Your letters for December 2011
Possible motive behind timing of Reardon allegations
During the recent campaign for County Executive, candidate Mike Hope put the ethics of the Executive’s office into question. The only retort from Aaron Reardon’s office was a smear campaign against Mr. Hope but now we have more allegations against Mr. Reardon.
I now question all of the timing.
County Council President Dave Somers, brought the case to County Prosecutor Mark Roe after an employee mentioned it to him (Somers) but not in time to have a real effect on the election or to let the voters see the facts.
If the charges are found substantiated and Aaron Reardon steps down, then a new executive will be chosen by the county council and I wonder if Councilman Somers will put his hat in the ring for that job?
It is no secret that Councilman Somers rarely sees eye-to-eye with the Executive and I believe he would love that position and it appears he may have a great way in.
Legalizing marijuana is not the right choice
I have shopped at our local Safeway store for many years. I’ve always enjoyed their friendly service. However, recently I’ve become increasingly irritated with the fact that the last three times I’ve shopped there I have been approached by an extremely pushy girl who has tried to get me to sign the Bill to Legalize Marijuana.
I declined politely the first time approached and she hounded me some more. Then I explained to her that my brother died of addiction and I have a son who struggles with addiction. Both of their addictions began with marijuana.
She then replied, “Have a nice day.”
I now have had the same conversation with her three times and she keeps getting more aggressive with me.
Although I understand many believe marijuana is the most effective drug in combating their medical ailments, I would caution against this assumption due to the lack of consistent, repeatable scientific data available to prove marijuana’s medical benefits.
Based on current evidence, I believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms.
Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents.
By characterizing the use of illegal drugs as quasi-legal, state-sanctioned, Saturday afternoon fun, legalizes destabilize the societal norm that drug use is dangerous.
They undercut the goals of stopping the initiation of drug use to prevent addiction. Children entering drug abuse treatment routinely report that they heard that ‘pot is medicine’ and, therefore, believed it to be good for them.
Therefore, I won’t support this bill or the stores who support it. I’m hoping if others see my point of view that they will join me in banning stores that support this bill.
Small businesses can help veterans by hiring them
This is for Washington state business owners and employers:
What is the one thing that makes your business the best?
I’m guessing it’s your employees.
How would you describe a great employee?
Motivated, dedicated, high integrity, solution finder, team player.
What if I told you that I can find you employees with those traits, and they can make your business even better?
They are our recently separated military personnel and our National Guard and Reservists and they want to put the skills they learned in the military to work for you!
Sure, their resumes may look a little different than someone who went straight from High School to work or college, but take an extra minute or two to think about how their skill set may bring a different perspective and better balance to your workplace.
Think about the training they received in the military: navigating sophisticated computer systems, interpreting technical data and focusing on important deadlines. Imagine the dedication and commitment it takes to put your country above yourself. That sense of purpose and duty is an asset to any business.
These men and women raised their hand to defend our nation. As business owners and employers, now it’s our turn to look out for them.
Make a commitment to reach out to veterans when you have openings.
The easiest way to do that is to contact the Employment Security Department’s Veteran Service Program and WorkSource.
These employment experts can help you connect with a veteran who will make your business better. They can be reached at 1-877-453-5906 or HireaVet@esd.wa.gov .
John E. Lee, Director
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
Changes need to be made in our prison system
Millions of men, women, and children are incarcerated. Not unlike schools, segregation exists. People cling to those who closely resemble themselves. Division is based on race, social status, criminal activities.
In schools, there are jocks, nerds, stoners who classify each other daily, primarily to feel more valuable than others. Try to be different, it’s hard to break the barriers.
How can we break walls down? Many fail to see that when they accept one another, the barriers fall, and trust begins.
Given a purpose, reasons to succeed, people will succeed.
To really know people in prison, we must listen to their stories and dreams. Most want nothing more than a life of happiness with family and friends, the same thing that we all want. It’s hard to believe so many have gone astray.
Without strong support systems in the beginning, most come from a long litany of abuse and disappointment. Poor and/or with derelict parents, they often supported themselves by turning to crime.
Released, they have no employment prospects, yet need a fortune to get their rights back. Burdened with expenses that they cannot possibly afford, they are required to pay restitution or return to prison while housing, transportation, treatments, food, clothing and other necessities remain very costly.
We could help those returning to society. We could save millions of dollars. Release those children and those elderly to the care of families who want to care for them.
Does it make sense to require releasees to live in counties where crimes were committed when families located elsewhere are willing to help them succeed?
Does it make any sense to hold children without parole who were unable to make adult decisions when they committed crimes? To better understand these issues, and to help, see reentry information at http://www.whatcomrec.org.