27th Street overpass should be considered
In regard to the proposed roundabout construction in Washougal, if they don’t include another way to get across the railroad tracks besides at 32nd and E streets, their new roundabouts on Highway 14 will be clogged up from here to Vancouver.
Half the drivers I see on the new ones they built in Washougal don’t know how to navigate them, so they stop. Also, we are getting a lot of out-of-state people moving up here or on vacations who have never seen a roundabout. As it is now, because of the train traffic, I plan on doing some waiting time at the intersection of 32 and E streets. They really need to consider a 27th Street overpass.
James Lowers, Washougal
National treasure needs to be protected
The proposed oil port seemed a good deal. Leasing out public property for promised jobs and a revenue stream looked pretty good three years ago. It unraveled. What seemed like a shoe-in deal turned sour when “buyers became aware” of the full contents of the goods they were to be sold.
Then, our democracy kicked in. People rolled up their sleeves in Vancouver both in government and private citizens to question the deal. That is exciting. It shows we can unite for a cause. It is a good thing when people come together to question proposals that may cause great harm. Our democracy is working.
The proposed oil port in Vancouver would impact six counties in Washington State, three along the Gorge — Klickitat, Skamania and Clark — would face daily disruptions and potential derailments, fires or sabotage. The Gorge is a national treasure and under federal protection for it pristine scenic value. It also houses multiple fish hatcheries and the Bonneville Dam that supplies the region with affordable power for its homes and important manufacturing base.
Vancouver would have the biggest risk in that it would also be the central location where the crude would be put on the water carriers.
Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Pacific counties would take on the risk of potential oil spills as the crude would be transported past those counties to the Tesoro refineries in Anacortes or Los Angeles. It’s not just an issue for environmentalists who care about clean waters and wildlife. It becomes an issue for those who count on the fish and wildlife as their income either as food harvests, recreational guides or fish hatcheries.
There would be is no job windfall. Construction jobs would be open to all — nationwide. This would produce a “gold rush fever” for jobs in the region. Camp followers would migrate here as well putting a strain on existing housing and social services.
As a sensible business woman, the oil port proposal makes no business sense to me. We can do better to grow our economy and with fewer risks. Risks go well beyond hypothetical derailments, fires and potential sabotage. Risks need to be assessed both short term and strategically to include:
Then, the crude will travel along the edge of the Pacific to the refineries.
The EPA, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Army Corp of Engineers — specifically to guard the Bonneville Dam — should be involved as a start. What Vancouver Port decides or the Governor of Washington decides will negatively impact multiple states and multiple stakeholders if they decide a go.
Lucia Worthington, Washougal