Letters to the Editor: EMS Levy Is Worth Taxpayers’ Expense, Endorsing Bates for Council Is Privilege, Baird’s Efforts on Open Government Lauded, Aadland Column Enjoyed, Cast Vote for Bates for Centralia City Council, Blaser’s Balanced View Good for

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EMS Levy Is Worth Taxpayers’ Expense

To the editor:

    On Tuesday, voters in the area served by the Chehalis Fire Department will consider a six-year emergency medical services levy to begin in 2010. The EMS levy would cost taxpayers up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on their home and, by state law, is limited to that amount.

    For example, the owner of a $175,000 home would pay $7.29 per month, or 24 cents per day.

    It is common for fire service entities like the Chehalis Fire Department that provide emergency medical services to ask voters for an EMS levy in order to cover EMS costs that regular property tax funds cannot meet.

    There are currently 11 other fire departments in Lewis County that utilize an EMS levy.

    As a taxpayer, you may wonder how well you are being served by the tax dollars that you pay for fire protection and emergency medical services. Most recognize that we are facing tough economic times, and that property and business owners are selective about how they choose to see their hard-earned dollars spent.

    In this election, I believe that voters should choose to designate the emergency medical services provided by the Chehalis Fire Department as valuable and worthy of their dollars.

    The Chehalis Fire Department needs your support. A 60 percent or more yes vote on the EMS levy will have a significant positive impact on the service level they will be able to provide.

Jim Walkowski

Centralia

Endorsing Bates for Council Is Privilege

To the editor:

    I’ve known Bill Bates for close to 20 years. I consider him a friend and an inspiration.

    I believe him to be honest, caring, and genuinely interested in others. He is intelligent, well-read and has a good grasp of the issues affecting our city.

    I consider it a privilege to endorse Bates for city council.

Kerry M. O’Connor

Centralia dentist

Baird’s Efforts on Open Government Lauded

To the editor:

    I was disappointed to see the latest politician line up to criticize Brian Baird for his bipartisan work to make Congress read bills before they are voted on.    

    While Baird’s  opponent and critic David Castillo worked the financial  markets as many watched their savings dwindle, Baird  has fought the good fight for years for a more open and  transparent government.

    Baird’s latest effort, a repeat of his bill two  years ago, requires Congress to wait at least 72 hours before voting. This measure, introduced last spring, is  just the latest and more critical parts of Baird’s continuing  work — to make Congress take the time to read before making a decision. Call it a cooling-off period, a study period, a time to listen and reflect. All of these reasons make  basic sense in supporting a measure that requires Congress  to think first and act second.

    But, it isn’t just myself and  other folks here locally recognizing the value of Baird’s  leadership. Ellen Miller, executive director of the non- partisan Sunlight Foundation for Open Government, specifically commended Baird “for demonstrating such strong  support for increasing legislative transparency” in Congress  by sponsoring this bill.

    Unlike his detractors, Baird has very clearly stated that “The  72 hour rule isn’t about blaming one party or the other. This  is about putting a practice in place so that both parties are  better able to serve the American people.”

    It also would  provide public access of a bill on the Internet 72 hours before a  vote to allow all Americans to have their voices heard. The  Baird-Culberson bill, which Baird is co-sponsoring with a Republican congressman, would not apply in cases of  declarations of war or national emergencies.

    I hope that we as Americans can have the fortitude and  character to applaud measures that we agree with or support  regardless of party lines. Whether its bringing the Olympic games to this nation, casting this nation into a better light  throughout the world, or making government more open and transparent, let’s not let partisan politics stand in the way of supporting something good simply because another side or viewpoint proposes it.   

Bob Giardina

Winlock

Aadland Column Enjoyed

To the editor:

    Just a note to say how much I appreciated reading Gordon Aadland’s article on two of my favorite friends in Centralia. I did not know Nane Jacob. However, I knew Margaret Oliver and Jack Cunningham well, and his reminiscence of them are both apropos and timely.

    Thank you, Gordon, for a job well done.

Jessie Brunswig

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Cast Vote for Bates for Centralia City Council

To the editor:

    I have known Bill Bates for about 20 years, and am pleased at his interest in returning to At Large Position 1 on the Centralia City Council.

    I believe that he has more than adequate administrative ability and people skills needed for the position.

    Bates has solid values that are widely appreciated in our community, and has the consistency of character that we can count on. He is an energetic yet careful listener, which is not well practiced in various government arenas.

    Please join me in electing a man who is well qualified to serve our community.

