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Letters to the Editor for July 11, 2018

Published on July 10, 2018 2:10PM

We have rare rocks worth preserving

In reference to Edward Statton’s recent news coverage of research into undersea methane:

Evidence of past methane ice in local ocean waters is in the rocks.

Peculiar stones known as glendonite concretions have been found in our area and donated to local museums. Thought to be some kind of Indian artifacts by collectors, I eventually learned from Paul See, a teacher at Clatsop College, that the rectangular holes in these rocks were a cast of the distinctive double diamond crystal of methane-seawater ice. The exact chemistry of how mud hardens around the crystals is not known, but the casts sometimes get filled with another mineral such as calcite to form what is know as a psudomorph crystal. Crystals usually take a distinctive shape based on their chemical structure (for example, sodium chloride — ordinary table salt — crystals are cube shaped) but psudomorphs crystals take the shape of the original rather than their true chemical form. The original crystals in glendonite concretions were a substance called glauberite, which is a combination of methane and seawater under high pressure and cold temperatures.

Our land here is mostly raised ocean bottom from the very deep seabed where these conditions allow such chemistry to happen. When plate tectonics raised that bottom the original glauberite evaporates leaving the distinctive hollow rocks. The name glendonite comes from an mining ghost town in Australia, one of the few other places in the world where these rocks can be found.

Additional evidence for deep sea methane can also be found in Pacific County. The Bear River and Knappton limestone deposits were formed by animal communities that live in the deep ocean around what are know as cold seeps of methane. Another scientist told me that these limestone deposits are the oldest known fossil seeps in the world and worthy of preservation and study instead of mining as has happened in the past.

Bruce Weilepp

South Bend

Plenty of cause for political anger

I’ve met Michael Goldberg a few times and he has always seemed to me to be a rather even-tempered guy, so I was surprised by the level of anger In his recent letter (June 27) about Donald Trump and his administration, but that seems to be the usual reaction to Donald by folks who disagree with him, so let me see if I can explain how this anger develops.

Foreign policy: That is a bit of a misnomer because there is no policy unless it consists of insulting and degrading our traditional allies and expressing admiration for dictators, and having as your “best friend forever” Vladimir Putin. Many people think that old Vlad has something really bad on Donald, who will sit up or roll over on command from Putin.

Fact checking: Every day I go on my computer to see what’s new in the news for that day and there is almost always some fact checker who will take claims made by Trump and show how he lied and what the facts really are. A couple of examples: claiming his tax cuts were the biggest in , let’s say 50 years. The fact checker will then point out that there were others in the same period that were larger. If he claims that the deficit is going down and is shown that it is actually going up, he will claim that it was Obama’s fault or denies ever saying it in the first place. Bottom line, he wants credit for the good stuff, no matter who actually did it, and all the bad stuff is somebody else’s doing. It shouldn’t be too long before he claims to have invented the wheel.

Personal character: Donald is an admitted sexual predator and adulterer. These two things alone should make people of faith avoid him like the plague, yet amazingly 81 percent of Evangelical Christians voted for him and still support him. The rest of us don’t get it.

He has a hard-core base of 35 percent of registered voters who say they voted for him because he is a “businessman,” not a politician. So let’s take a look at what kind of business he runs. He has built and run casinos that lost money like a leaky boat. There were subcontractors who weren’t getting paid and when they tried to collect, he would sic his lawyers on them and force them to settle for a small portion of what they were owed. And he then wouldn’t pay his lawyers! There were other projects that were about to fail and Trump would quietly, sneakily unload his share of the business in question and leave the other investors holding the bag! Some businessman!

All empires fall. Some last thousands of years, some only a few hundred. Ours is 242 years old and we have as our elected leader a man who wants to treat our treasury as his personal piggy bank, gives every appearance of being a dictator in waiting, loves to threaten and intimidate, and creates conditions where our nation loses the respect of others on a daily basis worldwide. There is absolutely every reason for Michael Goldberg and millions of other citizens to be angry.

Let me leave you with this profound thought from my favorite comic strip character and philosopher from the past, Pogo the Possum: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Think about it.

