Quality early learning prevents crime later
I applaud The Olympian’s editorial board for its bold stance on including early learning in our state’s definition of basic education.
As the editorial correctly points out, science and the study of brain development confirm that we must invest early to assure that kids get off to the right start in life and arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed.
It’s not just brain scientists and education advocates who see the wisdom of early investments in kids.
My experience in law enforcement confirms that high-quality early learning is an effective crime prevention strategy.
Although there is no substitute for tough law enforcement, any comprehensive solution to reducing crime and violence must include a commitment to preventing crime and criminals in the first place.
Long-term studies of high-quality preschools have found that at-risk kids who do not attend these programs tend to drop out of high school and abuse illegal drugs at much higher rates.
They are 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18 and five times more likely to be repeat offenders by age 27.
Conversely, at-risk children who participate in high-quality preschool programs are significantly less likely to end up in the criminal justice system and more likely to graduate from high school.
The time to solidify our state’s commitment to early learning is long overdue.
Expanding the definition of basic education to include early learning is the right action to express this commitment. I urge the Legislature to take this important step.
DAN KIMBALL, Thurston County sheriff
Take 5 percent pay cut from managers, too
In following the actions of the 2010 state Legislature to save money by furloughing state employees, the burning question is, why are the legislators, the governor and managers of state agencies ignored?
Most of these individuals are salaried – not paid by the day/hour.
They should take furloughs and take it without pay.
They are the highest paid, and would provide the largest savings.
If you truly want to spread the pain, take a 5 percent pay cut from all, not just the rank and file.
I understand and accept that certain groups such as fire, police, etc. must be exempt to protect our state and provide critical services, but what comes to mind is the old axiom, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
PHILIP ROTH, Olympia
Politicians care about re-election, not us
The county commissioners’ $46 million plus super jail is nearing completion with no money to pay for operating costs. It may lie vacant gathering cobwebs, dust and mold for years.
Commissioners deliberately built their new super jail without voter approval, knowing operating money was not available to operate it.
I have raised this issue for years. Commissioners are financially challenged, but taxpayers should not have to pay for their financial irresponsibility.
The county budget contains no economic forecast, no planning for future years, and no performance and cost benefit analyses.
It covers up a financial disaster in the making.
Commissioners greatly endangered public safety by laying off deputies and correction officers. They developed no budget tools to prioritize programs.
Incompetency at its worst.
It is time to give up on politicians. They only tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to know. They excel at deficit spending and borrowing to pay the bills.
We could pay taxes for 100 years and still not make a dent in the national debt.
Is that what we want for our future generations?
Politicians’ primary objective is to be re-elected. Neither political party puts the people first. It is our responsibility to vote these incompetents out of office. It is our responsibility to take control. It is up to us.
When our grandchildren ask us why we didn’t prevent the deficits, debt, and economic chaos we left them, what will you say?
BILL PILKEY, Lacey
Clocks would make red-light cameras safer
I enjoyed the article on traffic cameras being questioned by lawmakers.
I pass through the light at Sleater-Kinney Road and Pacific Avenue many times each week. I’ve had the flash go off a couple of times as I hoped I was out of the intersection far enough to avoid a ticket.
My complaint is not that I might get caught. If I run the red light, I won’t complain at being caught. I believe in personal responsibility.
It does seem to me that if safety is truly the issue, the city could install countdown signs at the crosswalks like I see in other locations around town. Then drivers could see as they approach the light just how long they have before the yellow light is going to pop up.
Of course, I suspect it would help folks like me that occasionally just get caught in that spot too close to stop and too far away to make it.
Could it be that we don’t see that feature because revenue is an issue?
TERRY MIDDLEBROOK, Olympia
Crisis Clinic merits support
I am always impressed with the generosity of the American people when there is a disaster anywhere in the world.
I am encouraging all of the generous people to remember that charity begins at home. Reporter John Dodge clearly explained the huge need for our Crisis Clinic in a recent column.
I sent my check in to: CCT-MC, P.O. Box 13453, Olympia, WA 98508. I hope many will join me in supporting our local Crisis Clinic.
JO EDWARDS, Olympia