Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for March 21

Put traffic cameras at intersection

We were delighted to hear, through a letter in this column, that the police department had ticketed people for breaking the law at the frequently blocked intersection of Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road.

We were, however, angered that letter writer Sandra Deshaw chose to consider her ticket for blocking and obstructing the intersection a punitive and unjustifiable fine, and we were appalled that her fine was dismissed.

How dare a judge allow a person to deliberately break the law and endanger other drivers without any punishment?

There is a traffic law that says you are not to enter an intersection unless you have room to move your vehicle through it. Far from being unjustifiable, the ticket was as warranted as if she had run a red light which, in effect, she did. Because of the number of drivers who show no respect for the law or other drivers, we frequently have to wait through at least one extra traffic cycle at that intersection.

We believe this situation could be at least partially eliminated if the City Council would authorize completion of installation of traffic cameras at that intersection. With the large number of drivers who run red lights and obstruct intersections there and elsewhere in the city, it seems traffic cameras would quickly make driving safer and more efficient while paying for themselves.

We too are in disbelief, disappointed and angry.


Lawmakers should forfeit pay

OK, the state Senate and House couldn’t get their job done in the time allowed. They have gone into special session at a cost, I have heard, of $20,000 a day. So in a week they will have cost the taxpayers an additional $140,000.

They want the state employees to take one day a month off without pay to balance the budget. How many additional days without pay will the state employees be required to take to make up the cost of the special session?

Now I know because state senators and representatives pay is set by a commission they cannot be told to take a pay cut, so I say make all the state senators and state representatives give back all the per diem they receive during session. Some of them even live in the Olympia area anyway, and state employees living in Olympia never get per diem for working in Olympia.

Why should legislators not have to tighten their belts like they are requiring state employees? Why not make them work without pay during the special session?

They were given enough time to get their job done. If any other state employee didn’t get their job done in the allowed time they would be fired, and for sure wouldn’t be rewarded with per diem.


Legislators should give up pay

In discussions about using the state’s payroll as a means of addressing the budget shortfall, why is legislators’ pay never added to the mix?

They are quick to point fingers at other state workers, and they are quick to look at additional taxes. Why is a reduction or elimination of legislator pay and per diem never on the table?

Serving as a legislator was originally not meant to be a job, but rather an honor one performed as a service to the state.

Let’s get back to that concept.

DEEA NIEMI, Rochester

Baird should support health care reform

The U.S. Congress is linking the student loan overhaul with the health care bill in a process, known as budget reconciliation, that would allow them to pass the legislation with only a majority of lawmakers.

What does this have to do with folks in our district?

Rep. Brian Baird voted against the House comprehensive health care legislation last year.

The stakes are much higher now, as the Student Aid and fiscal Responsibility Act has been coupled with comprehensive health care bill in the reconciliation process.

The current system provides private student lending institutions with over $50 billion in taxpayer subsidies. If SAFRA passes, that money would shift away from subsidizing banks and put it towards the Pell Grant.

Comprehensive health care reform is long overdue. Support for students is also crucial as state budgets cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to increase to offset the cuts at public schools across the nation. We need political will coming from our district to make it happen.


People will take back their state

I am so sick of the spending practices of our state government. The same officials then ask the people to fix things by raising taxes. Or they try to institute mandatory furloughs for state workers.

This is not going to fix our economy but will, instead, weaken it.

How will families of state workers survive? There are those that live paycheck to paycheck. Some will wind up losing everything. Yes, they can get part-time work — maybe. But how many part-time jobs do the governor and Legislature think there are?

I’d like to see them all lead by example, instead of pushing from the rear.

Why don’t they include themselves in the furlough bill? Why don’t they give up part of their paychecks?

To the governor and Legislature, I say, “The piggy bank of taxpayers is broke. There is no more. You have spent and spent with no thought of the future. There are other things you can cut — try your paychecks — don’t take ours. The people of Washington are going to speak come November. We are sick of the spending, the lies, the taxation without representation. Be afraid, be very afraid. The people of Washington are going to take back their state.”