Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: Dec. 2011

Dec.
30th

TACOMA: Expand on ice-skating venue

During the holidays we took our family ice skating in the ring at Tollefson Plaza. What fun!
It is great to see this space used and alive with music and people.

A suggestion: Why not enlist some of the farmer’s market vendors and start building a Christmas market like you find in all the cities in Europe.

Since the venue appears to be a success already in the first year, it might be an incentive for vendors who create Christmas decor, Christmas baked goods offered with hot cider, etc., to set up their tents around the market, even spilling

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Dec.
29th

LAWSUITS: Tell the whole truth about tragic case

Rob Costello and Howard Fischer of the state Attorney General’s Office protest that the state’s liability burden is unfair (Viewpoint, 12-29), citing the McGuire case as an example. Unfortunately, they have misrepresented and omitted the facts of that case.

Tracy Enoch-Jevne, an offender under state supervision, had a lengthy criminal history of more than 20 misdemeanor and five felony convictions, including four DUIs. On the day in question in 1999, she ran over and killed Michael McGuire at a gas station while driving a truck from the passenger seat.

Costello and Fischer fail to mention that the offender was

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Dec.
29th

SOCIAL SECURITY: We have hard choices ahead

Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme (TNT, 12-19): It is a benefit for the political class.

When Social Security was enacted in 1935, the average life expectancy was around 62. That meant half of the participating workers would never see a dime of their Social Security retirement payments.

Franklin Roosevelt knew this, of course, but setting up such a system didn’t do him any harm because Social Security, like a state lottery, allowed the average guy to fantasize that the program was something of value. That got FDR re-elected three times.

Social Security alone is not a retirement

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Dec.
29th

ELECTIONS: How about a candidate waiting period?

Our elected officials irritatingly bounce from one elected office to the next. With a new congressional district centered in the South Sound, it seems unavoidable that our county will see two seated members of the Pierce County Council running full-time congressional campaigns against each other while also trying to perform their shared responsibility on the council (TNT, 12-29).

This trend of office hopping and campaigning while in office has become a career staple of our elected politicians.

What stands out is that our elected officials are paid, and often paid very well. It begs the question: If elected officials

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Dec.
29th

BUDGET: State lawmakers must increase revenue

I am increasingly concerned that our legislators are out of touch with the will of voters. For years they have balanced the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable with their all-cuts budget approach.

During our second special session of the year they once again cut programs to solve the deficit. When they come back in early January they will have an even bigger hole to fill. We need to increase revenue to keep critical services for the needy.

Not only are some legislators seemingly incapable of supporting increased revenue, they are trying to repeal an initiative voters have

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Dec.
29th

CONGRESS: Put an end to lobbyist gratuities

Re: “Put a stop to all the madness” (letter, 12-28).

The letter writer sure nailed it. In addition to term limits I would suggest making it illegal for members of Congress to accept any kind of a gratuity from lobbyists. It’s a shame that most congresspeople go to D.C. for just wealth and power and their first concern is re-election.

Dec.
28th

TACOMA: City missing a bet on rail history

I enjoyed the article by Michael Sullivan (TNT, 12-25) on the moment when Tacoma turned from a small village to the City of Destiny, namely, the time around the coming of the railroad. He points out the exact spot where the final spike was hammered in to link Tacoma to the rest of the nation by rail.

It turns out that there is still some existing track there. It is just east of Pacific Avenue, across the street from the Tacoma Art Museum. I have been trying for years to get somebody with power and influence to have this

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Dec.
28th

CONGRESS: Someone slept during civics class

The letter writer (TNT, 12-28) proposing we throw all of Congress out and begging for eight-year term limits must have been dozing during his high school civics class.

Senate terms are six years each, so eight-year limits would be tricky. Besides, we do have term limits; they’re called elections.

I do not want this sleepy student telling me who I can and cannot vote in for Congress. Should we, for example, throw out Sen. Patty Murray, who has gone to the mat on behalf of disabled veterans?