Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for July 25

Lakefair Grand Parade 2019

Downtown Olympia is fills the streets for the annual Capital Lakefair Grand Parade.
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Downtown Olympia is fills the streets for the annual Capital Lakefair Grand Parade.

Boo to the mileage tax proposal

Do we want Washington to burn more fuel and emit more pollutants? That’s what the mileage tax will do.

Transportation Commission chairman Jerry Litt’s math is a little faulty. Let’s take his example of a car running at 23 mpg. At a nominal 15,000 miles per year, he’d pay $360 a year in road-use tax, and save $323 a year on gas tax. But take an economy car that we’ve been encouraging people to buy for 30 years, running at 32 mpg. The owner would pay the same $320 in road tax, but save only $232 a year in gas tax.

In other words the economy car driver is supporting the SUV driver to the tune of $90 a year. A Prius driver would be supporting the SUV driver with a $162 a year tax increase.

A lot of families own both an SUV and an economy car. Given their druthers, many would use the SUV more because they are roomier, and perceived as safer (at least for the occupants). A look at their new gas bill at the pump will encourage just that.

By the way, the lower mileage the SUV (or muscle car) gets, the greater the relative incentive to drive it more. At 15,000 mile a year and about 21 mpg, the road-tax versus the gas tax is pretty much a wash.

The road tax may be a sweet end run to increase tax revenue, but it doesn’t push forward Washington’s or humanity’s avowed environmental goals.

Bernard Brady, Tumwater

Say no to reserving space for Lakefair Parade

Every year at this time I get so frustrated with the idea of people putting up chairs along the Lakefair Parade route as early as Wednesday.

My first response is: When did your rights become more than any other parade participants? That event starts on Saturday and you go down there on Saturday and claim your spot! Not on Wednesday!

I understand people who live on the route putting up tape or such, but technically I believe the road side of sidewalks belongs under easement rules. Which means it does not really belong to that property owner. I think common courtesy and decency should cover that. But, in our society those rules don’t seem to apply any longer, which is a shame. I would take those chairs down if they were in my way prior to Saturday. However, it’s been a first-come, first-serve event since I can remember.

Secondly, why doesn’t the city gather those chairs and accessories up every day until Saturday with a garbage truck? It’s a hazard to many people walking or using wheelchairs along the route. They should have free access to those areas until the event. I also think it would not take many times of doing that until people become more aware of the issue and stop! It also looks so junky when we do have so many people from out of town gazing upon our city that used to be so beautiful.

Thank you for considering my opinion.

Darcy Mugartegui, Olympia