Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 1

How much would competition cost?

According to an article in The Journal of Law and Economics, Seattle had 518 jitneys carrying 49,000 passengers per day by early February 1915.

The jitney businesses were a private solution to the transportation needs of American cities in the early part of the 20th century. To crush this competition the streetcar companies, thanks to their friends in city hall, managed to get the jitneys outlawed. Today we have a government run transportation system that is supported by tax dollars and provides limited services.

Before we provide any more tax dollars to any transportation agency taxpayers deserve to know what laws and regulations make it difficult, if not impossible, to own a private urban transportation business be it a jitney, ride sharing taxi, or bus company.

MICHAEL H. WILSON, Olympia

Consequences to tribal ownership of park

On editorial in The Olympian supported placing Tolmie Park into county-tribal ownership as the way to keep the park open.

Nothing in the editorial suggest any recognition of the consequences of tribal ownership. Nothing suggests that any consideration has been given to the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. A tribe is not liable for torts.

For example, if the driver of a truck, owned by a tribe and on tribal business in connection with the park management, negligently injured someone, the injured person would have no right to sue the tribe.

In the joint ownership situation, the county could be liable for torts, but the tribe not. If a tribe breached a contract in connection with the park’s management, the contractor has no right to sue a tribe absent a waiver of the tribe’s sovereign immunity, but the contractor could sue the county.

If the tribe is to manage the park, does county ownership mean anything except perhaps increased liability? The tribe could discriminate, hiring only tribal members.

Other constitutional rights are not effective against a tribe. It appears from the editorial that, to avoid fiscal responsibility for Tolmie Park, the state has already gone a long way toward transferring title to the county and the tribe. A transfer of title could be forever.

In the words of the editorial, Tolmie is a gem. It deserves more consideration than mere abandonment without concern for the consequences.

EDWARD E. LEVEL, Lacey

Hyer has contributed to community

With all that is being said, it is important to remember just how much Joe Hyer has contributed to this community.

For many years, in his role as an Olympia City Council member, business owner and leader in the Olympia Downtown Association, he has been actively engaged and visible in making our community a better place to live.

Over these years, he has provided leadership that supports local organizations and opportunities for youth. Our community needs leaders who care about their community in the ways Hyer has done.

Joe Hyer has given a great deal to this community. We are better for his service.

I hope to see Hyer continue to be a positive force in our community. He is a remarkable person.

KEN GUZA, Olympia

Kudos to congressmen who voted ‘yes’

I have worked and supported health care reform for about 40 years and at last, we will now have a health care system for everyone.

I have good health care insurance but there are many who do not.

I watched almost all day and well into the evening and am so proud of our elected congressmen — Jay Inslee, Norm Dicks, Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Brian Baird. They did the right thing.

And shame on the other three. This will help people who cannot get insurance because of pre-existing illness. It will keep college kids on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, and it will help small businesses get insurance for their employees.

Now we will be on a par with the other industrialized nations in the world.

Hurrah.

WANDA RILEY, Olympia

McKenna represents segment of citizens

I was disgusted to hear the governor state that she did not know whom the attorney general represents in his opposition to national health care reform.

I just want to let her know that he represents me.

I fully support him in his endeavor to sue to halt the unconstitutional health care takeover.

It is a relief to know that at least one of our state officials have my interests in mind, as my interests have been completely disregarded by the rest of my so-called representatives, who have been lying to us and mismanaging this state into its current fiscal crisis.

Thank you, Rob Mckenna, for representing us, as Gov. Chris Gregoire has done a miserable job of it.

STEVEN JOHNSTON, Olympia

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