Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for May 10

Try worrying about potholes, not nukes

I was pleased to see the Olympia City Council resumed the important business of condemning nuclear weapons and declaring Olympia a city that will not do business with companies associated with them.

The bright spot of the resolution is it does not restrict the transportation of nuclear weapons in the city.

Thanks, council people.

I was concerned that if they restricted the transportation of my nukes I would soon be unemployed.

Their thoughtful resolution is a credit to their diligence of addressing important issues in this period of financial difficulties for many. The citizens of Olympia remain secure in the knowledge that their council only considers matters of importance.

I have more but I need to go get my front end realigned after hitting a series of potholes on one of Olympia’s well-maintained streets.

Steve Epperson


Wall between church and state crumbles

Every year, we in the non-theist community have something called The National Day of Prayer forced on us. I fail to see the necessity for this needless intrusion by the government into the religious beliefs and practices of its citizens.

People are free to pray — or not pray — at any time and at any place (yes, even in school, despite what the religious right has tried to make you believe), so why have a national holiday for it?

To make matters worse, the day has been hijacked by the religious right through their National Day of Prayer Task Force — a nongovernment entity that has taken over NDP planning and celebration, consisting solely of evangelical fundamentalists of the Shirley Dobson stripe. This task force insists on potential volunteers passing a litmus test before they are allowed into the tent: “I commit that NDP activities I serve with will be conducted solely by Christians while those with differing beliefs are welcome to attend.”

“Attend,” not participate.

Ironically, a few years ago the Utah chapter of the task force refused to allow Mormons to participate in that state’s National Day of Prayer celebration.

We’d all be better off if the government stepped out of the picture on this one. When a government-sponsored function can be handed over to the religious right, to the exclusion of everyone else, then there is something dreadfully wrong with our constitutional guarantees of separation of church and state.

Dennis Mansker


Blame those who voted Republican

It occurs to me as the Republicans fight the progressive change happening in our country, that they have fought progress before.

I am sure that the abolishment of slavery and women’s suffrage was a thorn in their side. If slavery was still legal, Republicans would have slaves.

Whereas Democrats/liberals would like to feed the children and house the poor, the Republicans would like to help no one. You think they would get tired of such selfish behavior.

We can thank the Republicans for the state of our economy. I don’t mean the politicians, but the people who voted for the politicians. Let’s hold them accountable.

Paul Clausen


Limit legislative sessions to save money

I am outraged and disgusted with Gov. Chris Gregoire and legislators. 105 days and they can’t make decisions and have to come back for a one-day special session? Talk about waste!

You think one day will be enough? Wait, they’ll be back again.

We need to go back to a legislative session once every two years. These people argue and debate over unimportant issues. You want to save money for the taxpayers? Here are two simple ways:

Legislators meet once every two years with no special sessions.

The Indians are part of Washington society and should contribute to the tax base. Tax the casinos.

And don’t give me that pathetic old worn out argument that we owe them because of past transgressions.

Dennis W. Gross


Add carousel, longhouse to park plan

Now that it appears that Heritage Park will be extended further north onto the isthmus, we want to suggest two wonderful uses for the area that would enhance the Wilder & White and Olmsted Brothers, City Beautiful designs of the state Capitol Campus — namely a carousel and a Native American longhouse museum.

On a recent college tour with our daughter to Willamette University in Salem, Ore., we discovered Salem’s riverfront carousel, which was built by volunteers in 2001 and united that community by combining history with the creative talents of its citizens. The Salem carousel is a new version of the one in Spokane’s Riverfront Park, and such a carousel on Olympia’s isthmus would be a great attraction for the downtown on the too many days when it is too cold to play in the interactive fountain.

A longhouse would also be a wonderful place to showcase and celebrate the history of our first peoples and the pioneers.

It should be noted that the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the great City Beautiful model for our Capitol Campus, contains both a carousel and the Smithsonian museums.

These two projects would harness the creative spirits of a broad spectrum of volunteers by creating works of art and culture that would stand as historical landmarks, as enduring economic symbols of community vitality and cooperation, and would preserve the historic Capitol Campus view corridors to and from Puget Sound and the Olympics.

Allen Miller and Maureen Callaghan