Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for May 1

State income tax is needed

Are our legislators ignorant or simply afraid? I could ask the same of those who had the much lauded tea party.

It is a fact that they apparently don’t or won’t get that you can’t have services — child care, schools, roads — without money. That money must come from the people of this state.

By the same token, our legislators need to understand one cannot get blood from a turnip. The poor are poorer than ever; the middle class is nearly defunct.

A sales tax is totally regressive. It unfairly burdens the poor and middle class. This state needs to replace much of the former with a progressive, graduated state income tax. With that, those who have more would bear their fair share of the burden.

Unfortunately, our legislators refuse to act responsibly, but try to pile more sales taxes on us. I’m here to say I will vote against such a tax, not because I don’t believe the state needs more funding, but because, as a retired person living on a fixed income, I’m tapped out.

PEG DAVIDSON, Olympia

City should abandon art ordinance

Here’s a thought bubble for the city of Olympia. It’s a CITY ORDINANCE that requires 1 percent of the city hall construction project costs, or $265,000, to go for public art. Why not encourage the City Council to temporarily suspend that ordinance, during these economic times of cutbacks and layoffs, and redirect the funds to a more impactful activity.

And don’t give me the “these are different funds than our operating budget” excuse! I would bet that cuts and compromises in the design and development of the building plans had to be made to preserve this art funding.

If suspending the outrageous extravagance is not of the realm of thought, then at least look at some sort of performance art. Let’s say hire an artist who portrays the value of public service and assists City Hall in carrying out its most important governmental functions.

Make it legal and advertise specialized qualifications requiring some portion of the candidate’s legal name be Arthur.

There you go! Public “Art.”

DIANNE DOONAN, Lacey

Give people $1 million to spend

Everybody’s outraged about the bailouts. Where’s the money really going?

The solution:

Give every working/tax-paying person over 50 years old $1 million.

Stipulation:

They must retire, pay off their house or purchase and pay off a new house and purchase a new U.S. made automobile. In addition, they must be held accountable for their own health insurance and retirement. The money stays in a U.S. bank.

There’s about 40 million people in this category.

The results:

 • 40 million new job openings — unemployment solved.

 • 40 million houses paid off — stimulates the banking and housing industries.

 • 40 million new U.S. automobiles — stimulates the auto industry and all its trickle down industries.

 • 40 million less on Medicare and Social Security — allows a much reduced strain on those now failing government programs.

What? You don’t want to buy a U.S.-made automobile? Guess you don’t qualify for the $1 million bailout.

CRAIG CHEPLE, Olympia

Farmers are effective conservationists

When asked the other day what the date for Earth Day was, I responded with a laugh that clearly meant, “Are you kidding?! Why would I know when Earth Day is?”

But after thinking about it for a few minutes I realized I should be more supportive of and excited about Earth Day. No, I don’t consider myself an extreme environmentalist, but Earth Day should be a day that highlights dairy cows and dairy farmers!

Celebrated every year on April 22nd, Earth Day is used to promote awareness and support for a healthy, sustainable environment. Recycling is a big part of the sustainability story. Isn’t this what dairies are all about?

“Reduce, reuse and recycle” is a theme that applies to dairies in many ways. Farmers have been effective conservationists for centuries, caring for the land, using manure to fertilize crops, increasing efficiency in ways that effectively reduce their carbon footprint, and feeding a wide array of byproducts that would otherwise probably go to a landfill.

The next time you’re eating cheese, ask yourself where the “whey” went. The next time you’re eating almonds, ask yourself where the hulls went.

The next time you’re drinking an ice cold microbrew, ask yourself where the leftover brewers’ grains went. There’s a good chance many of these byproducts went to dairy cows.

Dairy farmers have been effective environmentalists for a long, long time. In addition to making good business sense, sustainability is what it takes to survive and thrive for the long-term.

ANDREW SANDEEN, Montesano

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