Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: March 2012

March
30th

SCHOOLS: Data don’t appear to be much help

Re: “School turnaround program failing here” (TNT, 3-30).

Imagine my vexation when one moment I read in The News Tribune that, according to a survey by the University of Washington, schools in this state have not done too well with their federal turnaround money
then turn around and read that a Center for Education Policy report says that most schools across the country have made gains with their turnaround money

On the one hand, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says he’s going to wait for the “actual data” before judging in Washington. On the other

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March
29th

PTSD: Murray should stick to politics

Sen. Patty Murray should not conduct her own investigation of PTSD diagnoses at Madigan Army Medical Center (TNT, 3-29).

Even the doctors don’t fully understand the problem. Only men such as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and my father who fought in World War I really know. It took my father more than 60 years before he began to talk about it.

The senator should stick to politicking (which she does very well) and leave medicine to the MDs.

March
29th

FLOODS: Good idea to restrict flood insurance

Re: “Group wants moratorium on flood insurance” (TNT, 3-28).

The federal government has subsidized construction in flood zones for years through programs like the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The proposal by the National Wildlife Federation to implement a moratorium on flood insurance policies near Puget Sound is sound public policy that would benefit both the environment and the government.

Programs like the NFIP have placed a great deal of risk on taxpayers while reinforcing poor behavior. Rather than encouraging risk-based, environmentally sensitive planning and reducing flood risk, programs like the NFIP have served to subsidize unwise construction and

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March
29th

FACEBOOK: Age limit should be higher than 13

Facebook users who identify themselves as over 13 years old are allowed to gain access to the site. Almost everyone in my classes is on Facebook, and they describe it as an easy way of communication and a
helpful resource to get help on homework through communicating with classmates.

But I know that Facebook also serves as a medium for inappropriate content. Whenever I see harsh language or inappropriate pictures, it makes me wonder whether 13-year-olds should be allowed to have Facebook accounts.

I tend to believe that the age restrictions should be stricter. Clearly, with more than half

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March
29th

HUNTING: The real bird killer is domestic house cat

Re: “Groups want ban on lead” (TNT, 3-26).

Since 1991, non-lead shot has been a requirement for all waterfowl hunters, and the incidences of lead poisoning has decreased. Those who are proposing non-lead bullets for all shooting and hunting are anti-gun or anti-hunting advocates.

If their concern was really for birds they would target the real problem, which is cats.

According to the Wild Bird Conservancy website, there are approximately 77 million domestic house cats in the U.S. A conservative estimate of one bird kill per month per cat would put the annual wild bird loss at 1.8 billion,

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March
29th

HEALTH CARE: Issue should be top priority

Providing health care for every American should be an issue in the next election. It’s ironic that Rob McKenna and all the other state attorneys general who oppose the law have health care provided by the government. It’s also ironic that the current law is modeled on the Republican proposal in opposition to President Clinton’s single-payer plan.

It is unfortunate that the United States has the most expensive health care system and is one of the few developed countries where you can lose your life savings because you have a pre-existing illness. Fortunately, I have Medicare – a single-payer system

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March
29th

TACOMA: Pugnetti Park has statutory immunity

Recently the Washington State Department of Transportation closed Don Pugnetti Park in downtown Tacoma and put it up for sale. One of the reasons it gave for the closure was the public liability and related costs the park represents.

A closer look at the situation will show that the park comes under Washington State Recreation Immunity Statute, RCW 4.24.210. In summary the statute provides immunity to the owners of property that have been put aside for the enjoyment of the public as long as there is no admission fee charged and there are no known dangerous artificial latent conditions. The

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March
28th

JUSTICE: Embezzler’s sentence seems excessive

Regarding the sentence given the 63-year-old woman for embezzlement (TNT, 3-24):

As serious as this crime was, and as serious as I am about enforcing our laws, the 16-year sentence given this woman, considering her age, seems extreme. If memory serves, some violent crimes committed in the past have received lesser sentences than this nonviolent, first-time offense.

I would think that a much shorter sentence combined with restitution and community service would have much better served the concept of justice. I will pray that this 16- year sentence is reviewed with this in mind.