Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor for Jan. 22

State needs to step into isthmus debate

The editorial regarding the isthmus and local control misses the mark by a very wide margin. There are many examples of land use where the state, and indeed the federal government, has the right to step in and say greater interests trump local judgment. Decades ago, Oregon and California governments determined that beaches were a state resource, not a local one.

Washington’s Shorelines Management Act enacted similar measures. The federal government has designated national parks and national monuments to protect national treasures from parochial local interests. This is not a new concept.

Here in Olympia, we have a precious and unique Capitol Campus, one of the finest in the nation. Part of that campus, and an integral part of its design, is the sweeping views to and from Budd Inlet.

This past year clearly showed that protection of those views couldn’t be trusted to the whims and influence of self-centered local economic interests, and a misguided City Council, upon which fortunately the citizens of Olympia have been able to effect some change.

This is not a matter of giving up local control. It is about protecting very valuable natural resources that are of statewide interest, not just Olympia’s.

The editorial shows again how much The Olympian is out of step with its own community. Get with the program. If you ever wonder why newspapers might be losing favor with its readership, this is a great example.

Donovan Gray, Olympia

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