Readers rant about expired food-bank donations, rude cabdriver, marathons snarling traffic, texting driver; rave about King County Assessor's office, good Samaritans

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RANT  I sort food donations at a local food bank and would like to ask people to please not donate expired food items. If you don’t want to eat it, others won’t either. The food banks have to pay to throw away expired items, so these donations are actually costing them money.

RAVE  To the good Samaritans who helped me when a guy went crazy, screaming at me and backing me into a corner while I was asking for signatures for Initiative 1639.  I’d asked him if he wanted to sign and he said he wanted me to look up a website. I said I’d look it up later, smiled and said “Thank you, sir” and went on my way, and he started screaming and coming at me. As I retreated to try and avoid a confrontation, a passer-by tried to mollify him, and employees of a store I’d retreated into allowed me to escape via the backdoor. I-1639 is about sane gun laws and this guy is probably one who shouldn’t have guns.

RANT To the cabdriver who picked me up at my retirement facility and lectured me about the inconvenience of not meeting him across the six-way-corner street so he would be facing the “right way” to my destination.  When I explained I couldn’t walk the distance he assured me that I could! He continued to complain that I needlessly told him where to turn to reach the parking lot at my destination. I overtipped him to compensate for the short trip and he complained that I was trying to make him feel guilty. By comparison, the trip made my emergency dental appointment almost a pleasure. Thanks to my dentist and her staff for making me feel valued.

RANT AND RAVE Rant to the driver speeding across Highway 520 while texting. His delivery van dwarfed my minivan, which was one lane over and held young kids on a school field trip. I shudder thinking about the potential consequences of his inattentiveness. A rave to the kids, though, who spotted him texting and immediately knew it was wrong.

RANT  To two big marathons in Seattle on succeeding weekends, tying up traffic for miles and causing detours that amount to a voyage of Sinbad. A lot of people have moved into this city in the last few years, isn’t it time to think about having these marathons out in the country somewhere so the whole city isn’t brought to its knees in traffic?

RAVE  On a trip to the King County Assessor’s office, I was overcome with emotion and broke into  tears dealing with issues about my property taxes since my husband recently passed away. Every person I dealt with couldn’t have been more caring or helpful. They even brought me water. It was a very hard day for me but, due to the kindness of strangers, I feel very lucky to live here in Seattle.