Letters to the Editor for Sept. 1, 2016

Republican politicians have questionable stances

Jaime Herrera Beutler actually says she wants to cut Social Security. I want my Social Security raised, not privatized or cut.

In Washington State we have the lowest paid teachers in the nation. Yet, she and Republican Sen. Ann Rivers and Rep. Liz Pike say less school funding. Teachers, elders and kids need more, not less.

Jaime also went to the train transporters to ask about train safety, but they’ll be fired, unless they say crude oil is safe.

Local candidates asked our firefighters about rail safety, so I trust the candidates who did that, not these three.

Dorethea Simone, Camas

Herrera Beutler ignores gun control issues

I will not be voting for Rep Herrera Beutler this fall.

Washington has one of the highest teen suicides in the nation. Clark County, especially Battle Ground, has been experiencing an extremely high rate of youth suicide. In our state, two teens commit suicide each week. This is a staggering statistic plaguing our state.

Of those who commit suicide, half of them use a gun. The use of a gun to take ones life is the most lethal of choices; use of a gun for a suicide will result in death 85 percent of the time. While use of medications for suicide result in death 2 percent of the time and suffocation 60 percent of the time. A gun in a house where a teenager lives is asking for a tragedy.

I attended a town hall in Battle Ground, where a high school student raised her hand and said, “I am afraid every day at school. I am afraid someone will bring a gun to school and shoot us. There are guns everywhere up here”. How is it we tolerate this as a society?

Yet, Rep. Herrera Beutler takes regular contributions from the NRA and enjoys an A grade from them. She has been woefully absent from any Congressional votes the past six months and ignores the seriousness and urgency of this issue. She recently did take one small (likely ineffective) step of supporting federal funding for an additional resource officer for the Battle Ground School District. Yet, she ignores the ‘elephant in the room’: guns in the home put children at higher risk of death. Period.

Joanne Pinelli, Camas

Lannen and Mahar for Skamania County commission

At a recent candidates forum, attendees heard from those seeking the two open Skamania County Commissioner positions. Priorities centered around preserving the county tax base, employing better forest management practices to protect our valuable natural resources, emergency preparedness, and how best to make Skamania a great place not just for living and playing, but for working, too.

Overall, there was a desire to ease our shaky dependence on state and federal government funding, and to increase prosperity and quality of life in the county by being friendlier to businesses.

Our community is blessed to have been presented with choices that all would have worked capably and honorably to serve Skamania County, but two stood out, and it appears that voters took notice.

Tom Lannen and Richard Mahar each finished with greater than 50 percent of the vote in their respective district primaries. Both candidates have impressive resumes that make them the most qualified at addressing and meeting the priorities and goals above, and they are deserving of your vote in the general election, Nov. 8.

Mahar and Lannen are knowledgeable and understanding of the current needs and challenges facing the county. They possess the vision and tools necessary for good management and prioritization of county funds and resources. At the candidates forum, both showed that they have the communication skills and temperament needed to coordinate with governments, county employees, and businesses.

For 13 years, Mahar has put his financial expertise and management experience to work locally by making sure no nickel is spent unwisely at Silver Star Industries, and Lannen has applied many years of business and leadership skills to addressing local funding issues through his group, SavingSkamaniaCounty.org.

Retiring Commissioners Chris Brong and Doug McKenzie have helped put the county on a better and more stable course. Let’s keep up the good work.

Please vote for Lannen and Mahar to be our next Skamania County commissioners.

Adam Schaeffer, North Bonneville