Letters to the Editor for Aug. 16, 2011

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The best kept secret in Camas-Washougal

Saturday, Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal had their annual ice cream social.

The ad was on the second page of the Post Record but guess no one checked it out.

I was a vendor and believe you give back to your community. I try to do this often. Jan Bafus and I spent the day waiting for people to show. Some came through. The history in the museum is always a bonus.

You can go back in time and enjoy what our fathers and grandfathers gave for us to enjoy.

The many volunteers did lots, food was great, conversations were fun. The black power gun being shot “Fire in the Hole,” blacksmith. History in the making.

I was so surprised this year that with all the museum gives to us that so many did not come to give back to them. Guess they are the best kept secret in our towns.

You might want to begin by stopping by and seeing what they have to offer before they cut their hours back.

Pam Clark, Washougal

Neighborhood ignored

After sitting through the Planning Commission’s meeting regarding the Farrell House Event Center, I was stunned at the lack of knowledge the Planning Commission brought to this meeting. It was as if they had not even read or familiarized themselves with the application and subsequent recommendations the staff had put together. I felt insulted for the staff that obviously had put in a great deal of effort.

More ominous was their eagerness to ignore so many who oppose this event center in a quiet residential neighborhood. The public testimony portion of the meeting consisted of 10 people speaking in favor, one of which was the applicant’s out-of-town architect.

The balance of the three hours was taken up by speaker after speaker, people who live in the neighborhood. Those who will be directly harmed by this proposal expressed their concerns, asking for common sense, hoping this political body will listen to reason.

The sheer number of those in opposition wishing to speak necessitated the Planning Commission to reconvene several days later in order to finish. This second meeting, led by the chair of the Planning Commission, David Shepherd, was directed toward how their recommendation for approval could be accomplished and moved along, not if it should be approved at all. Only one Planning commission member, Judi Hooper, spoke out to ask that question. She was quickly ignored. Similarly, when the staff brought up the issue of a proposed fence being too high, that the height would infringe on the on site parking, thus affecting the amount of people attending, that too, was ignored.

The three commissioners did not feel like the proposal was good for Camas, but that it was the “lesser of two evils.” Is that how the City’s Comprehensive Plan is being utilized?

During the deliberations, issue after issue just went away, without resolution, in an effort to push through a very flawed proposal.

As this decision will now go to the City Council, we can only hope they will view this proposal objectively. See it for what it is, and vote it down. I have been told to trust the process. So far my trust has been shaken. I trust the City Council will not let us down.

Al Balsiger, Evergreen Terrace neighborhood

Romney out of touch

2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has finally articulated the official position of the United States government as set forth by the Supreme Court in FEC v. Citizens United: “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Despite the fact that corporations pay little, and often nothing in the way of taxes, can change their citizenship in a day and are rarely held accountable for negligence and criminal actions (unlike natural human beings), corporations are considered to be humans with human rights — yet have no human responsibilities. Furthermore, corporations — unlike natural human beings — can donate unlimited funds to political candidates anonymously.

As disgusting and reprehensible as this concept is, one must credit Mr. Romney for finally speaking the truth about what our so-called “representatives” in Washington DC really stand for. However, I do take issue with his follow-up to this statement : “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets — human beings, my friend.”

Which “human beings” is Mr. Romney referring to? Certainly not mine. Not the workers whose factories Romney bought out and closed down. Not the 16 percent of the U.S. population who are either underemployed or unemployed.

Not the 98 percent of the people in this country who must actually work for a living.

Mr. Romney, would you like to clarify this last point for all of us?

KJ McElrath, Camas

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