September 26, 2011 |


Filibuster rules need to be changed

Dear Editor,

The rules governing how business is done in the US Senate needs to change.

The filibuster isn’t in the Constitution. It’s just a Senate rule that allows rampant obstruction.

It only takes 41 Senators to completely obstruct/prevent debate and block an up or down vote.

The filibuster essentially gives Senators representing as little as 12 percent of the population a minority veto.

Sen. Tom Udall and 24 of his colleagues have proposed a strong package to change the Senate rules.

The new rules would end filibusters on motions to begin debate and would force senators waging a filibuster to actually stay on the floor and engage in debate. That would protect the right of the minority to be heard, but also allow the Senate to conduct its business without endless, senseless delays.

The Senate should approve this package when it reconvenes on January 24. I want to see the filibuster rules fixed so that our Senators can do their jobs – debate and vote on bills.

Sharon Greenspan


Is “Job Creation” really just “Job Destruction?”

Dear Editor,

Hypocrisy is “the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one’s real character or actual behavior.”

There doesn’t seem a more clear example of this when one hears Pres. Obama’s words about “job creation” and then reads that under his administration, the EPA, in this case, will actually destroy 1.44 million jobs. So, is “job creation” just another word for “job destruction?” Besides destroying jobs, these proposed EPA regulations will also increase the costs of electricity as much as 23 percent in some areas, average of 11.5 percent nationwide and would have a substantial impact on raising prices of natural gas as well.

This statistic is from the federal government’s own data which was discovered when an analysis was completed for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and is the result of primarily two new regulations being proposed by the EPA.

One is the “Maximum Achievable Control Technology” (MACT) and the other is the “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).” And, the EPA’s air pollution rules may even extend to your own backyard as you disturb your own soil to plant a garden which may result in soil particles becoming airborne and contaminating something, someplace else.

So, in addition, to potentially losing your job, paying a lot more for electricity and heat, you may have the additional burden of paying high fines to the EPA for air, water, dirt, plant and finally people pollution.

Senator Maria Cantwell supports these measures as does Senator Patty Murray, but Cantwell has gone a step further by calling for the EPA to preemptively prohibit resource development in a huge area of Alaska—an area rich with copper, gold and other valuable metals.

She wants the EPA to deny the permit before it has even been applied for. If this occurs, the precedent could potentially lock up lands throughout the U.S.

So, while “job creation” is the buzzword for the moment, the truth is that this administration and our own elected officials actually prefer job destruction as evidenced by their actions.

Catherine Paxton

Arlington, WA

Clothing donations helped families in need

Dear Editor,

A huge thank you to everyone who donated clothing to the back-to-school clothing give-away held Saturday, August 27 at Sanctuary Ministries.

Approximately 122 kids left the church with overflowing bags of clothing and coats and your donations made it all possible.

If you are still in need of baby, toddler, children’s, teen, maternity, or adult clothing we invite you to check out our Sanctuary Ministries clothing distribution. We are open every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at our new Care Center, a 1,400 square foot building dedicated to distributing clothing, shoes and bedding to those in need.

We are located on Hwy. 92 and 75th Street NE between Lake Stevens and Granite Falls. For more information or directions please call our office at 360- 386-9871 or visit our website at Everyone is welcome—there are no eligibility requirements.

Again, thank you for your generosity—you made a lot of kids (parents too) smile.

Pastor Jerry Brady

Sanctuary Ministries

Redistricting to be completed by November

Dear Editor,

The Washington State Redistricting Commission recently completed a round of 18 public forums in communities throughout the state. We received many insightful comments both at the forums and through other submissions.

My fellow commissioners and I say “Thank you” to all those who took the time to understand the commission’s purpose and to provide comment. You can read all the comments we received, as well as watch the past webcasts of the forums, on our website at

While our final public forum concluded on August 9, our work is far from done, and we invite you to check in with us and give us feedback as we progress to a final redistricting plan.

Upcoming milestones include September 13, when commissioners will unveil draft maps for new congressional and legislative districts and October 11, when we’ll offer a multimedia opportunity for you to express your views directly to the Commissioners.

Our goal is to release final plans in early November. Please check our website for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Lura Powell, Chair

Washington State Redistricting

Commission, Olympia

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