Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: billboards

May
8th

LOBBYISTS: Money seems to open doors

Re: “In Olympia, lobbyists grabs the tab – and the connection” (editorial, 5-5).

Lobbyists’ ability to access our elected legislators rings true for me; my multiple efforts to speak with legislators regarding bills (SB 5304 and HB 1408) that would allow digital billboards on our state roadways went unanswered.

Yet Tacoma-based Gordon-Thomas-Honeywell (GTH) – lobbyists for advertising behemoth Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) – apparently had much better luck. GTH, which has been paid more than $51,000 in 2012 and $19,300 to date for 2013 by CCO, managed to grab the attention of the bills’ sponsors when I could not.

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June
4th

BILLBOARDS: Shame on the zoo, too

Click Network has recently been lambasted for its choice to use billboards, in spite of a (strangely non-enforced) law regarding non-conforming billboards within Tacoma city limits. Rightly so. Tacoma citizenry clearly wants the billboards to go.

So why are we angry at Click, but no one is complaining about the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium billboard at the intersection of 6th and Sprague?

Whether the billboard is conforming or not, the zoo is clearly ignoring overwhelming public opinion and adding to the Clear Channel coffers. Shame on the zoo, too.

March
14th

TACOMA: Broadnax undercuts billboard battle

Re: “Costs spur Broadnax to stop billboard law” (TNT, 3-10).

New city manager T.C. Broadnax rides into town and shoots down something Tacomans have been working on for years?

As far as this taxpayer is concerned, he can get back on his horse and ride on back to Texas if he thinks he can just come in and undermine our battle against billboards in Tacoma. He was hired to work for us, not against us.

Sep.
28th

TACOMA: Council needs to stand by billboard law

Congratulations to the Tacoma City Council for listening to residents and passing a reasonable billboard ordinance which wisely bans digital billboards from blemishing Tacoma’s skyline and requires nonconforming static billboards to be removed by March 1, 2012.

During multiple public hearings, hundreds of Tacomans weighed in against digital billboards, 1,400 signed petitions against them, and six neighborhood councils and dozens of civic groups opposed them. Approximately 95 percent of Tacoma residents opposed digital billboards in the public process.

However, as the billboard issue moves through the court system, there will no doubt be temptations for the City Council to capitulate

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July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Digital signs would destroy Tacoma’s ‘green’ efforts

Tacoma residents, civic groups and leaders as well as city’s newspapers have overwhelmingly opposed digital billboards from being forced into Tacoma as they are blightful and distracting to drivers and wisely banned in many cities such as Bellingham and Seattle.

Tacoma residents are continuously urged by the City of Tacoma to reduce energy use by replacing their lights with fluorescent bulbs, using less hot water, funding multimillion-dollar platinum-rated “green” buildings and to even having their garbage collected half as often. However, a different standard altogether appears to apply to billboard companies.

According to the U.S. Green Buildings Council, each digital

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July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Digital signs provide no benefits

Most of us have a high tolerance for advertising because it typically subsidizes our costs to access and acquire information. Benefit accrues to consumers when we read a newspaper, a blog or watch a television program: We get content at a lower cost because of the advertising revenue which accrues to the publisher.

Publishers, like this newspaper, employ people and help pay the bills with that revenue. Consumers can choose what content to access and acquire.

No such benefits accrue to the consumers of outdoor advertising. As we travel city streets and sidewalks constructed with taxpayer dollars, billboards loom in

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July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Why oppose digital signs?

The Top 10 reasons not to support electronic billboards:

1. Peeling billboards better reflect Tacoma’s peeling image.

2. Tons of old billboard paper will fill unsightly landfills quicker.

3. No one cares about Tacoma being a “wired city” anymore.

4. We’re rather fond of the 178 billboards Clear Channel agreed to remove.

5. Wrap-around bus ads are more attractive and less distracting.

6. Nonprofit agencies should buy more expensive TV ads instead.

7. Nobody really cares about supporting local businesses.

8. People might think they’re drive-in movie theaters, creating parking hazards.

9. They will distract from electronic signs already being

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July
6th

TACOMA: Keep ads off school scoreboards

Re: “Scoreboards will ring up ad dollars for schools” (TNT, 7-5).

Why does the chirpy headline about new corporate-sponsored scoreboards remind me of the Clear Channel billboard controversy?

Maybe it’s because in both cases, the assumption is that an inflow of money in these tough economic times is unquestionably a good thing, regardless of the costs of such corporate-driven media arrangements.

Let’s look at three points made about this proposal by the advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, almost 30 advocacy groups, parents and individuals who care about children.

As this

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