Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: Aug. 2011

Aug.
31st

TACOMA: Call off the anti-teacher dogs

The newspaper editorial (TNT, 8-31) on negotiations between outgoing superintendent Art Jarvis and the teachers’ organization proves once again that The News Tribune’s wisdom is a mile wide and an inch deep.

The editorial posits that if there is a strike, responsibility would lie “squarely on” the Tacoma Education Association. Ridiculous!

Everybody knows negotiation is a two-way street, so The News Tribune is simply demanding that teachers surrender. Obviously, elementary school teachers are not exactly the most militant of folks, and would only strike if truly provoked.

Unless we want to return to the days before education unions of blatant

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Aug.
31st

TACOMA: Cry me a river, teachers

I have often told my children that they can’t be public school teachers when they grow up. It seems that the first requirement of being one is that they must learn how to whine. I don’t want whiners in my house.

The Tacoma teachers union is now complaining about being asked to take a 1.9 percent pay cut. It is also accusing the school district of “hoarding cash.” That is the taxpayers’ money, not teachers’!

I have two ideas for teachers:

• Stop paying dues to their strong-arm union. That will save them the money of the pay cut and

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Aug.
31st

PDC: Sunshine Committee equally important

Re: “Citizens should update, fund Public Disclosure Commission” (column, 8-28)

Peter Callaghan makes a valid point that Public Disclosure Commission should be funded and be active.

Another side of the picture concerns the Public Records Accountability (Sunshine) Committee.

It is certainly in the public’s interest for the PDC to publish the record of candidates’ funding sources to show which special interest groups heavily support a particular person and in turn expect support from that person for legislation favorable to the supporting group.

It is equally as important that public records and meetings be open for scrutiny of the taxpayer.

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Aug.
30th

CLEAN AIR: Don’t idle cars near schools

Now that kids are returning to school, this is a great time for drivers to remember to be cautious near school zones. While it’s crucial to observe speed limits and keep your eyes open for students, you can also help improve air quality for our kids by simply turning off your vehicle engine while waiting at school.

If you need to wait more than 30 seconds in your vehicle at school, please consider turning off your engine. It’s a small step that will save you gas and – more importantly – reduce air pollution for our students.

Idling your vehicles

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Aug.
30th

SCHOOLS: Superintendents should share the pain

Did you see the story (TNT, 8-29) about Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell retiring so he could give up his regular salary of $250,000 per year and be rehired at the greatly reduced salary of $31,020 per year for the next three years?

Whoa! Makes me wonder what Tony Apostle in Puyallup and Al Jarvis in Tacoma could be thinking right now.

Now I know, while all things being what they are, and not all things being equal (Powell has 195,000 students and 35 school districts to manage; Apostle and Jarvis, not so many), each superintendent has much

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Aug.
30th

PUGET SOUND: Shellfish farms create waste, too

Re: “Efforts to clean up Puget Sound get a new push” (TNT, 8-29).

I read this article with great interest. Correcting poor septic systems and farm runoff is necessary. The campaign to clean up dog waste is noble. Waste from 1.2 million dogs is a huge addition to the millions of wild animals that make Puget Sound home.

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s comment that she does not want to “flush” 4,000 acres of prime shellfish growing area down the drain is hopeful until you look at the photo accompanying the article. It reveals the massive concentration of shellfish in farms

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Aug.
30th

POLITICS: Hatfield aptly defined the problem

Former Oregon governor and five-term senator Mark Hatfield died recently. His congressional record as one of the most liberal Republicans to ever come down the pike (as Appropriations Committee chairman he opposed the Vietnam War and most defense spending requests) has few equals on today’s scene.

His political analysis of his congressional contemporaries is as meaningful now as it was when he served.

He said that most lawmakers were required to govern in “campaign mode,” and “Political solutions are found not on the left wing or the right wing, but in the center.”

Are you listening, Congress?

Aug.
30th

VIEWPOINTS: Getting to the truth behind the news

I so appreciate the commentary (TNT, 8-30) on the Israeli-Palestinian situation; it is a rare thing to see the real truth about that conflict in any newspaper.

I have the same feeling about the Viewpoint (TNT, 8-30) on the state teachers union. Getting the truth behind the news is so important and hard to find.