Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 13

Extraordinary tribute to our veterans

As a veteran and parent of a Timberline High School student, I was invited to speak at their schoolwide program to honor our veterans.

I must say that the Veterans Day Assembly was one of the most amazing events I have experienced in my 11-year association with Timberline.

Upon completion of reveille, signaling the beginning of the program, to the retirement of the colors by the Madigan Army Hospital Color Guard, the entire student body was respectful, attentive and sincere. The National Anthem, sung by Madi Sylvester, was fabulous and set the tone for the remainder of the program.

The choir and band performed pieces that visibly moved the many veterans in attendance as well as students and faculty alike. Leadership students, Stan Thompson, Jasmine Santillan and Willy Laughlin gracefully narrated appropriately selected works and individually honored each group of veterans from World War II through Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, including those students whose family members are currently serving.

Skillfully crafted by the students of the leadership class, this program demonstrated a genuine patriotism and admiration in honor of our veterans.

The students, faculty and administrators at Timberline High School are truly amazing. While I am proud to be a veteran, I was especially proud that day. Thanks to all who were involved in honoring our military with such dignity and reverence.


City continues to favor developers

Why do I sense that if I ask for an extension on my building permit on my single family dwelling because of economic conditions the city will turn me down?

Yet, the powers that be have no difficulty giving developers a 2-year extension on their development permits.

What is wrong with this picture?

A developer is a speculator, and just as when I buy a stock or property for an investment, it’s a risk. Sometimes I win; sometimes I lose.

Yet, local government officials and the feds continue to attempt to minimize corporate losses while allowing developers their full profits.

Sorry. In my world view, they should lose.

Too bad, I know, but join the real world of the individual who struggles too often just to meet basic needs with no resources to speculate as these developers do.

Yet we continue to favor the corporate risk-taker, over the individual.

That’s what’s wrong with this picture.


Some mobile home park owners get it

A recent front-page article in this newspaper described how affordable housing in mobile home parks is again being threatened. It appears that the Manufactured Housing Communities of Washington, a powerful lobby group that supposedly represents mobile home park owners, is going to challenge in court the city of Tumwater’s recent mobile home park zoning ordinance.

The Manufactured Housing Communities of Washington may be flexing its political muscle but it isn’t representing all of the mobile home park owners in the state or the county or even Tumwater.

Some mobile home parks have been in the same family for years and years. The owners have developed relationships with the tenants and understand that some tenants may be living on as little as $700 or $800 a month. One can understand that park owners may want to sell their park but are reluctant to do so without some assurance that it will remain a mobile home park.

The city of Tumwater’s zoning ordinance provided that.

The Manufactured Housing Communities of Washington’s legal challenge is a power-grab, but they aren’t representing every mobile home park owner in the state.

Who is going to represent the mobile home park owners who just want to do the right thing for their tenants?


Baird cast right vote on health care bill

I want to commend Congressman Brian Baird for his common sense and courage to vote “no” on the monstrous health care bill currently being considered. This bill will do nothing to reduce health care costs, and the public is catching on to this. It suggests $500 billion in Medicare cuts, however Congress has historically rejected Medicare cuts, as to allow them is a betrayal of seniors, a powerful voting base.

This bill does nothing to reduce lawsuits because trial lawyers greedily oppose any change to the current system. Despite intent, physicians will still be forced to practice defensive medicine, further increasing health care costs.

I’m very concerned with the new math the government now uses, inflating or falsifying economic numbers. Continuing that approach in this bill, they collect new taxes for 10 years, but only spend money for the last six years? Just wait until the 10th year. My grandchildren will be saddled with paying for this fiscal irresponsibility.

A simple bill (not 2,000 pages of additional government and special interest pork) would suffice. It would remove the legal obstacles preventing competition across state boundaries, support true tort reform with strong curtailment of pain and suffering damages, and change the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually-owned health insurance had identical tax benefits.

I hope Congressman Baird has the continued courage to resist the irrational political pressure to support a bad bill that many of his constituents do not want and cannot afford.

JOE A. TALLER, Olympia