unpaid effort to restore this creek to its natural
magnificence make it abundantly clear that he is the best qualified candidate to oversee the project and return
Hamm Creek to its pristine salmon-nurturing state.

Ben Schroeter

Then there‘s the letter to the Seattle Weekly…also not published….

(FIRST Read the opinion piece I am responding to @
http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0545/051109_news_mossback.php - written by my ex-Hidden Valley
Camp counselor Skip Berger.....)

I really enjoyed Knute Berger's "Chain Gangs" piece (SW 11/9-15/05) which succinctly summed up Seattle
Times owner Frank Blethen‘s high-minded civic-oriented accomplishments and "benevolence." While Berger's
piece was an awesome exposé of Blethen's lifetime accomplishments and generosity, he failed to mention the
one Blethen action that completes the picture...that one altruistic and noble deed that defines Blethen's
awesome presence as an accepted community member and human being of this great planet: that the dilweed
actually shot his neighbor's dog.

Although it was 1996, I do remember that Blethen was asked to perform community service and pay vet bills in
return for dismissal of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. I can't help but wonder if any of the great acts of
charity mentioned in Berger's piece were submitted to the court by Blethen in fulfillment of his dismissal


Ben Schroeter

Well no wonder the Times didn‘t print the following…knowing I‘m a big Blethen fan…

Re: McKenna Eyes Liability Limits


Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna's posturing to limit state liability from it's own negligence is but the
continued manifestation of the Republican Party's misguided attack on the judicial system and the long- held
citizen right to be made whole by those who do them wrong. Using the same "deep pocket" gibberish
promulgated by the recent partisan- sponsored I-330, McKenna is attempting to deflect blame from those (state
employees) that are truly responsible. McKenna should make sure his house is in order before casting stones
toward "third parties." The fact that we are "the most exposed" state in the nation is not as much from
"jackpot" verdicts against the state, but regularly the result of ineptitude, inaction and infighting within the AG's
office, with several glaring examples occurring while under Christine Gregoire's lackadaisical rule of the AG's
office. At least one multimillion dollar verdict resulted after the rejection of a reasonable plaintiff settlement
offer well under a million, and another resulted from a blown appeal deadline caused by petty office politics.

Our elected officials should work on making the existing system work more efficiently so we don't get endlessly
sued for avoidable mistakes. Taking away Washington citizens due process is exactly the opposite of what Mr.
McKenna was elected to do as our representative.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2005 5:37 AM
To: 'letters@seattleweekly.com'
Cc: 'kberger@seattleweekly.com'
Subject: O Little Town with Little Minds


The city of Bellevue‘s harassment of Tent City 4 at Temple B'Nai Torah (December 14 - 20, O Little Town
of Bellevue) is only the latest manifestation of the city‘s well-exercised small-minded behavior toward
people of ―lesser means‖. Oxford Houses of Washington State is another organization that has suffered
the wrath of Bellevue‘s neighborly conduct. Oxford House, (a group of self-run, self-supported recovery
houses that provide recovering addict/alcoholics a clean and sober way of life) has expanded its network
of Houses nationwide since its founding several decades ago, and has developed and opened houses in
virtually every major Puget Sound city except Bellevue. Why? …because Bellevue challenged the
opening of an Oxford House in their fair city by setting up ridiculous requirements too high to hurdle, just
as they did to Tent City 4. Oxford House quietly chose not to fight, as is their nationwide policy.

Congratulations (mazel tov!) to Temple B'Nai Torah for their impudence to challenge the mighty city by
suing their ass. I can‘t think of a more deserving Chanukah present for those bastards at Bellevue‘s city
hall than a strongly-worded vilification of the city by U.S. District Judge John Coughenour. And much
thanks to the Seattle Weekly for candidly showing how Bellevue‘s actions speak more clearly than a
thousand words.

Ben "Jammin" Schroeter

Sunday February 19, 2006

Hamburger joint mayor's official residence?
I was delighted to see Monday's article about Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels championing local Seattle musicians
by playing their music on hold for callers waiting to speak with agents at the Seattle Public Utilities Call Center
("City turns off Muzak for a taste of Seattle").