Les Gernert

Ocean Park

McDevitt is up to today’s challenges

There is something happening in America. These past two years we have seen great change in this country. Our beliefs and our resolve has been tested by the division around us. There is something happening in America when millions of people across our country are coming out in protest of a government they feel doesn’t represent them. There is something happening in America when people feel the need to pour into the streets in numbers that we haven’t seen in generations to fight for the rights that are being taken away from them everyday. There is something happening in America, when so many people who have never participated in politics before are anxiously counting down to election day because they know how important it is.

There is something happening in America, and there is something happening in Washington’s 3rd congressional district. We as a people are ready to take our country back, and we as Washingtonians are ready to take our district back from those who are not properly representing us. David McDevitt is the candidate to do that. He is the candidate that believes in putting people first.

During his campaign for Washington’s 3rd congressional seat, David McDevitt held nearly 75 community chats and town halls to gauge public perception on a variety of issues in an age when our representatives are afraid to talk to us and be held accountable.

David McDevitt knows that putting people first means considering healthcare a universal human right, and that everyone should receive quality care. Putting people first means building an economy for the 99 percent, not just those who work on Wall Street. Putting people first means addressing the issues of equality, the concerns of every woman around us, of communities of color, of the LGBTQ communities, and of our veterans, who should never feel insecure.

The problems we face today are not going to be solved with simple solutions. They are moral problems that are held within all of us, and we need someone with great morals to help solve them. David McDevitt is that man. He is the candidate that is putting people first.

Nathan Taylor


Why mix politics with rhubarb?

I was interested to read about rhubarb in Natalie St. John’s article, that is, until I reached the paragraph where she felt it necessary to insert her political rant.

Why does it appear to be so difficult for writers to just do the news, without adding their personal political views? That was a poor excuse for journalism.

Robert Frink


Re-elect Scott Johnson as sheriff

I’ll be voting for Scott Johnson for Sheriff again this year. I have contacted Sheriff Johnson on two occasions. His response was immediate and my issues were resolved satisfactorily. As of this writing, I don’t know the sheriff personally but I was impressed by how seriously he takes his job. Professionalism seems to have become just a word of the past these days, but that is not the case with how Sheriff Johnson presents himself. It is refreshing to know that there are still people out there who are willing to dedicate themselves to being responsible for the welfare of others in the way that Scott does.

It’s common knowledge that Sheriff Johnson was shot in the head while performing his duties as a State Patrol officer prior to becoming our sheriff. Why he would choose to remain in police work is unfathomable to me but it is indicative of the caliber of person that he is. He strikes me as the kind of individual that would be found running toward a fire rather than away from it. I’ve always admired that in a person.

In today’s climate, being a police officer is an extremely hazardous way to make a living and I don’t envy them at all. Consider that every time that they approach a vehicle they never know what the occupant of that vehicle might have in their hand. It might be a driver’s license or it might be a firearm. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go out the door every morning with that kind of reality in mind.

The sheriff’s office is tasked with patrolling between 600 and 1,500 miles of roadway each day and they have to accomplish that with only 10 deputies and one detective. Add to that emergency calls, domestic disputes, violent crime, and pages and pages of reports and paperwork and it all must seem overwhelming at times. They are often required to use people from their administrative staff to respond to calls that would otherwise be addressed by uniformed patrol officers. This is reflective of an organization that is seriously understaffed and underfunded. In spite of this, Sheriff Johnson and his people get the job done and I want to thank them all for their service.

With the entire country being inundated by illegal drugs and the crime that is associated with them, we need to retain Scott Johnson as our sheriff for his knowledge that comes from having 41 years of law enforcement experience. That being said, if you are looking for a candidate who is competent, responsible and has a devotion to duty, then Scott Johnson would be the obvious choice for the office of Pacific County sheriff.

Rex Billingsley


Raymond chief endorses Souvenir, McClain

I am writing this endorsement of Chief Robin Souvenir for sheriff of Pacific County as I believe he is the right person at the right time for this job. I have worked with Chief Souvenir as a fellow police chief for about eight years. Robin is a very capable, innovative leader. I have observed Robin take a department that had many shortcomings and turn it into an agency to be proud of. As chief of a tribal law enforcement agency Robin has had to deal with many complex situations, and has done so with great success.

Some years ago, Chief Souvenir came to the department heads in the county and spearheaded a dramatic change in the quality of our firearms training. Where we were once just punching holes in paper, we are now shooting and moving, incorporating use of force and tactical decision making while under stressful conditions. We are also conducting our firearms training together with the other local agencies which will be a definite asset should we have a major incident. This vital training program is led by Chief Souvenir, who is a top-notch firearms instructor in his own right.

