It's always interesting how two people can perceive the same statement in polar opposite ways. Theda Spracklin's assessment of City Manager Paul Benoit's report that "Astoria is not an inexpensive city to live in," was that Benoit was cavalier and prejudicial towards its less wealthy citizens ("Get real," The Daily Astorian, July 14). I took the declaration in just the opposite way, as an apologetic statement because the city is, in fact, not a cheap place to live, relative to neighboring communities.

After reading Spracklin's appraisal, I went back and reread the remarks. I now am wondering if they should be interpreted neither in Spracklin's valuation or mine. That instead, we should consider Benoit to be a fresh breath of air and just stating a fact, with no underlying motive at all - that Benoit is just keeping it real.

SONJA NIEMI

Ilwaco, Wash.

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