Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 26, 2008

Execution for car thieves?

I’ve been reluctant to write because my views seem so far from the reality of the political situation.

Politicians seem to want to continue the status quo to preserve the police, incarceration and legal jobs that hinge on a passive solution to auto theft. The solution is simple: A severe jail term for the first offense. No ifs, ands or buts. No costly defense attorneys for the “not guilty.” They only deserve bread and water meals at a stripped-down jail cell. Make the situation of treatment known to would-be offenders at the high school level. Maybe WASL needs a new section on “citizenship” to identify unacceptable behavior that won’t be tolerated. Car thieves know it’s against the law. Society shouldn’t have to put up with this aggravation and cost. I’d even vote for execution for the second offense. I don’t want to have taxes spent on those that ignore the “do not steal cars” warning.

Terry Slaton, Federal Way

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Stand up for our library

King County Library System’s public meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Federal Way Regional Library, 34200 1st Way S., will give us a chance to see and offer input on the “revised” architect’s plans for our well-used library.

Living here and using the library, you may see some things that can and should be tweaked before the plan is finalized. We will be waiting a year while it is closed and being expanded, so please come and make sure it will have the best possible interior and exterior design for our community. Help make the closure worthwhile.

Margaret Nelson, Federal Way

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Shopping cart guy still here

In response to “Shopping cart guy, where did you go?” (letters to the editor, Jan. 23):

The cart guy is still around, but we have some challenges

Cart Recovery LLC is still picking up carts for 65 stores from Lakewood to Everett, and we have 10 clients in the Federal Way area. Our clients include Albertson’s, Wal-Mart, Super Wal-Mart, Winco, Fred Meyer, Target, Top Foods and Safeway stores at 320th, 288th and 272nd. Please take some time to thank these stores for doing their part to help with this problem. In 2007, my service collected 6,054 shopping carts in Federal Way alone. My crews go through the common shopping cart areas twice a week. We also go to specific addresses when people report them to our Web site (www.cartrecovery.net) or hotline.

I agree that many areas of Federal Way have huge shopping cart issues. One of the biggest challenges is that many stores aren’t using a service or picking up shopping carts themselves.

I have told you the 10 stores in Federal Way that use our service; now take some time and add up all of the stores in Federal Way that use shopping carts and you will understand one of the major problems and why you see so many carts in Federal Way. Our service isn’t perfect, and I know many of you would like to see daily citywide searches, but I have to balance what the stores are willing to pay with the amount of service that will provide.

I think we will always see some carts around town, but the amount of carts we’re seeing right now is way too high.

If you see one of our clients’ shopping carts, please feel free to contact us and we will pick it up. If it’s a cart of a store that isn’t listed above, please call the store and ask them to pick up the shopping cart.

In response to letter writer, Cathie Rohleder, that cart on 314th Street and 8th Avenue South will be gone before you read this.

Kevin Crossen, Owner, Cart Recovery LLC, Tacoma

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Protesters do their part

I’d like to commend The Mirror for excellent recent coverage of Federal Way citizens impassioned over local and national issues.

I was especially grateful to see last week’s acknowledgement of our peaceniks demonstrating their “tough love” for our country since the war began. I’d also like to respond to a letter from Jan. 23 concerning the aims of the demonstrators vs. those of our enemies among radical Islamic fundamentalism. I think the writer’s questions represent the latest justification for continued war and the sudden popularity of this outlook unfortunately reflects our government’s attempt to use fear mongering to narrow our focus while hoping we ignore deep-rooted causes.

Instead, I hope more people will educate themselves (as have the Federal Way demonstrators I’ve met) on the history of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, where we have a long and sordid record of support of totalitarian regimes in places like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Yemen. This support is clearly linked to the resentment and desperation among their powerless citizens that fuels the anti-U.S. radicalism that we all are concerned about.

For those aware of our history, the handling of this war, occupation and its negative effects, including the rise of extremist elements in Iraq, is playing out in the standard pattern:

After supporting Saddam on and off for decades, we all but abandoned our hunt for al-Qaida in Afghanistan and started a war under false pretenses that has, in five short years, resulted in the deaths of over twice as many Iraqis than were killed by Saddam in his 25 years in power.

Then after “mission accomplished,” we ignored the advice of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel on the ground in Iraq and ordered them to dismantle government services, security and the military. Over 500,000 able-bodied Iraqi technocrats and soldiers who offered their expertise to help rebuild after celebrating the fall of Saddam went jobless overnight. We stood by while the resultant looting and chaos destroyed their infrastructure, public records and much of a thousand years of their history, followed by our replacement of so many of the now-unemployed Iraqis with politically-connected Western contractors.

In the midst of the destruction, violence and deprivation, we commenced planning of 14 permanent U.S. military bases on Iraqi soil plus the world’s largest embassy that is six times larger that the UN complex in New York.

There have assuredly been countless individual acts of sacrifice and kindness committed by Americans over there. However, to explain our government’s actions in the context of concern for the welfare of Iraqis or an intent to restore their sovereignty is simply impossible. Thus, once again in addition to the misery, death and astronomical cost of war, we are providing radical opportunists with a wealth of angry recruits willing to strike out at us any way they can.

If our government’s actions are creating enemies faster than we can kill them, it seems to me we need more folks like our Federal Way demonstrators out on the sidewalk doing their part to put a stop to it.

Jack Fogelberg, Auburn

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