Letters to the Editor for Oct. 11, 2018

Gorge Commission must take action on Washougal quarry

For 11 months, the largest ongoing land-use violation in the history of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area has been happening in eastern Clark County, and the Columbia River Gorge Commission has done nothing about it.

In October 2017, the Nutter Corporation illegally reactivated mining at the Washougal Pit (otherwise known as the Zimmerly quarry) without seeking the required land use permits. Ever since, the illegal mining has harmed my family, the local community, and the Gorge through dangerous truck traffic, damage to public roadways, ear-splitting noise pollution and massive dust clouds, as well as posing a serious threat to water quality and endangered salmon runs in Gibbons Creek.

Clark County tried to stop the illegal mining, but unfortunately, failed. In contrast, the Gorge Commission staff, with significant more enforcement powers than Clark County, have done nothing. What good is a regulatory entity that is unwilling to enforce its rules or uphold its mission? The Gorge Commission’s executive director, Krystyna Wolniakowski, is required by law to take enforcement action. The time has long since come for her to do so.

Kathee Gaudren, Washougal

Why is the paper not covering Herrera Beutler?

As a resident of Camas for over 50 years, it’s hard to miss the fact that our newspaper is getting lazy when it comes to a standard of unbiased reporting. There have been at least three very prominent and lengthy articles about candidate Carolyn Long published in the Post-Record this year, and one additional article in which candidate Long’s picture was published. Forgive me if I have somehow missed an article or three devoted to the incumbent, Jamie Herrera. If so, it/they certainly did not make the front page. I know people don’t always agree with a candidate’s viewpoints, but a paper has the duty to present fair and equal press coverage. A good reporter knows how to write and publish in such a way that their readers cannot guess what their biases are. The Post-Record is breaking the rule of reporting that holds to a high standard of unbiasedness. If we stoop to the level of using our newspapers to push an agenda or bring more attention to one candidate than another, we are doing as communist and other tyrannical regimes have done and turned our journalism into propaganda. This is extremely concerning to me and should be to people of all political and other persuasions. I realize it is hard to resist trying to support someone or a point of view in a very public way, but if reporters are unable to do this, then how can their readers trust their paper to provide what they need to make their own informed decisions?

I’m holding out hope that at least one decent article about Jamie Herrera Beutler is published before the upcoming election. This would greatly restore my confidence in our Post-Record as a reliable source of information.

Thank you for letting me air my concerns.

Marilyn Felipe, Camas

Editor’s Note: This is not a deliberate attempt to give one candidate more coverage. Had Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler attended the Camas High School “Lunchbox Talks” as her opponent, Carolyn Long, did (“Long visits Camas High,” Oct. 4, 2018 Post-Record), we would have given both candidates equal coverage — Herrera Beutler was invited to speak at the high school, but was unable to attend. In fact, we would love to report on the congresswoman’s local events, and had hoped to cover her appearance at the Oct. 22 Camas High School candidate forum. However, Herrera Beutler recently told Camas High forum organizers she is unable to attend the Oct. 22 event. Unfortunately, since Herrera Beutler rarely makes in-person appearances and has not hosted an event in Camas-Washougal for more than a year, we are unable to cover the congresswoman in the same way we report on candidates who do attend campaign events and candidate forums in our coverage area.

Hoff for 18th District, Position 2

From the moment I met Larry Hoff, he struck me as warm, honest and sincere — nothing like the typical person seeking political office.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Larry over the course of the past few months, spending time with him at a few functions, as well as having him appear as a featured guest on a podcast that I co-host.

A devoted family man, experienced and sharp businessman with a very approachable personality, Larry is exactly the type of person we need in office.

I wholeheartedly endorse Larry Hoff for the 18th District, Position 2.

Wes Robertson, Washougal

An open letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Supporter,

I’ve spoken to you in the past few months while handing out literature at the Camas Farmer’s Market. Our conservations have been civil, in fact, some of you have even thanked me for the civility.

I usually begin our conversations with this question, “What do you like about Trump?”

You frequently respond, “Well, I don’t like everything he says and/or how he says it. I wish he’d stop tweeting.”

I wonder, as you walk away, if you know how odd it is that you have to morally distance yourself from the president by first telling me you don’t like everything he says or how he says it. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler does the same thing. She proudly claims she personally didn’t vote for Trump because he is a poor role model for her kids. Her congressional voting record is 90 percent with Trump.

Trump supporter: are these some of the things he said you don’t like? “I grab them by the pussy.” “I like people who weren’t captured.” He makes fun of Gold Star families, a handicapped journalist, our allies, minorities, women and religious groups. You can’t avoid responsibility for this by trying to separate yourself from what Trump says.

Recently, at a rally in Southhaven, Mississippi, Trump made fun of Dr. Ford, a victim of sexual assault. His supporters laughed with him at Dr. Ford’s expense. You are responsible for this. Own it. The world you have allowed him to create is your world.

Betty Cooper, Washougal

Mailers show Herrera Beutler is a frivolous spender

After receiving the latest round of taxpayer funded mailers from Rep. Jaime Herrera Buetler, I asked for the total cost and for the second time in two years was completely ignored.

I do know that in 2012 The Columbian did a story on this issue and found that our congresswoman’s bill for mailers came to $190,000 with one on Medicare at $37,000. When asked about it at the time, she said she would probably keep doing it. Herrera Buetler certainly has remained true to her word, as our household has received eight of her expensive mailers since the spring of 2016. During the same period of time we’ve received one from Sen. Murray, and I know Sen. Cantwell refrains from the practice entirely.

Even if today’s costs are the same, the total bill would come to a whopping $296,000 — or $121,000 more than the congresswoman’s annual salary. In her form letter regarding the tax bill, she said she was looking out for our tax dollars. Huh? It’s very apparent and clear that when it comes to lack of transparency and frivolous spending of our tax dollars, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Buetler is not in second place.

Patrick Carlson, Ridgefield