Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 9

Crime Stoppers merits our support

I am sure everyone has heard about the execution style murder of four police officers in Parkland.

Upon hearing the news, the first thing I did was to call and donate $1,000 to Crime Stoppers, and I encourage all of you to please consider making a donation yourself. This is one way we can all help our local police force keep our neighborhoods safe.

That same morning, I went to breakfast at a long-established Olympia restaurant near Percival Landing.

I requested that the manager pass out or post a flyer I had prepared asking their patrons to also support Crime Stoppers in this situation but sadly they declined.

Businesses need the support of our police force perhaps more than most. You can bet the owner of the coffee shop in Parkland is doing all he can.

The point is, we can’t wait until it happens to us, our families or our businesses.

We also can’t go out and take matters into our own hands, though I am sure there are times when the thought runs through some folks’ mind.

If you want to help your police department keep our neighborhoods safe, please call Crime Stoppers at 360-596-7867 and pledge your support.

Jesse Hall, Olympia

Precious tax dollars being wasted

For only $189,000 state taxpayers now are the proud owners of some forged steel wildflowers towering some 12- to 17 feet over a walking path along Highway 395 near Connell, population about 3,000.

An additional $431,584 of tax money will brighten our lives thanks to the placement of stone tables and benches in beautiful downtown Connell.

Bronze sculptures of quail, coyotes and rabbits will be depicted opening their mail in front of Connell’s post office.

Imagine that, taxpayers. All of the above for the paltry sum of $620,584 of our money.

In 1974, the state Legislature passed the Art in Public Places program, which sets aside one half of 1 percent of our state’s capital construction budget for public artwork.

Washington state Department of Corrections recently expanded the Coyote Ridge Correction Center to the tune of $179 million.

The prison is situated on a hill overlooking Connell.

As our elected officials contemplate an increase in taxes, is it not possible that it just might be time to take a closer look at how some of our money is being spent?

Ken Michael, Lacey

Horizons staff dedicated to students

I admit it. I like school. And although I am well past elementary school age, I love going to my children’s school — my school — Horizons Elementary.

I like being greeted by the front desk staff with a smile. I marvel at them, as they have made a dedicated effort to learn each student’s name. They know that to a child it is important to be known and remembered.

I love walking through the hallways, seeing artwork and assignments plastered on the walls. It is true evidence of student pride and effort.

Teachers are dedicated to their students, spending their extra time organizing and running after school programs and groups. Many of these teachers also are parents with their own family commitments, yet they devote extra time to their students.

In spite of the extreme growth Horizons has been through, the staff have remained conscious of continuing to build a feeling of family and community.

They recognize and reward even little things; students holding the door for classmates, or helping younger students to their buses.

The principal demonstrates community to the students by inviting them to have lunch with him in his office.

The feeling of family continues on in the staff who still ask me how my older daughter is doing even though she has moved on from the school.

The longer I am a parent, the more I believe it takes a village to raise a child. I consider my family fortunate that Horizons is part of our village.

Mona Whitt, Lacey

School staff deserve equal pay

An Olympian editorial reported satisfaction with the recent Washington state Supreme Court decision that ruled the variation in state funding of educators’ pay was constitutional.

The Federal Way School District had filed a suit based on a clause in the state constitution calling for a “general and uniform system of school” across the state.

The target of the suit was inequitable state funding of school employee pay.

The state never completed equalizing salaries as called for in the 1977 Basic Education Act. Some schools have been left with as much as 6 percent higher funding for teachers than more than 260 other school districts.

Why should Orondo or Everett receive 6 percent more state funding for salaries than all teachers in Olympia or the rest of the South Sound? Why should Marysville and Northshore school districts get 5 percent more?

State salary funding for administrators and classified staff are even more diverse. This is just state funding, not local contributions to salaries, that we are talking about.

Taxpayers in Thurston, Mason, and Lewis counties pay their state taxes. Don’t they deserve equal state salary funding for their school employees?

Neal Kirby, Centralia