Letters to the Editor for May 20, 2014

More event space is needed

Recently, my husband and I were selected to host an annual convention here in the state of Washington.

Since we live and work in Washougal, we thought this would be the perfect setting for a four-day getaway of meetings and testing for this group of people. What made it even more special, it is the first time in the history of the 40 year old Oregon organization that they have agreed to have it outside of Oregon.

This organization has members from, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. We have vendors from all over the U.S. attend a trade show we have during this convention.

I was not prepared to find that there is no place in Washougal or Camas that can fit our lodging, meeting and food needs in one location to accommodate 65 to 85 people for this event for four to five days. We need RV parking and hook up, meeting room for classes, meals and hotel. Our hotel has enough rooms for those that would need one, but no banquet facilities to handle the amount of people. I am terribly disappointed that I can’t bring this to my hometown.

After going to the Port offices to talk to them about facilities they might have, I took notice of an easel in the lobby. It was a board to put down your ideas of what the port should do with the land they have by the river.

It was disappointing to see condos, housing and shopping center as some of the ideas. We don’t need condos or any more housing blocking the view of the river from everyone. That does not bring people to our community to enjoy the gateway to the gorge. We need something to bring people here to visit for a few days, bring revenue into the community by visiting our businesses and restaurants. We need to be a destination place not just a pass through. We need a campground for RV’s, a hotel with food accommodations and large banquet rooms to hold a minimum of 100 people and we need it to be located within walking distance of each other for travelers that don’t have other transportation options. This would be great for those that live here as well for wedding or graduation events. We are too limited for our population. We could fill this need if people would start thinking outside the box a little.

I hope we can have our convention here in the future with these amenities, but I guess for now we will have to go to Vancouver which is what I wanted to avoid.

Marsha Dilley, Washougal

Graser is well qualified

Recently, I met with an impressive candidate for Clark County sheriff, John Graser.

John is exceptionally well prepared for this important job, and is easily conversant with all of the important issues that I raised.

We talked extensively about mental health issues. As president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Southwest Washington, I was gratified to find Mr. Graser is not only well informed but creative in suggesting solutions to some of our most concerning challenges with regard to mental health. He has visited NAMI’s office and interacted extremely well with our volunteers, some of whom have mental health challenges. Our staff was very impressed and very grateful that he took time to meet them.

I observed that John is very interested in and respectful of the opinions of others. He is a good listener while speaking confidently from experience in law enforcement and community issues. His time horizon involves long-range planning to make best use of scarce resources. He is an excellent candidate, in my opinion standing considerably above the other candidates for Clark County sheriff.

Ann Donnelly, Vancouver

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