Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for May 5

Visitors to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center at Olympic National Park can enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains and get fairly close to some wildlife.
Visitors to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center at Olympic National Park can enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains and get fairly close to some wildlife. Olympian file photo

Better bring earplugs for that hike into the rainforest, or along Olympic coast

People come from around the world to visit this astonishingly beautiful, temperate rainforest and the spectacular undeveloped coastline of the Olympic Peninsula. The opportunity to enjoy the peninsula as a place for solitude and quiet may soon come to an end.

The Navy, in their spring 2019 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), has proposed to increase the number of Growler Fighter jets flying over the Olympic National Park and Marine Sanctuary to 5,000 per year, an average of 19 flights per day! Noise levels will range from 80 to 100 decibels, a level that with continued exposure can cause hearing loss. Unfortunately, marine mammals, elk and other animals in the park don’t have earplugs.

Additionally, the Navy requests a continuation of “incidental takes of threatened and endangered marine mammals and marine species.” What does that even mean?

The Olympics are an environmentally sensitive area set aside in 1907 for the enjoyment of its citizens and unique wildlife. The Olympic National Park is a World Heritage Site. Let’s not sacrifice this special region to the Navy.

More detailed information is available at ttp:www.olympicparkassociates.org.

Annie Cubberly, Olympia

Support Medicare for All

Every day for the past 10 years I have worked as a family practice nurse practitioner and I have been confronted with the failures of the American health care system. The personal stories and the population data all point to the reality that our profit-driven healthcare is expensive, wasteful, and is killing Americans.

I saw great improvements in access to insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but we are long past the time for small changes to the current system. We need a more radical transformation of our health care system. We need to provide universal, comprehensive health care coverage as a basic human right to everyone living in America.

Of course, this is an enormous undertaking. The most common objection I hear from people is that they don’t want to pay for the other people’s health care, especially those that suffer from addictions or choices they don’t agree with. The truth is that we can only prosper as a country if we are willing to work together to help each other, and a refusal to provide health care for all hurts everyone.

Rep. Pramilla Jaypal has introduced The Medicare for All Act of 2019 (HR 1384), and National Nurses United and the Democratic Socialists of America have both launched campaigns to help support the bill. I urge everyone to learn more about what Medicare for All really means and to contact their representatives to let them know about their support. Call 202-858-1717 to ask your representative to sign-on as a co-sponsor.

Mary Ellen Biggerstaff, Olympia
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