Letters to the editor for the week of Friday, May 31

Why isn’t the city asking for federal funding?

Dear editor,

I read the article on the lack of sidewalks in the city of Renton last week and had some comments. I am a private contractor that performs public works project in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Much of the information is correct for cost and demand for sidewalks in the city. However, there are several programs that the city can apply to to get federal funding to install sidewalks and crosswalks, specifically around schools. Many cities nearby do these all the time. Renton has not put out a federally funded road job in a long time.

It takes work from someone at city hall to get these funds and they aren’t.

Sincerely,

Mick C.

Renton

We need smart legislation on autoimmune disorder research

Dear editor,

Patients with autoimmune disease find ourselves between the proverbial rock and hard place. Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and the disease I suffer from, scleroderma, are often treated with advanced therapies. Many health plans charge high co-pays and other costs for these medications, but innovative pharmaceuticals are also the best hope for long-term management and eventually cures for these diseases.

In other words, patients with autoimmunity often need help affording treatments we need today, but we also need progress toward better therapies and cures tomorrow. This is the needle we are asking elected leaders to thread.

My disease, scleroderma, is relatively rare. This makes research and development extremely sensitive to political or regulatory disruption. It’s more difficult to earn back a profit on therapies for conditions with small patient populations, so drug makers are cautious about entering this market. Ill-considered legislation could deter them from investigating promising alternatives to the rather blunt-force treatments, like whole immune-system suppressants, currently available for scleroderma.

Policymakers shouldn’t be “penny wise and pound foolish” by putting too much pressure on the very companies capable of discovering new treatments, which could ultimately reduce the need for joint replacement surgeries, emergency interventions and other healthcare spending. I believe we can lower out-of-pocket costs for patients while protecting innovation. Otherwise, the wrong decisions in Washington, D.C., could freeze medical progress where we are now, and that’s just not far enough along for millions of people with autoimmune disease.

Sincerely,

Kris Garthe

Kent

Who benefits from speed limit changes?

Dear editor,

Lowering the speed limit to 20 mph will certainly accomplish what it is intended to, namely to increase the income from speeding tickets.

A side affect, which has those in the insurance business gleefully wringing their hands, is that speeding tickets cause drivers’ insurance rates to soar, perhaps tripling.

I suppose the athletically elite who ride bicycles don’t care, but the rest of us do care and we care a lot.

Don’t let this pending ordinance come before the (Renton) city council. We the people don’t want it.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Roger

Renton

Reader finds issue with Reporter headline

Dear editor,

Although I am an older white male, I am writing to protest your front page headline in the May 17 edition, regarding Emily Blundren.

I am offended at your shockingly patronizing statement that some unspecified person or group is “making room in STEM for girls.” First of all, the whole article is about Emily’s accomplishments, so why not go with your headline on page 9, “Hazen junior Emily Blundren wins trip to Houston,”?

Secondly, and more importantly, there has never been a need to “make room.” Women have been in the hard sciences as long as we have recorded history. Remember Marie Curie, just for one obvious example?

Third, please use the word “women” rather than patronizing with “girls.” Or you need to say “young women.”

Sincerely,

Ned White

Renton

Save our Orcas, write your representative

Dear editor,

The southern resident orca is in definite danger of dying out. There are only 75 of these beautiful creatures left in (Pacific Northwest). They migrate up from the northern tip of California to breed and feed in the Puget Sound.

Without our timely action the calls will no longer be heard on our coasts. I’ve seen an orca in my life only once and its majestic breaching mysterious, dark waves shocked and reminded me that humans are the dominant life force on land.

I see that your newspaper is aware of older derelict boats sinking into the Puget Sound. These boats aren’t the only neglected resources suffering from a lack of care in our waters.

There are only 75 of the southern resident orcas left! Awareness is the first step to action! By lobbying our senators Cantwell and Murray we can remove the lower snake dams holding the crucial food source of Chinook salmon.

Sincerely,

Jameson Gann

Tacoma

Have something to say? The Renton Reporter accepts letters 400 words or less each week. Please send letters by Monday mornings for the following Friday. Email the editor at dchastaine@soundpublishing.com

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