Letters to the Editor for Dec. 29, 2015

Oil terminal can be rejected

Increased oil train traffic is not inevitable. Washingtonians and Oregonians have stopped nine terminals that would have affect the Lower Columbia, by speaking up and showing up.

When state agencies require an environmental impact study, there are no guarantees that the sub-contractors doing the research will actually do a thorough and accurate job, particularly if they are retired executives from BNSF.

Last June, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council announced that the release of the draft EIS for the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal would be delayed until Nov. 24 because it failed to meet minimum standards and needed a major rewrite.

EFSEC members have regular day jobs with other responsibilities, and the draft exceeds 4000 pages. What if the revised draft is still sub-par? What if EFSEC members don’t even have time to read it? Then it is up to the public to help make the final EIS better.

That’s why we have public hearings. Please attend the public hearing for the Tesoro-Savage-Oil-Terminal on Jan. 5 at the Clark County Fairgrounds, from 1 to 11 p.m.

RSVP to this link to let me know you are coming: sc.org/RidgefieldHearing

Although the draft EIS is flawed, it contains enough information to recommend the terminal be rejected.

Don Steinke, Vancouver

Camas schools are a good investment

I am writing to support the Camas School District bond scheduled for the Feb. 9 ballot.

As a third-generation Camas alum and fourth-generation Camasonian, this community holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I moved our young family back to Camas a few years ago so that we could plant our roots in the very place that made me.

My various volunteer roles that I have taken on with the Camas School District have confirmed my support for our schools. I see an administration who makes a priority to partner with not only its staff, students and parents, but with the city and community members as well. I see teachers who care about their students outside of the classroom. I see students who are taught lessons beyond reading, writing and arithmetic.

But it doesn’t stop here. There is always room for improvement. The district has its work cut out as it embraces the continuing growth of this community. This bond is part of a well-thought, comprehensive plan to not only keep up with the growth, but to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. This bond will build facilities where students need and want to learn. This bond will create an environment where teachers want to devote their careers. This bond will establish programs where the community can congregate.

The bond comes at a price, however. The number one criticism I hear is that our local taxes are too high. But, this is how I see it. According to projected bond costs, a home owner with an assessed home value of $300,000 would pay an estimated increase of $12 per month to current tax rates. What do you do with $12 each month? Is it worth packing your lunch one day? Is it worth buying something on sale over the standard price? Is it worth planning several errands at a time to save gas?

Camas, there’s no other place I’d rather be, and there’s no other place that I want to invest my money. I know where I want to spend my $12. Do you?

Join me in voting “yes” for Camas schools.

Heidi Buhman-McNeley, Camas

Join concerned citizens Jan. 5

After enjoying some delightful events in Camas and Washougal recently, I feel inspired to write a neighborly hello from nearby Vancouver.

Residents of Camas and Washougal, like residents of Vancouver, have similar reasons to oppose the proposed oil terminal in Vancouver. If approved, huge volumes of volatile oil would be transported by rail and ship through our neighborhoods, downtowns, and favorite recreation areas.

Please join other concerned citizens at a public hearing on Jan. 5 at the Clark County Event Center (details at sc.org/RidgefieldHearing).

Jean M. Avery, Vancouver