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Shelton Mason County Journal
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May 22, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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May 22, 2014
 

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continued from page A-4 Are we better off? Thursday, May 22, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-5 Editor, the Journal I really liked Ms. Peet's letter last week, supporting candidate Travis Couture for state senator representing the 35th Legislative District. That's not to say I agreed with her, I didn't, but she makes a couple of good points: Peet notes that Tim Sheldon has represented the 35th Districts for well over two decades, and then asks the question, "Are we better off?." Well, Mason County makes up the majority of the 35th District and we're an impoverished community with high unemployment, high crime, few economic opportunities and a dismal public health ranking. So, no -- I'd say we're not better off. I would add that in addition to rep- resenting the 35th District, Sheldon for the past 10 years has also served as a Mason County commissioner. So now I'm the one asking, are we better off?. Let's see. We're millions of dollars in debt, we lost the fairgrounds, ex- penditures exceed revenues by $3 mil- lion, and the $47 million Belfair sewer treatment plant threatens to displace residents and bankrupt the county. So, no -- I'd say we're not better offthere, either. But here's where Peet and I part company: Is candidate Couture the cure for what ails us? I doubt it. First of all, he's not a Republican; he's a Libertar- ian who discovered having an "R" in front of his name will get him more votes. In this way, Couture is no differ- ent than Sheldon, a Libertarian who runs as a Democrat. Secondly, Couture brings no more to the table than any other follower of Ayn Rand: privatiza- tion of public services, unregulated markets and a misguided notion that to be truly free we should all be allowed to do anything we want with our property- regulatory standards, community val- ues and the common good be damned. Besides, Couture has no relevant experience and no credentials to make him a serious contender for any politi- cal position, much less state senator. But I do agree with Peet in that we need new blood in the Senate. And if it happened that Couture should manage enough votes in the primary election, we'd be looking at a race between two political newbies in the general. And then, either way, we'd get our new blood. Now that I think about it, maybe Ill send candidate Couture's campaign a couple of bucks. Tom Davis Shelton Cost of war outweighs Benghazi tragedy Editor, the Journal It's back! The Benghazi tragedy. That tragic incident when four Ameri- can families lost loved ones for reasons not yet clearly explained. When this was first thrown at the feet of Presi- dent Obama, our "speaker" John Boeh- ner said, "I want to know who is going to jail for this." I wondered at the time why he didn't ask who would go to jail for the Iraq and Afghanistan "incident." According to Bill Moyers' "The Real Costs of War:" Total lives: 6,051 U.S. service mem- bers; 2,300 U.S. contractors; 266 hu- manitarian workers; 168 journalists; and 1,192 other allied troops. Total: 9,977. Total lives: 9,922 Iraqi security forces; 8,756 Afghan security forces; 3,521 Pakistani security forces; 11,700 Afghan civilians (collateral damage); 125,000 Iraqi civilians (collateral dam- age);  35,600 Pakistani civilians and "Wt00A00. Tf4iS iN FiNPiI00 A ,ABiTAfv00e P00I00eT?" insurgents; 10,000 Afghan insurgents; 10,000 members of SaddamHussein's army. Total: 214,599. Grand total lives: 224,576. Total wounded: 365,388. Total displaced: 7,815,000. Total cost: $1 trillion to $6 trillion projected into 2020. Who "misled" us then and who should go to jail? I'm going to wander from my original thought and suggest, maybe someone should donate a barf bag to Boehner to have on hand when he has to sit behind Obama while the president is speaking to the nation. He really appears he could be about to upchuck. I really shouldn't rag on Boehner because in 2011 he really com- plimented me for helping him unseat Speaker Pelosi and for being "one of the few loyal Republicans in Mason County and the only one in my unique voting district of Hoodsport." I filled out his survey stating I didn't agree with much he said. Because I am normally a generous person, I Scotch- taped two pennies to the form and returned it. On Oct. 3, 2011, I received a letter from The National Republican Congressional Committee thanking me for "my generous contribution of $0.02, which was to be used to strengthen their continued fight against the Obama agenda." The letter offered me the further opportunity to contribute $0.02, $0.03, $0.04 or more and to whom the check was to be payable to. One may not agree with these people, but isn't it nice to know some- one still has a sense of humor in these times? Charles Winne Hoodsport Vote Couture for state Senate Editor, the Journal I had the fine honor of serving with Travis Couture on the USS Alabama, a submarine stationed in Bangor, for more than four years. Not only was he one of the best sailors I've ever known, he is an outstanding and pa- triotic person. All of us in the military have a deep respect for the duty that we fulfill for God and country, but Travis always had a deeper sense of service to country. When he got out, we kept in contact, he poured himself into politics in an attempt to change the world around us starting from the very bottom. It wasn't a surprise that i Journal Letter Policy The Journal encourages original letters to the editor of local interest. Diverse and varied opinions are welcomed. We will not publish letters that are deemed libelous or scurrilous in nature. All letters must be signed and include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number, which will be used for verification purposes only. All letters are subject to editing for length, grammar and clarity. To submit a letter, email adam@masoncounty.com, drop it off at 227 W. Cota St., or mail it to P.O. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. he quickly climbed in political circles. Anyone that has had the opportunity to listen to him speak can see the pas- sion and fire in his heart. Most impor- tantly, the Travis that I always knew was standing by at a moment's notice to pull a shipmate out of danger even if it meant his own life. Service members know that you fight for your country, its people, and the constitution. But sometimes we forget that we fight for one more thing, the service member be- side you. I'm supporting Travis because when he gets to the Senate, I know he's going to fight for the people just like he fought beside his fellow sailors. I'd vote for Travis Couture because I trust him with my life, why not our vote? Jonathan Furman Port Orchard More study needed on funding Editor, the Journal On April 25, the city described a funding need "to complete basic improvements, in the amount of $9,009,900 with $2,095,030 being designated for loan forgiveness. The improvements are for completion of Angleside booster pump station; up- grades to well No. 3 and No. 1; new storage and treatment at well No. 1; and associated distribution system improvements to connect the above im- provements to the system. In the same document, it states an agreement with a company, EFI, to work on the Angle- side improvements for the amount of $478,841.29 at that'price until May 9 (an extension). It wasn't done and now states, "After that date EFI will be in a position to renegotiate their prices and it is likely that an increase will be requested." So it seems that the chart given for the rate increase is not neces- sarily correct. It could be higher. ........ Now, for the May 19 city meeting, the city is talking about sewer funding and how much those rates will go up from the rest of the year through 2020. This is clear, but what isn't is the in- formation given that doesn't give much information. The brief states, "in recent years, our city has been obligated to borrow $56 million to help fund a series of sewer system-related rehabilitation projects. These projects were mostly to replace aging systems that no lon- ger operated as originally intended, let alone well enough to meet current standards." Has the $56 million been spent, and if so, on what? What is the "at least one more project to do that will require $6.5 million and will after a grant require a little over $4.6 million in another loan?" What could be so necessary as to add this new project when the city is already so heavily in debt, as is the county? The idea of hiring local graduate stu- dents or recent graduates may or may not be a good idea. Won't they have to be trained for this particular job, and how will the public feel about paying $18 an hour if they are not making more than minimum wage? How much longer can the city and county keep bor- rowing money and how can it be on the backs of this poor community? Will the city ever be able to get out of debt? The Great Recession (I believe it is a depression) started in 2007. Was any- one noticing that it wasn't getting better as more money was being borrowed? This seems to need more study and more answers as to where the money goes and how carefully it is being han- dled. The city and county need new inno- vative ideas to raise the economic level for the citizens; to get out of last century thinking and into the modern world. As a citizen, you might want to come to these meetings and ask hard ques- tions. Patricia Vandehey Shelton J"  : i /: