Letters to the Editor

Letters: Aug. 11, 2019

List undermining by Article, Section

Mark Mansperger’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, Aug. 4, edition was quite interesting and does lay out many of the points that President Trump’s opponents cite for why he is disliked. One point that he makes relates to the Constitution and Trump’s undermining of same. It would be of great help to the readers if Mr. Mansperger would list the specific part(s), Article, Section, paragraph, of the Constitution that Trump has undermined or is undermining, and also list the specific examples of how the Constitution is being undermined by Trump.

Perhaps he would be willing to pen another op-ed piece that would include this information.

John J. Sisk, Richland

Lost wallet had no way to return

A few days ago I found a small wallet in a parking lot in north Richland. Credit cards, as well as Washington State driver’s license. Not familiar with address, and unable to find phone number in telephone book. I phoned local police and they will pick it up and return the wallet to the owner. But here’s a suggestion to everyone: Place your phone number in your wallet--some way you may be reached should your wallet be lost/found. Had the phone number been in this one, I may have phoned the owner before they ever left the parking lot … saved the owner a lot of grief once she realized her wallet was missing.

Sue Pritchett, Richland

Objecting to dam articles

I object to the opinion piece masquerading as news, “Breaching dams would hurt low-cost electricity for Tri-Cities, utilities argue,” appearing in the Tri-City Herald on July 6.

It is not news that some local groups passed resolutions. It is also poor journalism because it omits the essential information needed by the reader.

The Tri-City Herald has printed the same information 18 times over nine years and called it editorials or opinions. They printed at least 90 other articles in that same time period talking about breaching the dams. This does not include the articles editorializing about returning the Columbia River shoreline to local control and reporting endless meetings about this topic.

In most of these articles and meetings, essential information is omitted or ignored. In the USA, the highest law is the Constitution, next are treaties signed by the USA.

Nothing is going to change about the Columbia River dams or shoreline without the involvement of the Native Americans, who signed a treaty in 1855 which assured them of their traditional rights of access and usage of the Columbia River in perpetuity, “as long as the sun shall shine”.

They are still here, and as sovereign nations, they deal only with the U. S. Federal government.

Charles Eaton, Richland

Review impacts of initiatives closely

Initiative 1639 required a person be 21 to purchase “semiautomatic assault rifles.” Section 1 included the statement “…research indicates that the brain does not fully mature until a later age.” With this science fact codified in law, it was only a short time before it was again invoked to increase the age to buy e-cigarettes.

Given our new scientific focus and on limiting the choices and actions of voters under the age of 21 for their own good and the welfare of others, what next? Will Olympia also raise the age of emancipation to work around hazardous equipment or in hazardous occupations; to drive motor-vehicles on or off-road (the CDC identified motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in this age group); consent to marriage, or immediately raise the voting age so these impulsive, baby-brained young adults don’t mess up an election? Ooops! XXVI Amendment.

It is important for all voters to carefully read and understand initiatives we are asked to approve to ensure they are necessary, (to consider) their impacts, including all costs to implement and maintain the legislation are identified and reasonably obtainable, and to consider the potential for unintended consequences, including misuse and abuse (over-reach).

Michael Clayton, Pasco

Not a fan of new plan for our IRAs

Has anyone else noticed that it’s harder and harder for middle-class families to achieve the American Dream? Now Congress is pillaging the IRAs we leave our kids with the “Secure Act.”

The Secure Act will force our children to spend inherited IRA’s within 10 years, whether they need to or not. Withdrawals will be taxed, probably in the higher bracket. Result? Our children and grandchildren will have a less secure long-term future.

Currently, Beneficiary IRAs require dispensation over a much longer period, to wisely re-invest the funds and avoid exaggerated tax rates on 10 lump sums.

Secure Act taxes the rich? Get real. How many billionaires have an IRA? Salaried, workers and small-business people own the vast majority of IRAs.

Congress should redistribute wealth? Congress spreads wealth evenly? If Congress wants to tax me more to buy another F-35, fine. But don’t guilt my kid by telling him that he doesn’t deserve a gift I gave him. Besides, isn’t everyone in the overall economy being helped if the IRAs remain invested?

If the “Secure” Act passes, our children will never have the kind of leg up my immigrant grandfather sweated for and my dad went to night school for.

