Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Pierce County

June
19th

MEALS: Those ‘free’ lunches really aren’t

Re: “There is such a thing as a free lunch” (TNT, 6-19).

The headline struck a chord with me. It does attract attention to the article, but it is also very inaccurate.

As with every so-called “free” offer there is someone, somewhere who must pick up the tab. If one person eats for “free,” someone else grows the food, prepares it, puts it in the paper bag and transports it to the recipient. No matter how worthy the recipient, someone else pays for the lunch.

The article mentions nonprofit organizations throughout Pierce County as one source of funding. That

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June
18th

SIGNS: Street spam hurts all of us

Many of us complain about excessive signage in our neighborhoods. We have seen signs piling up on the sides of the road in our neighborhoods put up by business owners and those holding garage sales. Many do not know that it is illegal to post any sign on a street sign, a telephone pole, a stop sign or a tree on properties.

On one block we counted 14 signs for the same business holding an open house. The majority of these signs were on private property and that, folks, is considered trespassing.

If someone puts a sign on your property

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June
13th

US OPEN: Officials’ trip will prove cost-effective

The News Tribune takes seriously its role of government watchdog. But I wish it would restrain its almost knee-jerk compulsion to cast suspicion on every action by an elected official.

The headline chosen for the piece on Pierce County leaders attending the U.S. Open read: “Officials take last, costly chance to see US Open” (TNT, 6-8). The first detail given was the estimated cost.

The unavoidable implication was that officials were enjoying a junket at local taxpayers’ expense; complaints from readers about government waste ensued.

But anyone who’s organized a large-scale event knows that it’s almost impossible to overprepare,

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June
2nd

MENTAL HEALTH: Idea could lower incarceration

News that Pierce County will approve funding for a mental health probation officer (TNT, 5-24) is a step in the right direction.

I was supervisor of a mental health probation unit in Chicago where we had 10 master’s-prepared probation officers case-managing 400 probationers. We were able to lower the recidivism rate as well as the admission rate to state hospitals.

Many of our probationers had multiple problems that required active case management. I hope Pierce County’s effort results in lowering the incarceration rate in our county.

 

May
2nd

PRAYER BREAKFAST: Time for a name change

I believe some of the current controversy around the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast could be cleared up if the Tacoma Christian Laymen’s Outreach would simply change the name of the annual event.

The name implies that this event is a public event hosted by Pierce County, which it is not. I had long wondered why Pierce County held a Christian prayer breakfast and why government leaders participated in a public religious observance.

I was relieved to find out this is not actually the case. It is time for the Christian Outreach group to put its private name on its private

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March
26th

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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Feb.
26th

HUNGER: Need rises, but funding’s still the same

My heartfelt thanks to the members of the Washington Senate and House for recognizing the importance food banks have in combating hunger in Washington. While they have included funds for the Emergency Food Assistance Program in previous budgets, the amount has not increased since 2008. During that same time the need in Pierce County has grown 69 percent.

The additional funding in the 2014 budget will provide food banks money they desperately need, and the ability to use it in ways that make sense for them. While this additional funding will not solve the problem of hunger, it takes an

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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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