Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 25

Health care system is broken

I had the privilege of having health care coverage while employed. However, when facing retirement, one of the major issues was being able to afford adequate coverage.

I’ve been grateful for Social Security and Medicare – programs that are not perfect, but are very helpful.

My present concern is for those who don’t have adequate coverage — the unemployed, the working poor, those who are in between jobs, those with pre-existing conditions, etc.

We desperately need to fix our broken system of health care coverage. We need a public health insurance option for everyone as a guaranteed back up, with good benefits at an affordable price.

ROGER B. TANQUIST

Olympia

Don’t turn lake into smelly estuary

CLAMP has recommended that Capitol Lake be returned to an estuary. Clearly the members of CLAMP never grew up in Olympia before the lake was built.

I did, on South Percival Street, and the stench from the mudflats carried that five blocks up the hill and beyond. In the heat of summer, it was AWFUL! If the lake is returned to an estuary, property values in a large radius surrounding it will fall, no one will want to live nearby, or shop nearby. And the sediment trapped in the lake will flow into lower Budd Inlet past Priest Point Park.

So kiss goodbye a vibrant downtown. Kiss goodbye the tug boat races, the Wooden Boat Festival and Lakefair. Kiss goodbye to a lot of income that currently flows into the city of Olympia because we have a lake.

On the other hand, we won’t have to spend money for a park on the isthmus because no one will want to use it!

I doubt that the $79 million savings with an estuary would ever begin to pay for the necessary dredging in Budd Inlet to keep the Port of Olympia, the Yacht Club and the marinas viable. I see nothing regarding the cost to the city, county and state for what amounts to inverse condemnation of these entities.

Our leaders 50 years ago built the lake to complete the Capitol Campus and to improve downtown Olympia, the marinas and the port. Why are we questioning their wisdom now?

JUDY WEIGAND

Olympia

Death penalty should be abolished

An Olympian editorial suggested finding out the people’s opinion on the question of whether the state should continue to allow the death penalty.

Why should we abolish the death penalty?

Not because all the other advanced democracies have. Not because it fails to reduce the number of murders. Not because it takes so much of taxpayers dollars that could be better spent on programs that reduce crime. Not because it is racially biased. Not because the only defendants to receive the death penalty are those who can not afford to hire their own counsel and must use public defenders.

We should abolish the death penalty because it is wrong to kill a defendant to show that killing is wrong.

Executions contribute to the violence in society. The death penalty tries to use a violent method to solve a social problem, and fails.

CHUCK SCHULTZ

Olympia

Death penalty serves a purpose

I’m all for having a public discussion about the death penalty, because it has been so long since a public vote, and like always majority rules. But why would anyone even consider taking it away?

Our justice system is so messed up right now, and people are so confused, they’re not looking at the big picture.

These people commit crazy, insane, heinous crimes and they need to be punished to the full extent of the law.

They don’t consider your feelings or care about you and your family when they commit the crimes, so why do people care so much about them when it comes to sentencing?

Look at this question: Would you rather use our tax dollars to feed, house and medicate those individuals, or see justice served?

I’m sure if a criminal harmed your family member you would want them to be executed, so why don’t people want that for other victims’ families?

Innocent criminals? So sorry for them, but should we risk executing one versus letting hundreds of guilty criminals go? I’m so sick of the race card being pulled. It’s so old and overrated.

Look around your neighborhood, city, state and country and see how diverse it is. There is no such thing as a minority anymore.

KESHIA MCCLANALHAN

Tumwater

Does city have different rules?

A few years ago I watched a privately-owned piece of land cleaned up of toxic waste. It was magnificent – the workers wore full body suits and respirators.

Carefully each truck was loaded and enveloped in a thick, white plastic wrap. After carefully spraying it down, it was sent off to a toxic dump.

All this because of environmental regulations to keep the good citizens healthy.

A few years ago the city of Olympia applied some asphalt sealer to an area around Capitol Lake and the rain washed a lot of it into the water. We, the good citizens, were told it would dissipate.

There is a new roundabout being built at Boulevard and Log Cabin roads in southeast Olympia – exactly where the old county shop was. This area is probably one of the most toxic sites in the county.

During the hot and dusty time of the year, all that heavy equipment pushed, churned and exposed piles of that wonderful dirt that pesticides and other fun chemicals were dumped on before we knew it was awful.

Did the city tell the surrounding residents what was in the dust they were breathing? Did the workers on the site get to wear those neat toxic suits? Did they know what they were scattering around in the air?

I don’t see a completely sealed and covered pile of dirt there either. I guess the city doesn’t have to obey the rules it imposes on the private sector.

Can you say hypocrisy?

GARY B. MATTIX

Olympia

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