Yet two days later, I was disturbed to read another P-I article where Nickels' seventh-floor wrecking crew
(staff?) threatened a Belltown restaurateur's liquor license unless he signed a Good-Neighbor Agreement
"barring the use of promoters and DJs in the club."

Say what?

Apparently the mayor thinks he lives in a Burger King because there is no doubt he's having it his way.

Ben Schroeter

02/26/06 - http://www.thestranger.com/blog/2006/02/summer_nights_d.php

Summer Nights: down but not out

Tomorrow‘s Stranger will contain a brief story about the cancellation of One Reel’s Summer Nights
concert series. I didn‘t hear back from One Reel until after my deadline, so I thought I‘d share some
excerpts of my interview with Sheila Hughes, One Reel’s chief operating officer.

Last week, Friends of Gas Works Park filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court accusing One Reel and
Seattle of violating the public‘s right to use the park. Though One Reel‘s announcement today made only
oblique references to that neighborhood opposition, it was clearly a crucial factor: ―It played a role in the
sense that the work we were doing in response became a huge part of the timeline,‖ says Hughes. ―It was
like having a switchboard with 20 lines open yet trying to have one conversation.‖

If that weren‘t enough, last week also saw community activist Ben Schroeter email the suit to 140
national booking agents, some of whom had booked their talent or were considering offers to put their
bands in the series. As a result, says Hughes, ―You have to spend time talking to every individual who
received that email. It‘s a huge delay and impact on our staff.‖

Hughes could not speak directly to the issue of whether the city violated the public process in its efforts
to move the Summer Nights series to Gas Works, as the suit alleges. She only knows that the city was
responsive and fast and that it appreciated the importance of keeping the series in the city. ―It‘s an easy
thing to let something like this not happen,‖ says Hughes, and she was impressed that the city tried so
hard to make it happen, despite the obstacles.

Despite the failure of the 2006 plan, Hughes says it was an ―investment‖ for 2007 and she is hopeful that
with 18 months to negotiate, One Reel can work out a settlement with the Friends of Gas Work Park,
which may now withdraw its lawsuit, according to the group‘s founder, Cheryl Trivison.

Editorials & Opinion: Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Letters to the editor
Basketball hoopla: Funny bounce

A public vote? Bwaaa haaa haaa. Yeah... right. Our civic lesson from this exercise has been "No
means yes." Been there. Done that.

— Ben Schroeter, Seattle

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lack of SEPA at heart of concert cancellation
I take issue with comments attributed to me in Russ Zabel's article "Parks, politics and protests: Parks projects
slammed at rally," published in your March 1 edition of the Herald-Outlook.

What I said to Zabel, to the editor of this paper and what I've been saying since December is that the city
should be sued because they failed to perform SEPA as required by law, which is exactly what the petition filed
by attorney David Bricklin states.

SEPA is the State Environmental Policy Act, a state policy that requires state and local agencies to consider the
likely environmental consequences of a proposal before approving or denying the proposal.

SEPA is a law used as a tool to guide the moving agency in how to identify concerns and consequences, how to
measure their impacts and then direct them to the proper way to proceed, one of which is to produce an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

It is my contention that if SEPA was done honestly, the identified impacts would be serious enough for a
Determination of Significance, which would trigger the production of an Environmental Impact Statement. This
accusation is also touched upon in the petition filed by Bricklin and in your possession.

Had Zabel read the petition or interviewed Bricklin, he likely would not have misquoted me or Cheryl Trivison,
whom he also attributed the same misnomer; that the reason the petition was filed was a lack of an EIS.

SEPA is a very important and powerful act that empowers citizens to command governmental accountability in
environmental issues. The City of Seattle's failure to perform SEPA was raised in a letter I wrote to the editor of
the Seattle P-I, published Dec. 28, two days after I discovered that [Seattle] Parks [and Recreation] had failed
to perform SEPA.

I presented the city's lack of SEPA process as the basis for a legal action to the Wallingford community at the
Jan. 4 Wallingford Community Council meeting at the Good Shepherd Center, and your paper reported my
efforts to engage the city in litigation in your Jan. 11 article by Daniel Catchpole, "City to solidify plans for
summer concerts at Gas Works Park."

What followed was a great grass-roots effort to mobilize the community.

