To the Editor:
Thanks for your coverage of the raid by federal and local law enforcement of two International District businesses for food stamp fraud [on the front page of last week’s issue]. Anyone wanting more information on this story should seek out KING 5 News’ hidden camera video story on this situation. Then they can judge for themselves about who is being truthful and who is lying. I suggest the editor of Northwest Asian Weekly does the same, then stand up for the truth.
This fraud is particularly galling when the state, the county, and the city are all struggling with serious budget problems and basic social services are being cut.
But it is clear that these greedy fraudsters are causing significant harm to the International District (ID) community itself. My child attends a school in the ID, and I’ve often wondered why it’s so full of sketchy characters who appear to be users and/or sellers of methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
Now, we know. Users come to the ID to (illegally) draw cash from their food stamp accounts in cooperation with criminal merchants. Dealers come because of these users who then have cash in hand.
Every business in the ID whose potential customers are afraid to visit the neighborhood is harmed by those who participate in this fraud. Every elderly community member who does not feel safe walking in his or her own neighborhood is a victim of these greedy individuals.
Those who have actively undermined the well-being of this community while presenting themselves as honest business-people should be named, shamed, boycotted, and ostracized. If the community newspaper won’t do it, who will?
— L. Dohrs, Seattle
Editor’s note: Next week, Publisher Ng will respond to this letter in her blog