Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 4

Fill cove with dredged material

Years ago when the state decided to create a lake instead of an estuary, one of the decisions must have been to eliminate the twice daily stench of a mud flat throughout downtown Olympia.

Looking at old pictures of the shacks on the shores at high tide, I’m sure Olympia’s general public favored a lake instead of an estuary. Others may have wanted a reflecting pool to show off the Capitol buildings.

In previous years, the flushing of Capitol Lake using saltwater at high tide was done to kill the weeds and accumulation of algae, etc.

The dam at Tumwater Falls Park was originally built to provide the pressure for electrical generation used by the city of Tumwater and by some small industries.

Today, silt has filled this area almost to the top. Nothing has been said about dredging this deposit which probably would provide enough storage capacity for future accumulation of silt for the next 20+ years.

Future: I propose that Percival Cove be changed to a future park by dredging the upper lake area into the cove, and it could become Percival Park.

This area would have a view of the State Capitol and the lake. I see no environmental impact on this area since it is no longer used for raising salmon fry, and the only transient recently was a lone white swan in the area.

RONALD WALTER, Olympia

Insurers scoring huge profits

Health insurance companies have been unbelievably brazen lately.

Recent Health and Human Services data shows that last year, as working families struggled with unemployment and rising health care costs, the five largest health insurance companies — WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, Aetna and Humana — took in combined profits of $12.2 billion, up 56 percent over 2008.

WellPoint just announced more than $2.7 billion in profits last quarter. Insurance CEOs continued to rake in annual compensation in the range of $20 million to $24 million.

In spite of their record profits, the large insurers are announcing premium increases by as much as 39 percent. They simply don’t care that the cost of health care already is unaffordable for millions of Americans, and driving many into bankruptcy.

The only proposal that shows promise to reduce rates is a public option. It will loosen the control these companies have over us. It will reduce their power to exploit us.

Our president, and our Congressmen/women need to know we appreciate their efforts so far to bring about health care reform.

We want them to hang in there and get it done right without capitulating to the big insurance companies and their members of Congress.

CAROL WILSON, Olympia

Helicopter pilot worthy of adulation

You’re a 19-year-old kid. You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley Vietnam on 11-14-1965. Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8-1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own infantry commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in. You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out.

Your family is halfway around the world, and you’ll never see them again. You know this is the day.

Then, you hear the faint sound of a helicopter. You look up to see an unarmed Huey without MediVac markings. Ed Freeman is coming for you. He’s not a MediVac so it’s not his job. He’s coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load two or three of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the waiting doctors and nurses. And, he keeps coming back — 13 more times. He took about 30 of you and your buddies out who would never have gotten out otherwise.

Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman, died on Feb. 17 at the age of 80 in Boise, Idaho.

May God rest his soul.

I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing, but we’ve sure seen a whole bunch about Tiger Woods.

Medal of Honor winner Ed Freeman — a hero!

Shame on the American media.

ROBERT BLACKSTONE, Olympia

We are on a path of destruction

It’s 2010 and our planet is adding 80 million people a year to its current 6.5 billion inhabitants. By 2050 we will have 9 billion inhabitants. This exponential growth is totally unlimited, uncoordinated, competitive, shortsighted and unsustainable.

While most people are unconcerned about this phenomenal growth, they should be concerned about the exponential increase in pollution that it is causing. All of the life sustaining cycles of carbon, water, oxygen, vegetation and other elements required for our survival are being altered by our wastes. Still not concerned? Maybe that’s just as well, because the truth be known, there is no solution to this global challenge.

Let’s face it. We are facing self destruction. Our growing numbers and environmental indifference make it impossible to adjust our growth and lifestyles needed to become sustainable. We are on a downward spiral into a massive worldwide specter of suffering, conflict and destruction.

Rising prices, shortages of food, water, and energy in conjunction with massive storms, heat waves, crop failures, fires and flooding will result in massive extinctions, relocations, starvation, disease and anarchy. People will revert to instinctual survival modes and eventually biological or nuclear weapons will be unleashed ending all hope for our survival.

So go ahead folks, have 10 kids, enjoy your SUVs, mansions and throwaway society. It’s what free and independent people do.

JAMES L. PACKARD, Olympia

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