Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for May 12

Solve revenue crisis by taxing air

I saw a news report on TV the other day where the governor and legislators are whining about lost revenues. I came up with these examples:

Gasoline: The legislators raise the gas tax to one of the highest in the nation to pay for road repair. The people start taking mass transit, carpooling and buying fuel-efficient cars, thus saving gas and our dependence on foreign oil.

The legislators then whine about lost revenue because people are buying less gas.

Cigarettes: The legislators raise the tax on cigarettes until they are almost $7 a pack. The people stop smoking, get healthier and are more productive at work.

The legislators whine about lost revenues because people aren’t smoking as much.

Air: The legislators create a new tax then raise it immediately on the air we breathe. The people start buying oxygen machines, air pooling and taking shorter breaths.

The legislators whine about lost revenue because people are breathing less or have stopped breathing altogether.

Now I know No. 3 is far-fetched but with the people we keep sending to Olympia it makes me want to stop and take a deep breath of air — before they tax it.

Tedd Fieldstad


McNeil Island could generate revenue

For many years, I have wondered how beautiful McNeil Island could be used for a prison.

Recently, the Legislature discussed closing the prison, which would open many new possibilities.

The state could sell the island and get completely out of its current financial problems. They could balance the budget without raising our taxes and remove the horrible blight that is the present prison.

Imagine all the uses for this jewel. It has miles of waterfront that would command a very high price and tax revenue. There could be a marina for homeowners and visiting public. There could be an airfield and a bridge so people could tour the old prison that could be converted into a park.

Then the state would have a new Catalina Island look alike that would attract tourists and revenue.

This seems like a no brainer, but will they do it?

Of course not.

So we will continue to look at this ugly monstrosity on one of the most beautiful islands in the state.

Earl Pilgrim


Don’t release photos of interrogations

President Obama says he intends to release photos of what some call American abuse of terrorists.

Let us demand they can only be published if they are shown side-by-side with photos that most people haven’t seen — pictures of people jumping out of windows of the twin towers on 9-11-01 (with some people still burning on the way down).

If President Obama releases these photos they will get worldwide attention. The tactics of the terrorists will not be noted, nor reported, in any of the news coverage — leaving a completely distorted image of the U.S. in the minds and hearts of people all over the world.

I believe the reporting of interrogation of prisoners has been way overblown in relation to what actually happened. It does not compare in any way with tactics used by terrorists.

Remember that people were jumping out of burning buildings on 9/11! Remember photos of a captured journalist being beheaded?

President Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that it is time to move forward. But by yielding to those to the left in his party, while not acknowledging why these men were captives in the first place, he is doing a great disservice to our nation by giving fodder to feed the extremists who would be very happy if they were able to cause another 9/11.

Conclusion: No pictures should be released at all because they will be used throughout the world, and distorted by those who wish to destroy us.

Bill Korf


It wasn’t arts commission that stumbled

I write in response to the editorial regarding the arts debate. What was in the media and presented at the Olympia City Council meeting implied that public response was entirely negative.

Though there were questions raised and negative opinions expressed, I know there was also positive support for the process, project and art, and it was expressed to city officials.

Is not a citizens advisory group drawn from the public? Weren’t they involved in all aspects of this process? When the editorial stated “and the public was pretty much unanimous in opposition ...” it discounted those who supported it.

The editorial states: “Selection of public art is risky business,” because people have different responses to art. But just before that the editorial presents a long list of public art projects and asks “Who doesn’t like ...” and “Who could possibly criticize ...” This seems contradictory.

The editorial called the selection process elitist. Elitist is one of those buzzwords that is often used to discount the opinions of a group of people.

It is a shame that the opinions of people in favor of the artwork were so summarily dismissed.

It is a shame that the recommendation of the citizen’s panel and the Arts Commission who worked responsibly to get it right was rejected. It was not they who stumbled.

Thomas Johnston