Letters to the Editor for Feb. 4, 2014

Chamber supports school levies

The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce is in support of the two Washougal School District replacement levies that will be up for vote on Feb. 11. These are not new taxes. These levies will replace the funding of the maintenance and operations levy and technology levy expiring in 2014. The state covers about 80 percent of funding needed for schools and these levies will bridge the gap to cover the other 20 percent.

In addition to current programs funded by the maintenance and operations levy, the levy will fund key areas identified by the school board such as safety initiatives, all-day kindergarten, individualized instruction for students, a strong foundation in the arts, languages, health and technology, staff training in current technology and educational techniques, and smaller class sizes.

Current technology levy dollars are used to fund computers for student use, classroom instructional technology and the district’s technology, and the increase would put powerful, 21st Century learning tools in the hands of students, help students become wise consumers of information and respectful users of technology and provide professional development and technical support for teachers.

Washougal City Councilwoman Joyce Lindsay said, “Education is the answer to many of the problems our children face and will face in their future. This is a very important issue in Washougal, and I urge everyone to get out and help pass this levy.”

Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce

Public is unaware of coal train danger

There is an attempt by a company to mine coal from Wyoming and transport it to China via train to Cherry Point.

Coal trains are not only harmful to the environment and economy, but they can also be very dangerous. When coal trains pass by, coal dust flies off and gets into the air. It has been shown that this can cause respiratory problems over time.

Moreover, the increased exports of coal would mean a large increase in the number of trains passing through, which could cause major traffic problems and prevent emergency vehicles from getting to where they are needed.

There are many more reasons than the ones listed above to be against the export of coal from Gilette, Wyo., to Cherry Point and China. The main problem at this point is the blissful ignorance of the coming change, so publicity could change the outcome of this situation.

Supporting the Power Past Coal movement at www.powerpastcoal.org could be the solution to this problem.

Melody Hollar, Camas

City should implement I-502 without undue delay

I am one of the Washington State voters who supports and who helped to pass I-502 — the legalization of the possession and sale of recreational marijuana.

I understand there is currently a moratorium in place while local leaders hammer out the rules and regulations within which to properly frame the law.

Because of your editorial, I became aware that our State’s Attorney General’s Office has declared that individual cities and counties are within their rights to regulate or even ban marijuana businesses within their municipalities.

I have e-mailed Sara Fox (sfox@cityofcamas.us) and Phil Bourquin (pbourquin@cityofcamas.us) — whom I have been told by phoning the city — are the administrators in charge of the ordinance. As an avid voter and concerned citizen — in regards to this issue in particular — I expressed to them that it is very important to me that I-502 is implemented in the city of Camas.

That being said, naturally, I am concerned about keeping the appearance of our quaint and lovely city consistent with its present aesthetics. I feel it is important that we encourage a visually-appealing dispensary storefront. If our dispensary ends up looking more like a dive-bar from Old Town, then I am very concerned about its success and acceptance in the community.

In summary, I support the law, its implementation without undue delay, and I support an attractive looking storefront which is in harmony with the City of Camas’ goals of creating a vibrant social, cultural and economic center of the community while emphasizing historical preservation.

Jaime Saemann, Camas