Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 26

Take pay from state employees

I have a solution for the ongoing budget crisis.

It would work like this:

1. Each year we get data from the Internal Revenue Service to determine the average income in the state of Washington.

2. We pass an amendment to the state constitution stating that when the state budget goes into deficit, the salaries of every single person that works for the state will be reduced to the average income of the state until the deficit is corrected.

From the governor and her staff down to the road crews and teachers – anyone who has a paycheck from the state would have it reduced to the average income amount.

That wouldn’t hurt the little people very much since the common people who do most of the work don’t make that much anyway.

What it would do is create a motivation for all the upper level people to be careful with our money – to avoid losing some of theirs.


Some signs must go, others stay

We have a local citizen trying to make a living by providing the area with a very nice sport field. Ever since the new county/city sports complex opened on Marvin Road, the private Seahawks Park has been harassed into removing signs advertising their sponsors.

Washington’s Department of Transportation points to a law that prohibits advertising along state routes.

I ask, then, why all the developers in the local area are allowed to litter the roads every weekend with their signs. Nineteen developer signs were at the intersection of Highway 510 and Mullen Road one recent weekend.

WSDOT said it is illegal for these developers to do this, and they call it snipe signs or bandit signs. Have they notified any developers, and what are they doing about it? I am told that it would be stealing if a taxpayer removed them.

They are admittedly illegal, according to the state Transportation Department, but they do nothing about it.

Where is the justice here?

Do Transportation employees work for developers, or the taxpayers?


Local businesses give and give

I am the chairwoman of my son’s school auction this year, raising money for educational and extra curriculum programs. My children go to a great school with wonderful community.

Their school is a reflection of the larger community they are growing up in. As we solicit donations for the auction – not an easy task in hard economic times – I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our local businesses. They give time and time again.

I have been involved in numerous nonprofit organizations that ask local businesses to donate as part of their fundraising effort. This year, I am realizing that these businesses are donating to so many causes and help vast groups of people in our town. They do this while going up against large corporate businesses.

Local businesses in Olympia are giving back to the community and need our support. We must buy local.

Not only do you get to know the people who serve you, you also help continue the cycle of community building and commerce in your town. It really does all come back around.


Live in harmony here, first

I write in response to The Associated Press story, “Obama: Space program is not a luxury.”

End the space program and begin the earth program.

Before we colonize, militarize, and privatize other planets for corporate profit, maybe we Americans could prove to the rest of the universe that we can live in harmony here, on this planet, without destroying forests, polluting seas, and invading the villages of native people.

FRED LAMOTTE, Steilacoom

Bicyclists don’t own the trail

Once again, a bicyclist on the Chehalis-Western trail barreled toward us, shouting, “You’re on the wrong side.”

So I called Thurston County Parks and Recreation to find out if, over the years, the rules of the road had changed — since I learned to walk on the left, facing oncoming vehicles. And anyone who has taken a dog through obedience classes has found that, for safety reasons, a dog walks on its master’s left, preventing it from darting into traffic.

And besides, I asked, don’t pedestrians have the right-of-way?

All points admitted to be basically correct.

The problem, apparently, is that many bicyclists think the Chehalis-Western is supposed to be a bike trail. Not true. The Chehalis-Western is a multi-use corridor. Another complication stems from striping when the trail was built that seemed to grant bicyclists the majority of the trail. That striping was acknowledged as being unfortunate, and should not be taken as a mandate.

Bottom line: I was told to walk in the direction in which I felt most comfortable. The trail is for everyone.

For our part, we walk in single file when bicyclists approach and step onto the shoulder when they converge near us because we understand that everyone, walkers, bicyclists, roller-bladers, skateboarders and horseback riders, needs to share this wonderful resource.

Please pass this information on to your cycling friends, so that all of us, no matter what our preferred mode of recreation, can have an enjoyable experience on the trail.

CHRIS DAHL, Tumwater