Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 13

Take responsibility for own health

The health reform proposals raise an interesting question: What if we took control of our health by eliminating self-abuse?

The obvious, of course, are smoking, alcohol and drugs. Then there is the “live to eat” attitude.

In recent years there have been hundreds of books and articles with advice on healthy eating. Generally the suggestion is to eat vegetables, fruit, fish and small, if any, portions of red meat.

In spite of the advice many of us continue to stuff ourselves with fat, salt and sugar. This, of course, leads to a multitude of health problems, prescription drugs, side effects and more drugs.

If we had the discipline to take control of how we treat our bodies, that would be real health reform.

RAY ENSLEY

Tumwater

President is steamrolling Americans

Marshall Oatman’s letter to the editor proves the point that when debating, those who have the facts will debate the issue, those who do not attack. Amid all the ranting there was not one actual fact presented in the letter.

What is happening in health care is steamrolling by the administration to force-feed the American people a policy that over half of Congress has admitted to not even reading. Does anyone with any sense sign a contract without reading it?

Has Oatman read the health care bill? Does he realize the ramifications of what is being presented? There are many of us who have and we are more than capable of thinking for ourselves.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and retired registered nurse. I am NOT a right-wing nut, paranoid, ignorant, part of a racist fringe and my life is far from futile! I take offense to being called such. To call anyone a racist because they disagree with our president is beyond any form of sound reason.

All the hideous tagging that is being done accomplishes nothing and at best is less than sophomoric.

I will not sit down and shut up as President Obama has ordered those who disagree with him. It is past time for the politicians to cease with such tagging and simply answer the questions the citizens of this country have the obligation and right to ask!

LINDA KING

Olympia

We must address upstream issues

The ongoing debate regarding whether or not to maintain the lower Deschutes River as a man-made reservoir or to return it to an estuary exposes the human-caused, adverse impacts from past and current land use practices in the Deschutes River watershed above and including Capitol Lake.

The decades-long logging practices in the upper watershed have led to massive amounts of silt which is eventually deposited into Capitol Lake and even into the southern most tip of Puget Sound.

The management of upstream tree farms also incudes the application of massive doses of nitrogen fertilizer to increase the growth of the standing timber. Considerable amounts of this fertilizer (along with other chemicals) are applied directly to the Deschutes River.

In addition, other point source and non-point source issues continue to pollute the Deschutes River, Capitol Lake and south Puget Sound. Past and current agriculture practices, uncontrolled development (residential and commercial), failing septic and sewer systems all contribute to what’s going on under the surface of Capitol Lake.

We can choose to hide these issues under the rug (Capitol Lake) or we can work together to clean up the Deschutes River and re-establish a healthy estuary that we can all take great pride in.

By not addressing the upstream issues now, Capitol Lake will eventually fill in with silt and other contaminants that will need to be disposed of at tremendous costs to you and me and to our kids and grandkids.

What legacy do you want to leave?

JAMES WILCOX

Olympia

Ask elders about importance of lake

Capitol Lake is a beautiful asset to our city.

As a teenager I was moved by the beautiful lake that replaced smelly mud flats. Over the years the lake has established its own ecology. First we had a great place to swim and a nice beach to enjoy along with boat races, small sailing boats, water skiing and some fine fishing.

But the community leaders didn’t think these assets were worth the cost and effort to maintain so it slowly became what it is today – a beautiful reflective lake with a nice walking path, not all bad but nowhere near its potential.

With some hard work and effort, the Deschutes watershed could be restored to clean water hence restoring the recreational value of Capitol Lake.

We also need to think of the wildlife habitat that has been created. If we turn this back into mud flats many creatures will lose their homes and lives. That’s a sad thought.

I also remember that Columbia and Water streets flooded most years, due to high tides. Maybe that is why they called it Water Street.

Having lived here for some 70-plus years, I think the people who will decide the fate of this lovely reflective lake should reach out to the elders of our community for some insight.

PAUL (PJ) FLUETSCH

Olympia

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