Letters to the Editor

Letters: April 11, 2019

Follow Pasco on red light cameras

I commend the Pasco City Council and law enforcement for installing red light cameras to discourage drivers from the dangerous practice of running red lights.

As reported in the Tri-City Herald on Feb. 6, 2013, I spoke to the Kennewick City Council about the problem of drivers running red lights but no action was taken. City leaders spoke against using cameras and said police would do traffic enforcement with special emphasis on red light violations.

Any red light enforcement has been ineffective because red light running continues to be epidemic. Drivers will change bad behavior only with consequences.

Red light cameras, properly calibrated, will effectively document violations to help police assign tickets when deserved. Technology can assist law enforcement to keep our communities safer.

The wrong standard for action is the number of collisions or casualties at a controlled intersection. The correct standard should be to stop dangerous driving behavior. Dave Zabell is right when he says it is another tool to change bad driving habits.

Other Tri-City communities should follow Pasco’s lead.

Tom Staly, Kennewick

Inslee: Pay for campaign security

Various news outlets have reported the expansion of Gov. Inslee’s security detail to support activities for his campaign for the 2020 presidential nomination. State Patrol staff have confirmed that public funds are already being expended for this purpose and are forecast to expand expenditures by over $4M. In the same reports Gov. Inslee has been reported as declining to reimburse the state treasury from his campaign for these expenses that directly support his political campaign.

Gov. Inslee’s use of public funds to support his political campaign is illegal under Washington law. RCW 42.52.180 prohibits use of public resources for a political campaign. It is probably also unconstitutional.

In the 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v AFSCME, the Court held that involuntary withholding of union dues constituted compelled political activity and was thus unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under this precedent, Gov. Inslee’s use of taxpayer dollars to support his political campaign also constitutes compelled political activity on all Washington taxpayers, forcing the sizeable portion of the electorate that objects to his politics to provide him material support to pursue it.

Readers may submit ethics complaints at: https://ethics.wa.gov/online-complaint-form

Phillip Keuhlen, Richland

Permanent DST is ‘really dumb’

The idea of adopting permanent daylight saving time seems really dumb to me. I have no problem with leaving clocks on the same time year around. But, that time would most sensibly be standard time, which is designed so that 12 o’clock noon occurs when the sun is approximately straight overhead. There is no law saying that schools, stores, business offices, etc., can’t start and close an hour earlier. But, they don’t have to change their clocks to do that.

On the other hand, if we’re going to arbitrarily set clocks an hour ahead of “normal” time, why not set them ahead 3 or 4 hours. That way we could all enjoy a midnight sun, at least in the summer.

Walt Gray, Richland