EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to an observant reader, we determined Monday that a number of letters sent to us online had not made it into the correct inbox. We’re catching up with them this week. Apologies to their senders for the delay. If you sent a letter and don’t see yours, please resend to email@example.com.
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Cut fireworks use to 3 days
Open letter to the Pacific County Board of Commissioners regarding ocean beach approaches:
The members of the Village Club are writing in support of changing the current firework ordinance (which allows eight days of fireworks being discharged before and after the 4th of July holiday) to a reduced time frame of three days, as proposed by Not a Ban a Better Plan. The three-day plan would allow fireworks to be discharged July 2 to 4, a time frame that better represents the majority of residents/taxpayers wishes and accommodates most business concerns and does not include a reduction of days fireworks may be sold. Allowing fireworks to be discharged on July 5, after the major clean-up of the beaches, makes no sense.
We believe the most recent survey done by the Not a Ban a Better Plan group (which they have shared with you) strengthens the need for this ordinance change. Eight days of bombardment to our communities is damaging and not at all in the best interests of those living here. The cost borne to our communities is financial, environmental and emotional — the argument that businesses will suffer with a reduction has no basis in fact as it has never been tested, but the cost to residents has been proven and has a long history.
We strongly urge the County to move on this firework discharge reduction in a very timely manner — the clock is ticking and efforts must be done now in order to have the change in place by July 4, 2020, the next time the holiday falls on a Saturday.
On behalf of the Village Club members,
Bonnie Lou Cozby
Village Club Chair
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Help Dave Williamson
Dave Williamson has worked for Oman and Son Builders Supply for over 20 years. If you’ve built a house, or done any major construction on the Peninsula, there’s a good chance Dave sold you or your contractor the materials for it.
A few years ago, he had cancer and recovered. Although we don’t yet know for sure if it has returned, we do know there is a problem, and he is unable to work. To give Dave and Stephanie some relief, there will be a benefit spaghetti dinner, silent auction, beer and wine available, and dancing with music provided by North Coast Blues, on June 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the River City Playhouse in Ilwaco. Suggested donation is $10, or $5 for just the show and auction.
Please plan to attend this event, enjoy some great blues, food, beverages, and support one of our own.
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McDevitt is progressive
EDITOR’S NOTE: Following publication, Carolyn Long’s campaign manager took issue with an assertion in the following letter. He states, “Carolyn owns ten stocks in a pharma company worth less than $1,000. It is clearly stated on her financial disclosure.”
A top-two primary election is on Aug. 7, 2018. Three Democrats are candidates in the primary for the Third Congressional District, David McDevitt, Caroline Long and Dorothy Gasgue.
While Gasgue, Long and McDevitt are all Democrats there are differences. David McDevitt is the progressive candidate. Long self-identifies as a moderate. Gasgue has said she is a “Libertarian Progressive.”
McDevitt will work for fair progressive tax policies, a single-payer universal health care plan, a living wage, affordable housing, safe schools, affordable post secondary education and more secure life for all working Americans. He will oppose corruption in government and work to reform the laws that allow dark money to enter politics because he believes that a representative democracy can and should work for all Americans, not just the wealthiest few. David McDevitt believes that all Americans should enjoy “the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.”
Long’s personal financial disclosure statement that she submitted to U.S. Congress House of Representatives shows she has heavy investments in pharmaceutical companies. Gasgue is very young and brave, but lacks relevant experience. McDevitt has the experience and legal expertise that we need to represent us effectively in Congress. I urge all citizens to please vote in the primary, and to vote for David McDevitt for Congress.
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Oysterville discussion devolves
The Oysterville Restoration Foundation (ORF) held its annual general meeting Saturday, May 26, at the historic Oysterville Church. The meeting proceeded without incident as various reports were presented.
When it was time to elect new board members the meeting erupted, with shouting and name-calling. There was a disagreement as to how many board members there should be. The bylaws state the board comprises seven members, but because it was very difficult in past years to get a quorum, ORF reduced the number to five. It was unclear at the time of the meeting whether the bylaws were officially amended. The discussion at the May 26th meeting deteriorated rapidly. One resident took the opportunity to castigate three members of the present board for writing a letter to the county regarding changes new property owners wanted to make to their house. The letter’s authors believe that ORF has a duty to promote historic preservation and that any new construction or modifications to existing structures should fit in with the historic character of the village. The other two board members were uncomfortable with the letter and thus did not sign it.
The church needs repairs, including painting and rebuilding the windows. The repairs require money. Weddings and summer Vespers bring in much-needed income as well as visibility to the community and opportunities for community participation. The resident who was upset about the letter then stated that, rather than request changes to the property, the board should welcome and embrace the new residents as they could “write a check to cover the church’s needs”. Apparently, if you have money — and a good lawyer — you should get your way. What’s happening in Oysterville is just a microcosm of our country right now. It has become very litigious and even the Pacific County commissioners appear to be afraid of taking a stand for fear of being sued. So, we have the best government money can buy at both the federal and local level.
