Letters to the Editor for March 15, 2011

Thankful for downtown events

I have not done a good job of expressing my appreciation for events held in downtown Camas. Ms. Spencer’s letter (March 8) helped me realize how much I take for granted.

For years now I have so enjoyed community events without putting much thought to all the work that goes in to providing the opportunities. I cherish the many times of the year that our community gathers in downtown Camas together: Boo Bash, Christmas tree lighting, Mother’s Day Plant Fair, Camas Days, etc.

I feel privileged to live in a community that comes together many times a year to share in a common experience. It is a joy to see families and people of all ages out enjoying these experiences together right in the heart of downtown Camas. A huge thanks to all who have had a hand in making downtown Camas events possible. Through your service you are welcoming people of all ages into community, a space where we all can share life together. You are cultivating a space for grownups and young people to belong and become.

Bree Truax, Camas

Sidewalk design is flawed

Some years ago, at dusk, I was walking in Fairway Village in Vancouver. As I walked I looked at the lawns and houses. With my attention so diverted, I didn’t realize that the sidewalk had dropped – and so did I! I fell onto my knees, more mad than hurt. Obviously even in this expensive gated community, the developer had deemed the car was more important than the residents.

And it still is.

Sidewalk: pavement at the side of the road for pedestrians.

Pedestrian: one who walks.

The paved roadway is for automobiles; the sidewalk is for walkers. Long ago, it was the customary belief that people who rode were superior to people who walked, as the latter were deemed to be too poor to own a horse. Since each home at Fairway Village has a stable (garage), we could assume that each homeowner, though walking, also can afford a horse.

I saw one young mother using such a sidewalk in Camas. When the drop came, she pushed the baby carriage right into the street to avoid the drop. Is this the result the planners had in mind?

The construction work is progressing on “E” Street in Washougal and the sidewalks are still dropping down. I asked Trevor Evers, public works director for the City of Washougal why the construction continued to drop the sidewalks. I believe his response was that this is the way things are done.

This is a case where something is wrong and no one is questioning.

I am questioning. I hope you are too.

Marilyn Tyrrell, Washougal

Airport needs to be improved

I received my pilots license in February 1947 as a World War II veteran with a long dream of flying.

I still have the license, but at 83, I have taken myself out of the air due to some recent health problems. But I flew right up to last March out of Grove Field.

I first landed at Grove Field as a student from Evergreen back in 1946, shortly after Ward Grove built the airport. I based planes there and at Evergreen for years, and used these fields as home base for lots of work related flights.

John Raynor and Sheldon Tyler’s letter to the public [Feb. 15, Letters) was full of unusual so-called facts and arguments.

To begin with, the airport had been in existence years before the trailer park was built in the east end approach. Why this was allowed can be blamed on a faulty building code at this time.

This airport has a 65-year-plus history as a needed facility. Not all the pilots using this airport are recreational. Search and rescue being just one factor, plus work related needs.

It needs some safety improvements that could be funded almost in their entirety by fees from government and state taxes already collected for safety requirements of existing airports that are out of compliance.

John and Sheldon would not spend these accumulated tax dollars to protect the users of the existing facility It is like the pilots and passengers have survived up to this point in a facility that is unsafe in several aspects, so let’s not make it safe, even though the money is there for just such purposes.

I would wager, from my long-term relationship with John, that given his real estate background he would salivate to turn Grove Field into a housing development.

Sheldon seems to suddenly have a bone to pick with Port held property. I’m of the opinion that if these tax dollars would have been available while he was the director of the port, he would have jumped at having this port facility improved.

Evergreen’s gone. Pearson is under the Portland airport’s flight control jurisdiction and has restricted approaches due to nearness of the Portland facility. Pearson is also under the jurisdiction and ownership of the federal parks agency. If they decide to pull Pearson’s plug and it disappears, then Clark County has no airport of any size to accommodate the needs of a growing community.

To not improve this Camas facility with available tax funds could eventually cause its closure due to being an unsafe and outdated airport. If the Port of Camas /Washougal Marina had known safety violations, would John and Sheldon’s answer be to send the boats to Oregon or a Vancouver facility because they’re close by?

Like they said about sending the existing airplanes somewhere else. Hang on John, you might get a chance to sell lots and houses on the airport land yet.

R.J. Rodgers, Camas

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