Kagan will provide balance
Elena Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court will, at long last, give the Court some balance - gender, experience, age, and personality. Kagan’s consensus building ability, her love of the law and the understanding of how our lives are shaped by it, and her experience of having clerked for Thurgood Marshall are but a few of the attributes she will bring to the Court.
The appointment of Elena Kagan will help ensure that the Court is more inclusive and more representative than ever before. Bravo.
SHIRLEY CORDOVA; Tumwater
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Lights and helmet are key
I commute by bike year round, and I find that it helps my physical and mental heath, helps me transition between home and work, keeps me more connected to nature, saves me lots of money, and helps reduce my impact on the environment. I also enjoy weekend rides on road and trail.
It’s wonderful to see so many people cycling around town.
However, too many of them ride in the dark without lights, reflective clothing, or helmet. I haven’t forgotten the white cross and flowers at the top of the West Side hill placed in memory of the young man who died there a few years ago because a truck ran into him when he rode as they do, and I would feel terrible to have another young cyclist meet a similar fate.
Cyclists are blessed to have so much support from the City of Olympia, Intercity Transit, and nearly all drivers; our city really is a national leader in this area. But we need to earn their continued support by riding responsibly, so I encourage all cyclists to gear up. For the cost of a couple decent dinners you can get the lights and helmet (that will last for years) needed to ride so much more safely and not terrorize drivers. Oh yeah, and avoid a really painful if not fatal accident. So gear up and have a wonderful spring.
ROB PENNEY; Olympia
Ban off-shore oil drilling
It seems to me that the use of dispersants on the Gulf oil spill is really only “sweeping the problem under the rug”, as it were. Plus, it’s going to make it more difficult to eventually clean up that “dispersed” oil, not to mention the added pollution of the dispersants themselves. British Petroleum, with the approval of our own EPA, is more interested in making this problem seem like it’s going away (out of sight, out of mind) to the general public, as opposed to actually reacting responsibly. This is a giant ecological disaster, not just limited to our Gulf of Mexico, but far beyond, and it needs to be treated that way, not as a public relation problem that needs fixing.
This is real. Our government needs to start acknowledging this horrible reality in a much more responsible way! The coffers of the main players, BP and Haliburton, are vast and if we need to empty them to fix this problem then so be it. Bottom line, clean up your messes or you shouldn’t be making them!
We need to sink lots of research money into wind, solar, algae farms and other clean alternative energy sources, there’ll be large amounts of job creation and no more disasters like what we are now dealing with in the Gulf — and undoubtedly will be for a very, very long time.
Ban off-shore oil wells!
KEN COVER; Olympia
Oil spills can't be cleaned up
Having lived through the Exxon Valdez oil spill as a commercial fisherman, I am sickened by an industry that devotes so much to its lobbying efforts and its lies to decisions that contribute to enormous damage to the environment, while so little importance by comparison is placed upon safety and response. The fact is, they CAN’T clean up the spills, no matter how much money they throw at them. No more. Put the research and development money into renewable resources (and NOT nuclear)! Can you imagine what this would be like if it was nuclear radiation leaking into the Gulf?
PATRICK DIXON; Olympia
Healthy families come first
If you live in the Thurston County area you should look into the Adage biomass incinerator project in Shelton. Though it seems far away, it will be right in your backyard. The incinerator will burn waste wood from clear cuts, sawmills, forest trimming and anywhere else the company can get wood from a 50-mile range.
This incinerator will burn over 2,000 pounds of wood a minute. This is not a good fit for our communities. Please take part in this important issue. Look at the health and environmental impacts and weigh those against the 24 new jobs the community will get.
We need healthy families and clean air, not a burden on taxpayers to make electricity for California.
BYRON ORME; Shelton