Letters for week of April 10
Don’t blame cats for killing birds
Editor, The Beacon:
I would like to comment on Janet Carroll’s column on cats vs. wildlife [“The conflict between cats and wildlife,” The Beacon, page 5, April 3].
Please remember why there are feral colonies – some thoughtless human dumped a cat or kitten they no longer wanted.
As a cat rescuer, not by choice but the inability to look away from a needy animal, our family has rescued more than 100 cats. We have neutered them, often times nursed them back to health and found homes for them, always indoors only.
But it is a myth that a feral cat can’t be a pet. Yes, it takes time, sometimes years for an abused animal to feel safe enough to trust. But when they do, the reward is amazing. My “feral” cat is sitting next to me as I write this with a Q-tip in her mouth.
A feral cat deserves what we all deserve – food, shelter, safety.
Our vet explained to us that an indoor cat often lives to 16 years old. An indoor/outdoor cat lives only two years. And an outdoor cat’s death is usually terrible.
Being an animal lover, I also hate to see a bird killed by a cat, but let’s not forget whose fault this really is and stop blaming an innocent animal for trying to survive.
Thoughts on coal dust pollution
By Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s own figures, the four daily coal trains traveling through Washington heading to Canada or to the states’ last remaining coal plant combine to leave a staggering 120 tons of coal dust per day, according to a Sierra Club statement.
Solution: Cover the open coal cars so that the coal dust cannot escape. Problem solved.
If we are using coal regardless of how the public feels about it, then we should not waste and pollute the environment with the coal dust, which can be used to generate electricity.
Donate to the Aaron Zarate garage sale
It's that time again when the Zarate family and friends honor our love and memory of our Aaron by helping students of the Mukilteo School District.
For the seventh year we will host our annual Aaron Zarate Scholarship Garage Sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26-28 at our home at 4902 99th St. S.W. in Mukilteo.
Donations of clothes, toys, household items, furniture, tools and more are accepted now until April 27. No computers or mattresses.
Please don't be shy about donating your stuff. If it's in good shape, we will attempt to sell it! We will also be selling drinks, hot dogs and snacks.
The Mukilteo yard sales are HUGE! The whole city of Mukilteo participates. It's a great opportunity to raise money and find some great deals. Showing your support by donating is HUGE and we need your stuff!
But we also need you to encourage others to donate or stop by, shop, or have a hot dog or even pass the word on.
We can also try to pick up donations. We have a few weeks left, so contact us. The Zarate family would love to hear from you, and this is a great opportunity.
For more information, please visit www.aaronzaratescholarship.com and look us up on Facebook and "like" our page to help grow our garage sale fundraiser for Aaron Zarate Scholarships that helps kids help themselves!
In our Aaron's loving spirit,
If passed, bill would hurt brewery business
We are writing in opposition to Gov. Jay Inslee's proposal to "extend and expand" the current beer tax, which was intended to be a temporary tax.
In 2010, then Gov. Gregoire imposed a 50-cent-per-gallon tax during the worst of the economic recession. It was intended as a way to create short-term revenue while the economy could rebound. It was intended to end in June 2013.
Senate Bill 5039, extending and expanding the temporary beer tax, would greatly impact the craft beer industry here in Washington state.
In order to raise an estimated $128 million in education funding, the state would, in essence, slow a swiftly growing industry that has consistently created jobs, supported local economies, as well as the state's tourism revenue, and taken active roles in their communities.
Increasing taxes on barrels almost 300 percent, from $8 to $23, will slow industry growth, make us increasingly less competitive, and ultimately pave a rocky path to demise for smaller craft brewers in Washington.
Why is it that Washington will become the third highest in the nation for beer taxation? How can Oregon and Idaho tax at percentages that are almost 75 percent less than our state? How will our small breweries compete? They won't.
Inslee is setting a dangerous precedent by pulling beer aside and punishing innovation and quality without any representation from the small craft brewers themselves. Why isn't the wine and distilled sprits in this discussion, as well?
Craft brewers haven't sat at the table during these discussions. Inslee even unveiled this budget plan at a time when a large percentage of our brewers and guild reps were in Washington, D.C. at the Craft Brewers Conference.
Diamond Knot Craft Brewing, established in 1994, employees about 100 people, operates four retail locations and gives generously to its communities.
Over the past year, Diamond Knot has invested nearly $1 million to expand its retail operations and increase employment opportunities. This extended tax could devastate Diamond Knot operations and force the company to reduce employment.
Over the past century, Washington's craft brewing industry has turned passions into hobbies and hobbies into viable businesses that create tangible revenue directly and indirectly for communities and the state, as a whole.
Something will have to give, and ultimately it will be Washington state's successful craft brewing community.
If you are in opposition to Senate Bill 5039, write your legislators now. To find legislators in your district, visit app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.
Director of Communications
Diamond Knot Craft Brewing,