Letters to the Editor

Vashon-Maury letters to the editor

 - Leslie Brown photo
— image credit: Leslie Brown photo

Mayoral race

Vote once for each candidate

As you cast your vote in our unofficial mayor’s race, seniors such as Paul Wallrof are helping and supporting Vashon youth programs. Carol Slaughter is running for Vashon Senior Center. Both appreciate and deserve your support.

By mid-century, old people will outnumber young people for the first time in history. So remember, when casting your votes, cast at least one for each candidate. Youth and seniors are both important to our community.

That’s the way I see it.

— George Eustice

Former Vashon mayor

Sheriff’s department

Posting on poles should be allowed

I have a bone to pick with the King County Sheriffs’ declaration regarding signs and rules.

Vashon has a long history of garage sales, memorials, parties, school booster clubs, charity events, bike/run/walk directions, camps, etc., — all posted on poles and posts that we pay for. This enforcement policy is wrong.

I agree that businesses should not be using this venue for commercial purposes, but to stop the public from informing the community of local activities is not the Vashon way.

I suggest that the King County Sheriff’s Department raise revenues by other means, such as enforcing speed laws, cracking down on underage drinking, vandalism, theft, domestic violence and actual offenses. Maybe jaywalking.

These signs are not a public safety issue, only a new way to tax locals.

Protect and serve — don’t oppress and ticket.

(I dare King County Sheriffs to cite Camp Fire USA, whose signs are on these posts as of this writing.)

— Scott Strong

Iraq war

Vashon should take a stand

The mix of entertainment and eulogy put on by the government and transmitted by public television Sunday evening included nothing on the cause of war. Just as Colin Powell’s fine speech omitted his culpability in deceiving the nation into invading Iraq, so the administration’s deplorable treatment of psychologically wounded Iraq veterans was buried under layers of patriotism.

Some of us did not expect better of this government. But what has made me tread on this sensitive ground is that Vashon will not take this opportunity to speak with common voice against the particular cause of the Iraq war. The reason I think so is because our Vashon-Maury Island Community Council adamantly refuses to embody the moral soul of Vashon-Maury. I am collecting signatures on a petition to the community council that it hold an Island-wide referendum on impeachment of Cheney and Bush.

— Tom Herring

World issues

Food costs tied to subsidies, aid

Recent news coverage of the following stories has not sufficiently discussed the link between these issues: 1) a world food crisis threatens to push 100 million people back into poverty; 2) the significant increase in gas prices (note: Seattle television news crews were on the Island recently to film gas stations with the second highest price in Washington state); and 3) the fight over the Farm Bill which contains huge subsidies to American farmers.

But all these issues are interrelated: For example, petroleum products have increased fertilizer, transportation and other farm production costs. And subsidized U.S. farm products, when sent as part of our foreign aid, undercut local farmers in recipient countries — and U.S. law requires that 75 percent of U.S. farm supplies be shipped on U.S. vessels, further driving up the cost.

Ninety-seven percent of European Union farm aid is locally procured in the host country or nearby region, while only 1.4 percent of U.S. aid is locally procured. And, of course, we have heard where the shifting of crops to biofuel has helped raise food costs.

So while all these factors, as well as others, are interlinked, my main point is that few people, especially our elected officials, take these relationships into consideration.

The Farm Bill gets overwhelming support in Congress with few elected officials willing to oppose the farm lobby — ignoring how our subsidies contribute to the worldwide food crisis.

Clearly, these are very complicated relationships and solving these problems will be very hard to sort out. But we desperately need to at least try.

Hopefully, with a new administration and a real commitment to “change” in Washington, perhaps with a new cabinet level effort dedicated to dealing with worldwide poverty as some have called for, at least we can begin to look at these issues in a comprehensive fashion.

— Cliff Marks

Local seafood

Stop pollution

Mother Nature’s bread basket is right here in Puget Sound. It was revered by humans for thousands of years. It fed whole villages with a bountiful, ever-changing diet of seafood. Then we harvested and fouled everything. Now we must endeavor to bring it back.

Our Puget Sound can help feed the world, support thousands and be another great asset to the state if we would just stop using most of it for our cesspool. An acre of a geoduck farm can supply more meat protein than 100 acres of the best farmland.

Plankton numbers have exploded. They are only tiny little plants that like to eat the nitrogen from all the pollution we are dumping in the water, but their huge explosion in numbers creates a thick mat of pollution when they die off. Then huge numbers of bacteria that eat them deplete oxygen in the water, which kills almost everything.

Oysters, clams, mussels and geoduck eat tons of plankton every day. The state and lots of beach owners recognize this and see aquaculture as a win-win situation. Dedicated, hard-working aqua farmers are the main caretakers of the beaches we farm, and the filter feeders we farm replenish our bountiful ecosystem.

— Bill Rowling

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