Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: Remember the disabled

Letter by Ariel C. Esterbrook, Lake Tapps on April 25, 2012 at 11:47 am with 6 Comments »
April 25, 2012 11:47 am

Re: “Governor’s pen strokes launch $1 billion in public works projects” (TNT, 4-24).

Gov. Chris Gregoire made the right decision by including the Rainier School (a facility for individuals with developmental disabilities) in the recent capital budget.

Rainier School was opened in 1939 as the only such facility in Western Washington and has since expanded to a population of 370 adults. Without the contributed money, the Rainier School would likely close. As Mother Teresa, once said, caring for others should be a top priority because loving others is the best way to make a difference in the world.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. cclngthr says:

    Rainier School being closed might be a better option because smaller individual homes can give people with developmental disabilities better care and they can be integrated into the community.

    However that said, people want to put disabled people away anyway and leave them forever. Many families do this.

  2. alindasue says:

    Smaller individual homes are a good option, but for many of the older people living at Rainier, you are talking about uprooting them from their life-long (or nearly life-long) homes. I can see gradually phasing out the Rainier population by not adding new residents, but to just close it down would not be doing those people any kindness.

  3. Yes, smaller individual homes can be wonderful however the complex medical needs of some individuals with developmental disabilities can only be met at a facility like Rainier School. Placement at Rainier or a similar facility that has staff with the same level of expertise should always be an option.

  4. alindasue says:


    You do make a valid point.

    The thing is that because all disabled people are different (as all people in general are), there is no cookie-cutter “ideal” living situation for all. While sending disabled people away to an institution is thankfully no longer the norm in our society, being able to CHOOSE a facility like Rainier School would be preferable for a person whose disabilities and lack of family resources might otherwise leave him or her stuck living in a nursing home.

    The “ideal” is to have a variety living options available that cater to the varying needs of the individuals.

  5. Rainier School is a “gift” to State Worker unions. The few patients should be dispersed to more affordable care.

    Shame on Sen Roach for perpetually propping up one of Washington State’s most prolific waste of taxpayers money.

    Gregoire’s had 3 goes at closing it but has been arm wrestled into submission by the union.

    Odd how Rainier houses patients at taxpayer expense, but if you or I had to go into an assisted home, it would be on our own nickel. This illustrates the “special” use of Rainier as a jobs program for the locals in Buckley and surrounding areas.

  6. tree_guy says:

    Mother Teresa didn’t depend on the taxpayers to operate her ministry.

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