Letters to the Editor for May 10, 2018

Hard to see any good in Camas mill slowdown

The post-industrial or “information age” was supposed to herald an era of wonderfully good things, as computer-oriented jobs replaced traditional blue-collar employment. But it is extremely difficult to see much that is good in the shutdown of the “Roaring 20” paper machine at the Camas mill.

Taking away “stable, family-wage jobs” for hundreds of mill workers sounds distinctly dystopian to me, and consigning many of them to the tender mercies of WorkSource sounds horrible.

Communities thrive when they preserve as many well-paying jobs as possible, and these same communities lapse into various forms of dysfunction when they replace those jobs with “opportunities” in the burger-flipping service sector. It is simply impossible to believe that ditching “$65,000 and $90,000” employment opportunities in favor of near-minimum wage jobs can possibly be good on either the macroeconomic or microeconomic levels. President Donald Trump’s desire to bring back elements of this country’s 1950s-style industrial economy, whether it is possible or not, certainly appeals to those who have been hurt by this supposedly “good” transformation away from blue-collar employment. Nostalgia or not, this hankering after the attractions of the industrial era is understandable.

We are admonished regularly to “not wring our hands” over the Industrial Age’s passing, but that same Industrial Age long treated Camas and Washougal marvelously. It is next to impossible to believe that these towns’ futures will be bettered by the Camas mill’s fadeout.

Frank W. Goheen, Vancouver

Long is best person to represent diverse 3rd Congressional District

When I met Carolyn Long some 20 years ago, she was a recently arrived professor at Clark County’s new four-year university and had local responsibility for Washington State University Vancouver’s Foley Institute’s community lectures in Clark County. I was fortunate to be invited to serve on the citizen advisory and planning committee. What struck me about this then-young woman was her intelligence and knowledge, but most of all, her respect for others and their opinions and beliefs.

Throughout the years since, Carolyn Long has become a valued member of our community. I watched her as she became a mother, achieved full professorship and tenure, and integrated herself into this community. Individuals who attend her classes tell me they learn not only the facts of our system of government, but also gain a healthy respect for the U.S. Constitution and other governing tenets. She has served as moderator and panelist for many community events and committees. Anyone who watches election night reports from Clark College knows of Carolyn’s informed and unbiased explanations of process and results.

All this has confirmed — no, intensified — my original opinion of her, as have the many town halls she has held throughout the district since she announced her desire to serve her community even further as U.S. Representative for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

Carolyn Long is the kind of person the diverse population of District 3 needs to stand for it in the United States House of Representatives. She is definitely the kind of person I want to represent me.

Marjorie Casswell, Vancouver