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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 26, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Governor’s race

Spend smarter

While I’m not sure how many “regular citizens” would repeat Forbes Magazine rankings and have specific-state-spending figures at their finger tips, and list them in the same order, these letter submitters are missing the major issues in the race for governor.

The main reason The Times endorsed gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi is that they have watched him in his career, and know that he has the integrity to do what he says he’ll do. Right now he is pledging to fix our state budget and fix our economy.

One party has been in charge in this state since the early 1980s, and I believe we now face a multi-billion-dollar deficit.

Every time Washington state has seen a deficit in the last two decades we have been saddled with another tax increase.

I don’t think it has to be this way.

The economy is crashing around us, and we need a governor who can spend smarter, not spend more.

I think The Times made a great choice in endorsing Rossi for governor and I appreciate their courage in doing so. I’m sure we’ll see plenty more letters with a well-honed series of talking points against Rossi, but it’s time to elect a decision maker and a leader.

— Craig Lacy, Seattle

He’s already lied

In your Oct. 19 endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi for governor, you write that “When he [Rossi] says he’ll cut spending, you can believe him…” [“Dino Rossi for governor,” editorial, Oct. 19].

I cannot believe anything Rossi says about how he will handle state finances because he has already lied blatantly about what he can accomplish with the transportation budget. Rossi’s claim that he can construct an eight-lane Evergreen Point bridge for less money than WSDOT [Washington State Department of Transportation] estimates a six-lane bridge would cost is ignorant at best and fraudulent at worst.

And yet, The Times editorial board feels that he can be trusted with the rest of the state economy?

Beyond the budget argument is a story that appeared in The Times on Oct. 22 about Rossi’s environmental views and policies [“Where Gregoire, Rossi stand on environmental issues,” page one, Oct. 22].

Times reporter Andrew Garber showed that neither Rossi nor his campaign staffers understand transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and strategies to reduce them. Once again, Rossi makes unjustified, fraudulent claims about his transportation plan.

It is impossible for me to understand how The Seattle Times editorial board could say Rossi is to be believed about anything when we already have instances in which he is clearly putting forth false information.

— Sara Hayden, Shoreline

Don’t forget about the salmon

I am a small-fishing business owner who lives on Vashon Island. One of the things that my livelihood depends on is salmon. Will either of the candidates commit to doing something about the collapse of the Washington-salmon economy?

Why should I spend summers in Alaska when I could be fishing here?

I was encouraged to see that both candidates for governor recognize that global warming is the most critical environmental issue of our time. [I’m saddened though that, while humans may figure out how to adapt to environmental change, that luxury is not available to our endangered Washington salmon. Salmon are the environmental icon of our region that have survived and thrived for thousands of years until now.

Global warming is a fine thing for our future governor to be concerned about, but in terms of actually doing something concrete and achievable, how about we start at home to repair the damage we’ve inflicted on our salmon?

So please, whichever governor wins in November, neither salmon nor the communities that depend on them can afford to wait much longer. Salmon are remarkably resilient, but they cannot survive both global warming and the lower Snake dams.

Taking out the four lower Snake River dams would be a good start, and our next governor needs to make that issue a top priority.

— Mark Rutherford, Burton

Fix us first

There has been very little discussion about how to restore depleted salmon populations in our state.

Why isn’t this more of an issue between Gov. Christine Gregoire and gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi?

Why do they focus on climate change, a global issue over which they have minimal influence, rather than concentrate on a critical local issue over which they could have a profound impact? I fear both candidates are too afraid to make the tough decisions needed in terms of breaching dams to save salmon.

For many of us in Washington, salmon are a sacred treasure. They’re one of the region’s unique, defining features. I can only tell my kids about the wild salmon that used to flourish in the Columbia-Snake River Basin.

The few salmon that are struggling to survive could go extinct in the near future, even if climate change is kept in check. This is largely because of four outdated federal dams on the lower Snake River in southeastern Washington.

— Rob French, Seattle

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