I believe Robin has the right brand of leadership, innovation, and progressiveness to be a great sheriff for our county, and maximize available resources.

I hope you will join me in voting for Robin Souvenir as the next Pacific County Sheriff.

As the chief of police I also write to again endorse Mark McClain for Pacific County prosecutor. I lent my endorsement four years ago because the prosecutor’s office was going in the wrong direction and having seen Mark prosecute tough cases, I knew Mark could turn it around. Mark has done as he promised and held criminals accountable, worked with our officers day and night, and together we have made our community safer.

Our job protecting your family is difficult. Please don’t make it more difficult when you go to the ballot this year. Return the clear choice for prosecutor to the office. Please listen to Judge Michael Sullivan and every police chief and the sheriff and return Mark McClain for prosecutor. He is the right person for the job.



Sea lion bill and story are at odds

I am the public outreach manager for the Washington, D.C.-based Animal Welfare Institute. I wanted to alert you to several errors that need correcting in the Columbia Basin Bulletin’s article, reprinted in the July 6 Chinook Observer, “U.S. House OKs removing more salmon-eating sea lions.” (www.chinookobserver.com/co/local-news/20180706/us-house-oks-removing-more-salmon-eating-sea-lions)

1. The subhead incorrectly states, “States, tribes could kill up to 100 a year if Senate and president agree.” In reality, the bill would allow for the killing of nearly 1,000 sea lions a year. This error is repeated lower in the article, “The permits may authorize the lethal taking of 100 sea lions or fewer.”

2. The reporter writes: “Specifically, the bill amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue one-year permits…” In reality, current law restricts these permits to a one-year time period, while H.R. 2083 expands that to five years.

3. The reporter writes: These permits “are exempted from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for five years,” says a summary of the bill. In reality, this very harmful provision was in an earlier version of the bill but was removed before it passed.

We’d appreciate it if you could correct these errors.

Margie Fishman

The Animal Welfare Institute

Washington, D.C.

Trump protests waste money

I once thought Americans were more educated, smarter than the rest of the world. No more. I didn’t realize that we elected politicians to rant and rage for more than a year against our president — who we elected — trying to find something wrong with him, even though if something should come up some say he could pardon himself.

I assume Americans are happy to be paying all of these people to complain and have committees rile up protesters. Is it really necessary to have huge numbers of people at these so-called hearings? Would the politicians still scream about Trump if they were spending their own money to do it? It’s been over a year longer than most murder cases last.

To your so-called protesters, I can see protesting on evenings and weekends, I don’t know about you but I had to work during the daytime if I or my family wanted to eat.

Has anyone figured out how much money has been spent to fight Trump in the last year? I hear the homeless could use a few bucks.

George McCurdy

Ocean Park

Spray essential for oyster farming

I have read a few articles on the alternatives of getting rid of sand shrimp on our oyster beds. Most people have no idea as to alternatives. The only thing that works is spray, either sevin or imidacloprid. Alternatives to shrimp destruction will not work without spray! Nothing survives on a piece of ground that is infected by sand shrimp. There is no grass, no crabs, no clams, no piling worms and certainly no oysters. The ground is like quicksand and entirely useless.

If you look at the controlling device in the destruction of the dreaded grass, spartina, it was the spray that finally eradicated it. We spent a fortune trying to get rid of it before we finally took the initiative of spraying.

I have lived on Willapa Bay for 75 years. I fished commercially for crab, salmon, sturgeon and raised and worked in the oyster industry all my life. We used the chemical sevin for 50-plus years. It never affected the other industries. If there was a poor season, it was because of water temperature or weather.

I have never seen the explosion of sand shrimp that we have today. We have sand shrimp on our clam spits and all over the Bay. This will devastate our bay forever if we do not control it. Anything other than spray will not work.

The Department of Ecology has made the wrong decision. People in Olympia do not know what we have here. These same people are responsible for our salmon depletion. Washington Dept of Fisheries just doesn’t do the job of raising more fish.

We have a wonderful bay here in the Willapa. Do not let these people bring on the devastation of our bay!

We had hatcheries here for 100 years, and we did very well with hatchery production. Control the seal and sea lion population and plant more fish!

