Letters to the Editor for Aug. 19, 2014

Do not re-elect Pike

Rep. Liz Pike (R-Camas) is not an effective 18th Legislative District, Position 2, representative for our community.

One of her main goals this year was to create a training-wage bill. This bill would permit employers to pay their workers 75 percent of this state’s minimum wage for 680 hours with no guarantee of employment.

She is also responsible for the lack of adequate school funding. She has voted against almost every funding plan proposed. Pike also attacked our teachers for being overpaid and being lazy during their “three months off” each year.

Our representatives should be working for the good of the community, Pike seems to be working for a select few.

Please do not re-elect Pike to another term in office.

Gale D. Beagle, Vancouver

Obtaining conceal/carry license is too easy

I just received a license to conceal/carry a handgun. The average citizen might be very surprised at how easy it was.

I lived in Oregon for many years. In my last year there I became involved in the Gun Violence Prevention Issue and decided to visit numerous gun shops to educated myself on guns.

As a former trauma and surgical nurse, I have a deep aversion to guns. I have seen human bodies blown open by bullets. Visiting gun stores was not easy for me.

We recently moved to the Vancouver area. Again, I visited several gun stores to further educate myself. I was shocked at the size of gun one can legally conceal.

I decided to get a license to conceal/carry just to see what the process involved.

I went to the local Sheriff’s Office where they asked me to fill out a form a little longer than one page. Then I was fingerprinted.

No one asked me if I owned a gun (I never have and never plan to).

No one asked me if I had ever held a gun, shot a gun or taken a gun safely class. All of those answers would have been “no.”

The entire process took 20 minutes. Cost: $52.50. Four weeks later my license came in the mail.

That’s it. That easy. That simple. As a former nurse, I paid close attention to the only two mental health questions asked on the licensing form. Adam Lanza, who murdered all those children and teachers at Sandy Hook, would have passed both of the mental health questions.

I am left asking, is this really the culture any of us want to live in?

Joanne Pinelli, Camas

Third bridge is a good idea

I want to applaud Clark County Commissioner’s David Madore and Tom Mielke, bringing Linda Figg (of Figg Engineering) to present the people a third bridge option across the Columbia River. This was done at no cost to the taxpayers.

Listening to her, it’s clear Linda Figg is truly a world class business woman, head of a firm that has built bridges in challenging situations around the world.

We are being offered the chance to weigh in on all the details of what “could” be done.

But this proposal could be done for only 25 percent of the cost of the hugely flawed Columbia River Crossing. For the same “CRC down payment” of $450 million each, (Oregon and Washington), we would own a complete bridge, needing no tolls, no federal funds, and requiring no jumping through federal government bureaucracy.

Kevin Peterson, a Friday Harbor based architect, reminded the audience that Portland has 11 bridges across the Willamette in 11 miles. We only have two across the Columbia River. He further stated that the region needs 20 lanes each way to cross the river, versus the seven we have now.

This proposal would offer the biggest increase in vehicle capacity for the money. Nothing else comes close.

Most exciting was the “design-build” concept, where Figg Engineering handles all the risk. No more failures by WSDOT engineers that take taxpayer money to fix WSDOT created problems.

Figg invites and incorporates local input into their design process.

They also use local labor and local materials.

Please take time to become familiar with the project. There will be plenty of opportunity for “the people” to weigh in as to what they want.

Unlike the CRC, this is a new day, with new people in charge. Thanks again for putting the people first, Commissioners.

John Ley, Camas

A heartwarming tribute

Recently, I attended Howard Lorenz’s funeral. What a heartwarming tribute to the Lorenz family and to the city of Camas.

It was wonderful to hear all the stories from family and friends. The service was filled with moments of sincerity and humor. As a real estate agent, he presented the City of Camas in a way that made it the perfect choice for anyone’s new home. What a perfect way to honor his memory and his commitment to our community.

Not often do I come away from a funeral with such a warm feeling for a friend and his hometown.

Proud of my hometown.

Pat Forgey, Vancouver