Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Sept. 15

Tainted money in politics

Today in Washington, D.C., it would seem we have the best democracy that money can buy. Far too many of our politicians continually ignore the majority of American people’s feelings and purpose for positive action toward solving major social issues in our society: crumbling roads and bridges, gun control, climate change, inadequate health care, the opioid epidemic, economic inequality, creating fair and humane immigration policies.

These highly emotional issues are all major concerns to our American values, public health and safety. Thoughtful legislation is now being held hostage by big-money, tainted, long-term politicians afraid that if they vote against special interest groups, they will lose major re-election cash flow — which means they will be unable to afford those slick very expensive TV commercials expounding on their family values, perceived virtues, and supposed sterling character traits. Consequently, losing these highly visible creative recognition sources could likely result in loss of their chosen lifelong political career.

Therefore it would behoove each and every one of us to set politics aside and research the money trail of the candidates we are voting for. If international corporate big money is their primary backer, no matter what persuasive rhetoric comes forth from their lips, look at their voting record. It’s a guarantee they are not working for you.

Robert Swanson, Olympia

Mitigate loss of Briggs YMCA cherry trees

Briggs YMCA cut down cherry trees that beautified the parking lot for a couple decades. This happened during “maintenance week” when the Y was closed, and without notice or public discussion.

The white cherry blossoms were a delight each spring, one of the most beautiful sites in Olympia. Their presence was a gift to the community.

Y staff claim “safety” concerns. Really? Providence St. Peter Hospital, The Evergreen State College, and St. Placid Priory have figured out how trees and parking lots can co-exist, and have done so for many years. The city of Olympia on Legion Way planted new trees the past few years to replace old, weakened ones.

The Y, an organization which promotes health, disregarded how beauty and carbon-reducing trees contribute to health. Instead, they have chosen to privilege cars. The manicured vegetation planted in place of the cherry trees is a poor substitute.

We must protect, encourage and nourish our local environment for the betterment of us all, especially future generations. We can’t bring back the Y’s cherry trees, a tree that is sacred in Japan as a symbol of hope and comfort. But the Y executive management team could mitigate their decision — which was devastating and disheartening — by planting and maintaining over time on the Briggs Y property, such as along Henderson Boulevard, an equal number of cherry trees as were destroyed. This could help the Y begin to rebuild the public trust and goodwill lost due to their unfortunate actions.

Suzanne Simons, Olympia