Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Doctors work on politicians

Eric Berto’s March 2, 2005, Whidbey News-Times article, “Get creosote out,” brings attention to the high cost of toxic clean-ups. As a medical doctor, I support efforts to clean up pollution and protect public health, but why not save on clean-up and health care costs by preventing toxic pollution in the first place?

This is exactly what we should be doing with toxic flame retardants (PBDEs). PBDEs, chemical cousins of now-banned PCBs, are used in TVs, computers, furniture and carpeting. These chemicals are building up in the environment, our bodies and even in the breast milk of Puget Sound moms, and they can impair memory and learning in laboratory animals at low levels.

Reasonable substitutes are available. An important vote is about to happen in the state Legislature on a bill to ban these dangerous chemicals. I have joined a group of 21 Whidbey doctors and nurses in urging Rep. Barbara Bailey to vote “yes” on a PBDE ban.

Major medical associations including the Washington Academy of Family Physicians also support PBDE elimination. Preventive medicine makes sense!

Replacing PBDEs with safer substitutes is a smart investment in protecting public health and our children.

Sally Goodwin, M.D.


Wrong facts

affect kids

This is the first time I have ever written in response to someone’s letter, but Mr. Bettner (Letters, Feb. 26), prompted me to write.

The money collected for the Critical Area Ordinance and the money for the schools are two completely different things. Sheldon, McDowell and Byrd have nothing to do with the distribution of the taxes that go to the schools. The planning department, which is footing the bill for the attorney, is “fee supported,” you know. When someone applies for a building or land use permit, your “school taxes” are not paying for this. Now, if you’ve gotten a building or land use permit, that’s different, you can gripe. When there is a problem with the school, you cannot go to the commissioners’ to voice your complaints. It is not in their power to address school issues. That is what the school board is for.

I don’t know from your letter what you are angriest about, the GMA or the school levy, but neither have anything to do with the other. Get your facts straight. Just because you are mad they are hiring an attorney from Seattle to represent the county, you want the kids to pay for it. You voting “no” for the schools doesn’t affect the running of the county, but it will affect the kids!

Cindy White

Oak Harbor

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