Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 1

Sermonti supports lake option

Removing the Capitol Lake dam and draining Capitol Lake forever would have drastic impacts to downtown Olympia — most of which weren’t even studied by the committee in charge of making this decision.

Who pays for the increased dredging of Budd Inlet?

How about the demolition and reconstruction of Fifth Avenue near the dam? Local taxpayers. What about the environmental impacts of changing a local ecosystem that the lake has created virtually overnight?

Tony Sermonti is a candidate for Olympia City Council who has been clear about his stand on Capitol Lake and the need to clean up downtown. He is confident that the lake should remain a lake, and actually be maintained.

His opponent, Joe Hyer, was a key advocate for an estuary as a member of the Capitol Lake committee. On this issue alone, the differences are quite clear.

Sermonti has a well-thought and common-sense vision for Capitol Lake to stay a lake. I’m encouraging everyone I know to vote for this change in Olympia leadership.

ANYA MYER, Olympia

Port protesters back in the news

We hear of those who oppose war one more time. A couple of the protesters who willingly attended the gathering to block public streets so military vehicles couldn’t pass are suing the police and the city for a couple million dollars each.

So what are they trying to tell us? That the police shouldn’t respond to an activity that blocks public streets? Or they should just come to watch? Maybe we ought to protest against misters William Hamilton and Larry Mosqueda and block the streets in front of their house because we don’t believe what they believe.

Win or lose, these lawsuits are going to cost the city a bundle, and the members of this community are going to have to pay for it no matter how they feel about war, protests, or the blocking of city streets.

So, members of the community, the next time you see a protest, just remember it’s going to cost YOU. And if Hamilton and Mosqueda win, they’ll be able to live happily ever after on YOUR tax dollars.

Or maybe someone from the community should initiate a class action suit to recover from Hamilton and Mosqueda the $100,000 it cost the city to respond to THEIR protest.

LOREN GEE, Olympia

Kingsbury ill-suited for City Council

Jeff Kingsbury is running for re-election as the candid and courageous candidate. Public records show that he sent e-mail to another council member during a City Council meeting casually calling a citizen, a former chair of the Planning Commission, a “coward,” who “wouldn’t even look (him) in the eye.” This citizen was delivering his three minutes of testimony from notes at the time.

City records also show Kingsbury browsing Internet shopping and social networking sites during council meetings. While a number of people were asking the council to pay attention to the park initiative 5,000 people signed, he was posting to his Facebook friends saying, “lol (laughing out loud) ... you should hear these folks. I can look directly at them and type at the same time!”

Perhaps Council member Kingsbury and his supporters think ongoing behavior like this is candid and courageous, but to me it seems like casual disrespect for other people. I worry that some people will be too intimidated to participate in city government if their elected officials make it a practice to sneer at citizens who address the council.

Kingsbury has contributed to life in Olympia in many admirable ways. But being well-suited for public life in the theater doesn’t necessarily mean someone is ready for the responsibilities of dealing with the public as an elected city council member.

I’m voting for Stephen Buxbaum this November — someone I feel is genuinely candid and courageous — as well as modest, thoughtful and committed to working collaboratively with everybody.


Cispus offers kids unique opportunities

Economic times are tough and our local school districts have had to make some tough choices to balance budgets. Cutting Cispus, the fifth-grade outdoor school experience for Olympia School District kids, was one of those tough choices. These fifth-graders risk missing out on so much:

 • A significant right-of-passage, spending nights away from their family, many for the first time.

 • A chance to make new friends that will help carry them through middle and high schools.

 • A perfect opportunity to apply science and other learning goals in a real world setting, part of newly adopted state standards to improve the quality of our kids education.

 • And for many, a rare chance to spend time outdoors, developing an appreciation for the environment and the world around us.

Treating Cispus as a “non-essential” line item and cutting it from the budget is more than unfortunate. How many of us know too many kids who spend their days indoors — TV, video games, homework, text messaging? Our kids need an outdoor school experience — for their health and the future health of our communities.

We have a chance to save this essential experience for our kids. Join local efforts to raise the funds needed to restore this program!


Troopers should have been fined

King County reported that they were declining prosecution of the state troopers for killing the three seagull chicks because there was no malice involved. What a cop-out.

The fact that the case was not referred to the proper agency tells me a story.

Malice is not an element in the violation. It’s irrelevant whether there was malice or not. The statute involved is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law enforced by special agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is a strict liability statute. The violation was killing the gulls — period.

The troopers should have been issued tickets for the violation.