Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for July 11

How to submit a Letter to the Editor

The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

DNC should host a climate debate

During the last presidential debate, America was able to watch for about seven minutes as several candidates squawked briefly about their plans to combat climate change.

This is one of the greatest threats to life as we know it and the Pentagon agrees! Before the Democratic Party can choose a candidate to support, we need to hear the candidates’ climate mitigation plan. The time allotted by the DNC during the debate was not enough. We need to know how our future leaders will be combating climate change, if they will support a Green New Deal, if they want us to have clean air and clean water to drink, and how they envision a just transition to renewable energy and how they will transform our economy into a green, sustainable one.

Wildfires raged across the Northwest last summer, leaving the air unbreathable. We were warned to not go outdoors. Wildlife had nowhere to go. This is an unnecessary amount of suffering, and it will only grow worse if we choose to not act on this climate crisis. Every single issue discussed at the debate will only be exacerbated by climate change, and it’s baffling that we were unable to hear their plans in detail.

The DNC must host a climate debate. The fate of humanity as we know it depends on it.

Andreas Aparicio, Olympia

Reasons for computer system screwups

The article about the Department of Social and Health Services electronic records system being years behind schedule brought back memories.

I worked for the Department of Information Services from 1972 to retirement in 1998. My experience included Help Desk Manager of a 24/7 help desk covering both the IBM network and mainframe applications that covered most state agencies, and the UNISYS network and mainframe applications, which covered DSHS and the Department of Licensing.

DSHS had previous screw-ups. Back in the 1980s, they hired a vendor to help computerize welfare client information. It failed; they cancelled it and restarted it with a new vendor who developed a product called ACES.

I believe there are two reasons why DSHS screws up their computerizing processes. The first is management. Starting at the top, Governors Gregoire and Locke hired department secretaries and assistant secretaries with little skill in managing computerized projects; they depended upon staff and vendors. Gov. Inslee does the same. This failure sits on Inslee’s desk.

The second reason is staff and vendors. I found many computer analysts or computer programmers within and outside the agency have an aversion to asking the people who actually do the work how best to collect needed information. Rather than sit at a desk of a DSHS employee at Eastern State Hospital or Rainier School and watch the current manual processes while asking questions, these analysts seem to believe an overall insight into the process is all that’s needed. No need for minute details. These minute details are where exceptions occur and where systems fail.

Ardean Anvik, Shelton