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Originally published November 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 10, 2007 at 2:02 AM


"I attend a university that forbids Veterans Day memorials. What a shame!"

A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

Fish aficionados

Seared in memory: Salmon cut in huge chunks

Editor, The Times:

I grew up fishing. The generations before us did the same. Catching wild fish brought us together on the water, and cooking them brought us together at the table.

In my father's time, he has watched the decline of the salmon fisheries. He is sad to leave me a world that is degraded. I now bear the baton in my generation and will not stand by and allow the symbol of our culture to be endangered by unimaginative and elitist policymaking ["Fish to survive dam plan, agency says," Times, Local News, Nov. 1].

The Bonneville Power Administration is concerned with electricity; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is concerned with dams. They may say they are concerned with salmon, but this is like the lumberman who says he is concerned with bird nests.

I find it high corruption that agencies causing the salmon to go extinct are responsible for the plan to protect them.

The plan to protect salmon should be established by all relevant parties. Those whose livelihood, food and identity are tied to these fish should have a voice. Where are our political leaders on this issue?

There is a plan that is economically better for all of us in the Northwest. It is well-established and needs to be heard. It includes dam removal, rail transport, groundwater irrigation and wind turbines.

If we stay the course of degradation, to which hydroelectric and dam construction interests have brought us, we will continue with an outdated energy and transportation system and lose an irreplaceable resource to extinction.

— Tobias Person, Bellingham

Orca stripped thin

The new Federal Salmon Plan for the Columbia and Snake rivers is no better than the previous plans that have been rejected because they fail to provide salmon access to vital habitat in the upper reaches of the Snake River.

The resulting depletion of salmon runs and all the plants and animals that survive on an annual bounty of salmon far upriver is very real and very tragic.

Also very real are the 87 endangered southern resident orcas that depend for their survival on those chinook returning to the Columbia and Snake rivers each year, as they have for centuries. As the salmon disappear, the orcas go hungry.

The best science tells us that to revitalize Snake River habitats, we'll need to bypass the dams that block fish passage, and that dam removal, combined with a variety of economic investments, will bring benefits to upriver communities.

Where are the leaders who are able to see and describe the disastrous effects of dwindling salmon runs, who will guide habitat restoration and economic revitalization along the Snake River?

— Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Greenbank

Nothing left but skeletons

There's no irony lost on the Halloween release of the administration's newest Federal Salmon Extinction Plan for Columbia and Snake river salmon and the communities that rely upon them. Ghoulish. Spooky. Macabre. Choose your adjective. The zombies in the White House are still running amok — trying one last time to breathe life into the cold, dead, illegal salmon plans of the past.

Once again, the good people of the nation will be forced to rely on the federal courts for help driving a stake through the black heart of this "new" plan.

All puns aside, what we really need is leadership in Congress to demand and work toward a plan that is legal, that follows good science, makes economic sense, and solves problems — rather than perpetuates them.

Is leadership from Congress and Gov. Christine Gregoire — after $8 billion wasted taxpayer dollars and salmon still headed to extinction — too much to ask for?

— Brian Bennett, Federal Way

Prisoners of cell block

Life in isolation

I read "Cellphone jammers can zap all the yap" [page one, Nov. 4] with concern. While it is nice to be free from hearing cellphone conversations, jamming all cellphones in the area is an extreme measure.

Cellphones use a wide range of frequencies, so the jammers would have to transmit all of the channels to operate effectively. Unfortunately, many public-safety channels are in-between cellular frequencies and would also be jammed by these devices.

I'm sure nobody would want to prevent a first-responder from communicating during an emergency, but this is just what these devices are cable of doing.

Have we lost the ability to understand or get along with each other? Do we no longer know how to react appropriately to things that annoy us? Wouldn't some direct face-to-face communication ("please talk quietly") be better than buying and carrying around yet another expensive gadget that isolates us from the people around us?

Would you scatter boulders and cinderblocks on your road to prevent people from speeding past your house? This is the equivalent of using a cellphone jammer.

— Steve Webster, Mercer Island

The killer in sync

If cellphone users can jam calls, then why today can't all motor vehicles have a jamming device installed and hooked to the ignition so that, when it's turned on to start the vehicle, it kills the cellphone and all that other stuff that goes along with it — like games, texting, e-mail, etc. — so that all you need to do is drive.

If you need to make a call or play a computer game, stop and turn the ignition off and do it. That would make the highways a lot safer.

By the way, when does our joke of a law about not talking while driving become effective? I'm still seeing a lot of drivers still using cellphones.

— Ron Miller, Seattle

Military infraction

Fallout for recognition

I attend a university that forbids Veterans Day memorials. What a shame!

Without our veterans, the rule of law taught at this school would not exist. Without veterans and their many sacrifices, the liberal ideology espoused at this school could not be propagated.

So, on behalf of my school — er, I mean, on behalf of my family and friends and myself, and despite the law school that I attend and other misguided institutions: Veterans, please know we appreciate your sacrifice and your service.

— Apollo Fuhriman, Bothell

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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