Our readers' views
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tag those using false licenses
Our police and fire departments may experience significant cuts. Schools are counting pennies and state government faces a 7 percent across the board cut in programs. Put this on top of belts that have already been tightened over the past two years. To all those protesting these cuts, I say, “Stop your whining! We did it to ourselves.”
Drive south on I-5 and I-205 during the morning rush hour and count the cars with Oregon tags heading to work in Oregon. Drive north during the evening rush hour and watch the same cars returning to their homes in Washington. Now figure that, in addition to not paying the sales tax on those vehicles, each one represents at least one to two people who also use illegal Oregon driver’s licenses to claim the sales tax exemption when they shop. This problem is epidemic. We need to demand an end to this practice. Until that happens, smile and wave at your neighbors with their Oregon tags and thank them for using our government services for free and letting you pay their share of the tax bill.
Henry C. Geren II
Light rail is a viable topic for council
This is about ethics and integrity, something, in my opinion, Jeanne Harris doesn’t possess. I have watched her shuffle papers, drop pencils and roll her eyes when anyone on the Vancouver City Council is not agreeing with her. Apparently rules do not apply to Harris.
Anything pertaining to the city of Vancouver should be allowed to be heard by all. Light rail is a real sore spot for a good many citizens of Vancouver. The impact will be a horrible blow to a majority of people. It will be used by very few. Then we will have to pay for the cost of running the thing, as we do with C-Tran. Not a real good idea. Then, when there is ice or an accident on the lines, guess what? Send a bus to move the passengers to the next stop on the end of the line? I’m not a rocket scientist, so that makes no sense to me.
I have the opinion that if people read the stories in the paper and pay attention to this issue, they will probably think a recall is in order.
Alice M. Glessner
No need to fear right wing’s ranting
Listening to the hype of the right-wing spin machine, like Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Fox News, telling all Americans to fear Muslims, gays, Democrats, and of course President Obama, sounds like the leaders of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Nazis used fear, racism, and economic problems against Jews, immigrants, and others, thus taking over the German nation during a recession/depression from 1919 to 1933.
The right wing fear machine has started again as we near the mid-term elections. This isn’t the first time we have been lied to by these so-called moral values patriots. Fear, racism, and others moral values have been the reason many wrongs have been done to people and cultures through the ages. Remember when the same right-wing spin machine lied about weapons of mass destruction and need to repeal habeas corpus? If America continues to listen to these fear tactics, we as a nation will fail. Many of our troops in combat have faced fear, and still they continue the mission because of their courage and desire to protect the USA. We, the public they protect, must do the same.
Vote for the person, not the party.
Metre L. Ogdee
Electric cars aren’t so green
The Sept. 11 Columbian story “Finding the juice for electric cars” contained some glaring omissions. People, having a tendency not to look past the immediately obvious, will buy plug-in electric cars for their apparent “greenness” as they produce no nasty emissions while running on battery power. However, the electricity used to charge their batteries comes from beyond their charging stations. It comes from the grid, which is energized by power plants, and as 44 percent of America’s power comes from coal-fired power plants, plug-in electric cars are essentially 44 percent coal-powered. Experts have calculated that the 44 percent of the energy needed to move an electric car one mile is derived from burning 2 pounds of coal, so at a typical 15,000 miles per year, each vehicle will “burn” 30,000 pounds (over 13 tons) of coal. Green indeed!
Ironically, these vehicles will be “greenest” when their batteries are depleted and they switch to their back-up gasoline engines. Meanwhile, government greeny-weenies will give each buyer $7,500 of taxpayer money. Is this country messed up or what? If there was mass adoption of plug-in electric cars, where is all the extra electricity to come from? Hundreds of new power plants? Burning what? Coal? Horrors! Uranium? Even more horrors?
Tax-exempt status in jeopardy
We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because as many as 8,100 small community-based nonprofits in Washington state are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. This loss could impact the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions. Among the organizations that could lose their status are local sports associations, community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, and church-affiliated groups. The organizations at risk failed to file tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009 after a 2006 law change. Many organizations can comply with the new law by completing a simple 10-minute form online. They can preserve their exempt status under a one-time relief program, but only if they file by Oct. 15.
The IRS has made numerous attempts to alert these organizations. A list of the organizations that were at-risk as of the end of July is posted at http://www.irs.gov/ along with instructions on how to comply with the new law. As spokesman for the IRS, I encourage everyone connected with a small nonprofit group to make sure that their organization is aware of the law change and files their tax form before the deadline.
Logic does not follow opinion
Stephen Franklin White’s Sept. 14 letter, “Left wingers take liberal liberties,” makes no sense. Calling homosexuality an “abnormality” is akin to racism, bullying and similar bad behavior. People are born homosexual, so it is actually a sexual orientation, just as though others are born heterosexual. There is no choice. It is not a lifestyle.
What is White’s reasoning behind stating that “a correlation exists … that they can view the gay lifestyle as being OK is someone who can support mass murder”? Is this newspaper willing to pander to noisemakers who say anything off the top of their head? (Many people, alas, believe anything that is printed.) It’s a shame we are confronted with these kinds of letters when reading the paper for factual knowledge or logical opinions relating to everyday life.