Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 19

Remedies for auto problems available

By outward appearances, the main thrusts of the Toyota design and engineering changes over the last decade were aimed at producing a car repairable only by a dealer.

This effort to increase profits has backfired and produced safety issues that Toyota technicians and engineers neither understand nor are able to repair.

Any one of several simple remedies, such as a battery switch to kill all power, a manual choke to cut off air intake, a dash-mounted fuel pump switch, or a hand-operated in-line fuel shut off valve combined with a cable-activated hand or foot brake would make the cars drivable while they sort out the problems.

Some of the quick fixes also would make it difficult for a thief to drive off with a car.


Congress must pass health care reform

I support national health care reform.

I urge citizens to join me in asking our federal legislators to pass a bill through the reconciliation process now.

Health care reform has been one of the top domestic issues for 25 years, and this process is the best way of achieving change.

Health care reform as proposed is a long way from perfection, but it is the best we can do and we need it now.

I am sick and tired of obstructionist politicians and leaderless legislators. I have personally talked to Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, and urged him to pass this legislation. He has stepped up in the past over difficult issues, and I hope he will do so again.

This reconciliation process is the last best way to move legislation to the president’s desk. It needs to be done now.


Collectively, their voices are heard

Initially looking at the editorial cartoon on March 3 about influence of state employees union, I was a little confused by the implication.

In the first three panels, the cartoonist shows three different middle-class, working people trying to talk to their legislator with no success. In the fourth panel was a person from a government union chewing a fat cigar, holding a bag of money and the legislator was all ears to what he had to say.

But as everyone knows, the union was formed to protect the poor, the elderly and small businesses, so I looked a little closer at the cartoon and I suddenly realized what the cartoonist was trying to say.

Individually, a person’s voice may not be loud enough to be heard, but if the weak, the elderly and the poor unite, their voices can be made to be heard for generations to come.

So I want to thank The Olympian for its endorsement of the union, and as we like to say in the retail business, “Have a nice day.”


Fire district annexation makes sense

Until recently, I was not aware that the city of Lacey doesn’t have its own fire department and that it has been contracting with Fire District 3 to provide fire and emergency medical services. The Lacey area is growing steadily and the fire district needs to be able to plan for future needs.

It only makes sense that the city and fire district are asking voters to decide whether to extend fire district boundaries to include Lacey through a process called annexation. By pooling resources, we can equally share in the operation costs, and we would all have a voice in taxing ourselves for future needs.

Annexation would bring Lacey residents into the Fire District 3 fold, and I urge voters in both areas to vote “yes” on April 27, for fire district annexation.

It only makes sense.


Unions fight for every victory

As a near 40-year Lacey resident and Olympian reader for all that time, few things have made me madder than the editorial page cartoon on March 3, characterizing governmental employee unions as having an inside track with legislators and that such imagined status comes at the expense of the elderly, business interests and the unemployed.

I spent 19 years as a lobbyist for a government employee union and I can tell you that we had to fight hard for everything we got. As someone still working at the Capitol, I can tell you nothing has changed. To suggest public employee unions have standing over the elderly and others is inaccurate, offensive and calls into question the status of your editorial page as a reasoned voice in our capital community.


Follow the rules or get off the road

I would like to applaud the Olympia Police Department for giving Sandra Deshaw a ticket for blocking an intersection.

Rude, inconsiderate drivers are the causes of traffic jams and blocked intersections. When you block an intersection, you make it impossible for the next set of people who have a green light to go.

When people like Deshaw block an intersection, confusion, anger and road rage occur.

In her letter, she asked, “Rather than imposing a punitive and unjustifiable fine ... couldn’t police help solve the problem by providing traffic direction or assistance?”

Um, that’s what the traffic lights are for. If you can’t follow the rules, then you shouldn’t be driving.

Deshaw did not get stuck. She should follow the rules or face the consequences. Too bad the ticket got thrown out. Next time, make sure that your vehicle can make it safely through an intersection before proceeding like the rest of us.