The concept of a legal action was met with substantial resistance by most community members that became
involved in the process that developed to address this proposal of Summer Nights [concerts] at Gas Works Park
- mostly because people were not against concerts, but rather the process that brought the sudden

Much of the city's media has spent the last few weeks painting these wonderful citizens as NIMBYs and
trivializing their concerns. These accusations are far from the truth of what is truly in the hearts of these
community members that have valiantly opposed the placement of this beloved series in Gas Works.

We are all sorry that we will be without Summer Nights this year, but we are also glad that in this instance, the
city and One Reel have realized that when they make decisions that affect our local communities by cutting
corners on due process, that they will be held responsible to the rule of law.

Ben Schroeter
Pritchard Beach

SLOG - 04/08/06 - http://slog.thestranger.com/2006/04/02-08

CITY   The Boy Who Cried Wolf?
Posted by Josh Feit on APRIL 6 at 5:10 PM

So, the pending Seattle Times article I spent all day yesterday warning and warning and warning readers
to watch for—didn‘t land today. Obviously.
I imagine, though, that it‘ll run in next few days, if not Sunday, for full impact. Again: Their big story is
that there‘s only one person who has a city license to do all-ages shows—which evidently raises the
question: How can kids be safe if they‘re going to unlicensed shows? The answer is pretty simple. The
majority of all-ages shows don‘t need to get dance licenses because they‘re concerts at venues (like
Studio Seven) that already meet strict municipal safety and security requirements—including having
undergone criminal background checks for their liquor licenses. AADO licenses are intended for
independent promoters and atypical venues that need to get in line with those sort of requirements.
It is true that the zombie dance was unlicensed. That‘s likely because ―raves‖ don‘t typically require AADO
licenses, and, so, the promoter likely didn‘t think to get one. (Raves actually fall under stricter guidelines
than the AADO anyway, and indeed, the CHAC event had more than 6x the security that the AADO
requires.) However, if the CHAC all-ages dance should have been licensed, as it appears it should‘ve, the
people who screwed up—both CHAC and the promoter, Annika Anderson it would seem—need to be held
Although, obviously, they should not be held accountable for Kyle Huff‘s deranged rampage at a house
party over a mile away from the club several hours later.
When the Seattle Times does run its article, they should also publish this letter (about their editorial
calling for a crackdown on teen dances), which a Seattle Times reader cc:d to me today:

       I crafted the letter below to be in a format that they might just consider for publication, but I have $5 that says they won’t. Just

       thought you’d want to see what they’re not printing…


       It has been a full week since I read this piece and it‘s still bothering me. It is such a dangerous argument to
       presume that teens would be protected by beefing up teen dance laws. In fact the exact opposite would be
       true. When Seattle‘s Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO) was in place, raves and other such gatherings took place
       solely ―underground.‖ The TDO was so restrictive that it basically made the legitimate production of such an
       event a virtual impossibility.

       Many of these ―underground‖ events were produced by older men that not only had the experience to pull it
       off, but the desires to exploit young teens. They made lots of money not as much on the gate but by selling
       drugs such as Ecstasy to the teens that came in droves. Â Once on drugs, older men could manipulate the
       teens into positions that they otherwise would never get into on their own. There was never any real security
       at these events, there was no semblance of safety, there were lots of drugs and alcohol, and for many a teen
       that was the attraction.

       With the repeal of the TDO came the production of many teen dances and music events produced by well
       established and legitimate concert producers and production companies. Safety and security reigns at these
       events. There is substantial staffing, people are booted for drug use, and organizations such as DanceSafe
       (http://www.dancesafe.org/) help to disseminate factual information about the dangers of drug use. The
       dangerous ―underground‖ rave has virtually disappeared in the Seattle area.
          Just as passing laws against abortion or alcohol simply drove it into a dangerous underground existence,
          passing laws that regulate teen dances will do the same. I‘d rather have my daughter at CHAC or VERA
          Project than in the beckoning custody of unregulated and lecherous slimeballs.

          I beg your editorial staff to rethink its position. I do not believe that any of us want to slide down that slippery
          slope of prohibition that will remove the only safety net we now have for our youth.

