Letters to the editor for October 29, 2020 in The Olympian

Marilyn Strickland supports women veterans Nationwide, there are 2 million women veterans like me. In

Marilyn Strickland supports women veterans

Nationwide, there are 2 million women veterans like me. In fact, women comprise the fastest growing sub-population of both our military and veteran populations. Women veterans make up 10 percent our veteran population and it’s slated to grow to 18 percent by 2040.

That’s why it’s important we have a leader in Congress who focuses on women veterans and ensuring we have equitable access to resources we have earned, like health care. Former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland is that person. She’s from a military family, has made supporting women veterans a priority, and will work to support the 2 million women who have served in the U.S. military.

Marilyn’s leadership on supporting women veterans sets her apart, and it’s one reason why I am part of the “Veterans for Marilyn” coalition and am supporting her for Congress.

Courtney Swanson, Olympia

Check your voter status

I learned my voter status had been changed to inactive since the last election. My husband’s ballot arrived and mine didn’t. After reading The Olympian’s Oct. 11 article, I checked just for “fun” and was shocked as I could think of no reason for the status change.

It turns out a ballot, likely my primary ballot, was considered “undeliverable” and returned to the elections department. And my voting status was changed. I called when my primary ballot didn’t arrive and received a replacement. Updating my status online Sunday did not re-activate my voting status, I learned today from Thurston County Elections, though according to the elections webpage I did have active status. I called to confirm my ballot would be mailed and learned I’m still inactive. So I’ll drive to SPSCC and update it in person.

My concern is others may be unaware of a similar situation. This year’s election is so incredibly important and we already have challenges to our ordinary way of doing things. This unexpected situation would have taken precious days more if I hadn’t checked. My goal months ago was to receive my ballot, vote and return it to drop box the same day. It still is but now with a lot more work to chase it down.

Please check your voting status online and call if you haven’t received a ballot.

Thank you. Vote!

Patricia Bracken, Olympia

Know your judicial candidates

I read with interest The Olympian’s endorsements, particularly regarding the state Supreme Court. Although it’s true that Helen Whitener’s opponent, Richard Serns, has “no judicial experience,” in actuality, he has little to no legal experience at all. Dr. Serns, it seems, just passed the state bar in May of this year and has never practiced law before.

Why would someone with no experience seek the highest legal position in the state? He may be betting on the fact that many voters do not educate themselves on judicial candidates.

There are some excellent resources for learning more about judicial candidates, such as vote411.org and votingforjudges.org. Votingforjudges.org includes ratings for candidates by various legal organizations, all of which ranked Helen Whitener as “exceptionally well qualified.” Dr. Serns, on the other hand, was only rated by one organization as “not qualified” and the others did not rate him at all, since he has no legal background to rate. I’d urge everyone to review the candidates’ backgrounds prior to voting.

Shelley Kneip, Lacey

Your vote

Our nation has now begun the process of voting in the most pivotal national election of our history. An election where the very core of our democracy hangs in the balance.

We can vote for the completion of self-serving actions by the president and his selected minions to shred the constitution, creating total destruction of an elected government by and for the people; replaced by total servitude to a wannabe authoritarian dictator.

Or we can elect federal, state and local representatives to continue our novel social experiment solidified as written long ago in the U.S Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal” . . . endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A shining legacy to the world which throughout our history American men and women of every color, creed and immigrant nationality have fought and died to preserve.

Do you want to keep in power a self-serving leader, administration and political party whose continuing actions bring world shame to our country and peril to our very foundation? Or give hope to building back better and “Make America Sane Again.”

Your vote is the choice!

Robert Swanson, Olympia

Mason County cannot afford Randy Neatherlin

Mason County cannot afford four more years of Randy Neatherin as county commissioner and he does not deserve to be reelected.

He has cost us over $65,000 (over $35,000 in legal fees and $30,000 in a judgment against the county) by his misrepresentation of the facts regarding a proposed 66-acre gravel pit in an area zoned residential on the shores of Hood Canal, and the stashing of the pertinent file at his home so that the public lacked the facts to comment or appeal the county’s decision on the project. All this he did to help his friends, the principals of Grump Ventures obtain a gravel pit permit on the shores of Hood Canal. The same friends he vacationed with in Ireland! Randy refuses to release the records.

However, that is only the beginning of our possible losses. If Randy and his friends get their gravel pit permit which is now being adjudicated in federal court, Mason County could end up paying damages to the homeowners on the shores of Hood Canal.

Randy Neatherlin has let us down, he has cost us big bucks and he has endangered the eco system of Hood Canal through his cronyism. Vote him out.

Earline Legge, Belfair

Yes to Kim Wyman

I generally vote Democratic but really vote based on my assessment of candidates. Kim Wyman has demonstrated her ability in previous years and I fully support her now! She works fervently to protect our right to vote in Washington without regard to party. She deserves our support now!

Marilyn Macdonald, Tumwater

Put Medicare For All front and center

I’m writing this letter because I want to urge both candidates in the race for the 10th Congressional District to make Medicare For All a central issue. I am sharing my personal experience in the hope it will show the importance of making single-payer healthcare a human right.

I grew up in a military family, and until I was 16 was covered by TriCare, and went to Navy hospitals for medical care. I never worried about the quality of care we would receive, or whether it would be more than my family could afford. I long for the days when I had that peace of mind.

This summer I had a bicycle accident that cost me almost $2,000 even after my insurance paid out. I seriously thought about not going to the hospital at the time, until I realized that I would need stitches. Non-emergency care hasn’t been much better: I had to find a new optometrist because the doctor that I had been seeing for the last eight years was no longer “in network.” And they say that a market-based system provides “choice.”

I understand that the Affordable Care Act was an improvement for its time, but the current crisis, and my own experience, has made its shortcomings apparent. We need Medicare For All now. I hope both candidates will put this front and center once they’re in office.

Cory Miller, Tumwater

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