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Letters to the editor, Oct. 21 (Non-election-related)
To the editor,
Thank you for your excellent rebuttal to Bob Meadows’ column of last Friday (10-14-11). Fortunately, for my blood pressure, I read it before reading Meadows’ adjacent column. There is no left or right politics surrounding what is being called the “Occupy Movement,” only what is right and wrong.
I am a middle-age, small business owner who has survived the “Great Recession” largely intact. I guess I am part of what Meadows describes as a small fraction of the public since I was at Occupy Seattle in Westlake Park last Saturday along with 3,000 other people who agree with this movement’s goals. The people I saw there are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and even parents and grandparents of all races, ages and occupations.
While the global “occupy” message can sometimes get confusing, the overriding theme behind this grassroots movement is “Get The Money Out Of Politics”. Most rational people would, I hope, agree with this. The Citizens United case that the United States Supreme Court ruled on last year — giving corporations unlimited influence in our political elections — is but one example of how those with the most money (corporations and the 1%) will decide for the other 99% how we live, work and die. Do you really trust these people to look to look out for your best interest?
Don’t get me wrong Bob, I believe in the free market system just as much as you, but I want it to be fair to everyone, not just the politically connected.
Land takings for permit illegal
To the editor:
Last week, Dennis Oost of the Kitsap County Department of Community Development claimed in public hearing that Kitsap could require a developer to build trail through private property as “condition of development approval”, although the county has no title or easement interest in the property. The example he used was a county map already showing trails that private property owners oppose.
Mr. Oost apparently does not realize or care that such proposed action is thoroughly illegal, having been twice ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is illegal for government to exact such takings as condition of granting a permit. Possibly DCD Director Larry Keeton does not realize this either, since such practices are becoming a common extortion tool used by local governments to get property owners to give up property rights before granting permit approval. Many citizens ‘cave’ to these demands when they don’t have to.
Prosecutor Russ Hauge probably knows this. Government employees who perpetrate such a crime against private property are also subject to civil rights prosecution and sanctions of up to 10 years in federal prison.
The case law is found in Nollan vs. California Coastal Commission (1994) and Dolan vs City of Tigard (1987).