Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: Feb. 2012

Feb.
28th

SPENDING: Disconnect of public sector employees

A  letter from a Washington Education Association member (TNT, 2-28) exemplifies the disconnect of many unionized civil servants.

There’s a reason that the private sector, including unionized workers, don’t receive the Cadillac benefits packages that government employees do: namely, their employers would go broke. No private company could provide those levels of benefits and stay in business.

So many government workers don’t seem to understand that, by design, they don’t sell their services or goods; they’re paid for by taxes and fees.

The WEA member that I referred to arrogantly proclaims that she feels no shame for taking what

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Feb.
28th

TACOMA: Sex offenders being dumped on Hilltop

My partner and I purchased a home on the Hilltop three years ago on a block that had seen much better, and much worse times. The last of the old crack houses was on the way out, and working families with children were buying homes. We have a community garden on our block, People’s Park with all of the playground equipment and several day cares operating in our neighborhood.

Imagine our dismay to find out that the old crack house was purchased by someone who would turn it into a boarding house for sex offenders!

Now, despite local TV coverage,

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Feb.
28th

POT: Put Hill’s ‘crime’ in perspective

I see where Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill was arrested for marijuana possession in Atlanta, Ga. (TNT, 2-28). According to the news reports, an odor of marijuana was emanating from his apartment – his private residence – and police obtained a search warrant, found marijuana residue and ash, and arrested Hill and his girlfriend.

So let me get this straight: Hill was arrested and hauled off to detention for smoking a substance that has caused a statistically negligible number of deaths, if any. The illegality of this substance has caused tens of thousands of deaths in Mexico and other countries,

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Feb.
28th

TAXES: ‘Fairness’ is nothing but political expediency

Over the last month, there has been a tax debate created largely by Mitt Romney paying 13.9 percent on his 2010 income. Katie Baird and many Democrats criticized Romney for paying such a low rate.

In 2004, presidential candidate John Kerry paid 13.1 percent on this 2003 income. Did the Democrats complain then? How about Katie Baird?

Our progressive tax system has not changed since 2004. Higher income earners pay at a higher tax rate than lower income earners. In fact, a new study by the Heritage Foundation found the lower 49.5 percent of taxpayers pay no income tax. Yes,

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Feb.
28th

SPENDING: Put an end to sweetheart contracts

Re: “Don’t blame public employee unions” (letter, 2-28).

I concur with the writer that all public employees deserve living wages and benefits. Where the letter writer and I may disagree does not involve this issue.

It involves the ability of public employee unions to support political candidates financially and with campaign labor and to then sit across from these same, now elected and now beholden, lawmakers and negotiate wages and benefits.

In the Jimmy Hoffa Teamster days, these were known as “sweetheart contracts.” I fail to see any public benefit from this arrangement.

Feb.
28th

GUNS: Common denominator is the human

Re: “Real problem is the flood of guns” (letter, 2-26).

Yes, recent events here in our region and similar ones throughout our country are indeed sad and tragic. But blame the gun? No. If that were truly responsible for violence, then what about knives, hatchets, and other sharp or bladed instruments used in stabbings and slashings? Then there are bats, clubs, pipes and other heavy blunt objects. Bludgeonings are gruesome. Rope, cord or wire can be used for strangulation. Motor vehicle traffic fatalities outnumber firearm deaths. And how many are due to impairment, negligence or just plain deliberate vehicular

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Feb.
28th

PACS: Do zillionaires get to call the shots now?

As a Republican turned Democrat I’ve been aware of the high cost of campaigns but state and national politicians had to adhere to strict campaign donation limits from individuals and organizations.

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision last year changed all that. Now companies are people, and unlimited campaign donations are “free speech.” Google the names of the supporters of Republican presidential candidates: Mitt Romney (Frank VanderSloot), Rick Santorum (Foster “aspirin between the knees” Friess and William Dore), Newt Gingrich (Sheldon Adelson, the anti-union casino owner) and Ron Paul (Libertarian Peter Thiel).

All of these men are hiding under the

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Feb.
28th

MEDICAID: Patients receive different levels of care

It is apparent that patients on Medicaid receive a different level of care than those who can afford to purchase their medical insurance, which is unfortunate. The standard of care should be equal to all patients regardless of who the insurance provider is.

One of the main differences is the withholding of certain procedures (such as MRIs and CAT scans) and is due to the rigid process of pre-procedures – such as steroid injections, physical therapy, pharmacotherapy and X-rays which, collectively, add up to a considerable cost.

The conservative therapies must be exhausted prior to authorization for an MRI but

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