Letters to the editor for Feb. 9

Government should pay for schools

School levy advocates continue to push for a change to the current state-mandated supermajority vote. In 2003, Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, wrote to say that this rule is unfair and that it is the duty of the Legislature to change it. And recently, The Olympian editorial said that the supermajority mandate is unrealistic, unfair and just plain un-American.

Nothing can be farther from the truth that this rule is very unfair and even un-American because it only assesses funds from a few targeted citizens of the county/state to pay for the benefit of all. And changing this rule to a simple majority would make it even more unfair, un-American and downright discrimination, which is unlawful in any court in this country.

We all have a stake in educating our children, but we are pursuing this in a wrong way. What is needed to fix this dilemma is to abolish the rule and demand that our elected officials face up to their duty and responsibility to fully fund the education of our children instead of leaving that responsibility and burden in a compromising way to the few property owners.

Many of these property owners are senior citizens that are living on a fixed income and as much as they want to support the levy, their financial means just would not allow them.

There are available ways for our government to adequately fund the education of our children without compromise.

Our governor and Legislature should find these ways.

Tony Galindo, Olympia

Every city should have a homeless camp

This letter addresses the issue of having a tent city for homeless people. It was instigated by The Olympian article that referenced the protest occupation of city property behind The Brotherhood in downtown Olympia.

The person responsible for this situation is exactly right in what they want, which is a designated area where homeless people MAY occur and feel safe, secure and not afraid. His methodology to achieve this end seems a little questionable at first, but it did get front page coverage.

Anyway, I think the Legislature should pass a law that requires any city in the state of Washington with a population of say 20,000 or more people to designate some area where the homeless can go and not be run off. The size of the area designated would be directly correlated to the population of the city.

This would create a level playing field where no one city would have an undo attraction for homeless people that would be a magnet for all to come to. Every city would have the same, relative attraction, and the problem would be evenly dispersed.

And, having all the homeless occurring in one location would maximize the care and protection measures that charities wish to extend for them, while simultaneously enhancing the ability of the people in need to get the help and be safe.

I suggest for Olympia, this place be the area behind the current City Hall, where police are already nearby, and the landscape can support an encampment.

Steve Shanewise, Olympia

Mixed bin is a step in the right direction

From 1955 to 1982, my parents owned several garbage companies in Monterey County, California, all featuring limited recycling. I moved here from Monterey a year ago.

Monterey currently has a mixed bin and picks up everything with a recycling triangle on it - weekly. I filled that bin every week.

They also took up to eight 35-gallon cans of yard waste at no additional cost - weekly. Service was not very expensive at all.

I hope LeMay will eventually offer more frequent recycling and better yard waste service, and cheaper service in general, as they begin to recover their costs from the recycling itself. Meanwhile, I anxiously await the mixed bin. It's a step in the right direction.

Joelle Steele, Lacey

Cheney is wrong to blame journalists

In his notorious CNN interview, Dick Cheney blames the press for bad news from Iraq. Our myopic vice president, who has hunkered in a bunker for the last four years, claims tremendous successes in this war: if only the press would cover it!

Our journalists were embedded in military propaganda for the first two years of the Iraq war. They bent over backwards to give Cheney's superpower fantasy the benefit of the doubt. Since then, journalists bravely endured the violence and chaos of Cheney's war.

More of them were killed in this war than any other. Yet Cheney blames these brave journalists for the disaster that he himself caused.

Scapegoating the press is Fascism's first triumph. Let us remember that free means liberal. A liberal press is a free press. Cheney regards our free press as a liberal threat to his absolute authority. Yes it is, thank God.

Fred LaMotte, Steilacoom