I fear that the historic character of Oysterville and its focal point, the church, will be lost. And once lost, it cannot be recreated.
Oysterville and Portland
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Cortney wants your vote
I am running for the 3rd Congressional District seat because I believe Washington, D.C. is no longer a representative government, and that is because Citizens United sold democracy down the drain.
I have made a commitment to be out and among the people through the rest of the campaign process. In the next few months, I will be all over the third district. I want people to believe that their government is listening to them and if I’m elected I promise that it won’t stop there. During my term there will always be a representative interacting with citizens throughout the district, and either by phone or laptop I will be constantly talking to the average person on the street. I will be explaining the issues that are facing Congress, and I promise to constantly be listening. I promise to be an authentic person in the hopes that even though we don’t see eye to eye on everything if I am elected Congress, you will believe me when I say I will represent the voice of the people in my district, not me, not money, and not simply the party line.
Please visit my website at Cortney2018.com.
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Quit inhaling ‘gaslighting’
This a rebuttal to Scott Calhoun’s May 30 letter:
It is obvious that Mr. Calhoun is a victim of inhaling that “gaslighting” he refers to. You use numbers which are not true. Trump’s campaign led on several key objectives:
Bringing back jobs to Americans — the numbers are indisputable and in fact the Democrats don’t dispute the record numbers of new jobs created under Trump. The Democrats simply say they were created under Obama, which of course is not true. So your numbers are incorrect. Unemployment is at a record low.
As for the tax cuts, you sound like Nancy Pelosi when you refer to “crumbs.” To many working folks, that extra $2,000 to $5,000 per year means a lot.
You talk about the national debt. Read the omnibus spending bill that both parties submitted. The Democrats put in over $728 billion dollars of pork on programs that have little value to the majority of taxpayers. Both parties gave this bill to the president to sign, knowing he had to sign it or veto it and shut down the country. We all heard him say he hated the bill and would never sign one like it again. Don’t blame the president.
Trump just got us out of that dangerous Iran deal that Obama signed. The democrats wouldn’t even agree to it. Look at what Trump is trying to accomplish with North Korea. Look at what Trump has done to destroy ISIS.
You really should stop being a hater and support your president. As for the alleged affairs, we must agree that Bill Clinton actually had a sexual affair in the White House while on the job. Check your facts from now on and stop sniffing “the gaslighting.”
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As our student graduates enter the U.S. labor market, illegal-alien immigration denies many!
Where is E-Verify and House Resolution 4760?
President Trump put money for E-Verify in his budget and doesn’t talk about it. With tens of millions of U.S. citizens unemployed you’d think that all politicians would therefore back making use of E-Verify a national mandate. Well, you’d be wrong.
There are three possible reasons our president does not “disturb” the current system:
1. Solving the problem of illegal immigration would deprive him of a potent issue.
2. Many of his business supporters want the cheap labor.
3. It would shine bright lights on the reality that our economy needs guest worker labor.
Even semi-informed Americans know that the vast majority of undocumented immigrant aliens come for jobs. And President Trump is not aggressive in “disturbing” the companies that hire them.
E-Verify weakens the illegal alien jobs market, as a database that lets employers easily check whether a prospective new hire may legally work in this country.
Thanks to Arizona’s 2008 E-Verify law, the number of undocumented workers in the state is 33 percent lower than what was projected without the law, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Other E-Verify states are Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
Recent immigration report cards for Washington state’s two U.S. senators give them “F-” and our Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler gets a “D”!
Yes, H.R. 4760 also gives “Dreamers” guest worker status. With hope, those who have not committed any felony may be successful in obtaining U.S. citizenship!
Ask your members of U.S. Congress: “How do you intend to comply with our Constitution to protect U.S. citizens?
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Enough with the shrimp ignorance
OK, after reading two weeks of oyster farmer bashing in the Observer, I am pretty sure there are at least a handful of people that aren’t playing with a full deck. So as Popeye would say, “That’s all I can stands cuz I can’t stands no more.” These people that fit in the category of sanctimonious know-it-all, activists, or even wannabe oyster farmers always stick their foot in their mouth if you let them talk long enough. By the content of four letters to the editor, I would say someone has the taste of toes in their mouth by now.
When you state things that are supposedly factual please remember that some people might actually research your absurd claims and call BS. Some readers might just come to some sort of misconstrued conclusion based on your statements.
