Letters to the Editor

Federal Way Mirror Letters to the Editor | Oct. 25

Lakota gets the library blues

The Federal Way School District is low on construction money.

And once again the school board has decided to attack the libraries! I found it very interesting that there was no quote from the school librarian at Lakota Middle School in the article about the cafeteria/library proposal (“Parents oppose school’s library/cafeteria combo,” Oct. 22). The reporter probably couldn’t find the librarian because there is no full-time librarian in any of the middle schools or high schools and only one elementary school has its own full-time librarian. The other elementary libraries have half-time librarians.

According to the article, the plan is to have the library and cafeteria share the same space. During lunch, the library would be closed. How sad for those students who like to come to the library during lunch time to check out books or do some research.

Can you imagine the number of books that could walk away without being checked out if they’re on display all the time? And the idea of having some of the books on movable shelving that would be rolled in and out day after day, week after week, is ridiculous. Has anyone considered the labor cost of doing that or the potential health hazards? The library needs a place of its own. A permanent library can be used all periods of the day. And it keeps the collection secure. Has the school board priced books lately?

Surely there are other options. The one mentioned is for the students to eat lunch is various places in the school. That’s one option, though that might create a mess. The elementary schools usually combine the cafeteria with the gymnasium. Why not in middle school?

Or maybe this building construction needs to wait until there is money to build a building that fills the needs of the school community.

Gerry Jones

Federal Way

Shelve Lakota’s library combo

In the Federal Way School District, kids who really do academics often go to the library at lunch, both to study and complete homework, and to have a quieter place to stay.

It seems like there will not be a place for them now at Lakota Middle School.

Why don’t they combine the cafeteria with the gym instead of the library? Both are places of tussling and loud noises during lunch hour. That would be a better match, and they wouldn’t have to push those pesky shelves of books out of the way during lunch. And it might show that our school priorities include academics like reading and good study habits.

Margaret Nelson

Federal Way

Wrong call by

The Mirror

In endorsing “GOP” stealth-Republican Dino Rossi, The Mirror has turned its back on our incumbent Democrat Chris Gregoire — a plucky, effective, well-organized chief executive. Her hairbreadth victory four years ago would have made a lesser person timid, but not her.

What positive goals has Rossi ever achieved for our state? As far as I can tell, his record of achievements comes down to cutting programs. We can look forward to scrapping social service programs during our next four years with Rossi as our fearless leader. But instead our state will be spending heavily on our very own Big Dig — the below-saltwater-level traffic tunnel along the Elliott Bay waterfront in downtown Seattle. Just when global warming is all set to raise the Puget Sound water level during the lifetime of any new structure. Glub glub ...

And, even though his campaign hasn’t emphasized these issues, Rossi personally supports the Republican extreme-right-wingnut social agenda. Just what our moderate state needs during our next four years. To the rear, march!

I’m still voting for Gregoire.

Chuck Hastings

Federal Way

Teacher likes Carol Gregory

Carol Gregory is the best choice for voters in Federal Way and other areas of the 30th Legislative District.

She is is committed to education, and while there are numerous issues confronting our state, education is the one area our state cannot compromise. If the economic crisis continues as experts predict, then our legislators are going to have to face some tough choices. Going backward on education the next two or more years could mortgage the future of an entire generation. Our children’s education cannot wait two or more years as they will never get those years back.

For the sophomores that I teach, the next two years will determine whether they get into a college or not. For my kindergarten son, the next two years will determine when he learns to read, and studies show that the later a student learns to read, the less academically successful he or she tends to be. Our students need smaller class sizes, good teachers and fair assessments.

Carol Gregory’s experience as an educator will ensure that she fights for these things and that our children’s future will not be a casualty of these tough times. Please vote for her.

Josh Smith,

Federal Way

Student likes Carol Gregory

Carol Gregory represents a down-to-earth, compassionate and helpful woman. She is not only a woman with a kind heart; she is also a former teacher, and a candidate for the Washington State Legislature.

Receiving this honor would not only give her the title but would give her a responsibility that she is well fit for. She would take this as an opportunity to better our neighborhoods and our schools, and to build the middle class.

