Skepticism of the SODO Arena Deal
Editor, the Times,
Kudos to the Seattle Times for succinctly laying out in your Monday editorial all the various competing interests of the SODO arena issue.
It seems to me that the powers that be, whether they’re at the City, County or State level, have really dropped the ball on this one. With all the problems that the Times recaps in the editorial – traffic, pedestrian, and Port issues in particular – one has to wonder why this location was ever zoned for a “stadium district”. And when they DID zone for it, why hasn’t there been any effort over the years since then to deal with these issues, so that when a prospective builder comes in and wants to shower us with his largesse, the city isn’t ready to respond in a timely fashion? Mr Hansen said he needed an answer in June, and now has moved his deadline. The infrastructure issues should have been dealt with years ago, and the ONLY thing that should have needed to be debated now is the financial deal he’s offering.
You don’t put up a sign reading “Welcome! We Want Your Business”, and then fumble around like the Keystone Kops when someone accepts your invitation.
Susan G Komen’s Problems
You’ve run 2 recent articles about fundraising problems at the Susan G Komen organization, before and after the just-completed Seattle Race For The Cure, but you do your readers a disservice by not reminding them of the full story behind their current problems.
As reported by Ray Henry in the Seattle Times on Feb 7, the founder and CEO of Komen, Nancy Brinker, hired former Georgia Secretary of State and Republican candidate for Georgia governor, Karen Handel, as their Senior Vice President for Public Policy in April 2011. During her years in Georgia politics and her Sarah Palin-supported run for governor, Handel was a very vocal opponent of Planned Parenthood. It should have been no surprise, then, that Komen would eventually adopt an anti-Planned Parenthood policy. Handel resigned her position a few weeks after the policy was made public, as did many Komen executives in protest of that policy, but Nancy Brinker remains as CEO.
Should people put their full trust into Komen again while Brinker is still in charge?
France and the Burqa
Joni Balter’s column, “Rethinking France’s Burqa Ban”, was a refreshingly balanced, informative and knowledgeable piece. She mentions that she’s there on a journalism fellowship; she didn’t say from whom she received it. Kudos to the newspaper or educational institution that, even in these economically-strapped time, still has the wisdom and forethought to invest their money in programs like this.
In this climate of hyper-politicized cable news and blogs and editorials, this type of “fair and balanced” reporting and opinion truly enlightens.
I flew into Hartford the day after the storm, and I’m reading stories and editorials in your newspaper about the storm damage.
I’m so glad to read the quotes from the insurance experts (“Insurers Dodge a Bullet”) that payouts by the insurance companies won’t be nearly as bad as predicted. Why? Because much of the storm damage was caused by hurricane-force winds and flooding. If the winds had been “merely” tropical storm-force, homeowners would have had to pay their deductible, but with hurricane force-winds, homeowners are liable for up to 5% of their home’s value. And insurance companies don’t pay for flood damage. Whew! Insurance companies dodged that bullet! But those homeowners sure didn’t!!
(Here’s an idea: Let’s not give any disaster money to any state whose senators or congressmen want to disband FEMA. That would include:
Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, TEXAS, Louisiana, Alabama… should I go on?? What a bunch of hypocrites! They make be disgusted!!)
To the Editor:
I read with interest Tristan Baurick’s story in the Jun 9th Kitsap Sun regarding the efforts by a Bainbridge organization to raise $18,000 for the costs of the July 4th fireworks show.
The story says that, as of the date Tristan wrote the article, only about $6,000 had been raised, and the show’s Project Manager, Scott Isenman, says that they might have to shorten the 15-minute display or cut back on the synchronized music.
For years I’ve wanted to actually HEAR the fireworks – the “whumpf” of the launch, the sizzles, the booms, and the people oohing and aahing and applauding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sit through Pink Floyd, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Lee Greenwood and the rest, blaring through crummy PA systems and disrupting conversations and the pleasant summer night.
PLEASE save the money – no music. Just the REAL sounds of fireworks. PLEASE!!
Editor, The Times,
Regarding E.J. Dionne’s lament about the ruling class:
The rich and powerful that he wistfully recalls are not the wealth-makers of today. In yesteryear, those people were the timber and railroad barons, the shipping magnates, the oil discoverers, the inventors of drugs and light bulbs and cars and planes and computers. They built companies, hired workers and created wealth for themselves, their employees and the country. That’s not to say they were all epitomes of civic responsibility and social enlightenment, but they did actually create things and add value to our society.
The wealth-makers of today are MBAs who sit in front of computer screens and play video games with other people’s money, making a 1/4 of a cent each on millions of transactions a day, hedging and trading and arbitraging and speculating. Very few, if any, have ever served in the military, joined the Peace Corps or done similar public service. And since they really don’t know the true value of money, they simply want more of it without any regard for the laws and protections that allow them to amass it and the health of the society that supports them.
For them there is a total disconnect between what the country should do for them and what they should do for their country.
Regarding the suggestion that bicyclists pay a road or use tax:
I am a regular bicycle commuter from Bainbridge Island. I have no problem with the idea of paying my fair share of the use of our roads by paying a bike tax. I think $20 is a fair, annual fee.
My bike weighs about 20 pounds, so that’s about a dollar per pound per year for using the roads. Not a problem for me.
Let’s get car drivers to agree to pay their fair share, too.
Mr. Eyman, are you on board with this one?