Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 22

Politics

Palin offers what women need

Just as Sarah Palin’s social agenda saddens Lynann Politte (“Palin’s candidacy does nothing for women” Oct 15, 2008), I am in turn saddened by Politte’s article. In criticizing Palin’s candidacy, Politte makes numerous important points that I agree with, and yet one point stands out to me as being way off the mark. Politte describes Palin as taking part in the “war against women’s rights” and in the plan “to continue to control women and keep them with second-class citizen rights.” Here is where Politte and the writers she cited (Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler) are incorrect. Sarah Palin’s platform as a mother for life against abortion and birth control is exactly what women need.

I wonder if Politte, Steinem, Ensler and other women leading the feminist movement have been able to take an honest look at how our culture of birth control and abortion is affecting our young women of today. Has birth control contributed to the rise in the sexual objectification of women? How about the rise in divorce rates? Does the idea of recreational sex, made possible by birth control, exacerbate the oppression of women and blind us to the causal relationship between hooking up and life-long parenting? Does the normalization of abortion desensitize our daughters to the beautiful life that grows inside them, planned or unplanned, and to the violence that abortion inflicts upon us? Do we need a Palin kind of feminism? I say “yes” to all of these questions. And while I may, or may not, say “no” to Sarah Palin in the election in November, I do say “yes” emphatically to her vision of feminine dignity and know that, contrary to Politte’s opinion, she does have a lot to offer women.

— Rebecca Medeiros

Make judicial votes count

As a judge on the King County Superior Court for the last 21 years, I know we have to start doing things differently, and with less resources, to continue to provide fair, prompt and efficient dispositions for the thousands of civil, criminal and juvenile cases that come before our court every year. We need judges like Barbara Mack, who understands that the “same old, same old” will not work in the years to come.

For the last two years, I worked closely with Barbara in our innovative and highly successful “Drug Court,” which was praised by The New York Times in a front-page article on Oct. 14 as one of the best drug courts in the nation.

Barbara was the chief prosecutor in my court, where we are rehabilitating — rather than jailing — low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Barbara’s performance, and most importantly, her judgment, are exemplary. She has the sense to know when to punish, when to praise and when to give up and send someone who won’t “get with the program” to jail. She’ll hit the ground running as a Superior Court judge.

Oh, and in the other two contested Superior Court races, I’m voting for Holly Hill and Tim Bradshaw. They’re both solid and experienced lawyers with level heads, good work habits and the appropriate demeanor to make excellent trial judges.

I recommend Barbara Mack, Tim Bradshaw and Holly Hill to all Islanders for election to our Superior Court.

— Michael J. Fox

McCain sign vandalized again

The large McCain-Palin house sign on the north end is defaced again, which makes me really mad. We don’t know anything about the person who did it. We might think we can guess his or her politics, but we don’t actually know anything. So here’s my statement to whoever defaced the sign:

If you’re an Obama supporter, it’s a stupid thing to do; it only takes an ounce of imagination to realize how your action galvanizes support for the cause you are against. If you’re a McCain supporter, it’s deviously clever, but bitterly cynical. And if you don’t really care and you’re just stirring people (like me) up, it’s just wasting all our time. Could be any of the above.

Knock it off. If you have a point to make, stand on a corner and wave a sign or something.

— Fred Strong

Learn I-1000 facts

Regarding the article by Laura Wishik on Initiative 1000, there are a number of statements that could lead to misconceptions about the initiative.

I would encourage readers to go to www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/text/i1000.pdf to see what the initiative actually says. Among the safety factors: The patient must be terminally ill — not disabled — with less than six months to live as diagnosed by two physicians. Two verbal and one written request must be made by the patient, with a 15-day waiting period between the first oral request and the written request. There is a 48-hour waiting period between the written request and the writing of the prescription, which the patient must administer to him or herself.

The written request must be witnessed by two independent witnesses, at least one of whom is not related to the patient or employed by the health care facility. Two physicians must verify the mental competence of the terminally ill patient. The patient must be informed of all other options, including palliative care, pain management and hospice care. These are only part of the safeguards. The decision belongs with the individual.

I-1000 is a safe initiative for which you can safely vote yes — or vote no — but either way please do so after thoughtful consideration of factual information.

For good information on end-of-life issues, which include living wills, etc., go to www.CandCofWa.org.

— Elsie Foley, RN

VCCC

Center fared well in inspections

A couple of clarifications regarding last week’s article about Vashon Community Care Center are needed. First of all, thank you for the compassionate and supportive reporting of VCCC’s recent successes.

At a time in America when 94 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards for the year 2007, I would like to clarify further how VCCC fared in its 2008 inspection. According to an article in The New York Times on Sept. 30, the average number of deficiencies for for-profit homes was 7.6 and for nonprofit homes (like us) 5.7. Our tally for 2008 was one in skilled nursing.

The Washington State Nursing Home Inspectors recently assessed Beardsley Terrace, Aspiri Gardens and Break Time and gave VCCC excellent marks in all areas. After seven days of extremely thorough and rigorous inspection, the survey team identified only one citation in skilled nursing, one in assisted living and zero in Break Time. The deficiencies were addressed immediately.

The state inspectors were very complimentary to VCCC for the notably excellent care they observed being provided by staff. They made special note of the great job our diet aides and cooks are doing in managing complex dietary needs in our small community.

One of the inspectors actually said, for all to hear, “I wish I could work here!” Another said that out of all the nursing homes she visits, she thought VCCC was “as close to perfect as possible.”

I know that I am speaking for the entire VCCC board when I say congratulations to every staff member who serves all the residents and program participants. Their excellent performance resulted in an excellent report. We salute you!

— Vicki Boyd, vice president of the VCCC board

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