Seniors should get flu vaccine
I am a former research investigator for the state Board of Health, and co-author of the state “Health Report.” Federal and county commissioners’ (Board of Health) lack of effective response to swine flu (H1N1) should concern all.
One month ago the top federal health administrator promised 45 million vaccine doses by mid-October. Several weeks ago it was revised downward to 25 million, and 20 million weekly thereafter. Few doses are available today.
CDC cannot tell us how many doses will be available, or when, only that widespread use could occur soon.
Only one pharmaceutical company produces the vaccine in the U.S., three or four in other countries. The president will send 10 percent of each batch overseas.
We were told nearly all seniors would be immune from the H1N1. Recently, the CDC confirmed my estimate that about one third of seniors may be partially immune. Seniors are on the last-to-vaccinate list, but may be the highest risk group. A worst case scenario could see well over 100,000 senior deaths in the nation; several hundred in Thurston County.
Why? Last year over 30,000 seniors died from the seasonal flu. Thirty percent of seniors were never vaccinated.
The H1N1 pandemic, due to lateness of vaccine, could run into the seasonal flu. Seniors then would be faced with lower immunity from seasonal flu which makes them potential victims to H1N1.
Seniors should get vaccinated for both, plus pneumonia as soon as possible.
BILL PILKEY, Lacey
Is Gateway project still feasible?
A Pierce County mega development has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The project, nearly 15 years in design and development; including a new school with no Cascadian students, is on hold for now. The Great Recession ran over it.
Will this be the fate of Lacey’s Gateway development? Let’s hope not, but let’s also hope that the nearly 15 years of planning and development of Gateway have some prudence and diligence built-in.
Suspend the project, protect all investment and erase any reliance on retail tax revenue until an independent due diligence report is completed; including impact of other retail operations and impact from a town center in Lakewood and/or Ft Lewis. Then re-engage in an open public debate and go/no-go based on accurate data, a fair and reasonable risk assessment and informed taxpayers.
The City Council’s 15 years of wishful thinking has collided with the great recession.
The current Lacey City Council refuses to consider today’s economy and commercial-retail competition and performance as risk factors and they have bet the city’s budget that Gateway’s tax revenues will cover their wager and your well being.
DAVE RIBACCHI, Olympia
Link program relieves stress of freshmen
Recently, President Obama pledged to help schools meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. A program at River Ridge High School in North Thurston Public Schools works toward that same goal by helping freshman hit the ground running.
The Link program eases the transition from middle school into high school. It begins with exposure and communication with their older peers. For the first time River Ridge took it even one step further by holding a spirit assembly at Nisqually Middle School, in advance of the homecoming game, generating excitement about going to high school.
The program includes specialty training for upper classmen to become Link leaders. The upcoming freshmen, who register in the spring, have their own orientation day in August. The upperclassmen spend the day with a group of freshmen, with the emphasis on helping them feel at ease.
As part of a school tour, the new students are introduced to their counselors and teachers; receive their schedules and find their classrooms.
The day concludes with a barbecue, and the hope that relationships, possibly friendships, have developed.
Freshmen face a variety of obstacles, and we can all relate to the anxiety of going to high school. The Link program relieves some of the stress, which can lead to success both academically, as well as socially. This fantastic tool is yet another example of care and concern shown to our youth by the staff and upperclassman at River Ridge.
Thank you for all that you do!
DARA GUNSTONE, Olympia
Port must increase access to waterfront
As stated in The Olympian, the Port of Olympia might soon make a decision regarding NorthPoint — the area near Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill and KGY. One proposal is for a hotel with 92 to 94 rooms and a 4,500-square-foot restaurant; the other is a 54,000-square-foot, mixed-use office building that also could include a restaurant.
There is very limited access to saltwater views and to beach recreation areas in Thurston County for visitors, tourists and the current population of 250,000.
According to the Thurston Regional Planning Council there will be 373,000 of us in 2030 and who knows how many by 2100.
In my view, there needs to be a significant part of NorthPoint reserved for public access in this amazingly scenic area.
Future Thurston County residents will wonder “What were they thinking?” if 40-foot buildings dominate the site.
Please view the plans, e-mail your opinions to the Port of Olympia Commissioners and attend the Port of Olympia Commission meeting on Monday. Public participation is very important and does influence public officials.
TOM FELL, South Bay