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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 26, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Sand vs. salt

How fitting

Heck of a job, Seattle Mayor Nickels-and-Dimes [“Seattle’s no-salt policy for snowy roads has even plows spinning wheels,” editorial, Dec. 23].

— Chuck Hastings, Federal Way

We’re number one

The debate of sand versus salt misses entirely what should be the first consideration in times of an emergency: public safety.

The city’s obsessive preoccupation with questionable serious damage to the environment while cars are crashing and people are falling borders on criminal negligence.

Let us hope that in future emergencies the city will recognize what should be its primary responsibility.

— Roy Richards, Seattle

Draw the line

Thank you for you sensible editorial about the no-salt policy of the city of Seattle.

The city’s hard line on salt has been terrible for the people, businesses and for the other governmental agencies.

I am a strong environmentalist, but the no-salt policy is going way to far. Environmental policy should look at both the risk to the environment and the risk for human activity. In this case, the environmental risk was minimal and the risk to human activity was large.

It doesn’t help the environment to have to use replacement parts for the many vehicles that have been damaged. It is also damaging to the environment to implement extreme policies that make the environmental cause and its adherents look like idiots.

The city of Seattle has many good environmental practices and policies — our recycling program is among the best in the nation — the impact on humans is positive, and the risk to humans is minimal. Or hazardous-waste-collection program is excellent; it both reduces risk to the environment and to the humans who are able to get rid of their hazardous waste.

Mayor Greg Nickels and the City Council need to require any environmental policy or program to pass the test of reasonableness before implementing it. The no-salt policy doesn’t pass such a test.

— Elisabeth Sohlberg, Seattle

A giant red flag

I’m getting a taste for what it feels like to live in a city that has its head under a blanket — and I don’t mean a blanket of snow.

The roads are impassable and the city continues to throw out lame excuses for why it won’t take charge and fix the problem. The snow has revealed the utter incompetence of public services to manage in any kind of crisis. I hope it will serve as warning to all of us that the house needs to be put in order.

— Kate Golden, Seattle

Stuck in the slush

While I wholeheartedly support the environment, what part of the economic crisis and citizen safety does our city not understand? We don’t salt our roads due to “environmental concerns.” If we were Minnesota and it snowed every week of the winter I might buy this inane argument. But we have the type of weather we’re seeing right now what, twice in a decade?

And so, our city government buries its head in sand and de-icer during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and by not salting our roads puts civilians’ lives at risk and may have tipped some retailers in to bankruptcy.

I have a rear-wheel drive vehicle and was advised not to drive. Therefore, I did not buy Christmas presents this year; my money stays in my pocket rather than help our ailing economy.

Thanks, Seattle.

Signed, “stir crazy,” because my road has been rubber plowed.

— Rick Jacobs, Bellevue

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