Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less



REDISTRICTING: Court backs politicians, not people

Re: “Court leaves redistricting map in place” (TNT, 3-15).

Shame on the Washington Supreme Court, the attorney general, the secretary of state and the Washington State Redistricting Commission for putting the politicians ahead of the people of Washington in this redistricting mess.

I testified before the commission to complain about the gerrymandering of both my congressional and legislative districts to benefit the incumbents by guaranteeing their re-election. The commission ignored me, the people of the state of Washington, its duty and finally the law to our detriment and should be vilified for it.

But what can you expect from

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MARRIAGE: State high court has already ruled on gay marriage

Your editorial (TNT, 2-13) regarding same-sex marriage states that if a referendum overturns the new law permitting same-sex marriage, a “test case” would go to the Washington Supreme Court, and “observers” believe it would rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

Your editorial, however, doesn’t mention that this “test case” was already decided by the state supreme court in July 2006. In Andersen v. King County, the court ruled just the opposite. The Defense of Marriage Act was challenged in a lawsuit brought by a dozen couples in King and Thurston counties.

The supreme court ruled that there is no

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SCHOOLS: Court rightly holds lawmakers accountable

I disagree with Richard S. Davis regarding the recent ruling by the Washington Supreme Court on school funding (column, 1-11).

State and federal governments operate under a system of checks and balances. The supreme court carried out its valid role in issuing its opinion that the Legislature has failed to adequately fund public schools. I think the court’s action provides needed publicity and support for what Davis describes as “adequacy lawsuits.”

This “cottage industry” he refers to includes parents as well as educators, economists and attorneys. Parents and their children are the biggest losers when state lawmakers fail to

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EDUCATION: Union’s funding priorities askew

I received an email from Judi Owens, president of the Public School Employees of Washington, that included this statement:

“As the legislative session begins next week, education funding reform – including school employee insurance reform – must be at the forefront of everything lawmakers do. We must see measurable improvement in school funding beginning in 2012.”

Does she really believe that the Washington Supreme Court’s decision on education funding (TNT, 1-6) was to include the out-of-pocket health-care costs of the staff as part of basic education?

We have buildings closing, kids with fewer educational opportunities, people losing their jobs

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EDUCATION: Court needs to be more specific

Although the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the state is not fully funding basic education, it left the interpretation of what “basic education” is to others to figure out.

RCW 28A.150.210 defines what basic education is, but does not clarify at what level the basic education ends. It defines basic education as understanding of core subject concepts in reading, writing, math, geography, history, civics, government, science, health and fitness, and fine arts. It does not define what level students must achieve at. It does not include services of special education or other extra services schools typically include as basic

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SCHOOLS: Higher tax isn’t the funding answer

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that our state is not adequately funding basic education as outlined in the state constitution.

On the surface this sounds like a good thing, but our governor’s first response is to come right back by calling for an additional .5 cent sales tax to address this issue.

I propose we take another tack. The payroll of our education system is more than 50 percent non-teaching positions. Do we really need that many support and administrative positions? The education system has become bloated with mid-management and administrative positions, much like many corporations in our country.

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ELECTION: Chushcoff beholden to no one

After reading the article regarding the specter of bias on the state supreme court (TNT, 8-8), I wondered if you were aware that for Position 6, the only candidate not touting endorsements is Judge Bryan Chushcoff.

While both incumbent Richard Sanders and challenger Charlie Wiggins repeatedly extol their endorsements here, there and everywhere, Chushcoff is the only independent candidate in this race as it is intended to be – apolitical.

Supreme court justices should not be representing the Republican nor the Democrat ideologies. They should be representing the people of Washington.

Chushcoff also is not accepting campaign contributions. Isn’t this

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ELECTION: Justices should be more judicious

When Justice Richard Sanders yelled “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!” from the audience at the U.S. attorney general, The News Tribune lamented his behavior as “hardly judicious” and said it ignored rules of common sense and courtesy (editorial, 12-1, 2008).

In 2009, in response to the publicity about his failure to disqualify himself for a conflict of interest, Sanders said he wouldn’t benefit from the court ruling because any money coming as a result would have gone to his lawyer (TNT, 3-11, 2009).

He would have us believe that he doesn’t personally benefit from a court ruling in which he

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