Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 1

Law enforcement legislation is mistake

I read the article about the Senate passing a bill to require law enforcement officers to “be truthful and honest” while carrying out their duties.

This sounds logical at first, and makes you wonder why would we have to pass a law like this until you consider the ramifications of this bill.

Just wait until the next time an officer tells a child molester, during questioning, that they have evidence of his/her guilt to see if they would admit guilt. Immediately, the arrest will get thrown out because the officer wasn’t truthful and honest.

This bill was brought about because an officer in Kitsap County supposedly lied to his supervisors. Unless he was arresting his supervisors, I don’t see how this bill will correct anything but will inhibit law enforcement officers in doing their job.

The Kitsap officer should have been fired for insubordination because of misleading his supervisors and thereby inhibiting them from doing their job properly.

Maybe I am missing something that this news article is not reporting. If so, please help me understand why this bill passed the Senate 46-0.

Are all of our senators blind followers?

Hopefully, the House of Representatives’ Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee will question this Senate bill and put a stop to the bill in its current form.

Maybe add an exception for interrogation, questioning, and undercover officers while undercover.

Where are our prosecuting attorneys standing on this issue?


Marijuana offenses have no victims

Joe Hyer’s arrest has changed my neutral stance on whether marijuana should be legalized. I am now in favor of it.

Setting aside the obvious humor in a guy named Hyer (higher?) getting arrested on a pot charge, Joe Hyer is not someone I want to see in jail or out of government. I don’t know Hyer, but he has been an Olympia businessman and a solid citizen for a long time. He has worked hard as a city councilman and was recently re-elected. He is not a criminal or a thug.

I accept that marijuana use has both long-term and short-term negative health consequences and that it is a gateway drug. However, there are other consumables that have negative health consequences but are legal. Alcohol, which also is a gateway drug, is an example. It is irrational to make one legal and the other not.

We are telling the neediest among us that there is no money in the budget to help them. It is immoral to do that while spending millions of dollars every year arresting, prosecuting and jailing people on pot related charges.

Hyer hasn’t been convicted of anything and may be innocent, but even if he is guilty, I’m not willing to put someone in jail for an offense that has no victim. We also can’t afford to lose good people like Hyer.


Port housing would not be safe

Like Thad Curtz, I too am not supportive of tall buildings on our port’s waterfront land. Instead, Curtz suggests a better idea: housing for families and kids and probably their frisky puppies too. All enjoying their carefree life — until the next earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey has determined that the port is in the earthquake red zone for liquefaction. I was appalled that the children’s museum is being built on the downtown fill.

This land is unsuitable for any building. Experts told us that had our last big earthquake shook for only 45 more seconds, downtown Olympia would have sunk into the muck. Still, people want to build more structures, bring in more families and pretend they are safe living on fill in an earthquake red zone.

After watching the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake, imagine what downtown Olympia would look like. Perhaps the few structures designed to withstand an earthquake would remain, but they would be islands in the midst of water, mud and devastation. And, how would first responders even get there to save anyone?

I have long hoped that the good people of Olympia — like Thad Curtz who is one of our most devoted citizens — would eventually come to accept that perhaps all downtown Olympia can be is a place of sprawling waterfront parks, fun shopping places and good restaurants on a few closed streets (Boulder, Co. comes to mind).

It’s a place to spend the day, but not a place to tuck your children in at night.


Thomas is wrong about Iraq War

Cal Thomas needs a vacation. His recent statement that the “(war in Iraq is) ... the most important war this country has fought since its inception” proves, inter alia, that he is in desperate need of a rest.

There are many of us who believe that World War I, World War II and our Civil War would rank near the top in importance. But not in the world of Cal Thomas, and his top gun, George W. Bush, apparently.

In the same column, Thomas asserted that the war in Iraq “denied the terrorists a base.” This is equally lame. Any third grade student of the Mideast will tell you that there were no terrorists in Iraq before the U.S. invasion. Now, of course, there are plenty.

So, Cal Thomas needs some help. He must get some rest, and if that doesn’t work, try a brain transplant.