Letters to the editor for March 23

City has a history of bullying tactics

In 1961, my husband and I purchased a home on the north end of Priest Point Park, built in 1912, part of the Father Ricart plat. The only access to the home was through the park, via an easement granted in the mid-1800s.

My husband purchased a tractor with a blade so he could help the park maintain the road. Through the years he cleaned up dumped garbage, dead animals, downed trees, put out illegal campfires and did whatever was necessary to keep the area clean.

In 1999, I learned my husband had cancer. In order to alleviate stress for him we moved to the Oregon coast. My grandson, his wife and baby then occupied the home. A couple walking on the beach one day asked if they could buy the home. I told my family to sell it.

Just before closing, a park employee called saying they would condemn my property unless I sold to them. The city indicated they would close the road and no access would be granted. I contacted an attorney. This only added more stress to my situation with my husband near death.

The city did purchase the property.

Since then the windows have been boarded up, and the beautiful grounds we worked so hard on are now overgrown. This lovely home could have had many uses, either private or public, and is going to waste. The city used bullying force to take this property and now they are doing nothing with it.

Billie M. Phillips, Tumwater

Many upset at Al Gore's hypocrisy

Letter writer Jeff Parks is not the only one upset about Al Gore's wastefulness, and hypocrisy.

Buying energy credits to offset his own carbon footprint is kind of like an animal rights activist being found to be abusing kittens, and his only defense is that he donates money to the ASPCA and Humane Society to offset it.

Jeanette Strole, Olympia

Councilman Johnson is on thin ice

Councilman TJ Johnson's proposal to charge the Port of Olympia for police costs in connection with anti-war protests puts him on philosophical thin ice. Local police are supposed to protect the lives, welfare and property within Olympia subject to local laws and ordinances. This might include protecting property from trespass, from people blocking access to a property, or from people tearing down fences on a property.

Johnson proposes that the party asking protection should bear the cost of that protection. His position is largely based on his support for the protesters.

Let's turn Johnson's position on its philosophical ear. What if a neo-Nazi party held a demonstration at a Jewish temple blocking access and threatening to damage the temple. By Johnson's proposal, the temple would be billed for the cost of the police to protect the temple and its congregation. I suspect Johnson would reverse his position in this situation.

Basically, the City Council would have to craft an ordinance that applied Johnson's proposal to some situations, but not to others presumably based on some principle of who is right and wrong.

Who then is the grand arbiter of right and wrong? Would Johnson hold himself up to be this micro dictator?

Johnson has the age-old problem of trying to take one's personal bias about a specific situation and turn it into a general policy. What one often finds is the general policy is both flawed and dangerous.

Michael Riley, Olympia

Al Gore is a hypocritical fraud

Thank you for the cartoon depicting Al Gore for the hypocritical fraud that he is.

Perhaps someone should tell Gore, that were it not for global warming, he would still be living in the Ice Age, and would never have been afforded the privilege of inventing the Internet as he claims to have done.

Chuck Rowe, Centralia

Sitters preferred over blocked sidewalk

On a recent Saturday and Sunday I was walking along the sidewalk in front of the Spar restaurant. I found it quite difficult to walk as the Spar placed tables, chairs and a good size iron railing along the sidewalk.

I would rather tolerate sidewalk sitters than the blockage the Spar had created.

John Thomas, Olympia

Another study would be a disservice

Nursing homes are under-funded by over $60 million annually. One need only look at the mandatory annual cost reports filed by nursing home providers to verify that information.

Further, there is a connection between staff retention and quality of care. That's already been established in the report "The Cost of Frontline Turnover in Long-Term Care," published by the Institute for the Future of Aging Services in 2004. Low-wage workers deserve an increase in pay, and that increase has the potential to arrest an alarming staff turnover rate in Washington's nursing homes.

There have been and continue to be a significant number of studies on this issue. I'm not certain I understand the need for another study of long term care in Washington, as suggested by Rep. Eileen Cody in reporter Brad Shannon's March 8 article about Legislative funding for long term care.

It appears that it's a politically expedient strategy to forestall an obviously necessary investment in nursing home care this session.

Another study would be a disservice to struggling providers, employees and the residents who need and deserve better. It's time for the Legislature to take real action on this chronic problem.

Joe Reese, administrator, Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Olympia

Impeachment is a legal and moral issue

The Olympian's editorial about impeachment shows a real lack of understanding about the importance of addressing the actions of our national leaders.

To imply that our state Legislature is wasting its time talking about impeachment is a joke. The actions of George Bush and his administration are on the forefront of the course of this nation. The number of lives and amount of money spent on this ill conceived war is unconscionable and the American people need to face the truth. To even start to imply that Dick Cheney is a reason to not impeach is a total joke. Cheney is a major reason for impeachment of the president. Look at the lies that Cheney has perpetrated that have been accepted by the administration.

Any government official, including our governor, who opposes impeachment, is endorsing George Bush's actions. If they are against impeachment then they are for the actions of this administration. This is a legal and moral issue. I cannot accept this reprehensible endorsement and am totally shocked at the lack of backbone shown by the press and our elected officials.

Rod Tharp, Olympia

Support war effort and the troops, too

Recently The Olympian ran a letter from a subscriber in regard to the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the war.

The author showed no concern for the American and coalition forces that have given their lives for the Iraqi people. Actually they weren't even mentioned. Perhaps he would rather the terrorists strike us here at home.

As for the Iraqis killed since the war started, I don't really care. How many of them were involved in fighting the coalition? How many assisted in deploying IEDs to kill our brave young men and women in uniform?

These bleeding hearts are doing nothing more than comforting the enemy and playing into the terrorists' plan. We need to support our men and women in uniform 100 percent.

That is not being done by protesting against the war, not by cutting off funding for our service persons with the theory that if we cease to support the war it will stop. Maybe we did not have the best information before deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq, but we are there and there to carry out a mission. We need to step up the morale boosters for our troops, not turn our backs to them.

I would much rather confront the terrorists over there than here. Our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq would much rather hear of the good they are doing and not all the negative garbage.

James Wyrick, Rochester