Letters to the Editor for July 9, 2013

Speak out against coal today

Situated astride the corridor to three oil terminals and three coal terminals, Camas and Washougal will be in the middle of one of the largest increases in pollution ever imagined. Over 100 million tons of coal and 100 million barrels of crude oil are set to move through our neighborhood every year. This expansion of the fossil fuel supply could soon push us over the tipping point to irreversible global warming.

It’s beginning with Oregon. DEQ has issued a draft permit for a coal terminal on the Columbia River in Boardman. Construction could begin in September. Gov. Kitzhaber could still deny the permits, depending on the public response.

Ambre Energy is the Australian company planning to build the coal terminal in Boardman. Ambre Energy is also ramping up to build a terminal in Longview, five times larger than Boardman. If Gov. Kitzhaber denies the permits for the Boardman terminal, the investors in Ambre may decide to put their money somewhere else.

Record crowds showed up to testify at the last coal hearing so the next hearing, on July 9, will be at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The hearing lasts all day in 2-hour shifts. You can sign up to speak at http://ordeqpublichearing.eventbrite.com/# You can also testify in writing at http://www.oregon.gov/deq/Pages/CoalExportComments.aspx. An environmental coalition is staging a public rally and press conference outside the Northeast entrance of the Oregon Convention Center at 5:30 p.m. Please go and take a friend.

Don Steinke, Vancouver

Build a third bridge

I applaud the Washington Legislature for not succumbing to Oregon’s wanton spending by turning down their generous offer of spending almost half a billion dollars to build even more lanes across the Columbia River, only to have them bottleneck at the same place they do now.

If Oregon would have had the foresight to ask the people of both states what their wishes were in the first place, they might have saved themselves the lion’s share of the $170 million they spent over the last several years. Even the most under-informed of us can see the need for a third bridge in the ever sprawling population of east county. An I-205 type bridge could be built from the east county area across Lady Island to the Troutdale/Fairview area at a cost of one-third that of the CRC debacle.

It would save motorists time and fuel costs getting to east Multnomah County as well as providing a third option in case of construction or accident delays on the other two bridges. And I’m very sure the planning wouldn’t cost anywhere near the $170 million the CRC committee ended up wasting by not employing intelligent planning in the first place.

Fred King, Washougal

Constituents expect leadership

Liz Pike, quit your whining and trashing/bashing of our hard-working teachers in this community. Demonstrate some leadership, professionalism and compassion. Your career will go further.

You admit you’ve never spent a day in a school classroom environment, so don’t denigrate teachers for standing up for their needs.

Teaching today is nothing like my early teaching experience, or your personal K-12 experience. Teachers today have to deal with so much more social, health, funding, insufficient supplies, family issues, safety issues and so much more that at best distracts from, and at worst impedes, their academic one-on-one time. Teachers must play multiple roles that they didn’t have responsibility for a decade or a generation ago.

Instead of bashing our hard-working teachers, who go into teaching for the love of teaching and the passion of working to develop young minds, help advocate for us in the legislature where you now have the influence to do something positive for us. Show us what real leadership is: don’t give us more whining. That is unprofessional and uncalled for.

I am a doctor of educational leadership and believe in my core that education is the key to our freedom, our safety, our way of life, and our self-determination. These are the principles upon which our great country was established.

As a representative of the people and to Olympia, we expect more of you by way of leadership, advocacy and support.

Dorothy Zeviar, Camas