Letters to the Editor for Sept. 1, 2015

Protestors voice opposition to Nestle

On Aug. 30, activists marched across The Bridge of the Gods to protest a proposed Nestl? bottled-water plant at Cascade Locks, Oregon.

The bridge is only opened once a year for pedestrian traffic. Hundreds of sightseers and community members gather for the stunning view of the Columbia River. Today, they were joined by 20 protestors, who marched with a bridge-spanning banner that read: “Stop Nestl? By Any Means Necessary.”

Nestl? is the world’s largest food and beverage firm. Despite a history of human rights abuses, this Switzerland-based corporation has made billions privatizing public water supplies around the world.

Their planned bottling facility in the Columbia River Gorge would siphon off 118 million gallons of water every year from Oxbow Springs. Opposition is widespread, especially from indigenous communities.

“Nestl? already has millions, they don’t need our water,” said Ernest J. Edwards of the Yakama Nation. “Our water is for the salmon.”

Treaties made with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs recognize their fishing rights. Tribal member Anna Mae Leonard held a five-day hunger strike last week, surviving only on water from Oxbow Springs. Despite this community opposition, the State of Oregon and local governments have so far sided with Nestl?.

Opposition to Nestl? bottled water plants has been successful in the past; projects in Florida, Wisconsin, California, and elsewhere were scrapped after communities rose up in defiance. Freeman thinks the same can be done here.

Max Wilbert

Eugene, Oregon

Future is in good hands

On Sunday, my granddaughter and I were riding our bikes around Washougal High School parking lot in-between rain showers. There was one lone red SUV parked in the corner of the lot, but except for that car the parking lot was empty.

We enjoyed riding around for about 15 minutes before my granddaughter took a nasty spill and cut up her mouth, scraped one knee and one elbow. She was crying and bleeding and quite upset.

A young gentleman came out of the red SUV with a first aid kit and a bottle of water to help with the situation. He even let me use his cell phone, so I could call my wife to come with our van to take my granddaughter and her bike home, and offered to take us home if I could not reach her.

With all the bad news you hear on TV and read in the paper about our youth getting into trouble, I just thought a story like this should be told. I am sure there are many more stories out there like this but this one happened to me. Never got the boy’s name but thanked him many times for his help. I wanted to recognize him again in writing, and let everyone know that our future is in good hands when we have young people like him in the world.

Mike Ladage

Washougal

Distracted driving is not a victimless crime

Inattention behind the wheel is a serious problem; it causes injuries and death every year but cannot be effectively enforced if appropriate laws are not put in place.

I attended the June 4 meeting hosted by Rep. Liz Pike on “finding solutions to reduce the high percentage of teen accidents.” I stood up during the public speaking time and told my story in hopes to light a fire to fuel movement towards increased safe driving laws with consequences. A distracted driver killed my son and received absolutely no consequence for his negligence. Where is the justice in that? I want to make driver inattention accountable and a crime.

On June 21, I followed up with a letter to Rep. Liz Pike, to set up a meeting with her to assure she heard my voice. To guarantee she would receive it, I sent the letter certified.

During the meeting, she appeared to be purposeful and able to accomplish what needs to be done. Yet I have not heard anything from this highly capable professional. I was under the impression that our elected officials are to be responsive to the people whom elected them. I wonder if she really wanted to accomplish anything or just look like she was trying. To my knowledge an elected official should respond and work for their constituents. So far, Liz Pike has certainly been nonresponsive to me regarding this issue.

How many people are needed to line up behind me before we can get a new law enacted to prevent an escalating problem which affects all of us behind the wheel? I am not going to stop until a new distracted driving law for vehicular manslaughter is enacted.

Trina Cortese,

mother of

Tanner Trosko,

17 years young,

buried in 2013

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