Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Nov. 19

Diwali is celebration of cultures

Diwali is the “Festival of Lights,” festival of colors. Colorful dresses, dancing, food, music, singing, people. There’s something for everyone.

I’ve grown up in America, but my parents are from India. When I was little, we started going to Diwali parties. Then I thought it was just a festival where we just had fun, but those parties helped me realize the massive culture I was part of and the history behind it.

The mayor of Tumwater, Ralph Osgood came to this year’s Diwali celebration. He watched the programs and danced. From what I saw, he had lots of fun celebrating Diwali with the community.

Growing up, I’ve been to many Diwalis. I’ve learned that you don’t need to be an Indian to have fun. It’s just a celebration, a time for fun, dancing and music.

I’ve watched many Diwalis being put together from scratch, and I’ve been to even more. It’s a lot of work, but it’s our way of celebrating our heritage and culture, and just having a good time.

No matter where you’re from, you can still enjoy Diwali. It’s not just an Indian celebration, but a celebration of cultures, of happiness and plenty, of having fun with friends.

This year Barack Obama was the first United States president to celebrate Diwali — our way of bringing a little bit of India to America, and celebrating the big melting pot that it is.

And I’m happy to be a part of that. No matter where I am in the world.

JILL SHAH, Olympia

Citizens committee is a sham

There is more the community should know about Lacey’s Citizens Advisory Committee.

Even after the citizens of this community voted overwhelmingly to get some honest and transparent council members into office, some individuals are still trying to mislead the citizens. Let’s look at this alleged broad cross section of the community.

The city only recently made public a list of the 34 members on this committee. There has been no transparency with this committee. There has been no notice of public meetings, no agendas posted, and no record of minutes on the city’s Web site. How did they come to a unanimous vote with 14 members not present?

Of the 34 members:

 • 4 are ex-Fire District 3 members. Is it a big surprise that they recommend starting a new fire department?

 • 8 are Jubilee residents.

 • 6 are associated in some way with developers, builders, or Realtors who have done business with the city.

 • 8 are known associates and supporters of the current mayor and city manager.

Many others serve on city committees, have lobbied on the city’s behalf in the past, or don’t even live in this community.

This group did not contact Fire District 3 for any information or have any fire district member come to one of their meetings to provide accurate information for their recommendations.

This committee is being used as a substitute for real public opinion by selecting membership based on their political loyalties instead of an objective and transparent process.


Debate over isthmus project isn’t over

A recent editorial included comments from Olympia City Manager Steve Hall suggesting that the high-rise condo project on the rezoned isthmus is now vested and will be difficult if not impossible to reverse.

I would like to recount a story of another project in the 1970s for a new county courthouse.

It was to be a remodel of the Capitol Center building, which is now the vacant high rise on the isthmus. I was the project manager architect at then BJSS Architects.

The project was carried to full completion with permit-approved construction plans in place despite continued fierce opposition from Bob Blume owner of South Sound Center in Lacey.

Blume’s opposition was primarily based on justifiable concerns regarding traffic and parking.

The project was stopped dead only days from going to public bid to be followed by construction.

As Yogi Berra said: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”


Fishing rules are ludicrous

I read Chester Allen’s report the other day and was very upset with the fact that we might be losing another place to fish.

We lost the Deschutes River to hook-and-release and now in reading Allen’s report, we might lose Munn Lake.

We don’t stock mountain lakes anymore because someone has said they should be returned to their natural state. Well, someone should tell the birds that they cannot do it anymore either.

If you want to hook-and-release, that’s up to you. On any lake you fish, nobody says you have to keep the fish, so why do we need to set aside places where only a select few want to go?

My family and I like to eat a few fish now and then, so if you stay out of my sandbox then I will stay out of yours.

I am sick to death of losing places to fish and hunt.

Maybe we all need to go to Montana.