Letters to the Editor for Aug. 18, 2016

Camas Cemetery has been neglected

I would like to alert you to the condition of the Camas Cemetery. I think this should be of interest to your readers because it is the final resting place of our Camas civic fathers.

The condition of the Camas Cemetery is a disgrace. Has anyone been there recently, except for grieving or reverential relatives? Apparently due to city cutbacks, the City Council has created a wasteland.

“My people” are buried in the Camas Cemetery. Or sadly, what is left of the cemetery. I am appalled when going there and seeing it in its dilapidated state.

When I visited last week I saw century-old grave markers recessed in the ground and almost nonexistent — grown over with weeds, dead grass and neglect.

As a native Camasonian I understand how grass is allowed to die in the summer, only to revive in the autumn rain. But I also remember a time when the cemetery was watered regularly, so it was perennially green.

It’s much more than watering. There is no upkeep, no trimming. Grave makers are long overgrown. When someone buys a plot, does it not cover upkeep as well?

In a vibrant Camas downtown area this is glaringly disproportionate to the vision of the city planners.

This cemetery is the final resting place of Camas’ founding fathers and mothers, and is situated on a magnificent location — chosen no doubt by our resting ancestors to overlook their proud achievement of a teeming Camas below. In looking towards the future, the past should — indeed must — be preserved with respect.

For shame Camas city council for letting this happen.

Who is responsible?

April Carmack McCourt, Eugene, Oregon

King should be embarrassed

My job is directly affected by 14th District State Sen. Curtis King’s transportation bill. In my job managing a sales territory of water treatment services I drive 50K miles per year most of which in Washington. I visit customers monthly to perform chemistry tests on their systems and make corrective actions. Even though I am compensated for mileage, King’s tax increase costs my company and those in similar jobs.

Now my question to King is this: How is it fair that those who drive longer commutes or worse who drive long distances for as part of their job, will disproportionately fund King’s pet projects in the metropolitan areas that most of us will never benefit from?

I cannot help but compare the situation to the fact that five of the top 10 wealthy counties in the nation are right at the Washington DC beltway. When considering how little industry exists there normally associated with a nation’s fiscal health, one must find this fact incredibly disturbing. King has been facilitating this comparative parasite/host relationship between Seattle and the rest of Washington. King was elected to represent a more rural area and should have been acting like it. I will be campaigning for King’s opponent, Amanda Richardson, because of his betrayal of his constituency when he:

1. Campaigned for and raised funds in public for a Democrat with worthy Republican opponents.

2. Compared in the media those against his gas tax hike within King’s constituency as his children for whom he made decisions because he knew better.

3. Apparently broke campaign/election laws by not displaying his party affiliation on his campaign signs. In kind, his website is ambiguous at best as to his party affiliation.

Is he embarrassed to be Republican? I look forward to your departure from office.

Steve Kenny LD14, Goldendale

McDevitt backs Moeller for Third District

Aug. 2 ended the Primary Election, and on Aug. 3 I had a major reconstructive surgery on my right arm.

Now that virtually all votes have been received and recovery from surgery has progressed, I am able to process the last 12 months campaigning in the 3rd Congressional District.

I am giving my heartfelt warmest congratulations to Jim Moeller on moving forward to the General Election. In addition, I am giving Moeller my full support, and encouraging others to support his effort. It is time for us to unite, so I am strongly encouraging all democrats to support the campaigns of democratic candidates in the November elections by joining ground teams, canvassing groups, and phone bank volunteers – designed to increase election participation. Votes count when democrats engage.

Also of importance, I will continue efforts to achieve improvements to our regional transportation and infrastructure. To start, we need to encourage

Govs. Inslee and Brown to create a joint powers authority to address the gridlock and volume of traffic. Such an authority could approach the opportunity with broad solutions including mass rapid transit with capacity for 250k or more people per day, freight bypass roads ancillary to I-5 for safety and commerce, and the much needed replacement of the I-5 Bridge.

These solutions could also be extended by expanding commuter alternatives throughout the region and along the entirety of the I-5 corridor from Salem to Olympia; the objective is to give alternatives that would get commuters out of their automobiles. Additional alternatives exist in expanding access to broadband in the agricultural and rural communities, locations where professionals reside and could telecommute and where citizens, schools, libraries, and businesses hunger for faster internet access.

We need to expand our economic opportunities, not lose billions of dollars to the lost productivity sitting in gridlock and bumper to bumper traffic.

David McDevitt, Vancouver