Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Aug. 16

Proposed west Olympia park has mountain bike supporters revved up, but some neighbors concerned.

Olympia associate parks director Jonathon Turlove outlines Kaiser Woods, a proposed park that will feature dedicated mountain bike trails in west Olympia. Some neighbors have voiced concern about traffic and other issues.
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Olympia associate parks director Jonathon Turlove outlines Kaiser Woods, a proposed park that will feature dedicated mountain bike trails in west Olympia. Some neighbors have voiced concern about traffic and other issues.

Olympia needs Medicare for All

As a registered nurse who has lived in and served this community for many years, I’ve seen first hand how our local problems are exacerbated by a for-profit health care system. Homelessness, opioid addiction, racial and economic inequities all intersect with the failures of our present health insurance system.

Currently there are bills in both the House and Senate that address solving this problem by improving and expanding Medicare to include every single person in our country. While this is a federal program, this legislation would dramatically improve the well-being of people at the local level.

For this reason I would like to see Olympia join numerous communities, from Seattle to Boston, in passing a city resolution in support of Medicare for All. Now is the time for the city of Olympia to join the growing tide of support for a universal healthcare program. A city of Olympia resolution supporting the passage of the Medicare for All Act of 2019 would send a message to our federal representatives that this is what the majority of Olympians want.

While a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives recently signed on to the Medicare for All Act of 2019, Olympians are still waiting for Congressman Heck of our 10th District to follow suit. Let Olympia be the leader in showing Rep. Heck what his constituents want and that the time for Medicare for All is now.

Izzy Baldo, RN, Olympia

Say no to proposed mountain bike park at Kaiser Woods

Did the mountain bikers build trails in Kaiser Woods illegally? They certainly do in other places that have been infected by the extreme sport.

Will the park remain attractive to people and wildlife after being turned into a race track? I doubt it!

Will hikers and runners enjoy sharing narrow trails with mountain bikes? It’s hard to believe.

How will the wetlands and neighboring homes survive the inevitable runoff from soil-shredding knobby tires? Why wasn’t the question even raised? Is promoting an extreme sport like mountain biking really worth destroying more wildlife habitat? Haven’t we destroyed far too much already?

Why should we promote a sport that continually results in horrific injuries and even deaths? What do kids learn about nature by racing through it at high speed? That it is acceptable to trash it, as long as you are having fun?

These are the questions you should be asking. I can’t think of a single good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail. Can you? Please don’t fall for the mountain bikers’ propaganda.

Mike Vandeman, Olympia
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