Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 23, 2007

Appreciate our military

As we approach another Memorial Day, it is a good time for reflection and appreciation.

As a Vietnam War veteran, I can look back on the the sacrifices that were made by many friends during some very difficult days. Some of those memories were good. I prefer to remember those rather than the bad.

Recently, I attended the 19th annual Air Force-Army ROTC Presidential Day Retreat at Central Washington University. While there, I observed with pride the commitment and future sacrifice they will be making as officers in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

It is easy for Americans to sit back and acknowledge how appreciative we all are to our Armed Forces, but it is another thing to actually serve in uniform and make the daily sacrifices for all of us.

Knowing that our future is in the hands of such good minds and spirit allows me to give thanks to God that we can celebrate Memorial Day with the respect and dignity it deserves.

Patrick Wilson, Auburn

Proud to be a ‘meathead’

Angie Vogt’s May 19 commentary on “meatheads” cracks me up. Doesn’t she remember that Archie Bunker was a not-too-bright ignoramous?

I’m proud to be a meathead. I do not support using our troops to police the world from evil dictators. Doesn’t Vogt realize that if Iraq was not sitting on top of the world’s richest oil fields, there would be more than 3,000 U.S. troops alive and with their families — and still with us defending our freedoms? There are many evil dictators out there; what are we waiting for, Ms. Vogt?

Vogt remembers our history, but forgets about the failed results of military force used the Korean War and Russia’s failed invasion of Afghanistan. And do you remember, Ms. Vogt, who we supported in the Iran-Iraq war? Well, consult your history book: The dictator Saddam was once a weapon-buying ally of the freedom-loving United States.

The only solution this “meatball” can think of is to solve this Iraq problem through diplomacy, not more U.S. lives.

Proud to be a meathead.

James Knapp, Auburn

‘Meatheads’ don’t get it

No doubt The Mirror will receive cries of protest over columnist Angie Vogt suggesting that certain individuals in our country today exhibit characteristics similar to “Meathead” of “All in the Family” fame (Opinion, May 19).

As Vogt points out, too many of the “meathead” generation cannot come to terms with the fact that the freedom we enjoy in this country did not arise in a vacuum; it came about through extreme and bloody sacrifices of many individuals.

Every moment of peace and tranquility we enjoy came at a price and unfortunately, we must continue paying until our enemies (yes, enemies) are neutralized (read: destroyed).

The war we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq was not commenced willy-nilly. We have been attacked by radical Muslims (oh my gosh, what have I said) for years and our responses have been relatively benign or ineffective, which has encouraged more attacks.

Knowing what we did about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs based on intelligence was reason not to wait until it was too late. We rid the world of one of the most sadistic individuals in history and the Iraqi people need no longer fear him. The U.N. was useless in that matter.

If America won’t do it, it won’t get done, and I’m OK with that. Why the meatheads do not comprehend what is happening in the world and what must be done to preserve our way of life is one of the great mysteries I contemplate in my quiet moments.

I am of an age that I recall those paragons of virtue, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. If the Europeans had mustered the gumption, they could have stopped Hitler early in the game. The fact that they didn’t, despite Winston Churchill’s admonitions, makes for some ugly history.

We must learn from that experience and deal with the new generation of killers and murderers with dispatch when fewer lives will be lost. More sacrifice, but necessary.

Alas, that means tripping over the meatheads and their media friends while the rest of us press our weak-kneed politicians to stand up and be counted. That prospect is enough to give me the vapors.

Don Payne, Federal Way

Who forgot the stamp?

Practically everyone is aware that on May 14, the U.S. Postal Service raised the fee for a one-ounce, first-class letter from 39 cents to 41 cents.

To deal with the new rate, they also issued a new “forever” stamp that is good forever so you can save money when the postal service hikes the rate again in the future.

What a lot of people don’t know is the postal service decreased the rate for a two-ounce, first-class letter from 63 cents to 58 cents. The problem with that is that they did not issue a new 58-cent stamp to deal with the new rate.

When I went to the local post office to buy some 58-cent stamps, the postal clerk had to give me four stamps — a 39-cent, a 10-cent, a 5-cent and a 4-cent stamp.

Does this make any sense to you? It sure doesn’t to me.

It raises two important questions: First, if the postal service was going to increase the one-ounce, first-class rate because it needed additional revenue to operate, then why in the world would it decrease the two-ounce, first-class rate by 5 cents?

Finally, by not issuing a 58-cent stamp for the two-ounce, first-class rate, have they “put the cart before the horse?” Trying to understand their rationale is like adding one plus one and coming up with three. What happened to something called “being logical and using common sense?”

Gary Robertson, Federal Way

Disappearing salmon stream

How to make a salmon stream disappear: Well, the first step is to deny its existence.

Yes, it is really just that easy. Don’t let the facts stand in the way of what you are trying to accomplish. Simply keep saying that the stream does not exist. If you say it loud enough and often enough, it really may quit flowing altogether.

Believe it or not, while most of us went about our normal daily lives on May 17-18, a lawyer for Northshore Investors LLC, a fully-owned subsidiary of Soundbuilt Homes, argued with a straight face to a hearing examiner in Tacoma that there is no portion of Joe’s Creek contained within the Northshore Golf Course, or for that matter, anywhere south of Northshore Parkway, leaving the drainage exempt from any permit requirements.

This fanciful argument is contrary to all mapping and stated opinions that the northern portion of the golf course serves as the head watershed for Joe’s Creek. This has been stated clearly by the City of Tacoma, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the City of Federal Way, among others.

The SEPA response from the Washington State Department of Ecology noted that wetlands are identified on or near the property on the National Wetlands Inventory, and all but requires the developer to seek assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Still, just say it doesn’t exist — let’s just say that the drainage is all just a Tacoma storm water management system.

That’s it. If a stream was redirected into a pipe years ago, it must not really be a stream.

Should the developer meet with a sympathetic (read: property rights activist judge) ear anywhere in this appeal process and win the argument that everything south is part of the city’s storm water system and as such is exempt from any permit requirements, the resulting impact on Joe’s Creek (which the City of Tacoma describes as providing “the largest and best quality reach of salmonids spawning and rearing habitat in the southwest portion of King County,” www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?hid=925) would be enormous.

Perhaps, even dwarfing the massive damage suffered by the silting of Lake Lorene and Lake Jeanne during the construction of On-The-Green Apartments in 1989-1990, negating all the state and local funds spent on rehabilitating the lower portion of Joe’s Creek, destroying viable Federal Way wetlands west of Hoyt Road and perhaps even turning off the source of the stream itself.

Yes, it’s true…even in 2007, if you just say the stream doesn’t exist, maybe it really will run dry.

Sadly, Federal Way may need to involve itself in this litigation as an injured party should our neighbors to the south be unsuccessful in preserving our environment. We are on the verge of possibly losing one of Federal Way’s great natural resources.

Eric Elgar, Federal Way

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