Assumptions such as diabetes being caused by chemicals in the water and county officials being proud of a dialysis center for all the wrong reasons is just the beginning. When someone that doesn’t own enough tideland to really produce any amount of product (oysters) in today’s markets makes claims about burrowing shrimp being in decline, they didn’t bother to differentiate between the mud shrimp which are in quite low numbers due to a parasite and the ghost (sand) shrimp that is presently flourishing in the bay due to a non-existent spray program and large recruitment numbers. But don’t stop there, why not claim most growers have shifted to non-chemical methods of farming? I am a grower and when you aren’t allowed to spray that means everything on our farm is produced by non-chemical methods. Go figure. Don’t know of much of a “shift,” but when you say something’s biased, please state actual reliable facts that don’t reflect ignorance. Might have been born on a weekend but it won’t last weekend.
Let’s go on to the next astute individual who stated as he says “facts as I know them,” but takes people’s comments and summarizes them. When a bed becomes infested with shrimp, it resembles a soupy desert that doesn’t support anything (even crabs) but only shrimp. If you get a natural set every year then good for you, but don’t go spouting off about chemicals in the bay preventing spat from setting in the very next sentence. I’ll bet your breath smells like your feet. And by the way, when you run for an elected position that has a considerable amount of people employed in the oyster industry within your district, you probably shouldn’t promise to tax oyster growers a penny a piece for everything they sell. When I saw the result of that election I don’t think it was the fish that were crying a trail of tears.
And then there’s my neighbor “Pintail” Ross with his rambling about Type A and Type B farming, misconstrued points of view, and growers on the edge of a goldmine — that is quite entertaining. I talk to Ross on occasion and enjoy his point of view, but if I catch him having a picnic on the grounds of the Moby Dick Hotel I am blocking his number on my cell phone.
Nothing is going to be accomplished in educating the public about the burrowing shrimp problem when social media is flooded with inaccuracies and so-called experts. My wife and I have operated an oyster farm in Willapa Bay for close to 25 years and are quite proud of our accomplishments so “I yam what I yam.” No shrimp were harmed in the printing of this, but I wish they were.
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There are alternatives to shrimp pesticide
I am writing in response to the Science Conference report. The section on oysters reads more like marketing rhetoric for chemical companies than it does like actual oyster-related facts.
The oysters most commonly grown in our bay now, are known as Pacific oysters and were originally from Japan. These oysters, like most oysters, are not adapted to living on mud. In their natural habitat they attach to hard, clean surfaces. Off-bottom culture is often ideal, to keep them off the mud. It has been practiced in many places around the world since at least the Roman Era.
Flip- and tumble-bag culture is nothing new. It is used on the East Coast of the U.S. to produce the medium-sized, premium, deep-cupped and neat-shelled oysters prized by the half-shell market. There are many other types of off-bottom culture being used in the U.S. and around the world. These techniques include tumble cages, stationary or removable tray culture with substantial supports, and floating systems.
In many areas of our East and Gulf Coasts, oyster reefs are being reestablished. They rely on a variety of structural supports including pyramids or berms made of bagged or caged oyster shells. They can also include recycled concrete. Seeding of oysters on to these structures relies on natural sources or hatchery larvae. In some areas the restored reefs have existed long enough for oysters to be harvested. Our native Olympia oysters originally grew on oyster reefs, which kept them out of the mud, out of conflict with burrowing shrimp, and provided overall ecosystem benefits as well.
Burrowing shrimp, by the way, are not an invasive species. They are native to our area. They are an important environmental keystone species, providing ecosystem benefits, and they existed here for millions of years alongside our native oysters.
Burrowing shrimp are repelled by eelgrass. Destruction of eelgrass beds is ongoing in our bay by the intentional use of herbicides. It is also well-documented that human-caused impacts to the ecosystem have severely reduced burrowing shrimp predators, and changed the ecology in other ways that benefit some species of burrowing shrimp. Meanwhile, other species of burrowing shrimp are now threatened by an invasive non-native parasite. There is concern that the affected species may not survive.
Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid insecticide that has recently been banned for all outdoor use in most member states of the European Union, because of devastating ecosystem effects and negative health effects on human beings.
The very same salmon mentioned in another part of the article depend on tiny creatures in our bay to reach a healthy size before entering the ocean. Imidacloprid spread or sprayed in our bay will further negatively affect our salmon runs by killing the food they depend on. Many other species depend on the creatures that would be killed by imidacloprid, including our endangered sturgeon. And imidacloprid is directly toxic to arthropods of commercial interest, namely our market shrimp and crabs.
The Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association is the only oyster growers association in the U.S. that wishes to use this deadly ecosystem toxin in coastal waters. The much larger Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association has publicly repudiated the idea. Please do not forget that oysters are filter feeders and that if you eat our local oysters you are eating everything that gets dumped into our bay.
