Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 17

Capitol Lake must be preserved

I'm sure the readers of The Olympian share with the rest of the state their pride in the splendid similarities between our state Legislative Building and that of the national Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Both have their architecture with classical domed symmetry and dramatic sweep of extensive vistas. D.C.’s mall leaps east-west across two separate man-made water bodies reaching toward the Washington Monument to close on the Lincoln Memorial.

Whereas, Olympia’s north-south version fully exploits nature’s much grander land and water with Capitol Lake and Puget Sound’s Budd Inlet, capped by the distant Olympics, both dramatic partners in our designers’ interpretation of the axial design ambitions of the turn-of-the century “City Beautiful” movement.

To do violence to that wonderful tradition as found in Olympia is unthinkable.

Yet, I’ve been told there are those who have recommended destroying the first visual water body of our Capitol’s axial sequence, turning Capitol Lake from its present role of mirroring and sparkling water into sloppy and smelly mud flats much of the hours of the day and night.

I can well imagine how Olympia’s public and the rest of the state who understand what the environmental consequences are would react should such a desecration be allowed!

I do urgently please ask that you and your readers use your influence and efforts to insure that will not happen.

NORMAN J. JOHNSTON, Professor emeritus at University of Washington

General Administration has failed

More than half-century ago, thoughtful people created Capitol Lake. It was designed as both a lovely civic jewel and as a sediment trap for the Deschutes River.

The Department of General Administration was charged with the responsibility to maintain Capitol Lake. They have failed completely.

They recognize that it must be dredged regularly, but the last time they tried was in 1998. Some local birders disputed their efforts in court. They gave up. They worried about the lake’s ever shallower waters, but made no more efforts to dredge.

Instead they came up with the idea to escape their dredging responsibility by shifting it to others.

If they could pull out the 5th Avenue Dam, the silt load of the river would flush into lower Budd Inlet and so would their dredging problem.

In the words of Curtis Tanner, a member of the CLAMP committee: “It’s time for somebody else to share the dredging costs.”

CLAMP has spent almost 2 million of our tax dollars hiring experts to develop scientific studies supporting their aim to pull out the dam. The issue for GA is not clean water, not fish enhancement, not habitat restoration. It’s about only one thing.

They want out of the responsibility to do the dredging that they’ve run away from for half a century.

At the last CLAMP meeting I attended, their abhorrence of dredging was evident when one member couldn’t even say the word “dredging,” He referred to it as, “the D word.”


Time for the governor to step up

This is a response to your article “Company plans biomass power project in Longview.”

Reading about the proposed woody biomass project in Longview concerns me. Being born and raised in the Northwest, I take great pride in our forests.

We have one of the most unique forest eco-systems in the world.

I want this beautiful treasure to last for many generations to come.

I don’t see burning forest products as an environmental solution to our energy needs.

Our forests are already managed in an irresponsible, unsustainable way. Deforestation accounts for more than 20 percent of the rise in global greenhouse gas emissions.

To burn wood products in order to produce electricity will cause more problems and additionally contribute to global warming.

We must invest in sustainable solutions such as solar and wind power in order to stop global warming and meet energy needs.

I urge Gov. Chris Gregoire to be the environmental leader she claims to be and refuse these green-washing practices using forest products for energy production.


Medical safety net needed

Corporate greed never ceases to amaze me.

You have the manufacturing plants, making huge profits, but not quite enough to satisfy them. They open post office boxes in the Cayman Islands so they don’t have to pay taxes, and hide their money in Swiss banks.

Still not enough money?

They close the plants in America. They don’t care about the community or their employees. Ship the jobs overseas so they don’t have to cover their medical insurance. Governments in other industrialized countries cover that. Plus there’s no minimum wage! Yea!

Of course back home the ripple effect on communities is horrendous.

Small businesses struggling to survive are losing their consumer base to unemployment. More and more of them are closing. Now virtually everyone in a small town has no medical insurance. How will these poor insurance companies survive?

Uh, oh, look out. Here comes the swine flu.

Wake up, America. We need a single payer or Medicare expansion option now.

We need to get that safety net out there to protect our fellow citizens.