Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: mcneil island

Sep.
11th

DSHS: Washington’s drowning in agency’s red ink

Re: “DSHS in red, likely to need $25 million infusion” (TNT, 9-9) and “DSHS didn’t protect baby, lawsuit says” (TNT, 9-9).

I really loved going to doubleheaders as a kid. But reading these two headlines on the same page in The News Tribune is really kind of depressing.

It’s hard to believe DSHS is in the red when it can perform nothing less than a fiscal miracle: run the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island for hundreds of sexually violent predators completely in the black, when neither Uncle Sam nor Washington’s Department of Corrections could house regular old

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May
29th

CHAMBERS BAY: Pilings useful – but we can see them

Re: “Preserve valuable wildlife at Chambers Bay” (Your Voice, 5-28).

What should happen in life and what actually does is the stuff that make stories infinitely more interesting. And sometimes that much more ironic and heartbreaking to boot.

Jennie Sheridan’s noble effort to keep all the old pilings and docks in place at Chambers Bay for all the wildlife habitat they provide is a perfect case in point. Her argument makes a lot of sense to me. Except for one thing: For some, old pilings and docks are just eyesores that simply must go.

Sheridan addresses this issue pretty

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Feb.
19th

FELONS: Why not also reject the SCC?

Re: “Must Tacoma have the only home for disturbed felons?” (editorial, 2-18).

So housing disturbed felons in places like the Rap House and Lincoln Park Work Release Center, situated so close to Lincoln High School in Tacoma, troubles The News Tribune’s editorial board some. I can understand that.

But then the board expresses its somewhat mistaken belief that Pierce County is completely against being used as a dumping grounds for the Department of Corrections. I think the facts speak otherwise.

After all, Pierce County has already tacitly accepted the Special Commitment Center, with its hundreds of sexually violent predators,

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Dec.
4th

MCNEIL ISLAND: Report states the obvious

Is it any wonder taxpayers are frustrated? Recently, we learned that the Office of Fiscal Management paid $100,000 for a report examining options for McNeil Island. Seems like a couple of staffers could have come up with the same ideas over a shared pot of coffee and a box of doughnuts in the break room: continue to locate the Special Commitment Center at McNeil, or turn the island over to an array of public uses, such as a park, or commercial development. OK, the report also mentioned the importance of maintaining the island’s infrastructure in the interim and I suppose

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Feb.
7th

SCC: Paradise Lost to sex predators

Re: “Don’t waste funds on predators’ ‘blank check’ defense” (editorial, 2-6).

I couldn’t agree more with the headline’s sentiment. However, it does not naturally follow for me that even if we did manage to drive their defense costs down substantially, it would make any more sense to keep those 284 sexual predators on McNeil Island than it did to keep the near thousand regular run-of-the-mill state prisoners there once upon a time.

After all, the only reason we ever moved all those predators onto McNeil Island in the 1990s was because we already had a small army of state

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Dec.
2nd

SCC: Don’t move sex offender facility

Re: “Budget cuts may bring sex felons to mainland” (TNT, 11-27).

The article outlines the state’s plans to move the Special Commitment Center to save money. But the options suggested by the state do not make financial sense.

I had the opportunity to tour McNeil Island and some of its facilities the day before the state prison was closed. We drove by the SCC.

Most communities will not welcome the opportunity to have 300 sex offenders in their backyard, and the state will spend a lot of money searching for a suitable new location. The SCC is a very

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Nov.
30th

SCC: What about the prisoners’ rights?

Re: “Budget cuts may bring sex offenders to mainland” (TNT, 11-27).

The article was about possibly moving the Special Commitment Center from McNeil Island to the mainland.

My problem with this article is not the move itself, but the fact that you describe the prisoners as  “those deemed so dangerous the courts have confined them even though their prison sentences are over.”

What happened to the prisoners’ rights? If their prison sentences is over, then why are they still being confined? What happened to rehabilitation? Are we just locking people up now and throwing away the key without even

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June
27th

MCNEIL ISLAND: Why not rethink projects?

Re: “Why pave roads now?” (TNT, 6-24).

Again and again we see McNeil Island siphoning off more money, even though the prison closure was supposed to save state taxpayers money. Yet the state decides to spend $6 million for an “already-planned” project to bury some power cables to “enhance security” at the Special Commitment Center during power outages.

Has the state ever thought about rethinking projects? Has the state ever heard about backup generators?

I did some quick research on heavy-duty generators and found a 320KW Industrial Standby generator for $134,625 and a 1,000-gallon-capacity fuel tank for $9,279. With this

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