Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: clear channel outdoor


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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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.


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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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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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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BILLBOARDS: There is value in beauty

The real problem with billboards is that they are currently obstructing one of Tacoma’s most valuable assets: our skyline.

At a time when Tacoma is looking to boost economic growth, we should leverage everything we can to draw investment. Our skyline, our water and mountain views, the beauty of our trees and our architecture are worth money. They draw talented people to the city. That draws businesses looking for talented employees. They even inspire people to innovate ways of doing business, just to be able to live in a place like this.

Clear Channel Outdoor is not currently helping Tacoma

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