I am currently a volunteer for her campaign. I have been volunteering for about a month now. This is not only a chance to get some volunteer hours, but also an opportunity to get involved and find out what goes on behind the scenes. I have met Carol and it makes me proud to be a part of her campaign.

I am also a full-time student at Todd Beamer High School and employed part-time, but I squeeze time into my schedule because it is time well spent. From sitting at a desk making phone calls, putting together yard signs or knocking door to door to inform my community about this suitable candidate — it is an incredible experience to get involved. Being part of a positive change is incredibly fulfilling. If I was able to vote, I would definitely practice my right but, unfortunately, I do not turn 18 until December. Carol Gregory is the change I would want to see in action, like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

This November is a time to voice your opinion; it is a time for constructive modification and growth. Our country is in great turmoil and it’s in the hands of our leaders to take the steps to strengthen our communities. But the decision is also in the voice of our voters. They need to choose a representative that can fill the shoes of our expectations and needs.

Nancy Gomez

Federal Way

‘Haves’ vs.

the ‘have-nots’

After reading letter after letter, commentaries, opinions, etc., it seems our society has fallen victim to the press.

We seem to have forgotten how to think for ourselves, take care of ourselves, our families and our children. We seem to want the government to add more entitlement programs, so those who “have” will take care of the “have-nots.” Although the “haves” have worked for what they have gained, we find ourselves being criticized for saving for our retirement, and should take care of the “have-nots.”

For the past 20-plus years, more and more food banks have popped up, as have clothing banks. More and more people, some not even American citizens, are using up everything in sight and want more. Just when is this all going to stop? When are people going to stop looking for handouts and try to put their lives back in order, so they can take care of their needs as well as their families?

We live in the greatest country in the universe, but for some reason, we are not responsible for our own families because we expect the government to take care of all of our problems. I love this country and wouldn’t want to live any place else, but sometimes our governing bodies in Washington, D.C., want us to be the caretakers of everybody, who have found the easy way out, of taking care of themselves and family, by adding more and more entitlement programs.

I believe that each state should take care of the real needs of their state, and not look to the federal government to bail them out. Because we, the taxpayers, are the federal government, since we pay taxes to keep it running.

So before we vote on Nov. 4, please remember, you are not voting for one person, you are voting for your future. But please vote.

Pat Gee

Federal Way

Common themes during elections

Each election is like a fork in the road. Together, we make a choice that leads us into the future.

As our incomes drop, and expenses mount, we can barely survive, let alone buy any of the goods we want. Months ago, the mortgage crisis caused many in Federal Way to lose their jobs.

When we fill up at the gas pump, or pay our medical insurance, we know we are paying too much. Americans can no longer buy anything. We cannot buy new homes, and many of us cannot pay the mortgage on our existing ones. Companies stop making products they cannot sell, and more jobs are lost.

In strong economies most people have money to spend. In struggling economies, the wealth is concentrated with a few, then everyone loses.

I listened to the debates with Barack Obama vs. John McCain (for president), and Christine Gregoire vs. Dino Rossi (for governor). I watched Carol Gregory vs. Skip Priest and Mark Miloscia vs. Michael Thompson (for state Legislature). A common thread ran through them all.

Obama represents the interest of average Americans. He will help us escape this mess, through education and investment in the future. McCain with his drill, drill, drill and taxes plan, is just looking after his oil company friends. Average Americans like us must be able to buy their homes and goods before the economy will improve.

American auto makers made a choice to work with George Bush and the oil companies to fight improved gas mileage standards. In the end, they lost, and America lost.

Boeing chose to make the world’s most fuel efficient aircraft. Now, they are the leader in the aircraft industry, and Washington state has one of the best economies in America. Christine Gregorie will continue to make Washington state an environmental leader by working with states and provinces to encourage innovations in clean energy.

My daughter is just starting school here in Federal Way. Gregoire will help us with early education and health care. Her investment in early education already has put my children on the path to success. About 40 percent of the state budget is for education. I want people like Mark Miloscia and Carol Gregory to represent us in Olympia. As a former teacher and president of the Washington Education Association, Gregory has taken the lead in education. Now Gregory is helping people get the education they need to become productive, successful members of the community.

