Letters to the Editor for May 26, 2015

State parks need funding

The public deserves a state budget that will preserve our State Parks. Natural and historic resources are being destroyed by neglect due to lack of funding and maintenance, which is irresponsible and shameful.

The Senate drastically under-funds parks in their budget – resulting in an additional cut of 100 positions (17 percent staff reduction), on top of the 40 percent staff reduction during the past three years.

As a park ranger, I am not able to provide the quality experience to park visitors that I was able to prior to 2012. At Beacon Rock State Park, we no longer have a dedicated customer service position, phone calls and in-person customer needs go unmet, and we’ve seen an increase in criminal activity and vandalism. Parks are significant economic drivers, especially in rural areas with limited economic opportunities that attract paying customers.

Parks are the backbone of commerce for their communities, providing customers for local businesses. If parks fails to put forth an attractive product, local economies will lose out. Republicans would rather decimate our state parks than ask the wealthy and profitable corporations to pay their fair share. This downward spiral is heartbreaking and must be stopped. Please fund state parks.

Vivian Spidle, Washougal

Bridge crisis still needs a solution

Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas burned any and all bridges when it comes to starting a new dialog about the construction of a new I -5 Bridge when she did everything in her power to kill the last CRC project and its funding strictly for political reasons.

Millions of taxpayer money was wasted because she and others in her party refused to work with the CRC planners. I appreciate her getting $100,000 to start the conversation again, along with Democrat Rep. Sharon Wylie. But it then became obvious Pike did not have any credibility to start this conversation, when the governor of Oregon showed no interest in working with Pike.

We still need to solve this Interstate bridge crisis. Pike is the wrong person to start this conversation. Let’s get a true bi-partisan team of local and state leaders from Oregon and Washington together and build this bridge along with light rail.

Gale Beagle, Vancouver

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