Letters to the Editor for March 8, 2011

Port commissioners are working hard

We should be grateful for the outstanding service that our three port commissioners have exhibited.

Bill Ward, Mark Lampton and Bill Macrae-Smith have accomplished a great amount in just a short period of time. They have conducted business openly, invited public comment routinely, have hired qualified professionals to provide valuable advice, and researched issues thoroughly before making decisions. All 43,000 of us who live in the Camas-Washougal Port District should be proud of their work.

Their accomplishments include:

1) Implementing a comprehensive strategic plan to set the course for the Port over the next decade.

2) Cooperating with the cities of Camas-Washougal to establish a new East County Economic Plan to attract business and industry to our communities.

3) Seeking to preserve and protect the Parkersville Historic site by having it rezoned.

4) Supporting the continued operation of the East County District Court by renegotiating an affordable lease with the Cities of Camas and Washougal.

5) Adopting a dock design to improve the staging area for boats using the ramp and adding slips for larger vessels.

6) Improving patron access for the Puffin Restaurant for visiting boaters.

7) and are currently gathering information to make a decision on whether to expand the length and width of Grove Air Field and to increase the runway protection zone.

Our Port Commissioners are working very hard for us. There have been some letters in the paper recently trying to paint the commission negatively over a single issue, but these letters do not reflect the quality and comprehensiveness of work that our Port has undertaken. I trust the Port will conduct their research, continue to welcome public comment, and when they have made their decision, it will be made in the best interest of all 43,000 taxpayers.

Roger Daniels, Washougal

‘E’ Street construction is a headache

For all of us who are around it, the construction on E street has been a royal pain trying to live in, drive through and work around.

As I was driving down E street on Wednesday, I noticed the piping that was being installed into the new flower beds; throughout the construction on E street was that of automatic sprinklers.

Seriously? The city of Washougal is having sprinklers installed in all of those flower beds? So now the Washougal taxpayer has to pay for water to those flower beds.

“Don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Washougal Taxpayer! You may not have the extra money to fill your gas tank or buy extra groceries for the month, but we’ll make sure the extra that could be used to pay your bills and take care of your family goes into our coffers to ensure our flowers grow!” Oh! What happy times!

Sarah Floyd, Camas

New plant fair site has benefits

Regarding Carrie Schulstad’s letter to the editor on Feb. 22, she unfortunately reacted to our moving the Mother’s Day Plant Fair out of downtown without getting all the facts.

It was not just because of the new fees. We did meet with the city before we made the final decision at which time City Administrator Lloyd Halverson did offer to waive the fees for us for just this year, but there was a lot more involved. Perhaps it would have been helpful if the city had contacted the organizers of its signature events to discuss the new rules before implementing them. Only one business owner has actually called us offering to help if he could to keep us downtown.

We are a small non-profit club and the amount of effort that is required to put on this event far out-weighs the limited profit we make. These funds go back into the community in the form of scholarships for women needing training to enter or re-enter the workforce.

We appreciate that there are some business owners downtown who like the plant fair and feel they gain business from it. However, every year we get bitter complaints about the fair from others.

As the fair has become more and more popular the congestion problems have increased significantly. We recognize the safety issues that caused the police to toughen up their requirements, but the growing traffic issues were nevertheless frustrating for us as well as many of our vendors and customers.

Yes, we too will miss the ambience of our beautiful downtown, but we think holding the plant fair at the high school will solve many of our problems; police won’t have to have cars towed out of the closed streets, city workers won’t have to drag picnic tables and trash cans around, there will be more space for vendors to unload and load, and parking for both vendors and customers will be significantly improved.

Additionally, we will have a table at the fair where downtown businesses may display brochures, or business cards to promote their business to fair customers.

We hope everyone will come to the high school and support the fair in its new location. More information is available at our website: www.cwplantfair.org.

Sally Spencer and The Columbia Gorge Women’s Assoc.

Ward sees bigger picture

If anyone remains blinded to the economic significance of spending $10 million on the Grove Field Airport, it is Liz Pike and not commissioner Bill Ward – as Liz has intimated in her recent Post-Record contribution (Letters, March 1). Her pontifications about economic benefits are pure fantasy, or should I say “wishful thinking.”

Bill Ward understands the additional operating cost implications of a larger airport, but I’m not quite sure Liz and her flying friends do. Perhaps they should give some thought to protecting what they have – a darn good deal that still has public support. Grove Field is just fine like it is.

Sounds to me like Liz Pike is planning to run for Bill Ward’s commission seat. Liz, you picked on the wrong guy. As the movie “President” said to one of his political adversaries– “(Bill Ward) is way out of your league”.

John Raynor, Camas