Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for July 17

Defend our county

The fate of Thurston County rests in the hands of the Port of Tacoma (POT) and three Thurston County Commissioners.

The POT owns 745 acres adjacent to the West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area and a quarter mile from Millersylvania State Park. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has been trying to purchase this property. Despite having already received $8 million for this property, the POT refuses to sell the land to WDFW.

Recently, the POT recruited Northpoint to develop the property into a huge industrial center with a potential of 6 million square feet of warehouse space which would vastly increase train and truck traffic. This area could quickly look like the Port of Tacoma. An estimated 4,000+ trucks per day will clog up highways and side streets racing to Hawks Prairie warehouses and other warehouses yet to be built in Tumwater and Lacey.

Other areas that have built these inland ports, as they are called, report low jobs – about 200 jobs per million square feet of warehouse, mostly filled with temporary workers. These are not the jobs our county, with less than 5% unemployment, needs.

Urge the POT to sell to WDFW now. Urge County Commissioners to keep the zoning rural.

Amy Stottlemyer, Olympia

Our Declaration calls us to act

Predictable. History reveals that some things are. Step off a cliff; fall, predictably. Follow certain paths as a nation? Elect certain leaders? Succumb to greed, fear? Predictable results: War. Despotism. Great Depression. Oppression of racial, ethnic, religious groups.

Our history is replete with examples. Annihilation of native Americans; marginalization of women, LGBTQ folks, Chinese, Irish, Catholics, Jews; enslavement and segregation; greedy land grabs via contrived wars with Mexicans, Filipinos, Cubans; concentration camps/denial of rights for Japanese Americans.

All that’s needed to step off the Constitutional, moral cliff again is apathy, fear, greed, racism, nationalistic ignorance and arrogance and leaders who anoint such behavior. Well, here we are. And as Shakespeare said, “The fault lies not in our stars (fate), but in ourselves.”

President Trump flouts every ethical norm, using the “bully pulpit” not to summon our best selves but to actually bully. He emulates Andrew Jackson who defied the Supreme Court ban on unconstitutional forced relocation/trail of tears of the Cherokees, replying “They gave their order; now let them enforce it.”

The Senate thus Congress is blocked by one person, Mitch McConnell, yielding not democracy but autocracy. Human beings fleeing oppression and poverty are maligned, mistreated, marginalized by xenophobes. Foreign election interference, emolument laws and checks-balances are ignored.

Meanwhile, “the Constitution is mere putty in the hands of the Supreme Court” (Jefferson) and the Executive Branch. Seeing the Constitutional cliff, “it is our right and duty … to provide new guards for our future security” (Declaration).

Act: register, vote, write, call, donate, join.

Gery Gerst, Olympia
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