Letters to the Editor for Jan. 21, 2014

Support Washougal school levies

Vote yes for Washougal Schools maintenance/operations and technology levies.

As small business, commercial building and residential home owners, my wife and I are very sensitive to tax rates and how our tax dollars are spent. We believe that the Washougal School District has done an exceptional job of managing funds and delivering quality education with our tax dollars.

The upcoming M&O Levy will replace the existing levy and add only those dollars necessary to continue this tradition of quality education with our student population that has grown now to over 3,000 students.

Levy funds make up 20 percent of the district budget. This money is crucial to deliver our arts, athletics, college development and career skills opportunities for our children. In addition, levy dollars keep class sizes at appropriate teacher-to-student ratios and provide for programs to ensure the safety of all students while at school.

Technology equals opportunity. I think of my own experience at WHS in a tiny room with a handful of computers that many at the time thought were a passing fancy. What an advantage I received from teachers like Mr. Herman and Mr. Anderson who taught us this new technology. Exposure to those computers led directly to my ability to do business here in our community; to employ others and raise our family here.

With this levy we have an opportunity to vote for the success of our children in a technological future and preserve the quality of life we love here in Washougal.

Stephanie and I are proud of our community and our schools. We are hopeful for the future generations that will grow here and appreciate, as we do, the support they received in gaining quality education. Vote yes for Washougal schools maintenance/operations and technology levies and continue a great tradition.

Kyle and Stephanie Eakins, Washougal

Oil shipping terminal benefits outweighs risk

I am writing this letter in response to Diana Gordon’s letter on the hazards of oil trains, published in the Jan. 7 Post-Record.

As Ms. Gordon pointed out, the Port of Vancouver is considering leasing land to Tesoro-Savage to build a crude oil shipping terminal. This facility would provide up to 120 permanent jobs, about 250 temporary construction jobs, and billions of dollars worth of revenue for the port.

Contrary to Ms. Gordon’s assertion, there is no reason for this project to “discourage other forms of investment at the Port.” Our port commissioners would be extremely unlikely to lease the land if this was the case.

Since July 2013, 17 major train accidents have occurred in North America, with about one-third of these involving crude oil, but only one resulting in fatalities. In most of these accidents, poor safety measures, the use of an improper type of tanker, and/or the proximity of propane contributed to the problem.

The Port of Vancouver and Tesoro-Savage are working hard to ensure that the new oil terminal will be as safe as possible, and are implementing rigorous safety measures for the trains passing through the area.

Most importantly, our region needs the jobs and revenue this project would generate. Clark County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. The port will be able to reinvest the revenue from this project, further building our community. The benefits are well worth the risk.

Ms. Gordon may not want to “turn our beautiful area into fossil fuel corridor,” but are her unfounded concerns worth keeping our region trapped in a recession?

Naomi Gilmore, Washougal