Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less



ELECTION: Reichert has worked for veterans

An online letter writer (TNT, 9-30) objected to The News Tribune editorial board’s endorsement (editorial, 9-30) of Congressman Dave Reichert in the 8th District. I vehemently disagree with the writer’s reasoning and can only conclude that he is insulting this 30-year Air Force veteran, my veteran friends (including Reichert) and the voters of the 8th District by calling us anti-veteran.

Reichert has stood up for us. For example, his “Housing for Heroes” legislation, which combats veteran homelessness, was included in “The Honoring America’s Veteran’s Act” signed into law in 2012. Reichert has also been a leading advocate for not

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JBLM: New system isn’t secure enough

Despite significant concern by the federal government regarding terrorist activity, there seems to be no concern at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

An automated system has been implemented allowing a vehicle’s driver to scan his or her identification card, open the gate and proceed onto the base. There is no concern about any of the passengers’ eligibility to access the base or the possibility that the driver’s identification card may have been stolen and is being misused to obtain entrance to the base.

Utilizing the previous “hands-on check” of each person’s eligibility to enter the base is the only way to avoid

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JBLM: Community wants military, sort of

Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield wrote about the negative impact reductions at Joint Base Lewis-McChord would have on local communities (Viewpoint, 8-3). On Aug. 7, concerned leaders and Congressman Denny Heck met with business owners and concerned citizens (TNT, 8-8).

All concerns seem to be are about the loss of money, not people. Write letters, were the instructions. But I and many other veterans still have stinging ears from years of complaints.

The message has always been that yes, they love the military, but can you do your

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JBLM: Military personnel present an easy target

Re: “Public input crucial about proposed JBLM cuts” (Viewpoint, 8-3).

Major cuts coming down the pike for the Defense Department are a forgone conclusion. Personnel no longer needed to support a high tempo of combat deployments become an easy (and fairly large) target for these major cuts (and we are talking the use of a chainsaw, not a surgical scalpel) – plus personnel cuts are less painful to all those large corporations selling high-priced military hardware (after all, their pain is also heartfelt by those members of Congress who depend upon their campaign donations).

Pink slips have already gone

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ROADS: Major bottlenecks – and still no action

We returned last year to Pierce County after living on the East Coast and in the Midwest for years. I was surprised to see the huge increase in this county’s population.

On the other hand, I was not so surprised that nothing has done about completion of State Route 167 to Interstate 5, the cross-base connector road or the absolutely horrendous jam of I-5 through the military reservation. These projects were being discussed 40 years ago, and there is still no action.

It’s amazing what the bureaucracy isn’t able to accomplish around here as opposed to other high-growth areas in

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JBLM: Base isn’t place for housing scores of children

I couldn’t believe what I read – that Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a possible site to house children here illegally from Central America (TNT, 6-24).

Is this good use of any of our military bases? Who’s going to supervise these children, feed them and make sure they have their health needs met? And they have health issues: measles, mumps, chicken pox, scabies, impetigo, MRSA.

How would they get up here? And it won’t be temporarily, folks; they’ll be here forever at the expense of the taxpayers.

All these young people are coming across the border, many of them alone.

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PIERCE COUNTY: Where are the quality jobs?

Re: “Pierce County jobless rate up to 8.3 percent” (TNT, 5-26).

We are happy to support Joint Base Lewis-McChord, partly because military bases create jobs for the community. My state senator, Steve O’Ban, tells us that the Defense Department contributes more than $14 billion to the economy. Great! But where are the jobs?

We know that the huge area JBLM occupies does not pay property tax, nor do the commissary services charge state sales tax, so there is no contribution to the state or local budgets on that score.

The Employment Security Department report on the jobless rates states

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LAKEWOOD: Corridor needs big-picture approach

Re: “Lakewood wants ruling on train routes, not a trial” (TNT, 1-9).

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord/Lakewood/Interstate 5 corridor needs some long-term visionaries to come together and solve the multiple issues that are going to cost us taxpayers a lot of money and heartache.

Don’t you love trains? Apparently one group does, one does not, one only wants transit trains. Everyone wants a cross-base highway, more lanes on I-5, new overpasses, better access and no tolls – but no one has any money. Everyone speaks of safety of the intersections, but no one has solutions. People who live there want

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