Opinion

Letters to the editor for March. 18

Why use tax money to benefit retail chain

Rep. Sam Hunt keeps saying that Lacey's jobs grant money is to create jobs for the Gateway Project as a whole. That is not correct. According to the Job Development Fund Web site, the only criteria under which Lacey's application qualifies for state monies is as a "high priority tourism facility that creates year-round jobs."

The job fund's description of Lacey's $10 million award says it will be used to build infrastructure "to support a destination retail employer" - Cabela's.

It would be interesting to know how that "high-priority tourism facility" criteria came to be on the Job Fund list in the first place, but the bigger question is, why is the state using taxpayer money to benefit a privately owned retail chain?

Cabela's projections of its tourist draw potential have proved overblown in other states.

In Texas, Cabela's was forced to return a portion of nearly $60 million in taxpayer subsidies when jobs created didn't meet projections.

Cabela's could easily afford to pay for its own infrastructure improvements if required to, as they have been elsewhere. According to its 2004 annual report, the company pulls in more than $1.6 billion in total annual revenue. In that same report, Cabela's reveals that taxpayer subsidies are considered an integral part of its business success.

Cabela's will be competing with several locally owned sporting goods businesses - none of which sought or received taxpayer subsidies. Why does Cabela's merit special treatment?

Kathleen Rooney, Lacey

Impeachment is the correct tool

The New York Times editors posted a "to do" list for Congress. This comes less than one week after Gov. Chris Gregoire disappointed many in Washington by saying she does not support impeachment hearings because they are a distraction from more important issues such as health care and education, The Times' list contains a dozen items - not one of which is education or health care.

Examples include: Restore habeas corpus, stop illegal spying, ban torture, ban extraordinary rendition, respect the right to counsel, etc. According to the editors, all of the items listed "need to be done to reverse the unwise and lawless policies" of Bush and Cheney. Clearly, we have fundamental, constitutional issues at stake.

Congress and "we the people" should not have to be wrestling with the Bush/Cheney lawlessness and lack of wisdom. It is the Bush/Cheney lawless policies and actions themselves that distract us from education and health care - not impeachment. Impeachment is the correct tool to use to protect the Constitution.

Impeachment is an annoyance and a bother. Sure. But impeachment now is a small cost compared to another two years of lawless policies that will need focus and corrections later. The longer Bush and Cheney are in office the further from Gregoire's goals we will be. If Gregoire truly supported education and health care, she would support the impeachment movement.

Impeach Bush and Cheney. Now.

Nels Christianson, Olympia

Septic runoff is a serious problem

A recent headline read: "Inadequate septic systems lead to unhealthy water." "Failing septics are most often found on steep slopes next to saltwater," according to the 1990 Thurston County study of septic problems on Cooper Point.

"Sewers bring development." That was the cry, five years ago, of opponents to connecting Beverly Beach and Tamoshan to LOTT. As long as that attitude prevails, on Cooper Point and elsewhere, the other headline, "Will South Sound be next?" likely will come true.

In 2002, I could count more than 100 new homes within eyesight of Cooper Point Road, none of which were on sewer. Now, there are even more very large homes along Cooper Point Road and its linking streets, none with sewers. Development continues, expensive homes proliferate, the problem grows. Beverly Beach and Tamoshan built a new treatment plant to deal with their wastewater, but the rest of Cooper Point still relies upon septic systems. Not until there is sewage running in the streets will the Growth Management Hearings Board consider it an emergency and allow sewers in a rural area.

The five-year Cooper Point study recommended assessing fees to pay for frequent inspections of septic systems. It didn't fly - too expensive, a country intrusion upon private property. What will it take for people to realize that septic runoff is truly a problem and accept that sewers and modern wastewater treatment are essential to public health and that of Puget Sound?

That is certainly easier to fix than global warming!

Cal Taylor, Olympia

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