          Ben Schroeter

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Number had to be greater than P-I estimate
Your paper pegged crowd estimates at 15,000 to 25,000 for the Immigrant Justice Rally on Monday
("Thousands march for immigration rights," Tuesday). Attributed once again to the unknown "Seattle officials,"
the estimate is an offensive and ludicrous misrepresentation of the actual turnout.

Why does the P-I take part in trivializing the important message sent by large numbers of political protesters?
Who are these "officials" who provide the P-I with such bogus numbers?

I can tell you for sure that there were a lot more people at the rally Monday than the 45,000 who attended
Opening Day at Safeco one week before. Both events ended about the same time on the same day, but my
Metro Express bus was two hours late Monday, more than twice as late as it was Opening Day.

Ben Schroeter

But here’s what I sent in:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 2:46 AM
To: 'Editpage'
Subject: 15,000 - 25,000???


Your paper pegged crowd estimates at 15,000 to 25,000 for the Immigrant Justice Rally yesterday
(Thousands march for immigration rights.) Attributed once again to the unknown ―Seattle Officials‖ – this
estimate is an offensive and ludicrous misrepresentation of the actual turnout.
On December 1, 1999, in reference to the 75,000 to 100,000 WTO protesters your paper stated ―The
morning's demonstrations attracted an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 protesters…‖ (Police push back hangers-
on well into the night)

On August 21, 2000 in reference to the 70,000 to 90,000 HempFest attendees your paper said ―15,000 to
20,000 people wandered along crowded walkways in warm sunshine…‖ (Fest about more than hemp)

Why does the PI annually take part in trivializing the important message(s) sent by large numbers of
political protesters? Who are these ―officials‖ that provide the PI with such bogus numbers?

The one thing that I can tell you for sure is that there were a lot more people at the rally yesterday than
the 45,000 that attended opening day at Safeco one week before. Both events ended about the same
time on the same day, but my Metro Express bus was two hours late yesterday, more than twice as late
as it was opening day.

15,000 my eye…

And here’s three letters that did not get published…
-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 4:50 PM
To: 'letters@seattleweekly.com'; 'info@seattleweekly.com'
Cc: Knute Berger (kberger@seattleweekly.com); Howland George (George Howland)
Subject: Seattle Monopoly Board? Who's your daddy?


Thanks for George Howland‘s article last week (Seattle Monopoly Board) which made it quite clear that the
7th floor of the Municipal Building is in fact a Vulcan satellite office.

There appear to be numerous documented activities that point toward Allan as being the true Mayor of our
besieged city. It turns out that One Reel‘s Summer Nights Series was ousted from South Lake
Allen…er…Union Park because of an agreement between the city and the Allen-controlled Seattle Parks
Foundation which forbade concert series in the park. Then Mayor Nickels himself evicted One Reel in an
August 2005 memorandum to Sheila Hughes of One Reel.

Who's your daddy? Who owns Boardwalk and Park Place? Same guy as the banker? Surprise Surprise!

Run the board baby! Paul Allen‘s in town…er…Paul Allen is the town.

Ben Schroeter

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:02 PM
To: opinion@seattletimes.com; sports@seattletimes.com
Subject: Sonics sponsor WASL 4th grade math question?

PROPOSED WASL TEST QUESTION (submitted by Wally & Howie)

The Seattle Supersonics want a $220 million upgrade to their home and make an offer for funding the full
$220 million to Seattle taxpayers. In exchange for an $18.3 million investment by the team, the city will
allow the Sonics to run their own house and keep any money they make from anything sold in the house,
and they will pay the city $1 million a year in rent. The city will have to pay for any repairs to the Sonics
Question: Provided that nothing in the house breaks, how many years will it take the Seattle Taxpayers
to make back their money?

   A.          21.7 years
   B.          201.7 years
   C.          1001.7 years
   D.          Never

Correct answer:

Although basic math computations will show that B., 201.7 years is correct, the life expectancy of the
building is less than 100 years, so the correct answer is D. – NEVER. There is no way Seattle will ever
make back its investment.

