Snohomish County is nearing double-digit unemployment and Boeing has announced that the second Dreamliner line will be produced in South Carolina, but our local representative (Hans Dunshee) has indicated that maybe we should increase taxes. The state is estimating that we will have a $1.5 billion deficit this session and the governor wants a two percent cut across the state (even though she has grown government in our state four fold). I was at a legislative forum and Rep. Dunshee spoke, he indicated that the only way not to cut vital services was to raise taxes. I was disappointed that Rep. Dunshee didn’t first commit to seriously go through the state budget and eliminate wasteful projects (including ones that are not core government functions). I can sit here and name areas that I would cut immediately, but that is actually his job (he ran for office and now it is time to do the job). I do not want to hear how hard our legislators jobs are, I want to hear real solutions to our issues. Excuses and finger pointing will not fix anything, we deserve and should demand true leadership in these tough economic times. Burdening, already strained family budgets, is not the answer.
Todd Welch Everett Party line vote may mean time for new congressman
Two weeks ago I sent Congressman Rick Larsen an e-mail asking for his assurance that he would not be part of the rush to pass a partisan health care bill. The democrats clearly felt that they had to rush in on a special Saturday session to pass this bill before the public had time to decipher what they had concocted behind closed doors; every minute wasted meant that opposition would continue to mount. They certainly didn’t want to let the public debate on the merits of this partisan bill. Conservatives were continually rebuffed in their efforts to propose common sense and fiscally responsible amendments to the bill. Instead of responding to my e-mail before casting his vote, Mr. Larsen chose to hide and waited until an hour and a half after he voted the “party line” and helped carry this bill (the bill carried with just two votes to spare, 220 for and 215 against). Rick Larsen clearly does not understand what it means to be fiscally responsible. He and his liberal democratic colleagues are running around like kids in a candy store. I fear that they have distorted the true cost of this bill to the American people; they certainly were not courageous enough to clearly explain the provision of this bill to their constituents before rushing it through the house. Like many Americans, I feel that the healthcare system is broken, but what we don’t need to do is throw our tax dollars down the drain and add to our future tax liability. A better approach would have been to use market based solutions to increase competition, empower healthcare consumers and the doctors to control costs, and to allow insurers to compete across state lines. Instead I fear that all we may get is a Band-Aid fix that doesn’t address the root causes of the healthcare melt down. I think it is time we find a new congressman to represent Washington State voters from District 2.
Barry West Lake Stevens Veterans deserve better than they are getting
John Labossiere was a native son of Lake Stevens who joined the marines after 9/11and who served three tours of duty in Iraq and was the only survivor of a bomb attack on his armored personal carrier. He could represent anyone’s child who was exposed to horrific circumstances in war and the events leading to his ultimate death could not have been choreographed better by a Hollywood movie. Hindsight is always 20/20 and these soldiers returning home deserve better and we owe them that. To be remembered as some guy shot by police and not as a soldier who served with honor and who tried to serve faithfully and lost his military brothers in a bomb attack and his real family because of financial hardship and stress from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq. I believe these kids we send to war deserve better and so do their families. As they come home from places like Iraq to no jobs and lack of resources and try to return to a normal civilian life we as a community and a country have failed them and their families, we the community and our leadership, carry that heavy burden. So on a positive note I would challenge the community to ask what each of us can do to help and support these folks when they are in need. I know there is a grieving widow and three children that could use some support right now. I know there is a dear mother and father suffering the ultimate loss of a son right now that need kind words and support. I know there is a rookie police officer in need as well. Let us learn from our mistakes as a community and help these folks now for they certainly need it. And when you see a soldier on the street let’s give them the respect and gratitude they deserve after having been fighting in God knows where for God knows how long and for God knows what. God Bless America and our sons and daughters we have asked to fight overseas.
Stuart Richter Lake Stevens Incarceration is not always the only answer
Bravo Lou Krewson! Most people don’t know that we lock up more of our citizens than any other country on the planet. Many don’t know that 97 percent of the people going to prison get released eventually. If they’d think about it, I’m pretty sure they’d realize that people come out of prison worse than when they went in. That is true for a lot of reasons. In spite of consistent evidence that education for incarcerated people reduces the potential for future crime, we have been systematically removing education from prisons for years. I’m hoping that there are more people like Lou Krewson who understand that prison doesn’t solve our social challenges. Revenge might feel good for a minute but in the long run, mass incarceration drains our people, our communities and our finances. Let’s choose to actually try and solve our social problems rather than just lock them away. Let’s take some time to think rather than just feel and act on our resentments toward those who commit crimes. We will all be better for it in the end.
Lea Zengage Lake Stevens
A heartfelt thank you from the Vineyard
We would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated food items during our fourth annual Halloween neighborhood food drive. Even in these difficult times, it was a true show of compassion for our community that helped us to raise nearly 173 lbs. of food, all benefiting the Lake Stevens Community Food Bank. It was wonderful to see all the fantastic costumes and the bright smiles of the children and we appreciate everyone’s generosity. The local food bank serves approximately 250 families in our area every month and there is not a week that goes by that they do not have a need for goods. With such a large neighborhood (the Vineyards at Mission Ridge) and so many trick-or-treaters each year, it seemed like a natural progression to find a way to reach out to others and we hope to continue the tradition again next year. We also hope that our friends and neighbors will continue to support the food bank throughout the year as they offer such a vital service to our residents. Thank you again.
Carol and Dave Brister, Event Organizers Lake Stevens