Letters to Editor for June 25, 2020

Questions remain after armed residents stand on rooftop of Washougal gun shop

After many weeks of public discourse regarding the behavior of folks outside Limitless during Washougal’s and Camas’ successful anti-racist marches (when armed residents stood around and on top of the Washougal-based gun shop), I still have questions:

What does it say about a person who chooses to believe a hoax started and circulated by white supremacist organizations about bad actors being bused to rural “white ‘hoods” to “take what’s ours” (i.e. murder, rape and pillage)?

More importantly, what does it say about a person who gets their information from these sources?

What does it say about a person who chooses to double down on that information, even after it’s been exposed and debunked?

What does it say about a person who, on social media, romanticizes their rooftop armed surveillance activities by comparing themselves to so-called “roof Asians,” a reference to residents of Los Angeles’ Koreatown who, during the 1992 L.A. riots, felt they had no choice but to try and defend their businesses after police and emergency responders — unlike the Washougal police who babysat the Limitless crowd — abandoned them in order to protect white, more affluent neighborhoods?

What does it say about a person who openly, on social media, expresses glee about the opportunity to open fire in an area with a large group of citizens in order to protect insured property?

What does it say about a person who displays such a sad lack of discernment and media literacy, such a lack of humility when they learned they’ve been conned, such a lack of maturity about guns, and such a lack of empathy for what truly desperate communities have to do to fight for their livelihood and safety?

What does it say when this person, in the same social media threads, professes to be a professional, not a racist and a Christian?

I have my opinions.

One last note about the citizens of Koreatown during the L.A. riots: After all their efforts, approximately $425 million in damages befell their community — half of the whole Los Angeles bill. Many survivors of the riots are still struggling financially today and the lesson that many took away from the event is that the police don’t care about minorities — period — and that in the future, marginalized people must band together. After all their efforts, the only person shot by these desperate citizens was 18-year-old Edward Song Lee, a fellow citizen of Koreatown who was protecting a pizza shop with some friends.

This is not to be romanticized, joked about, or made into a pathetic meme.

Thank God the city of Washougal had no incidents of “friendly fire” at our march.

Kelli Rule,

Washougal

Senator transparent about Camas Slough Bridge funding

The subject of “transparency” is being thrown around in political campaigns. The most recent accusation was one I heard about Senator Ann Rivers. The accusation says that the process used to transfer funds from the West Camas Slough Bridge project to the state Route 14 (SR-14) widening project between 164th Avenue and (Interstate 205) “was not public nor discussed among citizens.” This letter is an attempt to clear up that false claim.

During 2016, the city of Camas had been awarded a $25 million package through Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for rebuilding the West Camas Slough Bridge. However. WSDOT informed the city that it looked as if the actual cost was going to be between $28-$31 million. The message we received was that the local jurisdictions would have to fund the difference. If we did not, then the full $25 million would be redistributed to other Washington state projects outside of Clark County.

Camas did not feel we could fund the potential difference of $3-$6 million at that time. The issue was discussed in our public meetings. The city of Camas worked with the city of Washougal and the Port of Camas-Washougal to support transfer of the $25 million to the widening project of SR-14 between 164th Avenue and I-205. These discussions were (held) in public meetings.

On Feb. 2, 2017, then-Camas City Administrator Pete Capell, wrote a formal letter to Senator Curtis King, the ranking Republican member of the state’s transportation committee, requesting his support in shifting funding from the West Camas Slough Bridge project to funding the widening and reducing congestion on SR-14 between 164th Avenue and I-205. At that time, the city of Camas, city of Washougal and Port of Camas-Washougal requested that Sen. Rivers championed this request for Clark County. She committed to help on the project. See the following Camas-Washougal Post-Record editorial, dated Dec. 12, 2019 (camaspostrecord.com/news/2019/dec/12/editorial-a-question-of-transparency/)

Sen. Rivers had three town hall meetings discussing the efforts to transfer these funds. She was interviewed in Clark County newspapers several times on this topic. She was interviewed on KOIN. The money ultimately was shifted to the SR-14 widening project. She clearly was transparent.

This was open to public input. Sen. Rivers graciously helped move transportation money out of her district into a Clark County highway project that improved traffic and safety for all of us. She has done a good job for us and has been selected as “Legislator of the Year” 30 times by 27 different organizations in her 10-year tenure.

I plan to vote for her in 2020. I hope that you do, also.

Steve Hogan,

Camas

Why do white people take solace in symbols that cause pain to Black communities?

In the 1960s, my family took trips in our Chevy station wagon along Highway 1 through Oxnard, California, where we would drive by the Colonial House, a roadside tavern that featured a “living sign” in the form of a Black man in a chef’s outfit waving atop a platform to lure in passing motorists.

Upon the demise of the eatery and motel, the Los Angeles Times wrote that the establishment “evoked memories of bygone glory” and served as a “red, white and blue monument to the Old South.”

Even to this day, why do Southern symbols such as slave plantations or statues of Confederate military leaders seem to provide such solace for so many white Americans, despite being such an obvious source of pain and indignation for African Americans?

Ellen Sward,

Vancouver

Reader pens poem to those impacted by coronavirus

We live in a scary

World today

It’s different than

Before

No more hugs kissing

Our happiness gone away

Like never before

The virus has taken our

Loved ones away

Families suffering

Like never before

The fear of the unknown

Has arrived

The worry of what will happen

Tomorrow to you and me

Coronavirus on our mind’s

Coronavirus everywhere

Our lives in danger

Like never before

We practice social distancing

Every day to keep the virus

At bay as we shop in different ways

Were asked to stay at home

Like never before

When will this

Virus ever go away

But I promise

I’ll love and pray for everyone

Suffering

Every day.

David P. Carroll,

Washougal

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