Effective step

Dear Editor:

Don’t be distracted by the smoke the petroleum industry is blowing over I-1631. Human-caused climate change is an emergency that must be acted upon now; no “buts.” There is consensus that the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to put a price on them. I-1631 applies that price over a class of large carbon-emitters competing in our state’s marketplace (not local monopolies like our utilities), incentivizing them to implement carbon-reducing measures quickly, thus reducing the fee, in order to give them a market advantage over their competitors.

This carefully crafted and thoroughly vetted initiative even allows them to keep the fee so long as they invest in cleaning up their own operations; a true win-win. It can’t be assumed that any fees paid will be passed dollar-for-dollar to Washington consumers. These giant companies will naturally employ their global capacity to preserve market advantage by keeping costs as low as possible in Washington.

Further, the use of appointed boards to administer budgets 10 times the size of these carbon fees is tried and true in Washington, such as the multi-billion dollar annual operating budgets of our state universities. We must be afraid of the consequences of not acting to combat climate change. We must not be afraid to accept the recommendation of dozens of economists and scientific and other qualified organizations to take this small but effective act to save our own bacon.

Travis Thornton, Winthrop

Noma for prosecutor

Dear Editor:

I urge voters to consider personal qualifications of candidates — rather than simply party affiliations. My votes for unaffiliated/independent candidates Anne Diamond and Salley Bull are for their ability to unite people rather than divide them. I support Democrat Christine Brown for joining these independents in their push for good health care for all.

I support Republican Arian Noma for Okanogan County prosecutor because he addresses, with knowledge and passion, a consistently minimized issue. In 2015, the United States held 21 percent of the world’s prisoners, while representing only around 4.4 percent of the world’s population. Zero tolerance school policies, prosecution of juveniles for minor “crimes” (Google “School to Prison Pipeline”) and failures to grant due process all increase incarceration of youngsters who later return to prison. Noma’s experience teaching and in the legal sector of our nation’s capital has enhanced his awareness of the implications of this local, state and national emergency.

Thirty-one years of full-time teaching, 27 of them in this county, confirm the tragedy here at home. A Native American girl joined my sixth-grade class in a district where I previously taught. The product of numerous foster homes, she had been sent to juvie for kicking another student under the table. In 2012, a Latino sixth-grader with problems requiring special education help since preschool was expelled from the same school without due process. Although the school was ordered to readmit him and retrain staff after his teacher’s complaint to the state, he had missed substantial schooling and didn’t make it; his teacher was reported to the state for “misbehaving with an officer of the court” for making one phone call to the prosecutor’s office asking for a (non-existent) Spanish-friendly phone number the mother could call about paperwork sent to her in English.

Vote Noma.

Isabelle Spohn, Twisp

Hawley for sheriff

Dear Editor:

I have been a police officer or administrator for quite a few years. I have lived in Okanogan County for over 40 years and graduated from Okanogan High School, which is where I first met Tony Hawley. Despite being in different graduating classes, I admired his character and leadership even then.

Tony’s passion for serving the public is evident in every action he takes. He seeks to improve himself at every opportunity and works with his team to improve their abilities. Tony’s confidence in his own ability and that of his team can be seen at every incident he responds to. It is this confidence that often de-escalates a situation or soothes a victim in crisis. This confidence and ability also make Tony one of the most highly respected law enforcement officers in the county.

Tony is the kind of person I want to see in a key leadership role. He exemplifies strength and effectiveness and does so with a strong sense of integrity. If Tony is wrong, he owns it and makes it right. Tony can make the difficult decisions, empower and inspire others even in the most-difficult of situations. This is evident in the way he trains and runs the North Central Washington Special Response Team.

He is a great communicator whose goals and expectations are always clear. This is evident not only in the way he deals with his fellow team members but also in his interactions with the public on a daily basis. Whether he’s giving direction to an offender, providing guidance to a resident or empathy to a victim, Tony is completely invested in the situation and communicating toward a positive outcome.

I fully support and endorse Tony as Okanogan County sheriff. He has shown that he has the necessary qualifications to be a great sheriff and strong leader. I believe he will inspire his deputies to grow in their abilities and promote leadership excellence among his staff. Tony’s vision for the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and public safety are clear and he will hold his employees and deputies accountable, expecting their absolute best, regardless of the circumstances.

Todd C. Hill, Oroville

Diamond is best choice

Dear Editor:

Having Dr. Ann Diamond as a candidate on our November election ballot is an opportunity to place a nonpartisan official in our state government. Dr. Diamond has the qualifications and experience to help steer the process in Olympia. As a doctor, she has insight on how to cut medical and insurance costs, and know from experience the challenges that small businesses face every day.

Dr. Diamond has a positive energy and is a person that listens to both sides of an issue. She is articulate and truly focused on representing District 12. She is the ideal candidate to elect as our state representative for District 12.

Dan and Kim Webster, Brewster

Vote for change

Dear Editor:

Dr. Ann Diamond is running for Washington’s 12th Legislative District, Position 1. She is running as an independent, meaning no party affiliation. 

Her independence resonates in our rural area. Voters are embarrassed by the spiteful partisanship, government gridlock, and the lack of compromise and civility with elected officials. She has been door-belling across this large district, and voters from both parties want government to run better. Ann has said, “In some ways I can be very conservative and in other ways perhaps more progressive and it just depends on the issue.”

Ann has endorsements from organizations throughout our legislative district, but her campaign funds come from people. One-hundred percent of her financial support comes from individuals and small business owners. Her Republican opponent raised almost 50 percent from political action committees and businesses. This is another example of her focus on citizens. 

Ann is an invigorating choice for the voters of the 12th District because she will represent all citizens’ interests, instead of voting a party line. She is free to be the intermediary between both parties to influence policy and legislation that serves our needs. Having canvassed the entire district, she knows what people want. She would be the only medical doctor in the Legislature at a time when so many health care issues are in flux and will provide sound options for improvements and a reality check for politicians who don’t know the complexities of our present system. She will promote respectfulness and negotiation that can bring both parties’ members into a more productive approach to government.

Vote for change and vote for Ann Diamond!

Pat Leigh, Winthrop

Time to go

Dear Editor:

I saw one of Jim DeTro’s yard signs the other day, surprised the heck out of me — DeTro has to campaign? What a lovely world we are approaching! Salley Bull has really gotten under his skin.

But that wasn’t all that surprised me. He’s calling himself “the Common Sense Candidate,” which is a little like him claiming he founded the ACLU. People with common sense don’t support terrorists or end up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate-Watch list for advocating overthrow of the U.S. government. They don’t advocate “spaying and neutering” environmentalists. They don’t refuse to recognize climate change, when it’s burning up their forests and fields. They don’t openly flout duly passed ordinances in their own jurisdictions. Jim has done all of these, and more.

Above all, a common sense politician doesn’t make it so abundantly clear that he despises his constituents — any of them. We pay your salary, bro’.

I had a lot of fun reporting on commissioners’ meetings, back when we had the Terrible Trio up there, making hash out of governing Okanogan County and fools of themselves; some people thought I was writing satire. Last election, we got rid of Larry and Curly. Now it’s time for Moe to go.

Alan Fahnestock, Winthrop