Military should end their ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy Dear Editor,
Since the fall of 2003, the U.S. Armed Forces have been governed by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which has resulted in more than 13,500 service members being fired. Twenty-four countries currently allow openly gay service members; Turkey and the United States are the only two original NATO countries to have bans in place. A nation that prides itself on being diverse and a world leader should not engage in a policy of discrimination. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people currently serve their country with pride, but must keep their personal lives a secret in order to do so. They risk their lives to serve our nation and should be able to openly serve. Private employers are prohibited from discriminating based on gender identity and sexual orientation in 20 states and the District of Columbia. As one of the largest employers in the nation, the U.S. military, should adopt similar practices and end its policy of discrimination. I am running for U.S. Senate, for additional information about my views, visit www.ward2010.com.
Chris Ward Olympia Pets passing remembered as peaceful, loving Dear Editor,
We lost our best friend to kidney failure, on March 17. Shorty was 14 and the best companion anyone could ask for. After giving him extensive care, for as long as we could, his last couple of days proved too much for him and we made the most difficult decision of assisting him with death. We called his vet, Douglas Yearout of All Animal & Bird Veterinary. That same day Dr. Yearout came to our home; we were grief stricken and terrified, not knowing what to expect. We had turned our dining room into Shorty’s room and this is where we cared for him and slept with him at night. Dr. Yearout made himself at home and went right to preparing Shorty and the room for what would turn out to be the most loving, respectful and peaceful passing I have ever been a part of. Dr. Yearout managed to turn what could have been our worst memory into a beautiful ceremony. We were overwhelmed with the compassion and care he extended to our best friend. When it was time for Dr. Yearout to leave, I was becoming anxious about payment, when to bring it up and what to say. As he reached our front door, he turned and smiled and said, “We’ll be in touch”. My husband and I both knew he was letting us know, now is not the time to discuss money. This is an example of the type of respect this vet gave to us but most importantly to our Shorty on what otherwise was the most difficult day of his life. Our deepest gratitude is extended to Dr. Yearout. He gave us so much more than what would have only been a very sad memory, he gave us a peaceful ending to a beautiful life.
Jayne Winterrowd-Davis & John Davis Lake Stevens Gravel trucks should use correct highways Dear Editor,
A huge thank you to the City of Lake Stevens for installing a round—about on Lundeen Parkway. I am grateful for their vigilance to get this in place. A big thank you to all the residents in the surrounding area for gracefully putting up with the inconvenience of the construction and road closures. This improvement will make for a much safer intersection for us all. A rant, however, to the gravel truck drivers who are using Lake Drive and Soper Hill Road instead of Highway 9, avoiding the weigh station. I sit at my home office desk and by 11:30 a.m., have already counted 31 trucks passing by. The weight of these trucks are not meant to frequently travel on residential roads. I’d like to also mention their loads are always uncovered. As the Granite Falls quarry is looking to expand and increase from 60 truck loads a day to 200, you certainly don’t have my support. The detour route is for local access. Why aren’t these gravel trucks going through Getchell? Amy Hoffman Lake Stevens Better ways to fight war on drugs Dear Editor,
We need to end the war on drugs. It simply isn’t working. Despite decades of aggressive government crackdowns, U.S. drug use and drug-related crime are as high as ever. Made profitable by prohibition, violent criminal enterprises that purvey drugs are flourishing. Harsh criminal sanctions, even for minor drug possession, have packed jails and prisons making us the number one jailer on the planet. Public coffers have been drained of funds for critical preventive social services. Despite the stunning $4.7 billion we’ve spent since 2000, on planes fumigating Colombia’s coca crop, farmers there are producing just as much cocaine as before our aerial assault. Since 2000 the prestigious King County Bar Association has been taking a new approach. And the results have been impressive. King County is sending minor street drug users and sellers through drug courts instead of incarcerating them; its average daily jail count is down from 2,800 to 2,000. Tens of millions of dollars have been saved. The bar association announced its platform as (1) reductions in crime and disorder—“to undercut the violent, illegal markets that spawn disease, crime, corruption, mayhem and death;” (2) improving public health by stemming the spread of blood-borne diseases; (3) better protection of children from the harm of drugs; and (4) wiser use of scarce public resources. There’s surely no risk-free “exit” from today’s terribly destructive drug war. But we have to try—and should thank communities and states with the courage to lead.
Lea Zengage Lake Stevens Legislature has a spending problem Dear Editor,
The legislature has resorted to breaking rules to get any tax increase put into place that they can think of. House Bill 2956, which will put forth a bed tax on hospitals, was allowed to not go before committee and instead is gong to the floor. The people in Olympia are establishing an Enhanced 911 Service Excise Tax (HB 3216/SB 6846). Another one is the surcharge being added to car insurance policies to help fight auto theft. Of course, would we need the surcharge if the legislature hadn’t taken over $4 million from the state’s dedicated auto theft account during the 2009-2011 budget? These tax increases are just a drop in the bucket for the many more that have passed the legislature this year. We need to face facts that we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending addiction. The cure for this addiction is electing fiscal responsible representatives come November.
Todd Welch Everett LSHS tennis courts deserve light too
It’s great and all that Lake Stevens High School will have a new football stadium but does the construction really have to tie up the only lit tennis courts the high school has? How long has it been since the lights on the north courts have worked? Can someone please fix those lights now that those are the only courts available? I know I’m not the only one wanting to use the tennis courts—especially after dark. I know it is the ‘squeaky wheel that gets oiled’ so here is the beginning of the ‘squeaky wheel’.
Naomi LeClair Lake Stevens
Verizon customers should get any reimbursement coming from cities Dear Editor,
Ok, so perhaps Verizon was mistakenly taxed by Lake Stevens and deserves a refund. However, the educational moment here is corporations don’t pay taxes, they just pass taxes along to customers. Verizon billed us customers (directly or not) to pay for these taxes and if Verizon is going to get a refund, then instead of funding some Verizon corporate retreat weekend in Hawaii, perhaps that refund should be directly passed back to the Verizon customers of Lake Stevens that really paid the tax so they can spend it in the community to support our ailing businesses.