Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: TPU

June
29th

TACOMA: Click’s bleed doesn’t seem too bad

Re: “How to stanch Click’s bleed? 3 stark choices” (TNT, 6-28).

I think the headline is misleading. According to the article, Click is losing $3.8 million per year. In previous articles it was $9.5 million, then $7.5 million and now $3.8 million. It’s apparent that Tacoma Public Utilities’ accounting is still unsettled, but I’ll stipulate that the annual loss is $3.8 million.

With 170,000 ratepayers, the “bleed” is trivial – $1.86 per month per ratepayer. If the survey had asked, “Is $1.86 per month too much of a burden to keep Click?” the survey might have yielded a different answer.

It’s

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April
17th

TACOMA: Keep Click and upgrade service

I am a software engineer who relies on reliable internet for my work. Having recently moved back to Tacoma from Bellevue, I was really looking forward to returning to the Click network. But now Tacoma Public Utilities is considering leasing that unique asset right from under us.

Wave Broadband obviously wants to capture the long-term value of the fiber-optic system that was bought and paid for by the people of Tacoma.  And why shouldn’t they?  As Amazon and the tech sector continue to grow and as prices climb in King County, Tacoma’s investment in Click creates fertile ground for tech startups and branch

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April
13th

TACOMA: Maybe TPU is Click’s problem

Re: “Future of Click worthy of wider, more civil discussion” (Matt Driscoll column, 4-12).

In 1997, Tacoma created the Click network, a public service offering both Internet and cable, because we were tired of inferior service from a for-profit cable company. It was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now.

Having laid miles of fiber-optic cable, our investment has paid off, and many Comcast customers desperately wish they get could get Click. So why is current Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) management trying to privatize our Click network?

For one, it is easier to manage electric and water delivery that

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April
13th

TACOMA: Keep Click for the public good

We, the residents of Tacoma, have an opportunity for a new direction with our own Click network: Let’s provide free basic cable Internet service to all Tacoma Public Utilities customers.

We already have the infrastructure, so what’s stopping us?  We can be the most connected city, the City of Destiny.

Let’s return to free TV. Why are Click customers unnecessarily paying retransmission fees to broadcasters like KING, KIRO and KOMO?

Click can install locally produced antennas for customers at no charge if the broadcasters refuse to participate in a new free cable system. Or we can remove broadcasters from our basic package

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April
6th

TACOMA: Transform Click into an Internet utility

While cable TV is costing more than before due to arcane media service contracts, it should be noted that cable TV costs more than just money. What it takes in the form of passive activity is a drain on the time and attention of people who could better benefit from the learning opportunities online.

The 40-year lease proposed by Wave Broadband may create a bump in the revenue stream from whatever dwindling cable TV subscribers continue with the service, and that may be a way to go, but personally I think just jettisoning cable TV would be the smartest investment

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Oct.
31st

TACOMA: Conservation charter amendment good for everyone

Conservation of electricity and water saves money for all utility customers and protects the environment. Tacoma Public Utilities uses conservation programs to meet growth in demand and save money. TPU’s award-winning conservation programs have exceeded their targets four years in a row.

The utility uses incentive programs for residential and business customers that help them save money by lowering their utility bills. These programs mean that the utility does not need to build expensive new facilities to meet growing demand.

Important protections in the City Charter prevent city employees from personally benefiting from city business. One unintended consequence is that

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Oct.
16th

TACOMA: Vote no on charter Amendment 6

Re: “City charter amendment focuses on utility chief” (TNT, 10-12).

Imagine an organization with $2.6 billion in assets, which has low prices, impeccable credit, AA bond ratings for power and water, and highly reliable service. That sounds like an organization that has its act together.

Luckily for Tacoma and the region, that describes Tacoma Public Utilities. TPU has some of the lowest prices in the United States, and our community knows we can count on the lights to turn on and clean water coming from our faucets.

I am one of four persons in the history of Tacoma to have

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Feb.
19th

TACOMA: Resist putting utilities under council control

John Ladenburg (letter, 2-13) and Bill Baarsma (letter, 2-13) raised different criticisms of The News Tribune’s editorial, “Coming soon: Raid on Tacoma utilities” (2-11).

Ladenburg suggested that an autonomous utility is dangerous due to its history of expansionist policies and hiding issues from the Tacoma City Council.

During the energy crisis of 2000-2001, Tacoma Public Utilities needed to significantly raise rates to prevent insolvency. Under the city charter, rate increases proposed by the utility board need the approval of the City Council.

As a member of the City Council during that period, approving the 50 percent increase

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