Gary Baker

Centralia

Blaser’s Balanced View Good for Centralia Port

To the editor:

    Over the past year, we have all watched the widely publicized Port of Centralia controversy. And, we all know the result: Nothing illegal was done.

    Not being a resident of Centralia, this explanation still left an unsettling feeling. As residents of Chehalis and Centralia, we the citizens own our ports. And it should be our expectation that our leaders provide us open honest communication and foster an environment that excites us as citizens about what’s happening at our ports.

    Don Blaser has been described by The Chronicle as a single-issue candidate focused on dwelling on the past, not the future. For those who have discussed this issue with Blaser, this is simply not true. If Don Blaser has a single focus, it would be responsible development.

    Blaser’s position is about balance between development and community. It’s not about reaching development goals; it’s about bringing quality jobs to the residents of Centralia.

    The transition from local business owner to port commissioner is based on seeing a need for openness and transparency to the people who benefit from and pay for the Port of Centralia.

    Blaser has made it clear his issues are ensuring the residents of Centralia are well informed, encouraged to participate and trust that the Port of Centralia board is doing what’s right, not what’s legal.

John Walpole

Chehalis

Toledo Football Team Shows Lack of Respect

To the editor:

    On Oct. 16, the Onalaska Loggers hosted the Toledo Indians in what was anticipated to be nothing short of a good game. Unfortunately, the way in which the Toledo coaching staff chose to start the game was a scene that I have never witnessed in all of my years of attending sporting events, and I hope to never witness again.

    With the starting lineups to be announced, there was no sign of the Toledo football team. The Onalaska starting lineup was announced and still no sign of Toledo. Our players lined the sidelines for the playing of the national anthem, with an empty sideline where the opposing team should have been. Then our team took its position on the field for the opening kickoff, and there was still no sign of the Toledo team.

    When the Toledo team finally chose to take the field, it took the long trek from the locker room, across the parking lot and onto the field in a walking pace, knowing it had gained the attention of every spectator, not to mention placing a live radio broadcast of the game on hold.

    When the team greeted with boos and some comments, I’m sure it felt as though its “game plan” to psych out our players had served its purpose. What it didn’t realize is the boos were not due to its tardiness in making its way to the playing field. They were a response to its disrespect in not honoring our country and being absent for our national anthem.

    The embarrassment of their community was heard in their hesitation to cheer their team when it took the field. To pull a stunt like that in the hopes it would help win a football game, the coaches have no place in the field of coaching children. When they held their team in the locker room during the national anthem, they forced every one of their players to disrespect their country.

    I have seen coaches in youth sports stretch the boundaries of ethics in an effort to win, but the Toledo coaching staff truly crossed the line. Their actions forever placed your community in the history books as the team that tried to use their absence during the national anthem as a strategic move to win a football game.

    I hope the Toledo School Board looks into this incident and holds this coaching staff accountable for its actions, to the point of having them removed. My first thought of this game will always be the Toledo coaching staff’s unspeakable choice to use its absence during the national anthem as a strategy in hopes that it would help them win the game. I will then be reminded of the win that placed our Loggers 7-0 and the respect that our community, parents and children have in Coach John Hallead and his staff.

Angie Boggs

Onalaska

Photos of Deployed Soldier Appreciated

To the editor:

    I got my newspaper Oct. 17 and was ecstatic about one of the pictures on the front page. It was of my beloved son-in-law, Josh Luck. My eyes filled with tears; we miss him so much. To see him was food for my heart.

    His wonderful parents have raised such a precious young man. My husband and I could never have handpicked a more loving, unselfish, devoted husband for our daughter, Brittany, had we looked for 30 years.

    We miss him every minute of the day, but it is nowhere near what his parents and his wife go through. He serves our country with the knowledge that it is his duty, even though his heart is in Toledo. He has missed so much since he has been gone. It is so wonderful that even during this political fight about war, we can distinguish between supporting or opposing the war and supporting our troops.

    The news frequently has ‘’breaking news’’ about U.S. troops dying in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    To me, it makes no difference who they are, I cry. I want them all home. The sacrifice that they offer to us should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. They and their families have worked hard to not only keep their families intact, but to follow the orders that they take so seriously.

    I am so proud of Josh. He is now and always will be my hero. Thanks again for the picture. Thanks also to Lincoln Creek Lumber and all other businesses who keep the support alive in Lewis County.

Tammy Dorothy

Winlock

Zombies, Teenagers Look a Lot Alike

To the editor:

    Zombies in Centralia? They look like typical teenagers to me. What’s scary is that they’ve got cars.

Richard Devine

Centralia

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