by Inlander Readers

Support Is Blind

I can't help being astonished by the kind of people who are Bush supporters. Did you pick Mr. Ortize ("On the Street," 1/13/05), because he was so stereotypical of Bush supporters or were you just unimaginably lucky?

Please note what Mr. Ortize said when asked "How do you think it's going in Iraq?" He said two basic things. He said, "I haven't heard anything. I never watch TV or anything." And he added, "Unlike many Inlander readers, I happen to like Bush."

Mr. Ortize, a Bush supporter, more or less admitted to the following: I don't have any information about the subject you're asking me about, but I like Bush anyway, so please don't confuse me with the facts.

You could not have done a better job of satirizing Bush supporters for those educated among us who are familiar with history, who read seriously on many subjects and who are called "the elite" by the Bushites.

George Thomas

Spokane, Wash.

One Bright Bulb

Regarding The Inlander's "Big Ideas" issue (1/20/05), I have a few ideas of my own:

First, I would advise my fellow Republicans to grow up. As long as there is a budget deficit in Washington state and a court battle over who ought to be governor, plus the cost of a revote, you can't do much to improve the situation. There are far bigger priorities for Washington to focus its time, attention and taxpayers' mullah on. They can hold another election ... in 2008.

Second, how about handing out incentives for young people to start their own businesses? The Inlander addressed that in the past. And it is a creative idea that might flesh out economics in the Inland Northwest far more so than various service industries, such as health care; and government--through Fairchild AFB can provide on their own. And one way to provide young people with incentives for starting their own businesses: farmers' markets and weekly craft fairs. What you make or grow, you have the incentive to sell.

Third, encourage local theater and music. How about putting local bands, etc. in the Arena in between big-ticket items such as touring ice skating companies? Make what might be a white elephant begin to pay for itself. Encourage local growth by first promoting it.

Joan E. Harman

Dalton Gardens, Idaho


I just wanted to let you know that the illustration of the Mighty Marmot is quite possibly the best mascot idea and subsequent drawing ever. I laughed until I nearly cried. Then I quietly hoped for such a state university to exist, not only for economic benefits, but so that I could realize my newfound dream of proudly sporting a Mighty Marmots T-shirt. Thanks!

Sara Habein

Spokane Valley, Wash.

Gay Means "Happy," Too

My name is Eric Anzalone, and for the past 10 years, I've been the Biker in the Village People. Normally, when I read articles about the group and something's amiss, I just forget about it. But being on a tour bus all day and all night gives you plenty of idle time, and I figured, what the heck....

In regard to your Arts & amp; Culture article (1/20/05), for the record, the Village People have never been a completely gay group. Since its inception there have always been straight members. I'm not at liberty to discuss each member's sexual orientation, but (as if it matters) I'm straight. Since 1977, every member of this group has been hired because he was a musician and singer and -- this is show biz, after all -- because he fit the costume. Sexual orientation was not included in the job description.

Disco was pretty much born in ay clubs and African-American dance clubs in the mid-70's. Yes, Jaques Morali knew what he was doing when he geared the group toward a certain core audience. However, as you mentioned, our audiences are very diverse these days. Even my 6-year-old daughter's favorite acts are Hillary Duff, the Cheetah Girls, and the Village People. Either way, the reason we shrug off a lot of articles and questions about the whole "gay" thing is because "Who the hell really cares?" It's about the music and the vibe, end of story. I mean, why aren't we all still talking about how Britney Spears and Madonna must be lesbians? Hell, they tongued each other on television! Our tongues stay in our own mouths, because -- I'm here to tell you -- it's impossible to sing "YMCA" or "Macho Man" or "In the Navy" without your tongue firmly planted in your cheek! We're just a band.

Be well ... be cool.

Eric Anzalone

Biker, the Village People

A Potent Place

Upon reading Leah Sottile's contribution of "Indie Downtown Record Store " to the "Think Big " feature in the Jan. 20 issue, I felt that most of the things that she wanted in an independent record store are true of Unified Groove Merchants (UGM). Although UGM is not located downtown, it has one of the most potent selections of records and CDs in the area and is opening up a coffee shop in March that will feature performances from local artists along with open-mic nights. We at UGM have worked hard to create one of the top record stores in the area. Leah, we've made your dream a reality. Check it out at 2607 N. Monroe St.

Chris Cummings

Co-owner, Unified Groove Merchants

Branches of Government

I think George Howland Jr. (author of "Back in Charge," 1/20/05) may need some remedial civics classes. The governor is not a branch of the legislature. There are three branches in the government: legislative, executive and judicial.

Mark Sims

Spokane, Wash.

Publication date: 1/27/05

Newport Rodeo & Festival @ Newport Rodeo Grounds

Fri., June 25, 1-9 p.m. and Sat., June 26, 12-9 p.m.
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