Ben Schroeter

Here’s one sent to the Weekly in response to what is probably Geov Parrish’s worst article of all time. They
printed another letter from someone critiquing his article, but mine ties the subject matter to the larger issue at

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Schroeter [mailto:benschroeter@comcast.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 14, 2006 4:12 PM
To: letters@seattleweekly.com
Cc: Parrish Geov
Subject: Parks Lessons NOT learned


While the headline of Geov‘s 5/10 article was ―A Parks Lesson Learned‖, the student unfortunately was not
the Seattle Parks Department. The lesson was that Parks has not changed their responsiveness at
all…until somebody yells bloody hell. It is unfortunate that citizens like Susan Marten need to track events
and hound Parks employees to stay informed on important environmental issues and decisions. Parks
apologies issued to Marten for their failure to keep her informed are not due to ―oversight‖ but the norm;
Parks apologies and spin doctor statements have become status quo in the Emerald City.

The Windermere ―incident‖ clearly illustrates the need for Parks to perform SEPA for these events; the
primary issue now in litigation over the Summer Nights at Gas Works Park decision. Parks‘ failure to
perform SEPA for these events dealt a financial blow to both Windermere and One Reel, who put out
substantial resources to pay for events that never happened. Had Parks done the SEPA work required by
law, it is likely that both events would have gone on as scheduled instead of dying in 11th hour efforts to
mitigate concerns that were ―overlooked.‖

SEPA could (and should) be Parks‘ best friend, not their mortal enemy. SEPA is not an event killer but a
guideline for properly preparing for one. Doing SEPA would have disclosed the issue with nesting birds
and Parks and Windermere could have found an alternate site for the fireworks display. Starting SEPA last
August when the decision to move Summer Nights to Gas Works was made would have opened a public
process leaving plenty of time for One Reel to properly prepare and offer thoughtful mitigation measures
to Wallingford residents legitimate concerns.

If Parks hired a part-time SEPA officer to review these proposed events and their impacts, the city could
save itself from a constant barrage of angry critique and thousands of dollars in lost productivity and
litigation costs.
Ben Schroeter
Seattle Washington

Letters to the Editor
June 21, 2006

     Letters to the Editor

Full Moon Fever

"Bummer to see the beloved Blue Moon force-fed a rectal thermometer by the city, when the
fever is emanating from King Nickels' office."

Bummer to see the beloved Blue Moon force-fed a rectal thermometer by the city ["Full Moon Fever," June 14], when the
fever is emanating from King Nickels' office. It is obvious to any U District scenester that the mayor and city attorney are
clueless in understanding what really ails the U District. As Gus Hellthaler points out, and neighborhood associations
confirm, the issues of public intoxication, vagrancy, drug use, and drug dealing in the area of the Blue Moon neither
emanate from nor are nurtured by this iconic institution. The city's own policies have created this desperate situation.

The chronic alcoholics and addicts that now call the U District home were once residents of downtown areas where the
mayor's office spearheaded drug stings while forcing stores to sign "Good Neighbor" agreements preventing them from
selling "fortified" beer and wine. Naturally these people moved to the U District, where stores sell fortified beverages and
drug dealers openly roam the streets.

The decades-long efforts of Hellthaler and staff to rid the Moon of all drugs not flowing from hardy taps behind the bar has
long since forced U District dealers to flee to safer neighborhood venues. Yet the city cites the Moon "86'd" list as proof of
dealing, instead of commending Hellthaler for taking initiative to ensure that dealers are kept out permanently? For all of
City Attorney Tom Carr's efforts to paint the Moon as a "breeding ground" for drug sales, he fails to mention that the grand
total haul of his "six undercover narcotics buys" yielded less than an ounce of pot. Good Lord, Grandma! The place is

It is ironic that the Mayor’s office created the problem that they are now blaming on Hellthaler, whose only fault is not
signing the city’s stinky agreement. We should be thankful for what Hellthaler has done to keep The Moon a vibrant
neighborhood hangout: kicking out dealers, adding free music three nights a week, and feeding free turkey dinners to
those poor homeless souls on Thanksgiving and Christmas; the very people that are putting him out of business (with a
nice push from the Mayor…)

Someone please give Gus a medal, not put him out of business!

(Text in red was edited out of the published letter – Ben)

                                                                                                       BEN SCHROETER

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Metro rider now dreams of taking a tunnel to work
The only people who are advocating the "surface plus transit" option are the ones who never have to ride transit.
Once a national model for mass transit; today's Metro Transit is rift with tardy buses, unruly patrons and rude
and marginal drivers. I have used Metro as my sole source of transit for the last year and now dream nightly of
driving to work ... and a tunnel.

