Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Sidewalks should be used by bicyclists

With summer here, I have noticed many more people using their bikes to commute to work and around town, which got me to wondering why they haven’t changed that law, yet.

You know, the law that states that it is illegal for bicyclists to ride their bikes on the sidewalk. Why was this passed? And in what year was this passed?

I recall a lot about history, having retained most of what was taught about the past 100 years in regards to popular modes of transportation. What I remember about back then is that many more people walked to wherever they needed to go, instead of using this common, two-wheeled transport.

I have a feeling that when this proposition was passed, many officials felt that if they surrendered the sidewalks to those in transport, they might run over the many passers-by that cared to use these sidewalks for what they were made for — walking.

But, I digress. What I believe we need to do as a city, as a people and as a state, is to decide how many more people’s lives we want cut short or hindered by trips to the hospital for broken legs or other injuries caused by what happens when bicycle meet automobile.

Share the road? Indeed, share the sidewalk!

JULIE SCHULZ, Lacey

Valdheer would protect homeowner rights

The irresponsibility of the Olympia City Council is shown in The Olympian’s front page article on July 23. The council sold a piece of property downtown to Colpitts for $250,000, then gave Colpitts $250,000 to help clean up the property and adjoining lot, which means they sold the property for nothing! Now Colpitts doesn’t have the money to continue the project. This is only one of a number of council decisions throwing away money.

It’s time for change! We have a chance to return the city to representatives of We the People.

Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal published a story, “What the Housing Boom Left Behind.” This article talks about defective housing by builders and developers, something that is prevalent, right here in Olympia.

One of the candidates for City Council, Karen Valdheer, is someone who knows this problem thoroughly, at Cooper Crest development. She’s been an activist for her community for several years, fighting to get things done to correct what Tri Vo did. Now Vo, who is a developer in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, is a favorite of the Olympia City Council. Despite the wishes of those who live in Olympia, they continue to support him.

We need new leaders who are willing to fight for our rights and not the developers. I urge you not to vote for any builder or member of the Planning Commission who may be running for the city council. Elect Karen Valdheer to the City Council.

JOYCE COLTON, Olympia

Kingsbury listens and acts

I just received a mailer from Olympia City Councilmember Jeff Kingsbury’s opponent in the upcoming election. She says we “deserve to be listened to and treated with respect by our elected officials.” She’s right. And that’s why I am voting to re-elect Councilmember Jeff Kingsbury.

When I contacted the City Council with concerns about overdue repairs to my street and concerns about city noise regulations, Jeff Kingsbury was the ONLY City Council member who responded. Jeff Kingsbury is a businessman, teacher and leader.

Jeff Kingsbury listens and acts for us. Re-elect Jeff Kingsbury to the City Council.

MARTIN FLYNN, Olympia

Gasoline tax could fund useful programs

We’re addicted to automobiles. It contributes to laziness, obesity, air pollution, stress, accident injuries and teenage shenanigans. A responsible plan for Basic Health Care should include a $1 gallon tax on gasoline and energy to raise $500 billion a year.

It’s not regressive if we give a $1,000 year taxpayer rebate for baseline energy needs.

Use $50 billion to fund existing state’s Medicaid programs. Ultimately, competitive grants to non-profit hospitals and clinics for “walk-in” care may be a cost-effective BHC plan, without insurance purchase mandates.

Most people agree we will need better public transportation. For that invest $50 billion, including new hybrid buses that GM and Chrysler can build. Give business tax deductions of $100 billion for energy. Use $25 billion for an Americorps type work program; use $25 billion for all-day year-round public schools, vouchers, and college scholarships; $25 billion for private sector jobs creation; and $25 billion for sustainable energy. There will be no need then for a large “Cap and Trade” program, if we price other utilities on a sliding-scale.

We can pay down our national debt, slowly, with the remaining $100 billion of gas tax revenue. Nor am I opposed to a 2.5 percent surtax on millionaires.

America could again lead the world by reducing our energy consumption and investing in technologies to improve the health of our environment, the health of our economy, and the health of our people.

We cannot be selfish about this, nor motivated by politics. Please consider this option.

BILL THOMAS, Olympia

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