Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 11

Commercial fishermen deserve better

As owners of Olympia Seafood, we support responsible commercial fishing and resource management. Recently, the chairwoman of the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission, Miranda Wecker, made some troubling comments regarding the allocation of salmon between commercial and sport fisheries in the Columbia River.

In particular, Wecker supported a purportedly “equitable” allocation between the two fisheries based purely on the number of commercial licenses versus the number of sport fishing trips.

Chairwoman Wecker’s comments reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between commercial and sport fisheries that cannot be left to stand without comment. We do not take issue with Wecker’s belief that tighter fishing restrictions may be necessary in 2010.

But it is an absolute fallacy to believe that limiting commercial allocation will result in better management of Columbia River salmon.

Wecker’s uninformed comments, not to mention her admitted bias in favor of the sports fishery, do an incredible disservice to this resource and to the public.

Commercial fishing supports families and businesses like ours. Our ability to offer fresh salmon is hampered by a diminished allocation to commercial fishermen. Less fish makes the available fish more expensive and creates an unnecessary barrier to the public.

Chairwoman Wecker would be well-served to put aside her bias and to make an informed decision as to allocation. She must recognize and take into account the economic benefits of sport and commercial fisheries; a simple numbers calculation ignores the responsibility of her position. Commercial fishermen and we the public deserve better.

TONY AND KIRA DERITO, Olympia

Reconciliation should be exit strategy

Our ambassador to Afghanistan has opened the door.

Can we find the voice of our collective hearts?

U.S. military commander of forces in Afghanistan until two years ago, and now ambassador, Karl Eikenberry has told us that it is not the time to send more troops. It is a shame the former commander’s wisdom will not be given its day in the Afghan sun. Eikenberry sent two cables with this message to President Obama.

A month ago Ambassador Eikenberry met with a group of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in the Bamiyan Peace Park and offered to relay their message “Reconciliation of Civil Hearts” (see http/:ourjourneytosmile.com.) The message is a simple one from ordinary Afghan youths. It does not make the U.S. military, or the Taliban, wrong for the sadness and lack of hope. Rather, like Gandhi, it points to the opportunity now for peace.

At the very least, let us talk about reconciliation as the underlying purpose and goal of any additional personnel that will be added to the distasteful presence of internationals in Afghanistan. Call reconciliation the exit strategy. Then let us walk the walk.

Reconciliation is the path of those committed to living their belief in the dignity of all people.

The door is wide open for us to choose our words carefully, and to step only where our hearts will us to tread. Let us give thanks, by taking the opportunity we have to raise our voices.

Let us walk through this open door.

DOUGLAS MACKEY, Olympia

Let us celebrate Christmas

The Christmas season is here again, and Hannukah is just around the corner. In this time of political correctness when we put up our “holiday trees” instead of Christmas trees, and our kids are out of school for “winter break” instead of Christmas vacation, I have to wonder how far this will all go.

Hopefully, not as far as it did last year when Washington was the laughingstock of the nation because of the PC debacle at the state capitol.

Let us have our Christmas and Hannukah. Let us also, at the appropriate time, have our Eid, Buddha’s birthday, equinoxes, Kwanzaa and Lunar New Year. There’s room for everybody to celebrate at the appropriate time according to personal beliefs.

If atheists have holidays, more power to them. Let them celebrate them instead of worrying about ours.

I don’t feel abused or marginalized because I’m not included in all holidays and I have a tough time sympathizing with those who do. Tap dancing around the word “Christmas” because some don’t observe it is ridiculous. Many of us will celebrate and many of us won’t. That’s pretty much what diversity is about.

Best wishes to everybody for happiness on their holidays and throughout the year.

Merry Christmas.

RON WAITMAN, Lacey

Collecting money for heroes’ families

Hats off to Ralph’s Thriftway, (and I’m sure, or at least hope, other retailers) who are allowing the community to donate to the fallen heroes of the Lakewood Police Department when checking out at the cash registers.

I just hope that the reward money that was offered is placed in a college trust fund for the children of these four police officers.

JOHN FORD, Olympia

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