Letters to the Editor for May 31, 2016

Bakken oil is not an explosive

After reading Dr. Sachs open letter, I just want to reassure all the readers that Mayor Sean Guard is safe from an explosion because of his test tube of Bakkan crude.

Mayor Guard’s safety is assured, contrary to Dr. Sachs’ comment, “I was afraid to touch it (Mayor Guard’s test tube of Bakken Oil) because of its explosive qualities.”

Actually, Bakken crude is not classified, per the US Department of Transportation, as an explosive, oxidizer/organic peroxide, or spontaneously combustible. It is classified as a flammable liquid.

Regarding the Doctors other comments, he may just be risk averse. However, risk aversion is not how public policy is developed.

Cost-benefit analysis, risk assessments, research, infrastructure support, issue identification, issue analysis and risk mitigations are the preferred tools, vice hysteria. Since the oil is not explosive, a large oil terminal will not explode in the event of a Cascadia event. However, a fire conflagration may be possible. Is the city prepared for any disaster response; is a better question. That is a valid concern. A Cascadia event, oil train derailment, hazardous material truck crash, plane crash or any other large scale event will overwhelm all but a large city like LA or Seattle.

With that, I would like to remind Dr. Sachs that raising false alarms and causing unnecessary panic is a nuisance.

Finally, let me reassure all that Mayor Guard and his staff are safe from a Bakkan oil explosion in his pocket.

CDR Kevin Sudbeck, USN (ret), Washougal

Flags should be flown honorably, properly

Having been born here in Camas a long time ago, I consider myself a Camas native, even if I now live in Skamania County.

I have always considered Camas to be a real patriotic sort of place, and I do miss the parades down main street on the Fourth of July and on Veterans Day. Times change.

Recently, I was parked by the Camas library waiting for my wife and I noticed the flag in front of it was dark. Than I saw that the one by the bank was also not lit.

Out of curiosity, my wife and I rolled about town for a bit and did not see one flag being properly and honorably, by my view, displayed.

By the established protocol, it is permissible to fly the national colors 24-7, provided the flag is illuminated, if left aloft.

I find it strange that a town which would paint the street with the centerline in red, white and blue dashes would be so careless as to let our lovely national colors fly in the dark.

I fly my two flags with lights on them, and I do enjoy looking out my window at and seeing “Glory” waving at me. My wife and I invite anyone who wishes to come out our home and enjoy the view with us.

Delbert Greening, Washougal