Ben Schroeter

Letters to the editor
Editorials & Opinion: Saturday, October 14, 2006

The non-elite seats

In response to Peter Steinbrueck's advocating a closer look at the "surface and transit" option: The problem with this
"option" is that the "high-capacity transit" buzz-line really translates into "more buses" and the only people who are
advocating this option are the ones who never have to ride the bus.

The fact that southwest Seattle residents currently have only two north-south corridors (Interstate 5 and Highway 99)
means that if the surface and transit option is exercised, those residents will lose their primary transit corridor and either
be forced through horrendous traffic jams over to I-5 or be forced to ride the sluggish buses with the unruly patrons and
rude and confrontational drivers that are Metro Transit.

If only we had a monorail ...

— Ben Schroeter, Seattle

Letters to the editor
Editorials & Opinion: Monday, October 30, 2006

The play in Bounds

The Times appears to have "missed the boat" on Charter Amendment 8 ["City charter amendments: 'No' on 8, 9 and 10,"
endorsement, Oct. 19], and in endorsing a "no" vote on this amendment, applies misinformation to the equation.

The Times states that Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds "made himself unpopular ... in Wallingford because of his
proposal to have concerts in Gas Works Park." The proposal to site at Gas Works Park actually came directly from the
mayor's office and Bounds and parks staff were simply doing the bidding of the seventh floor.

This is exactly the type of situation Amendment 8 seeks to correct, by adding a process that will prevent the mayor from
directly running these offices as he sees fit by installing department heads who respond only to the mayor — instead of
the people.

Let's return accountability to the people! Vote "yes" on Charter Amendment 8.

— Ben Schroeter, Seattle
Letters to the editor
Editorials & Opinion: Thursday, December 14, 2006

John Marshall Alternative School

Tales of woe at Seattle school the same old story

Editor, The Times:

I was dismayed to read about the current lack of basic education at John Marshall Alternative School ["One school's
legacy: 'There's no learning,' " Times, page one, Dec. 11]. What caused me such alarm is that the story shockingly
outlined to the "T" the exact experience I had in Seattle Public Schools District's "Alternative" schools in the late 1970s.
Like student Kathy Graves, my protests went unheeded by the district.

It is time for Seattle residents to rush to the window, stick their heads out and scream, "I'm sick and tired and not going to
take this any more!"

— Ben Schroeter, Seattle

Letters to the editor
Sunday, December 24, 2006


Media usually cry 'wolf' about conditions

While it is now clear that the recent storm was substantial by any equation, it is also clear that Western
Washingtonians were not prepared to deal with the storm's ferocious damages. Why? What can we do to change

Some blame must be placed on the television media for their incessant hype of "storms" that more often than
not never materialize. It is hard to take any TV warnings seriously when we see hyped "Winter Blast" warnings
for a quarter inch of sleet. Several hundred thousand people failed to take the most recent warnings seriously
(myself included) and we all paid the price when their "wolf" cry actually produced a wolf.

What became clear in the darkness that followed the storm is that Western Washington residents were not
prepared for life without electricity and did not know where to turn for help. Are buses running? Where can I
get gas and food? Get warm? Charge my cell phone? Inner-city residents and immigrants fared the worst. Short
of hopping a bus (if it was running,) or aimlessly driving in search of a "lit" area, it was near impossible to get
basic necessities. I didn't discover that there were Red Cross emergency shelters in my neighborhood (and
throughout the city) until I got my power back on two days later.

These community gathering places and shelters must be widely advertised to all residents as places of refuge
and information before we need to use them in the future.

Ben Schroeter
Letters to the editor
Editorials & Opinion: Monday, January 1, 2007

Detective work
Cracking the big case

I find it an incredible DISservice to your readers to withhold the name of a great and highly entertaining band simply
because one of the members happens to work for The Times.

Reading the cryptic reference in "Seattle bands that had a very good year" [Ticket, Dec. 22] made me feel left in the dark
— as if your paper had just turned out THE LIGHTS. With coverage like that, I might as well just go grocery shopping with
my friend JEFF at ALBERTSON's.

