Congress will not abandon its constitutional duties
The people's Congress is back.
Following 50 minutes of tired rhetoric in the president's State of the Union address, brand new U.S. Senator Jim Webb from Virginia offered the Democratic Party's answer to the lack of legislative oversight and corrupt servitude by the previous Republican Congress.
In response to the president's continued delusions and deceptions, Sen. Webb noted personal examples of true public service and showed the executive branch of government what our constitutional balance of power looks like.
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"Tonight, we're calling on this president to (take action)," Webb said of the Iraq tragedy and an economy that fails to serve all Americans. "If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way."
This Congress will not abandon its constitutional duties, place cronyism over competence, or plunder the middle class and mine the future while serving the rich. The days of government in the common interest have returned.
Curt Pavola, Olympia
Deschutes estuary is under assault
The natural environment of the Deschutes estuary is at risk, and the big question is whether anyone cares enough to stop the trend.
Several recent proposals, including the new Heritage Center, a nine-story condominium and a 100-foot carillon, would totally urbanize the eastern end of Capitol Lake.
General Administration has already scalped the hillside of native vegetation below the Temple of Justice and replaced it with non-native shrubs. The city of Olympia has still not required the owners of the Red Lion Inn to replant the many trees they cut down several years ago.
Gov. Chris Gregoire's administration has prioritized estuaries for restoration under the Puget Sound Partnership. So why is there such a big push on to destroy the forested estuarine habitat of Thurston County's second largest river?
The number of Thurston County residents who walk/run/bicycle/bird at the estuary now is amazing. They go down there to experience the nature that is being increasingly denied them in their own neighborhoods. Yet it's not just locals who utilize and enjoy this area. Citizens and tourists from all over our state and country marvel at the wonderful native setting for our state government. How short-sighted is it to thoughtlessly destroy such a priceless amenity?
I strongly urge anyone who values the Deschutes estuary's forested natural environment to contact their state and local elected officials to demand that it be preserved.
Janet Partlow, Olympia
Keep an eye out for other violations, too
I am responding to the letter written by Bob Jones of Olympia regarding "Thanks for making streets safe."
I agree that lowering the speed limit on Cooper Point Road between 14th and 28th avenues from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour made sense and helps make our roads safer.
I was amused to read that Jones "will continue to keep the Olympia Police informed of speeders."
I hope he will also keep the police informed of the folks leaving Goldcrest who roll through the stop sign onto Cooper Point Road. Although we are now driving a bit slower coming down the hill, it will still hurt when we hit them.
And while he is at it, he can watch for the knuckleheads who like to roll through the stop sign at 28th Avenue onto Cooper Point Road. Those drivers are a real hazard on the road.
Julie Rzadzki, Olympia
City must provide low-cost parking
The Olympian recently printed a story detailing the city's decision to end free parking. Also on the front page was a story that mentions that "attracting downtown housing is a high priority for city officials."
I live downtown and love it - except for the parking situation, which will only be made worse by removing the free parking.
If the city wants to attract residents downtown, they will have to provide low-cost, convenient parking. By the way, why didn't the parking group survey those who live downtown?
As is, I must walk (and carry my groceries) three blocks. If I'm lucky and there's a gray meter at which I'm allowed to park. Otherwise I'm forced to move my car all day from one free spot to another. Ask the residents!
Connie Monaghan, Olympia