Letters to the Editor

Letters: Aug. 14, 2019

Middle of road solutions wanted

Perhaps now that Mr. Mansperger has shared his views on fascism and such, he could use his cultural expertise to enlighten us on socialism, populism, etc. It also would be good to expound on the possibilities of the “middle of the road” politics that most of us are yearning for.

Most of our most pressing problems are not rocket science and could be addressed if only the extremists on both sides had an ounce of intellect and a touch of love for this country.

Donna Powers, Richland

Remote cameras make good sense

(I) Applaud and support the letter from Steve Forsberg in this column on Aug. 7.

So ironic that only the day before my daughter was describing with disgust the unsightly and illegal dumping of garbage at the Lee Boulevard recycle drop-off location. I have thought for a long time that cameras should be installed there and people dumping illegally should be prosecuted as it is clearly posted. The system could’ve been paid for already with the money paid in wages and use of trucks to haul that stuff away; it’s been happening for years. His idea about high def cameras with night vision assisting in catching perpetrators and the fine imposed “paying for the system with subsequent offenders paying for the upkeep, monitoring and cameras at other problem areas” is a really good one.

Dona M. Gilmour, Richland

Mention of judges was confusing

The Letters to the Editor section of the Herald (Aug. 4, 2019), included a statement, “If the president had not fired so many judges .…” This has me confused. The president should not have the authority to fire judges.

In the American colonies, judges were dependent on the British judges for their positions and their salaries. As a result, those judges were well known for their bias to the Crown. The authors of the Constitution elected to avoid this problem. “The judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior…” (Article III, Section 1). And their salaries, once set, could not be reduced.

I was under the impression the only way to remove a federal judge from office was impeachment by the House and a trial by the Senate. I haven’t heard of any such hearings, lately. Did I miss something?

David W. Langford, Richland

Editor’s note: The reference was to immigration judges, who are appointed by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and thus serve at the pleasure of the Department of Justice. Immigration judges are not part of our nation’s judicial branch.

Dam removal edit irked this reader

The Tri-City Herald editorial of Aug. 7 on dam removal lambastes the recent study favoring dam removal as unscientific, yet provides no specifics on exactly what was unscientific about it nor does it systematically refute the study in any way. It does mention that several groups, mostly agricultural-related lobbies, were opposed to the study. Sure, this west side study may be biased, but the groups mentioned in the editorial aren’t exactly impartial themselves.

But what irks me most about this editorial and many other news articles is the constant implication that irrigators will be put out of business by removing the Lower Snake dams. This is simply not true. As I pointed out in a previous letter, there are a number of water draws in the Hanford Reach that are doing just fine without a dam backing the water up.

Examples are the City of Richland water intake, Horn Rapids Road pumps, Energy Northwest intake and orchards at Ringold and Taylor Flat. It will cost irrigators a little money to extend their pump intakes, but it’s certainly doable.

Yes, there are other significant issues with removing the dams, but losing irrigation access is not one of them.

Stan Kuick, Richland

Man’s analogy to Ecology’s stance

While reading the debate about reclassifying Hanford nuclear waste based on its current level of activity (and risk) versus its origin, I’ve wondered why Washington’s Department of Ecology allows the cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland to dispose of raw sewage and other hazardous wastewater by pumping it into the Columbia River.

I’m sure that the Department of Ecology would argue that after the settling of solids, chemical treatment to enhance precipitation, and filtering, the effluent of the cities’ treatment plants is safe and of no hazard to people living downstream.

I would agree. However, if Ecology’s response to the U.S. DOE regarding nuclear waste is applied here, it is the origin of the sewage and wastewater (toilets, washing machines and dishwashers, the runoff of fertilizers and pesticides into street drains, etc.) that defines the hazard of the entire volume of material and therefore dictates the required means of disposal. It matters not that a large volume of liquid can be rendered safe for return to the environment, the liquid effluent is still part of the sewage and wastewater delivered to the cities’ treatment plants and must be considered just as hazardous as when collected.

Jeff Boston, Richland