Letters to the Editor for Oct. 28, 2021

Henriksen: support ‘moderate, experienced, dependable’ candidates

People have been asking who I believe in and support in the upcoming election. In addition to my previous endorsement of Steve Hogan for Camas mayor, please join me in voting for Erika Cox and Corey McEnry for Camas School Board and Jennifer McDaniel and Marilyn Boerke for Camas City Council.

All are moderate, experienced and dependable. They are courageous and passionate about our community. All four know how to work with others in a civil, respectful and productive manner to find good and fair solutions for our future. That’s exactly what we need in this time of mean spirited attacks and decisiveness.

Please vote!

Nan Henriksen,

Former Camas mayor 

 

Support our school boards, reject the outrage machine

People who serve on school boards are nonpartisan, unpaid public servants. They support our children in getting an education that will prepare them for life. That education should teach them how to respectfully relate to each other — to solve problems and work through disagreements with their fellow citizens. Learning such cooperation and respect is fundamental to a working democracy. 

In this campaign season I’ve been shocked to see local school board members shouted at, threatened and falsely accused of advocating a radical left-wing agenda. This is a lie that has been ginned up by big money working through conservative think tanks and media at a national level. They are trying to take our local governments by force, not unlike the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.

We can’t live in a post-truth country, violently divided against each other and cheated by big money donors who use culture wars to elect politicians who will do their bidding. Incumbent school board members are promoting an accurate teaching of history so students can learn from our accomplishments and our mistakes. 

Vote for civility and good management by our experienced school board members. Reject the outrage machine.

Gary Seeman, 

Ridgefield

 

Boerke will move Camas forward

Marilyn Boerke is the clear choice for Camas City Council, Ward 1. She is a long time Camas resident and very involved in our community. She is a listener and a collaborator. What we need in our city government right now is people who want to move the city forward in a positive manner and who want to build relationships. Please join me in supporting Marilyn for Camas City Council.

Mary Weishaar,

Camas

 

Back Marilyn Boerke to back downtown Camas 

Marilyn Boerke is a strong supporter of our downtown Camas and its businesses. She is a board member of the Downtown Camas Association. She understands the importance of our downtown as the core of the city. 

Marilyn will make an excellent addition to the Camas City Council and will help move our downtown forward as it grows. She will also help to make sure historic preservation at the forefront of consideration. 

A vote for Marilyn is a vote for the jewel of our city, our downtown.

Mark Klein,

Camas

 

Support dedicated incumbent school board candidates

When in our democracy did it become acceptable for school board candidates to threaten, intimidate, and harass incumbents? In Ridgefield, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal, we have been blessed with dedicated incumbents who are working hard to get re-elected so they can continue creating a great education experience for ALL students. 

But, this election season, these passionate public servants, who have selflessly volunteered their time, have had to contend with hideous lies spewed in fake websites, ads, and social media posts. They’ve faced confrontations at board meetings and even threats to their safety. 

These local tactics are part of a national strategy to actively undermine public education. This must stop. We voters have the power to do it. I urge everyone to thoroughly research the school board candidates on your ballot and fully understand who you’re voting for. Consult only trustworthy sources to assess backgrounds, public service records and positions on issues. Most importantly, examine the candidates’ character. 

There is no place on our school boards for anyone who vilifies incumbents or otherwise intimidates and harasses. 

Please support our dedicated incumbents. They’ve more than earned our vote. We owe it to our kids.

Janet Birgenheier,

Ridgefield

 

Camas is in danger of losing its public green spaces

Dear neighbors, 

Camas is in danger of losing our public green spaces. Here’s why: 

(1) The city of Camas has been under a steady lobbying pressure to sell city-owned green spaces for development. A pro-developers/private development mentality is part of this astounding ask. 

(2) The same lobbying pressure was, thus, against the Legacy Land purchase, which was the last piece of a long-term green conservation project by the city of Camas that culminated in 2020. So, what is this “Legacy Lands” Project?: 

  • To protect and preserve 87 acres of a green belt along the north side of Lacamas Lake that will extend the Heritage Trail to the north side, add additional green spaces and protect trees. 
  • This was a joint-project between the city of Camas, the non-profit Columbia Land Trust and north shore property owners who sold chunks of their land to the city at a sharp discount. 
  • This green belt will be protected from future development, not only by city zoning but by being held in a trust (the thing CLT specializes in and has been using to conserve lands up and down the Columbia River corridor). CLT has partnered with the city of Camas to preserve other Camas green spaces too, like Fall Leaf Lake. 

(3) The same lobbying pressure in partnership with a private for-profit athletic facility business lobbied the city to dig up Crown Park, a historic urban green space, to put in a new, big competitive pool. They wanted this to be funded as a public-project, requiring our public money while serving profits of a private company. This lobbying happened a bit ago and has reared up again more recently. This Crown Park ask has multiple environmental, logistics and funding problems that will impact us all negatively: 

  • Destroying a historic piece of urban green space with trees. 
  • Creating traffic snarl and parking issues for our downtown and, more acutely, for the crown park neighborhood. 
  • Unrealistic for CURRENT Camas population and not centrally located. 

(4) Now, a key bit of historic/context information about the old Crown Park pool that was removed in 2019: 

  • The old Crown Park pool was built when Camas population was about 5000. As the population grew, its location, small size and the parking constraints around Crown Park, stopped serving ALL of Camas LONG ago. 
  • As it became structurally outdated, the old pool became a huge maintenance cost, paid by ALL our public dollars, costing us ALL for something that served only a few.
  • There was a study to see what it would take to fix and it was in the millions – and that too was mostly a bandaid that in the end, would still not serve us all. BUT, without it, there was potential legal liability for us all/our city. 
  • All in all, by the end, there were lots of lose/lose to keeping the pool, hence it was removed in 2019. And finally: 

So, it’s not hyperbole to say our green spaces are under threat and we should keep this apt quote in mind: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Swati Wilson,

Camas