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Opinion

To protect our privacy, make the FISA court act like a real court

The expiration of key surveillance authorities this spring will force Congress to grapple with the sprawling spying activities exposed by Edward Snowden. Defenders of the status quo sound a familiar refrain: The National Security Agency’s programs are lawful and already subject to robust oversight. After all, they have been blessed not just by Congress but by the judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.

Annie Cubberly — Money spent on kids now saves us a bundle later

The Grays Harbor Early Learning Coalition applauds the Washington State Legislature for its strong bipartisan effort to pass the Early Start Act. Now, as we launch into the state budget process, we encourage the Legislature to fully fund the bill and affirm our state’s commitment to high-quality early learning programs that create long-term, positive outcomes for our children.

Locals again being shut out of environmental plans

In a recent guest column, County Commissioner Frank Gordon was singing the praises of the Washington Coastal Restoration Initiative (WCRI). It was a “warm and fuzzy” letter about saving salmon and creating jobs here in Grays Harbor County. Please don’t get me wrong; I am all for saving and actually increasing the salmon and steelhead runs in Grays Harbor County. And jobs — of course Grays Harbor County needs jobs!

Usurious banks

The state now has a tax crisis because the state Supreme Court has ruled that the state must comply with the constitutional mandate to properly fund our schools. The Legislature is now considering raising the gas tax to meet this crisis. This would unfairly impact the middle class and the poor. It is time to make the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, so we should reinstate the inheritance tax with proper exemptions. We need this money to properly educate our children and maintain a fairer tax burden.

Drivers don’t keep their distance

In reference to the March 3 Daily World story, ” Aberdeen police stop cars not yielding to pedestrians” — wonderful to see the police protecting the pedestrian. But there’s a problem. Many drivers fail to keep the three-second distance from the car in front.

Just budget responsibly

Frank Gordon’s guest opinion dated Feb. 24 is self-serving and does not represent the taxpayers and the other county commissioners. He correctly outlined the budget issues and the reckless spending over the years that he was part of.

Looking for a few good candidates

One very positive attribute of the style of government used by most cities in the Harbor, is that everyday citizens can become elected officials. The mayors and city council members are shopkeepers, woodworkers, students and retirees. Those who run for office must assume a responsibility to be informed about the issues. They must also connect with the residents they serve, asking their opinions on proposed developments.

Public schools are a bargain

In response to James Walsh’s Feb. 19 opinion piece — “What’s paramount is a fresh way to look at funding and conducting education” — stating the tuition at Central Washington University is slightly over $9,000, I think he might want to elaborate honestly on his facts.

Gracious Cornells

I would like to extend a big thank you to Making a Difference for Kids in Grays Harbor operated by Joe and Beverly Cornell. They have been very gracious and donated many needed items such as coats, hats, gloves, toys and numerous school supplies to the students at Lincoln Elementary School. As someone stated they are our earth angels.