Columns

Science of climate change made simple

My greenhouse is covered with a thin plastic film. A few molecules of plastic are all it takes to make it 30 Fahrenheit degrees warmer inside than out. When coal, gasoline, and natural gas are burned, they produce carbon dioxide which traps heat just like the plastic film of my greenhouse.

Many employers can’t afford paid family medical leave

When people who want more government regulations argue in favor of a new mandate on employers, they usually say, “Well, one more rule won’t break the bank.” However, seemingly harmless regulations have a cumulative effect that eventually cripple employers and prevent entrepreneurs from creating the jobs needed to fix our weak economy.

Lawmakers are currently considering important legislation

Imagine a child with a life-threatening food allergy. Now imagine that child having a severe reaction while at school. If that student is fortunate enough to have an epinephrine autoinjector on school grounds, he or she may receive a dose to help reverse the reaction and potentially save a life. But what about students with a food allergy who don't have their injector with them? What about students who haven't been diagnosed with an allergy, but experience their first life-threatening reaction while at school?

A precious memory of Bob Tidland

I would like to share a special memory of Bob Tidland. This scene can help illustrate his character and community-mindedness. As Camas’ retiring first city administrator, I have had many, many fine days in the past 24 years; the scene I am remembering is among the finest hours.

Brunell: People helping people

In November 1982, our state’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.2 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. Interest on a fixed rate home loan was 13.4 percent, and an 11.5 inflation rate burned through our checkbooks. The economy was a mess.

‘Did you just say that on Facebook?’

Ever since the evolution of Facebook, I always knew that optimal behavior for myself, my family, and my friends would be necessary.

Council meetings – when?

The Washougal City Council is considering a major change to the schedule of meetings and workshops. Presently, council meetings (formal public hearings, actions and votes) are held at 6 p.m., on the first and third Monday. Workshops (staff reports, information and discussion, but no votes) are also at 6 p.m., on the second and fourth Mondays. If Monday is a national holiday the meeting is postponed until Tuesday.

Council will look at short- and long-term utility rate solutions

Utility bills are the big issue in Washougal. They should be. In 2012, the minimum bimonthly residential charge was $174.60. That base charge went up 20 percent ($37) to $211.13 this year. But the Council could take action on Jan. 22 that might keep the increase to less than $10. If the increase is kept that low, it will be the result of a creative Council, mayor, and staff. This would not have happened without hearing from our citizens.

Camas needs to prepare to ‘go to war’ with BPA

The BPA draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project they have strategically named the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project was published in November 2012. Many people reading this letter to the editor may have only minimal familiarity with the project. I can assure you, those members of our community who are directly along the paths that BPA is considering are quickly becoming more knowledgeable about this project. If you think the current power lines running through Camas are ugly, I encourage you to look at the size and shape of the new and bigger power lines towers. They make the current towers look like midgets.

Parents, communities can help stop teen drinking tragedies

The recent deaths of three Washington teens—a 14-year-old Bellingham girl, a 17-year-old boy in Shoreline, and an 18-year-old Washington State University student —remind us just how dangerous alcohol is for minors. As parents and co-chairs of the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking our hearts go out to the families and friends who are suffering these terrible losses. Before we lose another child, grandchild, student, and friend, let's ask ourselves what we as adults are doing to encourage or discourage underage drinking.