Each week, we highlight some of the most interesting or insightful reader comments on recent Seattle Times articles. Excerpts have been lightly edited for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

If you read a comment on seattletimes.com that you think should be included in next week’s roundup, email assistant metro editor Gina Cole at gcole@seattletimes.com.


Dr. James Joki grew up in Ballard. Then he helped make Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon possible.

“Dr. Joki delivered my daughter in 1987. I had no idea about any of this man’s extraordinary life before guiding me through my first pregnancy. Thanks again Dr. Joki for all you have done. <3″ — Jo S (July 13)

“Interesting to read about him, as we shared the same Aero classes at the U. Bright student, did his own thing in school as I remember. Always seemed to be a step ahead. Actually saw him in an old NASA Apollo film on television last year. Recognized him instantly. I remember he had decided to try for NASA, while another student hoped to become an astronaut, and some of us selected Boeing, among other companies and NASA complexes. I strongly suspect he had much more fun, LOL, although I enjoyed my time at Goddard SFC. Glad he was able to achieve his dreams.” — alfa12 (July 13)


Chess is credited with helping change Westlake Park for the better. Meet one of Westlake’s regulars.

“Great job, Downtown Seattle Association! Creating active spaces and keeping sidewalks clean. Wish the city would let you handle policing, too!” — User2000 (July 15)

“I’ve always been hesitant to play at Westlake because I thought they were all world beaters or something. I may have to bring my son down for some games this weekend.” — adritaylor (July 15)

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‘Empty all the tanks’: Group proposes sanctuary in San Juan Islands to retire captive orcas

“Any money spent on these wonderful creatures is money well spent. They deserve all the kindness we can do for them.” shortbread cookie (July 15)

“I agree that capturing and turning orcas into entertainment was a sick idea and should never be allowed. However, in the case of Lolita, it has been pointed out that at her age transporting and moving her to an alien environment is dangerous and could prove fatal.” Horace Benbow (July 15)


King County’s 2-day summit examines gun violence through a public-health lens

“Behavior is the problem. Tolerance of odd behavior preceding the eventual criminal conduct should be called out. Criminals don’t just wake up one day and decide to start assaulting people, stealing property and harming people. They evolve over time. Typically, the behavior is excused or rationalized along the way by those in positions to directly challenge it and correct the problem. Real love isn’t always a hug and a cookie; it’s also instilling legitimate values, clarifying productive expectations, expecting compliance with laws, holding people accountable, coercively addressing failure if necessary. While pretty much any inanimate object may be used as a weapon, and a gun certainly is very dangerous if misused, it’s the behavior of the individual that should be the focus. BTW, I don’t have a big interest in firearms but I do in crushing irresponsible, criminal conduct.” — user1109819 (July 16)


With sobering center closed, King County is dropping homeless people off in ERs to sleep

“Enabling people to continue in their ‘chosen’ addiction is not a kindness to them or their families. But you can’t stop at the ‘tough’ and forget the ‘love.’ After you say ‘no,’ you need to say, ‘When you are ready to quit, I’m here to help you.’ Beyond that, let’s remember that some of these addicts were 10- or 12-year-olds when they made the ‘decision.’ Logic says that we should help the children who are in crisis — on the verge of taking that first drink; being offered that first pill. We can’t expect children who are without mature training or support to make wise decisions. People outside my family helped me when I was a kid. The least I can do is help a kid myself.” — user580993 (July 16)


Up to $3.80 a day: Uber suggests possible downtown tolling program for Seattle

“We pay for congestion one way or the other, whether it’s in the form of tolling or time lost while stuck in traffic. It makes sense to incentivize the behavior that might actually help to reduce congestion (i.e. not driving into downtown Seattle during peak commute times). Let’s just make sure that the revenues get reinvested in mass transit infrastructure to make that option more viable for more people. ” — seattlecoug08 (July 17)


Parks director complaint claims King County executive pressured county into lucrative contract with David Meinert

“Political cronyism is a thing. We must carefully guard against its harms. But what happens when the hand-picked cronies are truly the best people for the job, and have the greatest potential to maximize value and impact for county residents? Not clear that that’s the case here, though it’s also unclear if the inverse is true. … Also, we all have bosses and it’s generally appropriate if we are held accountable for our failure to live up to their directional feedback. Just unclear based on what’s presented whose arguments have the most merit. For one, it would be great to know if the most recent finally awarded contract from fall 2018 included an obligation to maintain that mansion. Strikes me as something that should’ve been included in the RFP. That said, it does seem like Dow was a bit too closely involved with this one particular contract. For these reasons, it strongly suggests an appearance of impropriety. But I think we should wait until the ombuds releases their final report to make that determination.” — user4198578 (July 18)