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Letters to the Editor, Week of Dec. 28, 2022

Puget Sound Energy, e-bike policy, and social media

Editor,

Thank you to PSE [Puget Sound Energy] for the hard work of their crews during the continuing weather. We always talk about how long it takes them to respond, or other negatives, but very seldom have the chance to say how much we appreciate the long hours in unfriendly elements they work to restore electricity when we lose it. 

Sandy Brewer

Custer


Editor,

Regarding the statement in your Christmas electronic newspaper on e-bike policy, please note some other localities’ regulations:

a) An e-bike over 500-watt power level is no longer an e-bike — it should be considered a motorized bike not permitted on bike trails.

b) The biggest issue is noiseless operations, which scares pedestrians. Should mandate a continuous noise emitter or require a bell that must be rung upon approaching the backs of pedestrians.

c) E-bikes cost from $700 to $5,000 each so they are a magnet for bike thieves. The town/county should provide bike lockers at main bus stops (as at Western Washington University and at Everett transit hub) to provide carefree commuting and the costlier bikes should use a hidden Apple GPS tag so they can find it after it is stolen. This might be a logical addition to a county licensing/permit policy.

d) European regulations do not permit pedal-less operation; the motor must be assigned as pedal-assist-only operation. This also adds some sound to the operation so it is less likely to give pedestrians a heart attack.

David Fitzgerald

Glacier


Editor,

Since the beginning of the Social Security program (1935), Congress has consistently stolen funds from the Social Security Trust Fund to finance other programs.  

Any legal secretary can tell you that if a client’s trust fund (always subject to audit) is off by as much as a penny, you are in the deepest trouble.

Lynn McMillan

Concrete


Editor, 

For all the prominent conservative proclamations implying otherwise, including Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files,” I’ve found social media also silences left-wing environmentalist voices critical of the fossil fuel industry. It’s not just right-wing opinions being censored.

Also, my own Facebook and Twitter accounts were disabled without any explanation a little over three years ago; the relatively few “dislikes” I received while the accounts were operational originated from pro-fossil-fuel sources.  

Still, social media has enabled far greater information freedom than that allowed by what had been a rigidly gatekept news and information virtual monopoly held by the pre-2000 electronic and print mainstream news-media.    

Frank Sterle Jr.    

White Rock, B.C.

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