The environmental people will try to fix the easy problems, but not the hard ones. A good example of this is in the vessel that is sunk in the Palix River. It leaks diesel oil and other contaminates every day. Remove the vessel and charge the owner with the cost. He should have never been able to put the vessel there to begin with.

We have a wonderful and pristine bay. We have to live here and will not jeopardize it! This is where we make our living!

People will say all these lies and mistruths about the spray, but it is the only thing that will work and has for more than 50 years. We survive on the oyster and forest industries, so let’s not jeopardize this estuary.

Mr. Harvest McCampbell, get your information correct — you are way off base.

Norris “Mugs” Petit

South Bend

Vote Oakes for PUD board

I have had the pleasure of calling Debbie Oakes my friend for over 40 years. I have certainly known her long enough to know that you can count on her to do what she says.

Debbie was one of many parents who helped start our local PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) back in the 1980s after a student blew up one of the toilets in the Ilwaco High School boys’ bathroom with a seal bomb. Anyone remember that? She was one of the first presidents of our PTSA. She is a great leader and organizer. Years later she served on the Ocean Beach School Board. Serving in these two volunteer positions demonstrates first and foremost that she is willing to give of her time, she is a trailblazer, and she cares about our community and our kids. Debbie and her husband, John, have been in the commercial fishing industry since the 1970s. She understands the importance of small businesses and the challenges they face. She is not afraid to fight for what is right. Working in the commercial fishing industry gave her many opportunities to study all sides of an issue, wade through the politics, ask good questions, look for solutions and make hard, yet intelligent decisions.

I believe Debbie is ready, willing and able to serve as PUD Commissioner. She has been working diligently to study what being a PUD Commissioner means. She takes this commitment very seriously. Debbie knows that there are many meetings, committee responsibilities, homework, tough decisions to be made, and that she needs to be accessible to the public. Debbie has no hidden agenda. That’s not who she is. She is just simply someone who cares about her community and is willing to do something about it. Please join me in voting for Debbie Oakes as PUD Commissioner.

Mavis Gerwig Shucka

Long Beach

Whealdon will represent the people on PUD board

The purpose of my letter to the editor is to ask for your vote electing John (Dan) Whealdon in August for the position of representing “we the ratepayers” in District 2, (PUD2) commissioner position. This is a nonpartisan job and Dan understands the needs of the people of this district. Dan listens, hears and applies knowledge to solve problems everyday in business.

Dan has presented many time-sensitive issues, “of the people,” to individuals in positions of authority, in Pacific County, asking for change on our behalf. Electricity is an essential commodity to all of us, whoever and wherever we live, work or play in District #2.

I encourage, researching the district and the actual map of coverage, check in on how PUD2 impacts your life and expenses and vote for a professional, who will represent the ratepayer: J. Dan Whealdon.

Bonnie Carmack


Musical is a rewarding experience

For several years we have attended and supported Peninsula Association of Performing Artists (PAPA), enjoying past shows like “Wizard of Oz,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Once Upon A Mattress” and “She Loves Me.” I’ve enjoyed the creativity, the character and color of the cast and crew. It’s special to have that kind of action and production in our neck of the woods. This year’s production is no exception.

“Beauty and the Beast” was a longstanding dream of many from the past. When it became clear that this show would be 2018’s summer theater presentation, as an interested party, I had my doubts. The director, Brooke Flood, was doing her first show. The principals in the show were mostly new to theater. The script and setting seemed insurmountable. In addition, my son was integral in getting it run, and I did not want this to flounder. As a past bystander, all I could do was pray. And, pray, I did! For the plan, the people involved, the cast, the crew, the community … and then, it dawned on me, to step inside that circle of prayer, become part of any answer, and to get involved.

I sheepishly sought an application, applied and got cast, without audition, into PAPA’s “Beauty and the Beast.” “Am I nuts?” I asked myself. I pastor, lead a men’s group, facilitate Bible college, am Naselle Youth Camp and adult care home chaplain, studies, calls, crises … I had no idea that it was going to take that much more time … but that almost every second was to have great reward. I am not standing by but standing with an amazing group of people, many who’ve never done anything like this. I love the folks in this show; we’re all so different, yet one team. I love the enthusiasm. Kristen, our stage manager, calls it energy. I call it “fired-up!” and we are. I think the story is amazing. I get to watch people ages 7 to 77 express their talents. I’m especially enjoying my son, my only son, as he interacts with the stage, as the Beast. It’s beautiful.

