Police find plenty of fish in barrel
On the day after Thanksgiving, I received a ticket at Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road for blocking and obstructing an intersection. At the time I received the ticket, the intersection was completely paralyzed. No vehicles were able to move due to timing of the lights and high volume of traffic.
According to Olympia Police Department public records, 11 other citizens found themselves in the exact same predicament on that day and also received the exact same blocking and obstructing ticket.
All of the tickets were written within one hour. That is one ticket every five minutes. No one was speeding. No one ran a light — just blocking and obstructing at $124 a ticket, because they got stuck.
Let’s see, that’s $1,498.
I wonder if the 11 other citizens felt like I did? In disbelief, disappointed and angry.
I wonder if those 11 other citizens had the same questions I did? Rather than imposing a punitive and unjustifiable fine on their citizens, couldn’t police help solve the problem by providing traffic direction or assistance?
Were we all just fish in a revenue-rich barrel to the tune of $1,498 for city coffers?
Hopefully, 11 other citizens had their tickets dismissed in court as I did. Hopefully the city of Olympia did not make a dime on this misguided fishing trip. Hopefully the city of Olympia and Olympia Police Department will find a way to constructively solve this well-documented traffic problem, not exacerbate it.
SANDRA DESHAW, Olympia
Port commissioners give away asset
The Port of Olympia is about to give exclusive redevelopment rights to MJR Development to build a luxury hotel on the tip of the port peninsula, just south of KGY Radio. The current plan is for a hotel the length of a football field and 40 feet high directly adjacent to the shoreline.
This would essentially privatize the 2.4 acres of unpaved land just south of the KGY radio station. This area is the former Cascade Pole toxic waste site. There has been over $29 million invested to cleanup this 16-acre site, most of it public money.
There are many unresolved issues with the site cleanup. After discussion with the developer, it is clear that there will be almost no public access beyond the thin gravel pathway regardless of the public investment in cleanup and infrastructure.
Please urge our port commissioners to not give away our publicly owned waterfront.
MONICA HOOVER, Olympia
Wait for facts before judging Hyer
Nice job, Olympian. You’ve done away with due process in your call for Councilman Joe Hyer’s resignation.
Whether you think he’s innocent or not, all people who believe in the Constitution and our system of jurisprudence should respect that Councilman Hyer retains his right to hold office until the charges and evidence have been submitted in court, subjected to the scrutiny of cross-examination and ruled upon by judge and jury.
The people who voted for him and care about his involvement in civic action are at stake as well.
Yet, on the basis of hearsay and other untested evidence in the charging documents, The Olympian is prepared to dump the only council member with enough smarts and guts to challenge and “correct City Manager Steve Hall on intricate budget details.”
The fact that the attorney for Councilman Joe Hyer has said his client will plead “not guilty” is sufficient assurance that the charging documents are in doubt. Why risk losing an engaged and valuable council member until we have all the facts established in court?
TIM SWEENEY, Olympia
Ballpark owners agreed to remove signs
It’s important we provide some missing details and additional facts absent from the “Rough times for diamond” article about the reluctance of ballpark operators to remove advertising signs violating both state and federal laws controlling signs along state highways.
All businesses along state highways can display advertising, but the activities advertised must take place on that property unless the sign is permitted as a billboard. Neither WSDOT nor the North Thurston School District (property landowner) has any authority to change existing laws or local zoning classifications.
In the article, the ballpark co-owners accuse WSDOT of lack of communication and not allowing them a reasonable time to remove the illegal signs. A call to WSDOT would have revealed that WSDOT, the North Thurston School District and ballpark co-owner Joe DiDomenico have been in communication about these signs since May 2009. There were numerous site visits and DiDomenico signed a document dated May 11, 2009 agreeing to remove the unlawful signs by January 31, 2010.
WSDOT contacted more than 20 business and property owners along state Route 510 following last spring’s sign review, asking them to remove illegal signs or apply for permits where commercial signs are allowed. Follow-up reviews indicate signs along state Route 510 are now in substantial compliance, with the exception of the ballpark.
We will continue to encourage the ballpark operators to honor the terms of their lease with the school district and the signed agreement with the state and bring the ballpark within full legal compliance.
TED TREPANIER, STATE TRAFFIC ENGINEER, Washington Department of Transportation