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.

Some politicians are gambling with our future

I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area when the 1989 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake broke the Bay Bridge. The hardest hit areas were the bridge, the marina area of San Francisco, and in West Oakland where the double decker Cypress elevated freeway collapsed, killing 42 people. Many people wondered why the hardest hit areas were 40 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake with so little damage closer. It was explained that the areas were built on bay fill subject to liquefaction.

Ballots should be due on Election Day

Several state races on election night 2012 looked a lot like the 2004 race for governor with the races for governor, Initiative 1240 for charter schools and secretary of state being too close to call. These races ultimately wouldn’t be decided until later in the week. On election night 2004, then Attorney General Chris Gregoire led state Sen. Dino Rossi by 7,000 votes. By the time all the ballots had been counted (the first time) two weeks later on Nov. 17, Rossi led Gregoire by 261. A few recounts later, Gregoire was ultimately declared the winner by a mere 133 votes. A legal challenge would uphold Gregoire’s victory.

For manufacturers, action speaks louder than words

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tell voters they want manufacturers to stay in America and create new jobs. The president even promised an audience in New Hampshire that he’d create 4.5 million new jobs, half of those in manufacturing. Why all the talk about manufacturing? Our country is the world’s largest manufacturing economy with 21 percent of the global manufactured goods produced here. China is second at 15 percent, and Japan is third at 12 percent.