Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 29

Health care system is broken

It has grown pretty tiresome listening to the ongoing drone about federal health care legislation. While politicians talk (and talk, and talk), our nation gets sicker.

No, it’s not just about the tens of millions of people with sticker shock from their latest medical bill. It’s about the national economy that’s fixin’ for a heart attack.

It doesn’t matter what political party you favor, everyone agrees that the cost of health care is going to continue to rise. The only question is, do we go for a heart bypass now or roll the dice and see if a couple of pricey pills will get us through?

It’s time for our leaders, and maybe even a few of you out there — hello, tea-totalers — to accept that a sick national health care system is a drag on our national economy and must be dealt with now.

How quickly do you think our small businesses and corporations will be able to increase hiring or wages if health insurance continues to grow like a cancer on the balance sheet? In many communities, the largest employer is the government. How many more years of cutbacks in your services will be needed before the inevitable tax increases become the only remaining option?

It’s time for some physical therapy. Who can argue with restoring the strength of the country?


Support fire district annexation

As citizens, we have learned that with rights come responsibilities. Therefore, we, as citizens, should gladly and in an informed manner take on the responsibility of voting “yes” on the upcoming fire district annexation between Fire Dist. 3 and the city of Lacey.

With passage of that proposition, levies will be fairer and more predictable. So vote “yes” and enlarge the fund pool and get improved service.


Port snubbed wounded soldiers

On March 10th, the Port of Olympia and the Olympia airport manager voted against allowing the Wounded Warrior Foundation to use the hangar vacated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife a year ago for their annual appreciation gathering held on air show weekend.

Approximately 300 wounded warriors from Madigan Army Hospital are expected. The gathering is fully funded — sponsored and hosted by the Alaskan Crab Coalition. Attendees last year included Sen. Patty Murray and “Deadliest Catch” star Sig Hansen. The use of the facilities was at no cost or staffing requirement by the port.

The port further cited that a “feasibility review” and cleaning deposit would be required for next year. The 2009 event was held at the Washington State Patrol hangar with rave reviews and nothing but positive feedback from the local community.

I guess the port made it their position that they would rather have the vacant facility remain unused rather than making an effort to show support for hundreds of combat wounded soldiers and their families over Father’s Day weekend.


Traffic design will slow response times

This is just my opinion, but, for those of us who are unable to attend the public processes that define how streets are redesigned in Tumwater, let me add my name to the list of those who don’t like the new Littlerock Road.

The inconvenience of those who must travel to a roundabout in order to reach their driveways or arterials is one thing, adding traffic to Littlerock Road is another.

Did we really need a vegetative medium strip? No, we did not.

Tumwater is already unable to properly maintain the center strip on Capitol Way. Why wasn’t a turn lane added to the center of Littlerock Road to alleviate traffic, rather than complicate it?

Does the presence of roundabouts dictate a medium strip?

More importantly, seconds matter to those in a crisis. The lack of a turn lane on Littlerock Road increases the response time of our emergency services at least half the time.

We have invested heavily in our emergency services, and they are stretched thin. We have failed to staff the north end fire station, and now we are putting obstacles to slow, even more, the response of our emergency services.

Is this what the citizens of Tumwater wanted? I don’t think so.

We need to hold our City Council more accountable in their future decisions to modernize our streets. I sincerely hope when/if the time comes when those citizens on the other side need the help from our emergency services, they arrive on time.


State should tax Internet sales

I am frustrated that our budget gurus in this state seek to increase tax on all of the items that bring comfort and sanity to so many during these rough economic times — soda, candy, cigarettes, etc.

How about they start collecting tax on Internet-based sales in this state. This is something they are already justified to tax. The only Internet-based companies collecting sales tax for the state are those companies based in Washington. For the most part, those companies also pay business and occupations tax and buy business licenses every year. We are not talking small potatoes here. The state has failed to collect sales tax on Internet sales, most probably at the tune of hundreds of millions in lost revenue.

It also creates an unfair advantage for out-of-state companies selling similar products as Washington based companies.