Letters to the Editor for Oct. 25, 2018

We need leaders like Kathy Gillespie

We need someone like Kathy Gillespie to represent the 18th legislative district in Olympia.

Several years ago, I had a chance to work with Kathy on a community safety issue. Our work took us to Olympia to meet with and speak to legislators. I witnessed firsthand Kathy’s determined work ethic, public speaking abilities, depth of experience (including eight years on the Vancouver School Board), professionalism and commitment to her beliefs.

Most importantly, Kathy is a good listener. She treats people with respect, and she actually does “work across the aisle” to get things done.

Kathy Gillespie is going door to door, all across Clark County, talking to voters so they get to know her. Many of us who have gotten to know her are doing the same, and canvassing on her behalf so voters hear her message.

Given the current deep divide in our country, it is leaders like Kathy we need right now!

Joanne Pinelli, Camas

Washougal’s Prop 8 would restrict mayor’s abilities

Washougal’s Prop 8 would eliminate the current separation of powers between the executive (mayor) and legislative (council) branches of city government. As the city itself references, “separation of powers provides healthy independence, debate and creative tension. Separate legislative and executive branches provide the best opportunity for debate and consensus building.” The transfer of the mayor’s executive authority to an appointed city manager will result in the mayor devolving into another member of the council, though its chair. Without the mayor’s executive authority, citizens will find this new kind of mayor greatly restricted in affecting the delivery of city services. Washougal voters should keep an elected executive mayor. Vote no on Prop 8. For more information visit washprop8.org.

Dan Duringer, Washougal

A vote for Carolyn Long is a vote for accountability

The Republican leadership in Congress has failed in its oversight role of the executive branch. The Trump administration has taken free reign to act against the public interest in official action and private behavior. The president and members of his administration have been implicated in corrupt and even criminal acts. The administration also has been alarmingly incompetent in its response to critical domestic issues — the opioid crisis and natural disaster relief to name two. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has shown no interest in bringing to light these abuses of public trust.

A Democratic majority in the House of Representatives will ensure that the president and his administration will be held to account for their misdeeds. Carolyn Long has the qualities of honest and ethical leadership we need in Congress. She will fight for our values — fairness, accountability and decency.

Richard Beck, Washougal

Don’t trust big oil misinformation campaign, vote ‘yes’ on I-1631

A lot of misinformation about Initiative 1631 (I-1631) is being spread by the opposition, which is mostly funded by the big oil companies. Naturally, they don’t want to be charged a carbon fee, but if they pass it on to consumers, it will be out of greed. They’ve been making record profits in recent years.

I-1631 is a chance for Washingtonians to take our future into our own hands. We will use the fees generated to create clean, sustainable, long-term jobs for the future and to maintain the beautiful state we love. Washington will continue to be the technological and environmental leader it always has been.

For more information, visit Yeson1631.org.

C. Parks, Vancouver

C-Tran ‘dedicated lane’ ignores thousands of drivers

C-Tran says it wants a “dedicated lane” for their buses on a replacement Interstate 5 (I-5) bridge. Yet C-Tran’s express bus service to Portland carries only 1,499 people on an average day, according to 2016 numbers. Ridership peaked and has declined for several years.

The 1,499 people on C-Tran’s express buses are a rounding error of the 310,000 vehicles crossing the Columbia River daily. People don’t want more mass transit. Recently, PEMCO’s survey indicated 94 percent of people prefer their cars.

The real bottleneck on I-5 is the two-mile, two-lane section of I-5 at the Rose Quarter, in Portland. Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports the No. 2 bottleneck in the region is I-5 southbound beginning at Rosa Parks Way and continuing through the Rose Quarter.

Back to the dedicated lane.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reports one freeway lane can carry 1,800 to 2,400 vehicles per hour, depending on vehicle speed. Over 24 hours, that’s potentially 43,200 to 57,600 vehicles daily.

C-Tran wants a dedicated lane. How many buses would C-Tran put on that dedicated lane each hour or each day? Nobody is asking that question.

C-Tran has seven express bus lines into Portland, five of which use the I-5 corridor. Those seven lines carry the 1,499 people each day. Most people commute from 7 to 9 a.m., returning home from 4 to 6 p.m.

If C-Tran’s express buses run every 10 minutes, that’s six buses each hour. Present service is five per hour, maximum. There are five separate express lines using I-5, meaning 30 express buses would use a dedicated lane each hour. But only during the hours people are commuting to and from work.

Ignored in the discussion is the question: How many vehicles are not able to use the new lane?

If 30 C-Tran buses use a new dedicated lane each hour, then 1,770 to 2,370 vehicles are stuck in the other congested lanes. Creating a dedicated lane hurts 1,700 to 2,300 cars and trucks each hour that could have been driving in the new lane. That’s 20,400 to 27,600 vehicles over a 12-hour period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., when people are most likely to use the road. It doesn’t make sense to harm 20,000 vehicle drivers, simply to benefit 30 C-Tran buses each hour, or 360 (mostly empty) C-Tran buses over the same 12-hour period. It’s not an efficient use of a new freeway lane.

We see what happens with a “dedicated lane” on Portland’s I-5 HOV lane. In the evening, just before 3 p.m., traffic gets jammed up on I-5 northbound as vehicles are forced to merge into the two general purpose lanes. Vehicle speeds slow to just 13 mph to 15 mph — half the morning speed, as southbound I-5 doesn’t have an HOV lane.

No private business would buy an asset that is used at just 1 or 2 percent of its capacity. The taxpayers of Clark County are not well served by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a new freeway lane just for C-Tran.

John Ley, Camas

Camas woman grateful for men who stopped to help

“A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. All marks added together are what man means.”

I had a marvelous opportunity this month to see firsthand two men in action while attempting to fix my car situation in the parking lot of QFC (on Southeast 192nd Avenue in Vancouver).

I was concerned that the interior lights would not turn off, nor would the car lock, so I was found standing against the door of my car by two men asking if I needed help. I explained the situation and both guys began trying this and trying that, all to no avail. Suddenly, one suggested he remove his remote battery and place it into mine to see if that was the lurking culprit. Voila, they solved the problem. I didn’t have a clue the remote even had a battery, but then, I’m an old woman driving a car from Pasadena. They then helped me inside the store while they went in various directions looking for a battery, also to no avail. It was then I was reduced to tears realizing I was once more being watched over by my deceased husband knowing his wife needed help. I’ve quit counting the many times I’ve experienced help the very moment I needed it. These two men will never know how much I appreciated not only their help, but also the comforting hug to reassure me all was well. I would like to think these guys had already cultivated the habit of being of service to mankind before finding me in the parking lot.

I’m sorry I was only able to learn the name of one man; Mark Kozlov of Camas. I believe he’s a remodeling contractor. The other man was equally helpful.

We all are truly a part of one large family here on earth and we do need to look out for one another.

It seems I never pass up a chance for a “nonfiction experience” so they say.

Dori Harston, Camas