Letters to the Editor

Islanders sound off about the Tramp Harbor Dock, post office, healthcare, and more.


Yes to the dock

I must respond to letters to the editor regarding Tramp Harbor Dock.

Nostalgia? It’s nostalgia because it’s sitting locked down with no love or activity. A vibrant, ecologically driven rebuild or repair (environmental improvements among that) would not be for nostalgia.

Secondly, if nature is first why do our island stores still sell pesticides? How come a great number of septic systems are still in disrepair? Why did we rebuild Dockton boat docks, since boats can be bad for nature? Why do we still drive vehicles that have oil that pollutes or take ferries across the water?

Boy, do I wish any environmental issue was a black/white or yes/no answer. They are not.

Rebuilding our iconic island dock could bring light to the plankton. Removing and replacing the creosote piling could correct a pollution problem among other improvements.

Using Tramp Harbor Dock to revere the nature we have — watching birds or whales, looking down on the starfish or jellyfish or just fish, sharing a sunrise with someone special.

None of those activities are harmful to nature.

I also built my home here, very near the Tramp Harbor Dock. That dock is a deeply important piece of iconic island life in nature that called me here.

Judy Wright


You need a bigger mailbox

The holidays are here, bringing the usual avalanche of parcels — and complaints about USPS deliveries. As someone who worked out of the Vashon Post Office for three years — and lived to tell the tale — I have a suggestion: replace your small or medium mailbox with an extra-large model featuring the usual flip-down lid (not a slot). Make sure the dimensions are no less than 8 x 11 1/2 inches, and 22 1/2 inches deep.

These “rural mailboxes” are a carrier’s dream. My household received an Amazon package the other day measuring 11 1/4 x 6 x 13 inches. This isn’t unusual for us; it’s likely not unusual for you. Being able to place a package of that size in a mailbox, shut the lid and move on (rather than walk it to the door or write it up) provides your carrier with a huge time-saving lift. It creates more time to deal with larger parcels, as well as those which require a signature.

Forget petitions to Amazon or letters to postal inspectors. If even one-half of the mailboxes on Vashon were extra large, the improvement in service would be dramatic.

There are many reasons why the Postal Service struggles, especially on a rural island. That’s not the point of this letter.

The fact is, I was once like you: blissfully ignorant. I had no idea that something as simple as an extra-large mailbox could make a difference. I do now.

Believe me, 90 percent of these women and men are doing their best in a job that would try the patience of a saint. And every year, they’re asked to do more with less. This season, along with your complaints, give the gift that keeps on giving: A big, beautiful, roomy, rural mailbox.

Rial Cummings


Pay or die

When a young man, I was somewhat patriotic. Knowledge gained over the years changed that. My country permits almost unlimited gun ownership, thus accepting the slaughter of school children. The average citizen might say there’s nothing he can do about it, but we return the same people to Congress again and again. Therefore we are all guilty.

So what could be worse than the murder of children? Nothing, but there is something that is a close second. I had a conversation with a man at The Roasterie. He said he needs a drug that costs $484 per pill.

He takes one pill a day, with a yearly list price of $176,660 per year. He has Medicare parts A, B, and D, and a supplemental policy. So on average, the drug costs him about $800 per month.

I suppose some might call that reasonable, but it’s a lot of money for a senior citizen. Others unable to afford it, simply die.

Articles on the internet say that drug companies generally spend millions developing a new drug, then earn billions in profit. What a wonderful system we have, wherein some make fortunes off the disease and misery of others. It’s time the drug companies were nationalized. Their immorality knows no bounds. And if you want to call it socialism and you think labels are important, then you’re probably not a cancer survivor.

Shelley Simon