The Department of Ecology made the right decision, based on peer-reviewed scientific studies and reports. For more information, on the science please visit the Facebook group, Resisting Toxics in Coastal Environments.
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Kudos for Boys and Girls Club
I just wanted to applaud the Boys and Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula for providing our community with such an outstanding service. From the wonderful after-school programs to the sensational Science Academy we just can’t say enough about all that they offer. Our children enjoy Boys and Girls Club so much that it is used as a bargaining chip in our house for good behavior. If they have a good week they get to go to Boys and Girls Club. Each week they look forward to something new as it’s never the same day twice. Without fail, when I pick my son up from BGC he is drenched in sweat from running and playing so hard in the gym. My daughter is generally carrying a new creation that was inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of Kathie Kyle. And they both couldn’t be more bummed when it’s time to leave. I love having such a reliable and fun after-school option for my kids — a place where I know they will be able to engage in the activities they love under the wonderful supervision of the staff.
I’d also like to recognize the Boys and Girls Club for their production of a phenomenal science program. The Oysterville Science Academy and the Saturday Science Academy are two programs that my daughter has absolutely loved. She has learned and flourished in her science knowledge so vastly from these programs and has been provided opportunities which are unique, empowering and enriching. The educators and volunteers involved in these programs are top notch and truly passionate about the world of science. Their desire and willingness to share this knowledge with the kids of our community is nothing short of tremendous and I would encourage anyone who has a child remotely interested in science to consider these programs.
This organization deserves a huge pat on the back for all that they are doing now as well as all that they will continue to do for the Peninsula and its children. We are truly blessed to have a group of such eager, caring and hard-working individuals thriving to create a better future for our kids. Thank you, Boys and Girls Club, for everything you do!
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Club can use your help
I am writing this letter to share with everyone what a great organization the Boys and Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula is for our community. As a parent, the club is a lifesaver, providing after school care for my child. I know he is safe and provided with a multitude of activities to keep him busy. The staff is excellent and the cost is only $25 per year.
In addition, the club is helping to organize the peninsula youth sports program, making it easier for more children to get involved in sports.
The Peninsula needs the Boys and Girls Club to continue to thrive! Please send your donations to P.O. Box 1172, Long Beach, WA 98631.
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Herrera is very effective
Cate Gable’s recent column in favor of her congressional candidate is full of holes. Jaime Herrera Beutler has done a very effective job helping Pacific County and Southwest Washington.
Many special interest groups that don’t reside in the district don’t like her work. I think she must be doing something right if the D.C. types don’t like her. Ms. Gable’s list of favored groups: the Sierra Club believes no more trees should ever be cut and Americans for the Arts wants to raise your taxes to pay for federal government-funded art. Jaime’s efforts to protect timber jobs and belief that the government shouldn’t take your money to pay for nonessential programs are fine with me. In fact, a family of four will keep $2,385 more of what they earn, starting with their next paycheck, thanks to the tax cuts signed into law last year.
I strongly support Jaime Herrera Beutler’s efforts to protect salmon. She’s gotten bipartisan support — Gov. Jay Inslee included — for her legislation to kill more of the sea lions in the Columbia River wiping out 45 percent of spawning salmon. She worked with Senator Cantwell on a bill that will help crab fishing businesses, which was signed into law. Working with Democratic Congressman Derek Kilmer, she got $20 million of fishery disaster assistance. She’s also worked with him to address ocean acidification that is killing the shellfish in Willapa Bay. Ask an oyster grower if that matters to them.
Gable opposes oil drilling off of Washington’s coast; Jaime took a stand against offshore drilling months ago. Her comments on gun violence didn’t sit well with me: amongst other things, they rely on opinions of people from Paris and Seattle. If the author had asked those from South Bend, Raymond or Ocean Beach how highly they value their Second Amendment rights, she’d find people who appreciate Jaime’s efforts to protect them.
Jaime has gone to bat, time and again, for us. If anything, Gable’s column reminded me of how lucky we are to have Jaime in Congress.
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Special thanks for fire help
On March 23, the most devastating thing happened to us, a fire at our home above the Astoria Bridge in Chinook. Words cannot describe how we felt as we watched the fire — our dream home burning away.
But we survived along with our pets and lets face it, the rest of it is just stuff.
I want to thank all of you who were there for us either in body or in spirit.
The responding fire departments did an excellent job in putting the fire out without any water available, and they trucked the water up a one-lane, gravel road with switchbacks. No fire hydrants up there. Sheriff Johnson personally came up to see how we were and offered any help that we might need. I need to give a very special thanks to Aaron Schlosser who offered his home to us the day after the fire — thank you again! You are incredible. From the Lutheran Church and the pastor, God bless you all for your kind words. Thank you all!