I want my daughter to learn the science of global warming, biology and evolution. Scientific facts should not be suppressed by a school board, backed by a Republican state representative, or ignored by a Republican governor.

If my family were in British Columbia, Canada, my employer would pay $108 a month for complete medical coverage. The plan covers everyone, and you don’t even get a bill. What do you pay for your medical insurance? Gregoire and Obama have plans that can help us all.

Last election, Republicans sent letters to voters that forced them to go to the election office to verify their eligibility to vote. Now Republicans in this state, and elsewhere, are crying voter fraud, while they intimidate voters and dispute valid registrations. They just don’t want us to vote. We will show them Nov. 4.

Democrats will help all Americans. Republicans will help themselves.

Jeffrey Holden

Federal Way

Affordable health care for all

Congress should be told:

Shamefully, almost 9 million children in America do not have health coverage and millions more are under-insured.

The majority of uninsured children live in two-parent families; almost 90 percent have one working parent; and almost 90 percent are U.S. citizens. When working parents can’t afford to take their children to a doctor, it’s clear that the current system is crap. Congress should step forward and support comprehensive health coverage for every child and pregnant woman in America in every campaign speech and, if elected, in the 111th Congress.

Immediate action is necessary. Health coverage is financially out of reach for too many American families who are struggling to meet health care expenses that are growing faster than wages and inflation. At the same time, health benefits offered by employers are eroding. The annual premium for group coverage for a family of four is, shamefully, more than $12,000 per year.

Guaranteeing access to affordable health coverage for all children in America for a year — including vision, dental and mental health services — would cost every American less than $1 per week. Business leaders and national education organizations recognize that healthy children are tomorrow’s graduates and our nation’s future workforce. America cannot afford to wait. Poor health negatively affects children’s educational achievement, which in turn prevents some children from reaching their full potential and ultimately reduces America’s competitiveness.

Additionally, families without health coverage may postpone a doctor visit for a sick child, hoping the child will get better without treatment. Some of these families end up relying on emergency rooms for health care, which may result in worse health outcomes for the child and higher costs to local communities. Taxpayers subsidize these costs through higher premiums and higher tax dollars.

Americans overwhelmingly support expanding health coverage for children. National polls reveal that 90 percent of Americans believe every child in the United States has the right to health care; 80 percent support expanding eligibility for enrolling in government health insurance programs to middle-class, uninsured children; and 70 percent are willing to pay more taxes to make this happen.

If we can spend so much on banks, AIG, and other financial criminals, why not, for a change, spend something on American kids?

As a parent, a grandparent, as someone who is concerned about the health and well-being of American children, I believe that every legislator at every level of government should work to ensure that all children have access to all the health care services they need by supporting the following critical principles in any child health coverage legislation considered in the 111th Congress:

1. Ensuring every child and pregnant woman has access to affordable health coverage and health services.

2. Guaranteeing all children and pregnant women comprehensive benefits, which must include all medically necessary services.

3. Simplifying applications and enrollment processes to make it easy for all children to get covered and stay covered.

If we truly care about American and its future, we can do no less.

Karen Hedwig Backman

Federal Way

Price of Roe v. Wade

I want to comment on the column by Louise Melling (“Roe v. Wade: Women and the abortion card,” Oct. 18). She is a writer for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

In her column, she goes to great lengths to tell of the progress made by women in this country since Roe v Wade. I agree, much progress has been made, but frankly, I don’t think it is all due to Roe v. Wade as she seems to want us to believe.

Remember Mussolini? He was the dictator of Italy before and during World War II. Some of his apologists would say he made the trains run on time. Well, if he made the trains run on time by killing every train engineer whose train did not run on time, then we could ask the question, “But is it worth the price?”

One could ask that same question of Louise Melling. Since Roe v. Wade, millions of babies have been killed. Has all this “progress” been worth the price?

Of course, I will be accused of wanting to keep women pregnant and in the kitchen. That is not true at all. I am simply asking the question, “Is it worth the price?”

Leo J. Thoennes

Federal Way

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