June 18, 2012 |

LETTERS for June 2012

USDA should not be in the home loan business

Dear Editor,

I wonder if anyone else noticed the large USDA sign over by Frontier Village in Lake Stevens No, it’s not a FHA sign normally seen at new housing developments. It might be possible you missed it, as we all get up extra early to avoid the back-up on the trestle.

We all know who the USDA is right? At first it was the Patent office in 1837, headed by Yale educated attorney Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, 1849 the Department of Interior. In1862 President Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture headed by a commissioner without cabinet status, calling it “the people’s department.”

President Grover Cleveland signed a bill to the cabinet level. Mr. Ellsworth earned the title “The Father of the Department of Agriculture,” headed a depository to preserve and distribute the various new seeds and plants, collected agriculture statistics and other agriculture purposes.

So how can the Department of Agriculture, whose goal is to ensure our food safety, nutrition education and food service to our citizens, be providing home loans (zero down) in urban areas.

Why is the USDA performing like a bank, giving home loans? Isn’t this the job for HUD to take on?

Agriculture is about food and providing food, not offering affordable housing and home loans. Take a look at (HEARTH) Act of 2009.

Annette Green

Lake Stevens

State needs to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars

Dear Editor,

"The Olympian" reported about 429 state employees who are receiving more salary than the top pay for their position, totaling over $2.5 million.

The average over-payment amount is $6,000 but around 30 employees receive between $15-$20,000 more.

I want to ensure we have a smart, hard-working, dedicated workforce within the state government but when your position is downsized then so must your pay.

The $2.5 million could have been added to programs that are struggling to survive or used not to layoff employees that were needed.

The Governor is bragging about lowering the Washington Management services from 5,300 in 2005 to 4,065 in 2011 but around 60 of those were moved to non-management positions while still maintaining their pay.

I realize that $2.5 million is a small amount in a $30 billion budget, but it just shows how little our state government is serious about being wise stewards of our money.

Todd Welch

Lake Stevens

All I wanted was to understand more about organ donation

Dear Editor,

As a 63-year-old man, I decided that it was time to think about a will and with that came questions regarding organ donation. In researching this, I found that although my driver’s license listed me as an organ donor, it didn’t necessarily mean that I could donate all of my organs.

In my search to find out how ‘Total Body Donation’ works I contacted Providence Hospital’s Colby Campus. After being forwarded to several different people, I was soon put in touch with “the person in charge of the ER” who I hoped would answer my questions.

Unfortunately, that conversation didn’t go well.

One of the several questions I asked included, “What condition does a body have to be in to be able to use their organs? Does it matter what the cause of death is?” (Heart attack, car wreck or gun shot wound, to name a few.)

This question got me put on hold and soon I was connected with another person at the hospital who was afraid I was talking about killing myself – which I wasn’t.

The situation went from bad to worse and soon the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department was at my doorstep and escorting me to the hospital, thinking I was suicidal.

After my clothes were confiscated, guards placed at my door and four hours later, I was able to go home to my wife.

However, I now have a police record and a medical record that states, “I wanted to know that if I came to the hospital and had shot myself in the head, could I donate my organs,” which I never said. My concern is that these records may hurt me in the future.

My intent in writing this is to warn others not to have complete trust in professional healthcare workers. Even they make mistakes sometimes. One simple question got misconstrued, all I wanted was to be able to help others after I die.

Joe Ashead

Lake Stevens

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