Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: May 2013

May
30th

EDUCATION: Charter school battle has been decided

Re: “School board right to reject charters” (letter, 5-30).

The existence of charter schools in Washington state has been decided. Continuing that battle seems unnecessary. The focus now should be on holding accountable those who authorize the schools and those who operate them. Students who attend a charter school in Tacoma are still Tacoma students and deserve the best education they can get.

Charter schools are not inherently good or bad. Bad ones can be found, but so can good ones. Making sure we get and keep the good ones requires implementing a strong authorizing process as well as

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May
30th

FOOD: There’s a reason GMO crops are being banned

Re: “Let the market decide on bioengineered crops” (TNT, 5-29).

Genetically modified foods have been linked to gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, arthritis and obesity. Most of the developed world has banned GMOs – the European Union, Russia and China, to name a few. Countries are destroying GMO crops and not accepting new crops.

Not in the U.S. The Department of Agriculture says they are fine. But can the USDA be trusted of does it have a conflict of interest? Michael Tayler, head of food safety at USDA, is a former Monsanto lawyer. Thirty members of Congress hold stock in

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May
30th

CHINA: Chickens are coming home to roost

Re: “China’s cyber spies could compromise US defense” (editorial, 5-30).

The editorial seems to be me appropriate but too little and too late.

Not too long ago, there were embargoes against shipping certain electronic components to China and other countries. Now we are complaining that the technology that our high-tech industries were so keen to ship to keep profits up and the worker hires down is coming back to bite us in the rear end.

It is a sad day that only now we have finally realized that our assorted computer operating systems are riddled with back doors, trap

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May
29th

ARTS: Students making beautiful music here

Richard S. Davis’ column (TNT, 5-29) was a wonderful tribute to Synergia Northwest. I urge our regional paper also to feature similar synergies between youth and music that happen right in our own backyard. I offer two examples.

One is the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association which, for more than 50 years (Seattle’s Synergia is in its fourth year), has provided nurturing, all-inclusive programs for young musicians.

Since its creation in 1963, TYSA has grown to an internationally recognized youth orchestra organization comprised of more than 500 students from all over Western Washington. Their programs reach more than 8,500 schoolchildren

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May
29th

BUDGET: Put people ahead of tax loopholes

The state budget is vitally important to our neighbors who are struggling to find affordable housing, a good-paying job, affordable health care and nutritious food. Thousands of Pierce County families would fall farther through the cracks if not for our safety net.

Budgets are about values; they are a reflection of our priorities. The House budget puts children and communities first; the Senate budget keeps costly tax loopholes open at the expense of the most vulnerable. We can’t protect special interest tax breaks while cutting access to essential services for children and families.

Many families in our community and across

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May
29th

BENGHAZI: Finding truth about attack does matter

Re: “Republicans show hypocrisy on Benghazi” (letter, 5-24).

This letter writer and other liberals have repeatedly claimed that the Iraq War was based on lies. This claim is simply not true. There was never any evidence to support these allegations directly other than people saying it. President Bush didn’t lie to the American people.

The writer asks, “Where were these so-called patriots when 4,000 Americans died in Iraq?” Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and true patriots were honoring them for making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Where was she? Down at the Port of Tacoma participating in an

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May
29th

INCOME TAX: Pro and con of the 16th Amendment

Pro: Scandals overtaking the IRS are an indication of an out-of-control bureaucracy. The founders believed that levying direct taxes would be a threat to liberty. They therefore strictly limited such taxes. The 16th Amendment was necessary to implement the income tax. The result of this was the creation of a bureaucracy too big to control.

The behavior of the IRS is disaster for representative government and free elections. The IRS attacked the grass-roots groups but let the super PACs run amok. The founders were right: Repeal the 16th Amendment or face tyranny!

Con: To repeal the 16th Amendment is to

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May
29th

EDUCATION: Local nonprofit boosts college success

Re: “Efforts boost college success for low-income and minority students” (Katie Baird column, 5-22).

In response to Baird’s column, I would like to highlight several successful federally funded programs across Washington that are boosting college success for underrepresented students.

MDC, Making a Difference in Community, is a nonprofit agency in Tacoma that utilizes both federal funds and local support to implement educational programs for nearly 1,500 low-income and first-generation students in grades 7-12. MDC is committed to addressing the many barriers that hinder these students from persisting through high school and enrolling in college.

MDC’s educational programs provide services

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