Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 10

Labor must flex its muscle

I recently spoke with a city of Olympia worker.

He was upset over the recent layoff of several of his co-workers, due to budget cuts.

I asked what union he belonged to, and he was not sure. I found out which labor organization represented these workers and made several calls to them.

My reason for the calls? It was to inquire about them and other labor organizations holding a late-afternoon demonstration downtown by the construction site of the new city hall protesting job cuts while a new multi-million dollar building is being put up.

Not one of their union reps called back to discuss this.

How sad.

Where is the upset and anger over people losing their incomes and careers? This is what political correctness gets you, my friend.

I will say this: Try to send my job away and after I get through with you, you will not even want to be in the same country as I am. I do not care who you are or what reason you want me to believe.

It is a historical fact that when labor is doing good, the community is doing good. When organized labor fails to publicly protest unfair actions, we just contribute to the political correctness syndrome.

While we are at it, if we really want affordable health care and safe pensions, maybe its time corporate America experience, for one day, the wrath of labor.

The old ways still work.


Cartoonist went too far

The Olympian’s Dec. 30 cartoon caricatures a U.S. senator holding a bag labeled “$” and referring to “a bribe for my health care vote.” I guess this is a generic senator, since he doesn’t resemble any actual one.

Congressional leaders have been criticized for including provisions in the health care bill that benefit particular states, in return for the votes of their colleagues from those states. I think such criticism is legitimate, though I wouldn’t join in it under the circumstances. But bribery is a specific crime involving personal economic gain, and I haven’t heard any suggestion, except for the cartoon, that anyone in Congress has been bribed to vote for or against this bill.

I know The Olympian gets its cartoons from somewhere else, but presumably you have choices about them. Your usual cartoonist is too shrill and doctrinaire for my liking, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is some regard for the facts.

If the cartoonist has evidence of bribery, readers and law enforcement agencies would want to know about it. If you don’t, why print such a pathetic cheap shot?


Aspire Middle School meets needs

When North Thurston school district named their new middle school they got it right. Aspire means: To have a great ambition or ultimate goal; desire strongly.

What a wonderful school community. Not only does Aspire have faculty and staff that work above and beyond contractual hours, they also have students and families that strive daily to support the new performing arts middle school.

I have the privilege this year of having two children attend Aspire. Both are in the Challenge Academy, an accelerated academic program that our district designed for the middle school level.

This program is in its fourth year and is guided by the outstanding leadership of Norma Sassone, June Dhamers and Anne Kohlbry. As a parent I have watched this program from the beginning and each year I am most impressed. My eldest child successfully transferred from the Challenge Academy to North Thurston High School honors and AP classes.

Aspire performing arts are under the guidance of Jerry Huff, Swannee Pearson, Chris Traber and Sarah Anderson. These hard-working faculty members have embraced these amazing, energetic, eager students and created some wonderful performances already this year.

Students arrive early for lessons carrying one or more instruments, dance shoes, sheet music, theater props and smiles on their faces. At the end of the academic day they remain for further lessons and rehearsals, leaving with instruments, backpacks and still smiles on their faces.

Well done, North Thurston school district. It has hit another home run for education in Washington.


Take a hard look at salaries

As our legislators prepare to go into session with high hopes of finding ways to bring their expenses more in line with their income, (anyone laughing with me yet?) let us remind them where the problem may best be discovered.

A recent report points out that the Defense and Transportation departments of our federal government added more than 10,000 new jobs in the last two years that pay more than $150,000 a year. And federal worker salaries now average $71,206 a year, compared to the private sector salaries that average $40,331 per year.

Ask for the same pay-scale information about your state work force legislators, then begin to do the job your Constitution requires of you. Put the needed tax-supported services into the hands of those paying the taxes, not the people handling the paperwork.