“Beauty and the Beast” is good. I invite you to invest a Friday or Saturday evening, or a Sunday afternoon, now until Aug. 5, and step into the castle with us, where beauty will tame the beast.

The theater for this year’s production is above the tunnel at Fort Columbia, near the Astoria-Megler bridge crossing. Seating is limited, so arrive early. Reserved seating, I understand, is still available for some shows. More information is available at www.papatheater.com. A Discovery Pass is not required for parking.

Marty Cole

Ocean Park

Whealdon will be our voice at PUD

Join me in supporting Dan Whealdon for PUD#2 commissioner.

I’ve known Dan for more than 15 years. I know his character and his high level of commitment and dedication.

Even before Dan threw his hat into the race for commissioner, he attended PUD meetings and helped to initiate a policy that provides PUD customers with an itemized bill that explains, more clearly, the items that new connection or new construction customers were paying for.

Dan is a dedicated family man and an involved member of the peninsula community. He takes a non-confrontational common sense approach to problem solving and issue resolutions.

Elect Dan and elect a commissioner who will have an “open door” and listen to you, the ratepayer, or potential ratepayer, and be your voice and the PUD person you can “go to”.

Vote Dan Whealdon for PUD#2 commissioner on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot.

John Karren

Long Beach

Work together on shrimp issue

My previous letter printed in the July 4 Chinook Observer coincided with one written by Harvest McCampbell. The letters counter each other and that is always important, so both sides of this debate can hopefully bring an effective and safe solution to the problem of an invasive species of shrimp that are taking their toll of the wonderful oysters of Willapa Bay.

So at this point in time, I would again ask the question: What is the Washington Department of Ecology recommending? The article written by Harvest McCampbell offers a lot of scientific “wordology” in defense of the DOE decision, but no suggestion of alternative treatment to save our oysters.

So how about this: Why not gather a team of marine biologists and other scientists that could sit down with oyster growers association representatives and work out a solution that can stop this invasive shrimp in its tracks. Hopefully, that is already in progress, but just in case it isn’t, please give it a try. Maybe the state of Washington’s “powers that be” could actually show their Washington, D.C. counterparts how to solve a challenging issue!

Ron Clemenson

Seaview and Portland and Friend of the Long Beach Peninsula

‘O Beautiful’ is my kind of America

On the heels of the recent 4th of July celebration, during which pickup trucks everywhere seemed to display two flags, I’m thinking of a song I’ve sung or heard a thousand times, whose first verse I know by heart.

In these troubled times, I can think of no song that better captures the greatness and spirit of America than “America the Beautiful,” our signature patriotic song.

Sadly, I sometimes forget the men and women who died for my freedom. It’s often hard for me to grasp their bravery and conviction to the freedom I sometimes take for granted.

But when I first listened to legendary bluesman Ray Charles’ stunning rendition of “America,’ I heard him launch his recording, not with spacious skies and amber waves, but with a darker third stanza which reads:

“O beautiful for heroes proved/ In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved/ And mercy more than life. /America, America, May God thy gold refine /Till all success be nobleness /And every gain divine.”

Charles elected to focus on the huge sacrifices necessary to preserve the “sweet America” he loved so much. That version seemed, oh so right to me.

It justified the most familiar verse: “Oh beautiful, for spacious skies/For amber waves of grain/For purple mountain majesties/Above the fruited plain.”

Ray Charles also asked for God’s guidance so I can use the gifts He gave me for good. That eloquently defines what I consider the real roots of America.

“O, Beautiful” has captured my heart and the hearts of countless Americans. It moves me to tears and a real sense of patriotic feeling.

I’m thankful for Katharine Lee Bates’ inspired poem (1895) and Ray Charles’ riveting rendition, because “America the Beautiful” conveys an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for our nation’s extraordinary physical beauty and abundance, without mean-spirited nationalism and triumphalism.

When he sang, “God done shed His grace on thee,” Ray Charles was transforming an anthem to a hymn.

I valued his reflections on the wrongs America has undergone, while also focusing on her beauty and greatness.

The day after Ray Charles died (June 10, 2004), Salon writer Charles Taylor concluded: “Ray Charles’ version of “America the Beautiful” remains the least boastful of patriotic songs, and even so, his version teaches us all a new humility.”

I find that beautiful!


Ocean Park


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