Matthew T. Ruane, Richland

MacTavish shows why board must go

The departure of Nichole MacTavish as superintendent of Richland schools says a lot about the incompetence of the Richland School Board. She is due to be paid at least $ 320,000 for her nonexistent services as superintendent even if she lands another job somewhere. Worst of all, the board has attempted to cover up the whole thing. I talked to one school board member who told me he was prohibited from talking about it. The competence of the board to hire top leaders for the district, to write sensible contracts and to maintain openness is called into question. Our remedy as taxpayers is to not vote for any serving board member in the upcoming election.

Melvin Adams, Richland

Trump action cuts health care options

It’s infuriating that the Trump-Pence administration is once again trying to control women’s bodies and take away our right to access high quality, affordable healthcare. Trump finalized a domestic gag rule, banning doctors from providing their patients with full information about their health care options, including abortion. It would also effectively dismantle the Title X program, which provides birth control, cancer screenings and other essential reproductive health care, at low to no cost.

Specifically, this rule attempts to block Planned Parenthood from participating in the Title X program. In Washington, Planned Parenthood serves more than 76,000 Title X patients — 88 percent of Title X patients in the state. Across the nation in 2016 alone, Planned Parenthood provided 720,000 pap tests, more than 4 million STI tests (including HIV), and nearly 1 million breast exams thanks to Title X funding. Trump’s gag rule puts access to care for many folks across Washington out of reach.

Voters across the country made it very clear in the midterm elections; we want more access to health care, not less. It’s up to us to help preserve access to health care for all Washingtonians by keeping Planned Parenthood’s doors open.

Jacqui Roberts, Richland

Ecology won’t OK new waste tanks

With regard to the “Frustrated state officials” ordering new deadlines for the design of new Hanford waste storage tanks — even if such tanks are designed, the Washington State Department of Ecology would not approve construction of such tanks in a billion years (I’ll never be able to prove that but I’m pretty confident in that prediction) let alone approve the actual use of such tanks.

Michael Collins, Richland

Voters will decide fate of Trump

Whether Trump will be our last puppet despot is up to voters. The litany of Trump’s crimes is long and not limited to the high crime of obstruction of justice. Republicans elected their strongman leader who has served himself and not the public.

Republicans brought us here by denying equal voting representation by gerrymandering, suppressing votes and stacking courts.

Our constitutional checks must deal with Trump or losses will become even more staggering. We could lose Social Security under Republican leadership.

Republicans hurt our ability to (conduct) business, notably by supporting the amoral, narcissistic and dishonest candidate who is now our President. Mormons, Evangelicals and Catholics legitimize this party that is separating minority children from their parents.

When will these religious businesses abandon Republican values and support social justice?

Congressman Newhouse failed his duty to oversee the executive branch, betraying all of us and violating his oath of office.

Newhouse’s failure here is now written into our and his histories. What will your legacy be? Vote Democrats into office and watch our country grow or live for the rest of your life with one party rule, as do Russians and North Koreans.

Ivar Husa, Richland

Alcohol, tobacco the bigger problem

Americans are being deceived about the opiate crisis. True, it is a problem, but not the top drug epidemic we’re led to believe. What’s swept under the carpet is that alcohol and tobacco kill more than all drugs combined, including opiates.

The reasons for the non-response to the 88,000 deaths a year from drinking and half a million from smoking is obvious. These recreational drugs have been with us for so long that we’ve become desensitized to their lethalness. Fatalities feel routine.

The alcohol and tobacco industry has hardly paid the price of being responsible for preventable casualties. No one is going after these main causes of death like they are the pharmaceutical corporations. Even physicians prescribing opiates for legitimate medical issues are being pressured to cease.

Wineries, bars, grocery stores and others allow people getting behind the wheel, causing untold deaths. This doesn’t include health issues, crime and suicides caused by alcohol.

Let’s quit ignoring the real problem and include alcohol and tobacco to the list of dangerous drugs that should be restricted. Ignoring the truth will never suffice. People are dying and not just from opiates. Alcohol and tobacco are far more detrimental. This epidemic is real.

Gary Somdahl, West Richland

Ask yourself just who’s Fascist?

Re: Mr. Mansperger’s piece Sunday, Aug. 4.

He is allowed his opinion as are we all, but his point about “being the one and only savior to society” is a direct description of the arrogant progressive liberals in this country. if one disagrees or goes against leftist propaganda, for example, climate change, one is labeled a “neofascist,” or a “deplorable”… this is neofascism 101. The “attack against America” Mr. Mansperger writes about in his piece has been waged by the left wing for the past many years, but the left is trying to villify conservatives, not with debate or facts, but with name-calling and hateful rhetoric.

Ask yourself — who is the real fascist?

Randall Clower, Pasco