Letters to the Editor for May 8, 2012

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Earth Day was delightful in downtown Camas

What a delightful way to spend Earth Day! The city of Camas showed an extraordinary ability to come together to beautify our charming downtown area. Helping hands came from the Mayor’s office, The Chamber of Commerce, the merchants, The DCA, the schools and the community at large. A flurry of activity involving pressure washers, shovels, rakes, brooms, new plantings and a topping of bark dust began in the early morning and continued until the end of the day.

As a follow-up to that event, it was a treat to join Aaron Lutz and his family a few days later to put together hanging baskets for a couple of merchants to beautify some of our store fronts. Time and material were generously donated by Lutz Hardware. As in past years, Uta Zuendel was on hand to contribute her valued gardening skills.

Without all the parties coming together to lend a hand, our beautiful community would not have the magical feeling it has today.

Sharon Ballard and Marquita Call, The Ballard & Call Gallery

Carol Buck had a positive impact on the community

April 30 was Carol Buck’s last day on the job as the Camas social service specialist. More specifically, her job was to conduct investigations on crimes related to child abuse and domestic violence.

Throughout her 22 years of work, Carol has been instrumental in bringing sexual offenders to justice, helping children and adult victims to rebuild their lives. She also participated in educating the community on sexual and physical child abuse and domestic violence. She performed many other associated duties in her role with the Camas Police Department.

Many of Carol’s cases forced her to deal with unimaginable circumstances that would deeply anger or repulse the public if the facts were known. Undoubtedly, there were cases that impacted Carol on a personal level. Carol’s focus intensified when she was touched by a victim’s plight. In every way, she became the victim’s advocate. A worthy and effective advocate she was.

It takes a unique and special individual to do the job she did, day after day, for 22 years. I think, for Carol her work was more of a ‘calling’ than a job.

I met with Carol on her last work day and we talked and laughed reflecting on her career in law enforcement. Carol made a profound reflection as we talked. I think it demonstrates why Carol was so good at what she did. She said, “People in law enforcement need to recognize the power we have to help and affect people’s lives. It is the trust that our citizens give us that empower us.” I believe this is a perspective worth embracing for everyone in the public service.

So to Carol: On behalf of the citizens of Camas, Washougal and East Clark County I say thank you. On behalf of the victims and families you helped over the years, I offer a heartfelt thank you for caring. You have affected people’s lives in positive ways.

On behalf of your many present and past co-workers I commend you for being a good teammate, role model and friend.

On that last day of work, which typically ends at 5 p.m., I’m told Carol walked out at 7:30 p.m. I wish we all could have been there to see her off.

We all wish Carol Buck the best in her retirement. She truly deserves it.

Don Chaney, Camas police chief — retired