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September 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Learn from it, and fix it
But first, write about it so that the voters of the city and the state actually see what has been wrought since President Reagan claimed that we would provide better care to those confined in mental institutions if they were moved into our communities.
I am not afraid to walk around or through street people, but I hate that they are there. I want our community to see our obligation to confront the fact of their presence.
I do not want more police officers to move them on to another corner. These people stand, sit and lie down, in evidence of the cruelty that ever greater profits flowing up to the ever fewer do not “lift all boats,” and no longer even “trickle down.”
Janet Winans, Seattle
September 2, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Nice idea, in theory
A recent Seattle Times editorial called for the closure of state-run residential habilitation centers (RHCs) for people living with developmental disabilities. [“Editorial: Reset inequity for state’s most vulnerable,” Opinion, Aug. 25.]
The resulting cost savings would then be directed toward reducing the number of eligible people on waiting lists for needed services.
On the surface, this is a laudable plan. However, the simple logic of a well-intentioned strategy doesn’t hold up well when one examines the cost savings of moving people from institutions and into the community more closely.
Make no mistake; for most people, we favor community living over RHCs.
What we do not support is the logic of creating the savings by shifting care to supported-living agencies whose workers receive shamefully low wages. These workers, according to the 2011 Residential Survey published by the Developmental Disabilities Administration, make an entry level wage of $9.88 per hour, versus $13.32 per hour for state workers doing essentially the same work. This is a difference of 35 percent.
While we strongly favor community-support options that allow more people with disabilities to live in homes of their own, we do not support doing this by creating more overburdened and underpaid workers.
Lyle Romer, executive director of Total Living Concept, Kent
August 28, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Be a good neighbor
We live in a major metropolitan area, and I am always puzzled by folks who want to pretend they live on a farm. [“Just your average household pet?” page one, Aug. 26.]
It’s one thing to grow a few vegetables, although the proliferation of abandoned parking strip planters seems to denote the passing of that fad.
However, goats, chickens, and pigs? You cannot have your cake, and eat it too.
While my heart goes out to the young woman who found comfort after her grandfather’s death by keeping goats, perhaps a more appropriate pet could have been selected or the money put toward grief counseling.
In addition, her own mother’s suffering from allergic reactions to the goats doesn’t concern her, apparently. This self-centeredness seems to be playing out in the family’s interaction with their neighbors.
When we live very close to one another, we have to realize that being a good neighbor is part of the responsibility of living in the city.
Toni Cross, Seattle
August 28, 2013 at 7:22 AM
Bulldozing encampment is inhumane
Nickelsville is counting the days to Sept. 1, the date set by the Seattle City Council for evicting residents from their encampment of over two years.
This threatens to be “not a good photo op” for the city, as Councilmember Nick Licata put it, but it will be more than that: If Nickelsville is bulldozed, this will be a moral wrong, a breach of the fraying bonds of decency that keep us human.
Having a home means more than being sheltered by a roof and four walls. It means being sheltered by one’s fellow human beings, able to rely on their aid in times of need. It means having a community. By these standards, the Nickelodeons have, through their own ingenuity and hard work, built more of a home than most of us can claim.
If the mayor and the City Council destroy Nickelsville, they will be destroying this home. They will be breaking up families and couples and forcing more than 150 men, women and children onto a demoralizing merry-go-round of case management.
Until we as a city and as a society create a way of life that is affordable, Seattle has a moral obligation to recognize and support self-managed homeless encampments. It is remarkable that homeless people in our city have come together and built democratic organizations for their own safety, dignity and collective well-being.
Rather than bulldoze Nickelsville, the city should work to find it a long-term site.
Katie Wilson, general secretary of the Transit Riders Union, Seattle
July 16, 2013 at 7:29 AM
Is The Seattle Times kidding us with this article? [“Newcomers want to know areas with fewest little ones,” NW Friday, July 12.]
I understand there are people who don’t want to be around kids. They have a right to their biases. But for The Seattle Times to present this uncritically, with maps showing which neighborhoods have the fewest children, is crazy.
What’s next, “How to avoid those pesky elderly people,” complete with maps of where they live so we can steer clear of them?
Sally Brady, Seattle
Children enliven the neighborhood
My wife and I have lived on the same block in Montlake for 50 years and have seen several waves of children enliven our neighborhood. We are grateful for their presence.
They are a cheerful reminder of continuity in our city and society. Diversity is the leaven in a community, and we would not choose to live in a place where everybody is like us.
David Lamb, Seattle
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