April 24, 2022 Letters to Editors in The Olympian


Editorials and other opinion content provide insights into issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

The network of trails near Ellis Cove in Olympia's Priest Point Park offers spectacular fall color.

The network of trails near Ellis Cove in Olympia’s Priest Point Park offers spectacular fall color.


Thanks Dick Pust

Thank you Dick Pust and the little radio station perched on the tides of Budd Inlet. You are part of the history we will remember. We have often looked longingly at your office space with such a view of the Olympics, the kayakers, the families on the northern shores. These kayakers glide over the waters just as previous indigenous peoples did thousands of years ago. What a telescope in history you had!

From your seat, we can so much more easily imagine the tribesmen fishing from their canoes. Picking seashells from the beach and caring for the greens of the shores and forests. Gather food for their very sustenance. And, yes, native children playing in the sand like our grandchildren do now.

The view of history is a gift. We also acknowledge the story of how the white man claimed the land under its original inhabitants. Yes, the French missionaries were here on a sacred mission. They were good people in the service of God and had their own difficult journey.

I like that you’re sentimental, Dick Pust. Your own history in this space justifies this pride. I invite you and those who gaze out of restaurant windows, walk their dogs, take their grandchildren to Swantown or walk their dogs in the park, to see their eyes further. Look over this glorious cove, note the weather and what it’s like with the tide, the otters, the mist, and if we’re lucky, see the stark white of the Olympics. This breathtaking coastal land belonged to the Squaxin peoples thousands of years before us.

You are so lucky, Dick. I invite you to see more, to imagine further back, to dig deeper.

Kathy Baros Friedt, Olympia

‘Great American Defense Community’ says the sign

The Navy Seals, the spearhead of our nation’s sword, aren’t interested in Bigfoot stories around the campfire. In my opinion, by not allowing our special forces access to our public lands, Judge James Dixon failed in his duty as an American.

“It’s scary,” he said, and worried about how the formation might deter visitors. His decision brought discredit to himself, the Thurston County Superior Court, and the state of Washington.

Ryan Troy, Olympia

How much does saving a tree cost?

I am relatively new to Olympia, but am already involved in my community, advocating for climate issues and focusing on preserving urban forests and trees in our county. I focus on the benefits of trees for our climate goals, not because they are the most important components of the climate equation, but because we need all the pieces of this puzzle to be in place in time to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

I was a forest data analyst and planner for the US Department of the Interior for 30 years, so this fits my particular area of ​​expertise. I have commented numerous times at public meetings of Olympia City Council, Port of Olympia, Tumwater City Council, Thurston Regional Planning Council and State Legislators about the potential increase CO2 emissions resulting from the cutting of large urban trees and the clearing of forests for urban development.

We must reduce emissions from all sources: transport, buildings, electricity production. These essential reductions have a high initial cost for solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, electric vehicles, but we must make these investments. We also need to keep carbon sequestered in trees, soil, wetlands, otherwise we will increase emissions while trying to reduce them to zero.

A question: How much does it cost NOT to cut down a tree or clear a forest? My answer, very little. We can design our urban infrastructure around existing trees and forests instead of destroying them. We can redevelop underused, already urbanized assets.

Timothy Leadingham, Olympia

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