Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 6

Council caving in to developers

The lame duck Olympia City Council on Nov. 30 “moved to extend development deadlines for several planned subdivisions that have received preliminary land-use approval but aren’t being built now because of the bad economy ... It will likely be approved in a final vote next week ... If the extension weren’t granted, developers would have to reapply under current regulation, which may require costly additional work” (The Olympian, Dec. 1).

Why should developers benefit at the expense of the general public when they don’t meet building deadlines? Why shouldn’t they have to reapply under subsequent standards which are designed to benefit all of Olympia? Councilman Joe Hyer was the only negative vote. “That’s the cost of doing business,” he said.

Why isn’t the Olympia City Council more concerned for Olympia residents who will ultimately have to pay and pay dearly for developers using outdated standards? Why is this lame duck council so eager to use the holiday season to rush a bad idea through the adoption process?

Joe Hyer is to be commended for trying to protect the public interest while others care more about protecting developers. Let your City Council know how you feel before next Monday’s meeting.


Save adult day health program

Last April, the Washington state House voted to eliminate funding for adult day health. The Senate compromise retained funding for individuals still living at home, although funding was eliminated for clients residing in adult family homes or other residential settings.

Adult day health centers provide socialization, supervision, therapy, activities, nutrition, medical and physical care to frail elderly and disabled citizens who have already been certified by DSHS as nursing home eligible.

From a purely financial perspective, it is much more cost-effective to enable elders to age in place in the community with services like adult day health than to pay for skilled nursing facilities. From a human perspective, it is imperative we stop cutting services that maintain quality of life for our most vulnerable populations.

Recent revenue forecasts predict state legislators will contend with a $2.6 billion budget shortfall in the 2010 session. The mood seems to be: don’t bother trying to restore funding to social programs cut too deeply last session, just hope your program doesn’t experience further cuts, if it survives at all.

In October, California’s governor signed a bill to restore financing to shelters for victims of domestic violence. While this loan from an alternative technology fund does not provide a permanent fix, it represents a creative solution to help keep shelter doors open.

Washington would do well to follow California’s lead. As our state lawmakers grapple with a $2.6 billion deficit, they must consider innovative solutions to sufficiently finance vital programs like adult day health.


Establish a moratorium at NorthPoint

Under the Port of Olympia’s proposal, the port would establish a private entity to control the public shoreline setbacks at NorthPoint. Port commissioners have expressed confidence that they would have the votes needed to move the proposal forward.

Port officials intend to privatize publicly owned shorelines. Port commissioners’ ready-made outcome differs in many important ways from the use of the public process.

Port commissioners are abrogating their public responsibility, fast-tracking their arbitrary analysis of public comments and providing only one concept: a commercial building in the middle of a parking lot.

Port commissioners’ methods provide so little in the way of positive results for the people of Thurston County.

Port commissioners need to establish a moratorium for the NorthPoint project to ensure:

 • Compliance with the city of Olympia’s comprehensive planning update.

 • Development of outreach programs to citizens of Thurston County.

 • That state legislators amend the port’s antiquated 1965 state statute (RCW 53.08) which is not relevant to Olympia’s future land use.

 • That local governments coordinate with the state capital city’s land-use policies.

Envision NorthPoint being for the common good of all people by preserving the public shoreline which is the water gateway to the state capital city of the Evergreen state. NorthPoint can be the urban place for all to hurry no more; to wonder and awe at Puget Sound’s living water; and to experience evermore the Olympics beyond.


Quick to play the race card

It was a real treat to read the letter to the editor from Steve Coffman.

It’s always interesting to read the thoughts of people who are devoid of critical-thinking skills and yet imagine themselves clever enough to produce that old chestnut of “racism.”

I am certain that if the destruction of the ecosystem and the erection of overpriced and truly ugly refuges for the overly smug and self-impressed wealthy in the community had been advanced by (whatever race, creed, or religion suits your profile) all the opposition would have smiled and thanked them for the utter destruction of the waterfront, elimination of the views and the massive increase in taxes necessary to pay for this.

Yes, it is all racism.

I am certain the mayor would agree that it is impossible for members of any minority community to flourish in dear old racist Olympia.