Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17, 2016

Protect Washougal’s assets from development

Green Construction, Inc. and the City of Washougal have proposed the development of 104 single-family lots on 17 acres north of N. Washougal River Road, along the Washougal River.

This equates to a density of around nine homes per acre, a density much more common to urban neighborhoods in large cities.

The development of “Green View Estates” requires the removal of many mature trees and other vegetation on relatively steep clay slopes in an area prone to landslides. The preliminary plat for the subdivision recognizes that “unstable slopes and landslide hazard areas,” “areas having severe soil erosion potential,” and “slopes in excess of 15 percent” are all present on this site.

In the past 15 years-plus, road crews have removed slide material from the Washougal River Road several times along the eastern edge of the proposed subdivision.

The plat plan indicates that “storm water will be treated using an approved BMP (best management practice) and infiltrated into the ground.” However, the dense housing arrangement and the addition of paved streets greatly reduces the amount of ground available to absorb run off, and the “storm tract” shown on the preliminary plat seems inadequate.

We are seriously concerned about sediment-containing run off from this erosion-prone site reaching the Washougal River, affecting all aquatic wildlife downstream and destroying spawning habitat for several species of endangered salmon and steelhead. The added cost of road upkeep and repairs should also concern the city.

The Pacific Northwest has experienced many landslides with grave results in recent years – the costly Aldercrest-Banyon landslide in Kelso, Washington in 1999, the deadly Oso, Washington, landslide in 2014; and the landslide that shut down northbound I-5 near Woodland, Washington for several days in 2015, to name a few. Developers are continually pushing onto steeper slopes and into river valleys with unstable clay banks. This can’t continue. As lifelong and longtime residents of Southwest Washington and the Washougal area, we urge the City of Washougal to protect our most precious asset, the Washougal River, for current and future residents and all fish and wildlife by not approving the proposed Green View Estates subdivision.

Joelle M. Scheldorf, Alexander Worobey, Mike Aldrich and Jackie Faley,

Washougal residents

Disgusted by Donald Trump

An open letter to Donald Trump:

You will likely never read this letter. But I hope at least one of your staff does.

They likely protect you from anything like I am going to say.

You disgust me.

You are everything I have raised my two children not to be.

I am trying to forget you represent me now.

We had our television and phone line disconnected.

I took down my Facebook page and canceled my Twitter account.

We are headed to live in a country where you hate its people: Mexico.

I am 64 years old. My husband is 70.

We have never protested in our lives.

But two nights ago we marched here in the Portland, Oregon, area in an anti-Trump demonstration. No, we are not anarchists or ‘paid for protesters’ as you lied about, as always, in your tweet. We are role modeling for our two children who are in their 20s and are overwhelmed by the thought of you being their “leader.”

And please don’t’ think that by taking “nicey nice” steps now you can gain my support or think you can heal the country. I know who you are. I saw who you are over the past 18 months. You are like a son-in-law who batters my daughter by humiliating, groping and insulting her and then thinks if he buys her mother a dozen roses that it will all be fine again. It’s a joke and a profound insult.

You might be thinking: so what. That I am a voter you never would have gotten anyway. But I have been civically active for decades trying to make my country a better place. You need people like me. And you will never get me.

You disgust me.

Joanne Pinelli, Camas