Letters to the Editor for April 25, 2019

Ask congresswoman to help house families in need

I’m grateful for the Family Promise group for continuing their work to help the homeless, this time in Camas. (“Day center opens for homeless families” by Kelly Moyer, Camas-Washougal Post-Record, April 11, 2019.) Clark County is not alone in the difficulty for families to find affordable housing. In fact, the National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that “no state has an adequate supply of homes for its poorest renters.” They go on to say that Washington state only has housing for only 29 of 100 in this category. Of course, our representatives can help change this. Why not take time to call or ask them to? For example, ask Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler to support a $5 billion increase in the Housing Choice Vouchers program (Section 8), which currently only serves 25 percent of those who qualify. This will house 340,000 more families. Now is the time to call or write, since Congress is working on the budget for the coming year. In this way, we can all help thousands of families put a roof over their heads.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Washington

Is gun control really a call to ‘eliminate only real control Americans have over government’?

Recently, Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, and others, have argued for gun safety, that is, reasonable restrictions and/or outright bans on citizen ownership of certain firearms, namely semiautomatics. One common rallying point for restriction is that for home defense, hunting or competitive target shooting, a semiautomatic firearm is simply not needed, which then causes a reaction from gun owners who argue that “reasonable” and “need” are simply personal opinions and, in any case, are irrelevant per the “shall not be infringed” commandment phrasing of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

It is difficult for gun owners to understand why Pete Buttigieg and other gun-control advocates cannot grasp the deeper truth of the old adage, “The Second Amendment ain’t about duck hunting” and recognize the timeless warning in Edmund Burke’s admonition that “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

So what is it really all about? The familiar paragraph below (from the Declaration of Independence) declares the simple theme, which explains the reason gun owners cling bitterly to their guns.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

In today’s ugly and acrimonious political environment where we learn daily about some new government perfidy, it is easy to mistake Buttigieg’s call for putative safety measures as, instead, a call to eliminate the only real control Americans have over their government.

Lee Howard, Washougal

April is National Safe Digging Month

April is National Safe Digging Month and it is also the time when NW Natural reminds you to call 811 before you dig. Spring brings planting and the start of outdoor projects — before starting a task that involves digging 12 inches or lower, call 811 to have underground utilities located.

Contacting 811 is free and easy. At least two days before the start of a project, call 811 or go online to make the request at digsafelyoregon.com. You can also use NW Natural’s new safety app.

When you contact 811, a local one-call center representative collects details and notifies the local utility companies of the intent to dig. Then, a professional locator visits the site to mark the location of underground utility lines with paint. Once the site is marked, it is safe to dig carefully around the marked areas. Learn more at digsafelyoregon.com.

If while you’re digging, you accidentally hit a gas line, report it immediately by calling 911 or NW Natural’s emergency line at 800-882-3377. No damage is too small to report to NW Natural, and even a small dent could weaken a natural gas line.

Enjoy the season and remember to call 811.

Paul Willocks, NW Natural Community Affairs

Encourage governor to stop fracked gas projects

The process of fracking gas uses highly dangerous chemicals, many of which cause neurological harm or are known carcinogens. Despite this, the fracking injection process is excluded from the regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Approximately 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracking, and each well can be fracked 18 times.

Babies and children have no agency and rely on the adults in our society to protect them from harm.

Governor Jay Inslee can stop two fracked gas mega-projects from operating in Washington state, but has yet to take a stance on fracked gas. Please join me in encouraging Gov. Inslee to oppose any project that expands the use of fracked gas.

Julia Mottet, Longview, Washington

Methanol refinery is proposed disaster

Governor Jay Inslee’s preventing construction of the largest oil terminal in North America last year was only the beginning. Another fracked gas project is threatening the Interstate 5 (I-5) corridor.

Northwest Innovation Works would like to build the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington, which would stand to become Washington’s largest climate polluter by 2025. It would increase the state’s contribution to global warming by almost 10 percent. This is a huge step backwards in our fight to prevent climate change. The refinery would also put the entire city of Kalama at risk for both environmental and public safety concerns. Were there to be an explosion, the entire town of Kalama would be destroyed. Kalama sits along the Columbia River, meaning 9.4 million gallon tanks of volatile methanol stored on dredged sand would cause a major disaster if the region experienced an earthquake.

Governor Inslee: Allowing this refinery to be built would be a devastating blow to those who fight to combat climate change. Please continue to oppose such projects and prevent this Kalama methanol refinery.

Christina Ramsey, Olympia, Washington

Governor should halt LNG facility construction

I am proud to have my governor, Jay Inslee, fight for climate action! He stopped the largest oil terminal in North America from being built in Vancouver, and he can stop another massive fracked gas expansion this year. The Pacific Northwest has been my home for over 30 years. I want the beautiful landscape and proud, happy people of the area to remain here for many centuries, even after I am gone. I fear this will not happen if we construct a liquified natural gas facility in Tacoma, Washington, an area home to the Puyallup Tribe and where over 200,000 others live and work. This facility is being constructed without an air permit from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency — how can we know the health and safety of people residing in the area has been accounted for? Construction of the facility adjacent to the reservation is also in violation of the Medicine Creek Treaty with the Puyallup tribe.

By allowing this facility to move forward, we’re not only ignoring its questionable safety and legality, but putting the environment we share at risk. This is not right. Governor Inslee, as you are in support of climate change prevention, I urge you to stop construction of this dangerous and irresponsible LNG facility in Tacoma.

Christina Ramsey, Olympia, Washington