Letters to the Editor for July 12, 2011

CCIA accomplishes goal

Five years ago a group of us met on a park bench at Marina Park to talk about how we could preserve and protect the Parkersville Historic site.

We were shocked that the Port had purportedly given developers exclusive rights to develop 65 acres on the waterfront without first inviting the public to comment on such a proposal.

We were told by a prominent attorney familiar with such matters that we should get incorporated and to acquire insurance, because community members in similar situations were often recipients of “slap suits” to keep them quiet.

With this advice, we formed Concerned Citizens in Action.

I’m proud to say that I was one of the founding members of this organization. Other founding members of CCIA were Jeff Guard, Mariann Guetter, Richard Hamby, Ceil Kirchner, Martha Martin, Susan Stauffer and Bill Ward. We asked many questions about open public process, including why wasn’t the proposal advertised for competitive bid, and why the background of the developers wasn’t researched before a contract was awarded.

I don’t need to rehash what transpired over the last five years. But, I’m very pleased that the Port and the City of Washougal took action last month to officially rezone the Parkersville Historic Site (including Marina Park) to be zoned community park. This was our goal from the very beginning.

Now that our goal has been accomplished, I have decided not to pursue re-election to the CCIA Board of Directors. My term expired on June 30, but I am very proud to have served with this group. We may have initially tried to save a park, but in the end, we may have played a small part in saving the Port.

Roger Daniels, Washougal

FAA money will support economic development

The FONSI (‘Finding of No Significant Impact,’ not to be confused with the one on Happy Days) has been received from the FAA by the Port of Camas-Washougal. The vote will be July 19.

Now that no impediments are in place to improve Grove Field, will Mr. Ripp and the Port authority go forward, or send $10.2 million dollars to another locale because they will have said “don’t need or want it to improve Grove” and it will go to another locale who will welcome it with open arms.

After spending $100,000 to hire the new, handpicked, former Mayor Paul Dennis, (ethics alert! He voted for the money to go to the unnamed candidate as mayor, and then went to the other side of the table to receive it), Mr. Ward, Mr. Lampton and Mr. Macrea-Smith will now vote to send $10 million to improve Grove Field, or will vote to kill economic development at Grove.

It just doesn’t make sense to spend $100,000 to find economic development and then turn down more than $10 million dollars of economic development. What was the logic of hiring Dennis in the first place? Could it be that the Port really doesn’t want economic development but did want a mayor to benefit? (wink, wink).

John P. Brooks, Camas

No reason to vote for Cahoon

You may not have noticed, but it’s election season and we are presented with three choices for commissioner of the Port of Camas-Washougal.

There is the incumbent, Commissioner Bill Ward. In his first term he courageously outlasted the RiverWalk fiasco and the former commissioners that perpetrated it. Then he led the current commission in encouraging a high level of public involvement, completing a strategic planning process to guide the Port in the future, securing lasting protection for the park at Parkersville National Historic Site, guiding our Port to a solid financial footing and working to develop a plan for the best future uses of our waterfront.

And there’s Dave Luse. He’s a long-time Grove Field airport neighbor, pilot and flight instructor. The Grove Field pilots never had better representation for their interests than when Dave was president of the Camas-Washougal Aviation Association.

Then there is Neil Cahoon, another Grove Field pilot and Camas-Washougal Aviation Association member. He’s one-half of a good cop-bad cop team, along with his significant other Liz Pike. Neil in his soothing tones and Liz with her attack-dog style each take their part presenting a unified message.

At the July 5th Port meeting that message was a charge that all three of our current Port Commissioners are on the take, selling their votes to the highest bidder. This absurd charge has no basis in fact. What a strange way to kick off a campaign!

The fact is, Neil and Liz were strong supporters of the RiverWalk disaster and the previous commissioners that were responsible for that expensive mistake. They supported the “make decisions before gathering information” style that got the Port into the RiverWalk mess and advocate for the same approach to be used in becoming obligated to the FAA at Grove Field.

The fact is, the three current Port Commissioners are widely recognized for bringing a new level of transparency, public involvement and thoughtful decision making to our Port.

If you want a Port Commissioner that looks out for the interests of the entire Port district, re-elect Bill Ward.

If you think the Grove Field airport needs its own representation on our three member Port Commission, vote for Dave Luse.

I can’t think of any reason to vote for Neil Cahoon.

Richard Hambey, Washougal

‘Patriotic pyrotechnics’ take over Independence Day

“More and more about fireworks, and less and less about the flag.”

The above statement pretty much encapsulates and expresses in the most glaring manner what July 4 has come to mean in these United States as we proceed further into the 21st century. For a great many younger people in particular, Independence Day provides the perfect excuse for indulgence in what can only be termed anarchic behavior. It is true that some of our younger people genuinely demonstrate a proper appreciation for the iconography of American patriotism, but the numbers are all too few. Historical ignorance is so much the rule among younger Americans that exceptions to that rule are deemed downright marvelous.

We know for a fact that our Founding Fathers dreaded society-wide disorder, which is to say “anarchy,” much more than just about any other sort of human condition. Indeed, such men as Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, Madison and even Jefferson (most of the time) believed that the American Revolution needed to be carefully guided by the “best people” in the Thirteen Colonies, lest it degenerate frightfully from a noble struggle for independence and liberty into a carnival of bloodshed and homicidal savagry. (For the French, whose own “Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizen” would be published in August of 1789, this lesson was most definitely not learned.) We must heed our Founders’ cautionary warnings today.

Today, “anarchy” on Independence Day is quite expensive. How foolish, pathetic, incomprehensible and downright irrational it is that emergency personnel in virtually every political jurisdiction across the country must respond to the injuries, fires, fights and outbursts of tragic foolishness indulged in on July 4th (and for several days previously) by too many of our citizens.

There’s money in the booming business of patriotic pyrotechnics, though. At least the spirit of patriot Alexander Hamilton is smiling at that.

Frank W. Goheen, Camas

Kudos to Honorable Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler

We are very pleased on Congresswoman Jaime Herrera’s voting record on supporting, creating sustainable jobs for Americans, a balanced budget, protecting the most vulnerable among us, securing our Borders, E-Verify and a County wide vote on light rail and tolls. The overwhelming majority of citizens in our Third Congressional District applaud Jaime’s efforts!

Shame on Vancouver’s Mayor Leavitt for not honoring his word when he ran for mayor on no light rail and no tolls on our bridges and freeways. Leavitt has been disingenuous on what he said he supported. The citizens of Clark County have had it with politicians that say one thing and do the opposite when elected. Citizens deserve a vote when it comes to issues of this magnitude.

Commissioners Boldt and Stuart have also fallen short on allowing our citizens a vote on light rail, tolls and Home Rule Charter, after they promised on numerous occasions that they would.

Chuck Miller, Camas

Please review our community guidelines