— Ben Schroeter, Seattle

July 18 2007

Letters to the Editor
Epic Egos and Hiking Hazards


EDITOR: Thanks for the enlightening article by Chris Weeg ["Into the Woods," July 5]. I'd been wondering since reading
about attorney Cindy Wysocki's adventure what extreme stupidity she engaged in last November to get so lost. Hundreds
of thousands of people venture into the Cascades without getting lost or dying, and Weeg's article highlighted three
important safety tips that hikers should follow that were not considered by the subjects of the article. Rule one: Don't
stand on the edge of a cliff or you'll end up like Jeff Graves. Two: When fording a creek that's deep enough to drown in, use
a damn rope or suffer the fate of the Blakelys. And three: If you go hiking anywhere in the Cascades, go to REI and buy a
topographical map of the area (especially if it is snowbound) or you may end up like Wysocki.

Ben Schroeter

Letters to the editor
Thursday, August 2, 2007

Community-based staffing could make downtown safer

I don't dispute that we need more police, but Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is holding our city
hostage to his demands by withholding the application of community-based police staffing resources that
would start to solve the issues of downtown violence. The cops cruise downtown in posses no different
from the criminals and gangs that currently own the streets. If the cops are there, the criminals aren't,
and vice versa.

Reuben Greenberg, Charleston, S.C.'s retired police chief, initiated some aggressive community policing
policies many decades ago with great success and many of these policies have been successfully applied
in other cities. Greenberg said, "One cop on a corner with a video camera will clear it faster than our
SWAT team." We need to pull cops out of cars and off bikes and put them back on the streets.

Just as with the Mardi Gras debacle some years back where Kerlikowske withheld police services until the
violence grew great enough to initiate an offensive, the current downtown policing policies appear no
different and seem to work with equal inadequacy.

While we work to locate the resources to expand our police department, it is time to make a change at the
top so we have a chief who is resourceful and is not holding downtown hostage.

Ben Schroeter

And the full text that was mailed in:


Kerlikowske is now demanding more cops.....

While I don't depute that we need more police, Kerlikowske is holding our city hostage to his demands by purposefully withholding the application
of community-based police staffing resources that would start to solve the issues of downtown violence. The cops cruise downtown in posse’s no
differently than the criminals and gangs that currently own the streets. If the cops are there, the criminals aren’t…and vice versa….

Reuben Greenberg, Charleston S.C.’s retired Police Chief initiated some aggressive community policing policies many decades ago with great
success and many of these policies have since been successfully applied in other places such as New York City. Greenberg once said ―One cop on a
corner with a video camera will clear it faster than our SWAT team.‖ We need to pull cops out of cars and off bikes and put them back on the streets.

Last week I talked with a bike cop at that very corner where violence broke out yesterday. He was one of four in a pack and there wasn’t a crime in
sight. When I suggested that they spread out to address crime, he said that they are not safe alone downtown. If one cop with a gun and a radio isn’t
safe then regular citizens are surely in mortal danger!

Just as with the Mardi Gras debacle some years back where Kerlikowske withheld police services (while hording them in packs ready to pounce)
until the violence grew great enough to initiate an offensive; the current downtown policing policies appear no different and seem to work with equal

While we work on locating the resources to expand our police department, it is time to make a change at the top so we have a Chief that is being
resourceful and not holding our beautiful downtown hostage.

Letters to the editor
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I find it galling that P-I copy editors chose to skewer Chris McGann's balanced story by tagging it with the insulting headline "Insurers oppose
'jackpot' lawsuits." In choosing a headline that adopts the insurance industry's media spin buzzword "jackpot," the headline becomes a
mouthpiece that lends credence to insurance company claims that the proposed law somehow creates a "jackpot" for their arch-nemesis: trial

It is not until the end of the story that we learn the truth of the treble damages legislation: "The law at issue would apply only to legitimate
claims that were not honored." The Erin Brokovich story is not a tale of fiction; insurance companies regularly deny legitimate claims
nationwide. That Washington State should seek to curb this odious behavior with financial incentives to assure that insurers engage in fair
business practices does not a jackpot make.

Ben Schroeter
The end…for now…

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