Spend money on roads, not ferry terminal
In November Snohomish County voters will be asked to fund Edmonds Crossing, a proposed new ferry terminal that is on the Regional Transportation Investment District’s (RTID) list of road projects.
The cost will be $157,000,000: $127 million from RTID and $30 million from Sound Transit.
A new terminal is wasteful. The existing one was rebuilt in 1995 and will be in good shape of several years. Because of the new site’s bad location, millions of dollars must be spent to correct exposure and access problems. These facts have been known for a long time.
Recent action by the state Legislature has further complicated the matter. It places a two-year moratorium on terminal construction while the accuracy of ridership and cost figures are reviewed. Approval of the November ballot measure would provide funding for a terminal that may receive no priority. The ferry project has always been Edmonds’ idea as the Washington State Ferry system has consistently refused to fund that old pipe-dream.
Money appropriated for a needless ferry terminal would be better spent fully funding those state highways that can now be only partially upgraded because of increased construction costs.
Vote no in November. RTID is gambling that it can please every one by putting their pet project on the roads list, and then get the measure passed because of voter fear that it’s their only opportunity to approve worthy projects. Not so. By law RTID is allowed three chances to get if right. If it continues to reject real need as the chief criterion for requesting voter money, let it come back with its list a few more times.
Bush can’t take government from us
On June 8 the Enterprise printed a letter in which the writer asserted that the “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive” enacted a month ago laid the groundwork for our president and his cohorts to permanently take over.
For at least 50 years, our presidents have issued, re-issued and revised similar directives outlining means to ensure the U.S. survives a national emergency in a recognizable form. Until recently, this planning was motivated by fear of a coordinated, massive attack on our major cities and installations by the Soviet Union. The scenarios we envision now, horrifying as they are, are miniscule by comparison. Mass panic can be easily triggered though, and having plans in place to preserve continued functionality of our government, business and financial systems makes good sense.
As for a coup, I don’t believe this or any administration can take our government from us — unless we let it. In Albert Speer’s “Inside the Third Reich,” we see a chilling picture of a progressive, democratic society that did just that. They allowed themselves to be manipulated by men who played to their fears and their pride, and they relinquished control to them. The scary thing is not that the German people were different somehow, but that we all have the same fear and pride inside us, waiting to germinate.
We can control these weeds by informing ourselves about the world, by limiting individual power, and by assuring mankind’s rights to liberty, equality and justice. If we spend as much time on this as we do keeping up with “American Idol,” the standings in the various pro sports leagues, and the opinions of the pundits, we’ll have nothing to fear.
Everyone can do their part to stop genocide
Isn’t it odd how little people know about the genocide in Darfur? And for those who do know, isn’t it odd how little they do about it? The rest of the world rarely acknowledges the genocide in Darfur, but since the genocide began in 2003, more than 300,000 Darfurians have been brutally killed, displacing millions and breaking the hearts of millions in Africa, but almost none of the hearts in the rest of the world. While the U.S. has been pressuring the U.N. to take action on the genocide, it never seems to be enough to stop the violence. U.S. officials have been doing very little about it and acting like they are doing everything in their power to stop the genocide.
But we can’t expect our government to take action and end the violence if we don’t do anything, so the students of my World Studies class in Shorewood High School are giving the public a chance to help stop the genocide by simply donating one dollar to savedarfur.org. We will be collecting donations soon in places throughout Seattle in the coming weeks. You can take action simply by going to savedarfur.org, signing a petition to pressure Fidelity to divest from Sudan, or just by spreading awareness through everyday conversation, e-mail or over the phone.