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Letters to the Editor for May 16, 2018

Published on May 15, 2018 4:04PM

Triathlon this Saturday

Peninsula Poverty Response (PPR) is working hard on raising funds to assist our local homeless population (OWL-Overnight Winter Lodging) and local families with school age children in poverty (Project Homeless Connect.) This coming Saturday, May 19, they are hosting the great-fun-for-participants/great-fun-for-viewers Cape Disappointment Sprint Triathlon, to raise awareness of the many needs and the much work being done.

The OWL volunteers (some 80-plus strong) staff 150 nights of winter shelter for those in need. Safe, warm, and dry sleeping arrangements, light meals and showers are provided. And many of the volunteers work the midnight to 7 a.m. shifts!

The Project Homeless Connect program this summer will be connecting our community children in need with school clothing and shoes, access to dental exams, eye exams, and other services so critical to begin a successful new school year.

In the upcoming Cape Disappointment Sprint Triathalon many of the same dedicated volunteers will be, among other athletic feats, swimming the 500-meter swim across Black Lake — dedication to their cause is beyond some of our imaginations.

I invite us non-May-swimmers to become “Partners in Philanthropy” with your financial gift in any amount.

The South Pacific County Community Foundation (SPCCF) is assisting Peninsula Poverty Response (PPR) in the ongoing six-week “Grant Catalog” campaign. Please visit SPCCF.org online. Here’s the direct link: spccf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list/grant. SPCCF also accepts checks mailed to us with a note about which grant to fund in the memo line. SPCCF, P.O. Box 75, Nahcotta WA 98637.

Thank you for your much-needed/much-appreciated contributions.

Phil Allen, SPCCF Board of Directors

Long Beach

Housing for residents

This letter was initially directed to the Ilwaco City Council. I served on the Ilwaco Planning Commission and City Council before moving back to the Oregon coast in 2006, but with much family history in the community, I still care. My husband and I lived in the house my dad, Henry “Butch” Pitkanen, was born in at 310 Lake St. I was part owner of a long-term rental house on the west side of downtown until we sold it to the last renter.

The shortage of long-term rental housing, affordable or not, has swept the entire Northwest coast. Short-term rentals exacerbate the problem. Short-term rentals are pursued for one purpose: profit, profit that is driven by a hot market for vacations close to the ocean.

I now live on acreage outside the Manzanita/Nehalem area. Two-thirds of Manzanita houses are second homes or investor-owned vacation homes. (Some investors own two, three, four or more vacation homes in desirable locations such as Oceanside, Oregon.) Many small businesses, including building contractors, cannot hire needed staff because there is no housing available, although most of the houses in Manzanita are empty most of the time. That city has developed an ordinance to limit the percentage of short-term rentals, but there is always pressure to expand that percentage. Some vacation rental owners fail to register, don’t have safety inspections, hoping to operate under the radar, increasing their profit.

Short-term rentals take a sense of community out of a community. People in neighboring houses aren’t really neighbors; they don’t volunteer for the fire department or anything else. They won’t serve on your planning commission or city council. They won’t show up for trail building or park fix-up days. They put money in the pockets of absentee landlords, and that’s it. They have no commitment to the city or keeping the area in good condition.

I applaud the proposal to develop housing in the Doupé Building. If the City of Ilwaco is going to approve a conditional use, do so for Abigail Mack and the Doupé Building.

Victoria Pitkanen Stoppiello



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