Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26

Kingsbury has lost his humility

Jeff Kingsbury was a good guy when I was in high school. His theater students really liked him. I don’t know when he finally lost his humility, but I do know that the point at which I ceased supporting him was cited in The Olympian July 7, 2009 (my rep. ‘Facebooking’ during council meeting):

“Jeff (referring to his self) is listening to an idiot at the moment,” Kingsbury wrote on the social networking Web site that allows friends to post comments and send messages to one another.

“Who’s the idiot?” one of his cyber-friends wrote in response.

“A citizen who doesn’t like our policy,”

Kingsbury replied. “I’m in council.”

Let’s try Stephen Buxbaum.


Kingsbury backs up words with action

How refreshing to have a candidate for Olympia City Council say what they do and do what they say.

How refreshing to have a candidate for Olympia City Council express his opinion and back it up with actions.

How refreshing to have a candidate for Olympia City Council who actually cares about the future of the City of Olympia and is willing to fight for it.

How refreshing it will be to re-elect Jeff Kingsbury to the Olympia City Council.


Voters will have the final say

I wish I could say I was surprised by The Olympian’s off-base personal attacks on me in its 10/11/09 candidate endorsement piece. But I wasn’t.

What the editorial board describes as “arrogant” is just me expressing the anger and discontent of the thousands of Olympia voters I have spoken with during my more than five months going door to door in our city. Young and old, working class and wealthy, Democrat, Republican and independent — I’m hearing the same thing over and over: Our elected officials aren’t listening to the concerns of our community and we need real change at City Hall.

I know that doesn’t conform to The Olympian’s out-of-touch view, but I’m sticking to it. And I intend to finish up my campaign the same way I started it: Listening to our community and focused on the issues. On Nov. 3, we’ll hear the voters’ verdict.


Some of the fault is with the college

I am the lawyer for students who settled their claims with The Evergreen State College relating to their 2008 trip to Chile led by professor Jorge Gilbert.

A recent Olympian article omits some salient facts, and could leave one with the impression that Gilbert, not his students, is the victim.

According to college audits, Gilbert’s Chilean trips resulted in students’ complaints dating back to 1998. That year, tuition refunds were given to some students because of his failure to deliver on promised cultural and educational activities. No disciplinary action was taken, but Gilbert, nearly every year thereafter, continued to take students to Chile. In 2008, he again misled the students regarding activities, and also could not account for their true per diem expenses. This resulted in the settlement with the college negotiated by me and the state Office of the Attorney General.

In past years, Gilbert’s response to challenges by the college has been to file claims with the Human Rights Commission. Now he is suing the college, claiming discrimination.

Blame can also be laid on Evergreen’s doorstep.

First, there was a failure to properly oversee the Chilean trips; second, the college mishandled the claims of the 2008 students for reimbursement.

Their trip was in May 2008. Repeatedly, the college has told The Olympian that it always intended to reimburse them. This is disingenuous.

The students had to hire a lawyer to be taken seriously.

As one of the earliest Evergreen graduates (1974), I’m disappointed in the college’s handling of this matter.


Endorsement editorial strayed from issues

My family has taken The Olympian for 28 years. I have always read its endorsements with interest.

Sometimes they have clarified candidates’ positions and helped me decide who to vote for. In my memory, these endorsements have always been fair and respectful of each candidate.

This year you broke with tradition. The “endorsement” editorial was filled with personal attacks, half-truths, and vitriol toward all the candidates whom you did not “endorse.” My jaw dropped as I read the snide comments about people who have taken 6 months out of their lives to doorbell, attend community events and get to know voters as they explain why they want to serve their community.

Where is the respect and civility? These people are community members. They all love Olympia. All the candidates want the best for our community. It is understandable that your editorial board has preferences, but what citizen in his right mind would ever want to run for office when the local newspaper has taken the position that it can use its distribution list to ridicule and belittle candidates? The Olympian has totally lost its credibility on this one. Our community deserves better.

To readers, I suggest that you ask friends, go to candidates’ Web sites and make your own decision about which candidates to vote for.