Letter: To save 10 minutes, one accident per train crossing in Lakewood every 10 years

Amtrak Vermonter

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Point Defiance Bypass Environmental Assessment (Appendix F: Traffic and Transportation Discipline Report, p.83), “None of the individual crossings are predicted to experience accidents more frequently than one in every 10 years.”

This to save an estimated 10 minutes of Amtrak travel time from Seattle to Portland, and this in spite of proposed safety upgrades. [Read more…]

Letter: Snowmen meltdowns

We called him Frosty the Fairytale Facsimile, our token snowman.

No corncob pipe, just a stick. There were no carrots in the vegetable bin, so a stick served for the nose too. No rolling snowballs around in the yard. No snowman bigger and better than the neighbor’s. A scraped and mounded pile of snow served just as well in which to stick the obligatory twigs. No boots, no buttons, no broom. [Read more…]

Letter: The tree

Of all days for our annual family outing in search for the perfect Christmas tree, it was during a blinding snowstorm.

OK, half-an-inch of snowfall doesn’t qualify as a storm but the sun shining on the snow was indeed blinding. Though not enough to make a snowman, the snow in the winter wonderland almost-foothills of the Cascades had flocked all the U-cut Grand Firs, Douglas Firs, and Charlie Brown trees too. [Read more…]

Letter: Lakewood Spends Gambling Treatment Grant on Sea-doos

Part of Lakewood’s $55,503 grant to treat problem gamblers was used to buy one or more Sea-Doo’s to patrol Lake Steilacoom.

Public Disclosure Request (PDR) documents [(2012-2013) and (2013-2014)] recently obtained from the City of Lakewood reveal this and other less-than-admirable outcomes of a unanimous vote by the Lakewood City Council on August 6, 2012 to authorize the expenditure of $55K in federal grant money to treat problem gamblers. [Read more…]

Letter: Lie to me

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Good news: “Many app-makers are experimenting with software that can analyze someone’s emotions or honesty just by a few facial cues.”

Bad news: The app wasn’t available for elections just completed. [Read more…]