Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Archives: March 2014

March
31st

SCHOOLS: Does teacher quality gap really exist?

A recent Viewpoint by Dan Goldhaber and others (TNT, 3-26) asked us to get serious about the “teacher quality gap.” They cite research findings that lower-quality teachers tend to populate schools containing higher percentages of disadvantaged students and this, he argues, is a major contributor to lower achievement test scores here in Tacoma and all across the state.

This article is based on a research study published earlier this year. Three measures of teacher quality are used: years of service, scores on a standardized exam required BEFORE a teacher candidate can enter a teacher training course in our state

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March
31st

MUDSLIDE: Untimely, inappropriate analogy to make a point

Re: “The next landslide” (TNT, 3-30).

While I found Al Lewis’ Wall Street Journal article  an interesting point of view, I found the headline and the analogy used to be insensitive, unsympathetic and ill-timed while recovery efforts for Oso mudslide victims are ongoing.

To use such a devastating tragedy as a comparison, especially at this moment, was offensive, indecorous and disrespectful. I believe an apology is warranted to the families who have lost loved ones, to those whose relatives are yet to be found and to the people of Oso and Snohomish County.

March
31st

WOLVES: Predators help keep ecosystem in balance

Re:  “Where’s money for damage (wolves) cause?” (letter, 3-31).

The writer delineating his concerns about paying for damage wolves cause in light of the reward posted for those who killed a radio-collared wolf. He needs an education on the functioning of a healthy ecosystem.

Forget the fact human activity takes a far higher toll on the wildlife he mentions than wolves ever have. Wolves are apex predators in their natural habitat. They are one of the factors that keep populations of their prey species healthy and under control.

The presence of wolves in a natural ecosystem does not cause

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March
31st

TACOMA: Water view is wasted on multiplex

Re: “Work begins on movie theater at Point Ruston” (TNT, 3-29).

I am appalled that anyone with any brains would have allowed a structure of this size, and a movie theater, to be built on the water side of Ruston Way. Who approved that, and what were they thinking?

The views afforded by this area should be for residential or restaurants, or anything that would have windows and view the incredible Puget Sound that we are so fortunate to have.

On that same note, I walked the area of new homes at Stack Hill recently, and I cannot believe

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March
31st

HECK: Congressman’s positions are unclear

If you live in the 10th Congressional District, you received the March newsletter from Denny Heck. Keep in mind that Heck was elected to represent us in Washington, D.C,. as a United States congressman.

While we can appreciate his efforts to protect Puget Sound, I’m concerned that the congressman may have become bored with his committee assignments. His newsletter actually has directions on how to scoop dog poop and  landscape your yard, as well as advice on using a commercial car wash vs. washing your car in the driveway.

We’ll take our dogs to a professional dog groomer to protect

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March
31st

HOBBY LOBBY: Issue is abortion, not birth control

Re: “Hobby Lobby case: Discrimination in guise of freedom” (Viewpoint, 3-28).

Hobby Lobby is not “opposed to contraceptive coverage” and is not “discriminating against women.” Hobby Lobby has a history of providing excellent employee medical coverage that includes contraception.

The Affordable Care Act mandate requires that the company provide all 20 FDA-approved drugs or devices. Hobby Lobby objects to the four that are potentially life-ending. The issue is abortion, not contraception.

This is not about “a license to avoid complying with otherwise neutral laws that apply to everyone equally,” as the authors suggest. In reality, 93 percent of employers

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March
31st

ACA: Obamacare is a $1.5 trillon budget buster

The ongoing partisan back and forth over how many or few are signing up for Obamacare seems to have overshadowed the spiraling cost of this financial fiasco.

The February 2014 Congressional Budget Office report of the effect on the deficit caused by insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act now stands at $1.528 trillion over the period 2014-2024 This report includes only costs directly attributable to the insurance coverage provisions, so the total cost will soar by untold billions.

The ACA was hyped as a revenue-neutral $940 billion law that would pay for itself by raising $480 billion in

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March
31st

OBAMA: Hope and change sabatoged by GOP

Re: “What happened to ‘hope and change’”? (online letter).

This letter makes a very valuable point. President Obama has not been able to create the change that the voters had hoped for.

The voters hoped that this president could change the course from that which the previous administration had set. We were deeply involved in two expensive wars. The tax cuts to the wealthy crippled our ability to pay our bills and continues to shift our wealth from the middle class and poor to those who are already overly wealthy. The resulting economic crash threatened the livelihood of the

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