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Comments from readers
In your recent column about the world wide toilet revolution with the effort to expand the availability of public toilets, you wrote that most grocery stores did not allow customers to use their employees facilities, which was why Rep. John OBrien drafted the bill mandating public johns in new stores, writes Bill Farrell of Federal Way. I dont recall being turned down when I shopped, although, thanks to Rep. OBrien, my store has added a public facility. Why didnt the other grocers allow use of employee facilities?
It was one of OBriens constituents who complained that her children were not allowed to use the employee facilities. Having bullied my way into use of same when necessary in the stores I frequented, I believe the answer is that store employees frequently left personal belongings in the restrooms they expected to be frequented by them only.
I got into an employees toilet at a state park rangers cabin some years ago on the Olympic Peninsula after practically threatening to pee on the floor and could hardly reach the object of my need for all the underwear and socks hanging in there.
What, writes Beverly Williams of Centralia, do you think should be done about the 10-year-old boy whose playing with matches started that fire in Los Angeles County in California that burned off 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes? I see they are letting him go, saying he was just a kid and it was accidental. But arent parents responsible for what their minor children do?
Well, first, to take action against anyone for arson, you have to find malice, proof that the fire was started deliberately to cause harm and this apparently wasnt the case. To go after the boy for unlawfully starting a fire, they still would have to prove he intended to do harm, in which case he could be incarcerated for three years.
True, his parents should have counseled him against playing with matches, which little vice I often have cited as causing more problems than a gun kept where kids can get at it.
But most parents do, Im sure. My parents did, yet one of my brothers lit off the window curtains in his bedroom and went outside and swung in a swing, watching it burn until it was discovered and put out.
Another brother played with matches in a clothes closet and the resulting fire burned up most of the dresses my sisters and I kept there. Both brothers grew up to be good fathers to children who didnt display any childhood fascination for fire.
I was shocked to read a news story the other day about a survey claiming that two thirds of Americans think it is possible some federal officials knew Sept. 11, 2001 was coming but did nothing about it, writes Kenneth Benson of Ellensburg. How much credence do you put in these surveys?
Little or none. This survey was conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University of 811 randomly selected adult residents of the U.S. from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 and updates their 2006 survey, where only one third of the respondents were of that belief. It makes me suspicious that the news story by Scripps Howard quotes a University of Florida law professor who interprets the findings as proof people think the Bush administration is incompetent. That the American public increasingly distrusts the federal government. But whos aiding and abetting that distrust? The mainstream media. How random was this selection of 811 out of 300 million people? From cities or rural areas as well? How prominent were the coastal regions with their nests of liberals? This is just another stoking of the Hate Bush fire to ensure a Democratic victory in 2008.
Adele Ferguson can be
reached at P. O. Box 69, Hansville, WA, 92340.