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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 8, 2018

Published on August 8, 2018 10:17AM

Review was unfair to Galletti’s

I am writing in response to the review of Galletti’s Spaghetti in the latest Coast Weekend. If I had never eaten there, I would have found the review to be way off balance in terms of its negativity. Having eaten there weekly for several months, I found it inaccurate and unnecessarily harsh and mean-spirited.

Galletti’s has been growing for several years, and I have seen an abundance of return customers. There was no Italian restaurant on the Peninsula and it has been a delight to now be able to find delicious lasagna with gobs of mozzarella cheese, and to enjoy yummy unusual chicken marsala.

Since the first time I ate at Galletti’s, I have appreciated that a salad comes with the meal rather than costing an extra $5, and that it is made from fresh leafy greens and unusual peppers. The reviewer suggested that he wanted an extra slice of garlic bread, understandably since it is quite delicious, but one slice is plenty for a person unless he wants to glut himself.

The meal is rounded out with spumoni ice cream, and most people, including myself, leave with carryout boxes, as the portions are quite ample.

We are a small community here on the Long Beach Peninsula, Astoria, and along the coast. Restaurants struggle for sufficient business and responsible staff. It was unnecessary for this reviewer to be so unkind and unrelenting in his review. I am quite certain he stands alone in his critique, and I urge people to disregard his review.

Judy Eron

Ocean Park

Facts behind fireworks in Washington

While we support Mr Bodreau’s plea for more fireworks restrictions in his Letter to the Editor “Time to try a ban,” dated Aug. 1, we feel compelled to clarify some inaccurate assertions presented in the letter.

Oregon is one of 17 states in the U.S. that allows sales and discharge of only non-aerial and non-explosive “consumer” fireworks. Thus Oregon is known as a “safe and sane” state. Washington, on the other hand, under state law allows all sales/discharge of all consumer fireworks with the specific exception of “firecrackers, sky rockets, bottle rockets, M-80, M-100, Improvised Explosive Device and Altered fireworks.” Almost all of the aerial fireworks you see on this beach on the 4th are legal in this state and readily available at our local stands. No one need drive to a “reservation” to purchase although I have continued to hear this branding for 18 years now. Oregon and Idaho residents (both safe and sane states) flood bordering Washington to buy and discharge aerials, make the mess and then return home. We certainly see this “southern” impact every 4th here on the Peninsula.

Washington state sets the state code for fireworks sales and discharge based upon the defined composition by U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. Any governing body at the county, town or city level can pass more restrictive codes. Currently 198 Washington State counties, towns and cities, large and small, have taken action to restrict sales and discharge. For a list of all of these online search for Washington State Fire Protection Bureau’s 15 page list entitled “Fireworks Sales, Usage, Bans or Restricted Sales/Use as of May 31, 2018.” It’s a pretty impressive list of local jurisdictions taking action when the state won’t.

Certainly Pacific County Commissioners could do the same with a little political will.

Ellen Anderson

Environmentally Friendly Fireworks

Ocean Park

Healthy bay = healthy shellfish

I am writing in response to Norris “Mugs” Petit’s and Ron Clemenson’s letters which were published in the July 11 issue of the Chinook Observer.

Petit seems to state that the poison, imidacloprid, is essential to oyster farming. However, imidacloprid has never been used for oyster farming, anywhere. He goes on to mention, glowingly, that herbicides (plant poisons) have been used to control Spartina. Unfortunately, these herbicides also decimated eelgrass beds. Studies show that eel grass repels burrowing shrimp: “Local ghost shrimp densities declined rapidly following the addition of eelgrass, and transplanted eelgrass expanded laterally into the surrounding ghost shrimp-dominated areas. When transplanted into eelgrass patches, ghost shrimp failed to persist.” (bit.ly/2AcDizX)

Resorting to poisons always causes unintended consequences. Imidacloprid is not a new pesticide. It has been around long enough that science has had an opportunity to research those unintended consequences, and they are dire. I shared excerpts from a number of published peer-reviewed scientific studies that ought to scare anyone one away from imidacloprid use in the letter, DOE is right, which was published in the July 4th edition of the Chinook Observer. If you missed it, I’ve reposted it to my blog and you can read it here: bit.ly/2v4GRCF. Quoting science, by the way, is not lying.

Petit claims there are no alternatives, and Clemenson asserts that I have not offered alternatives. However, in my letter to the editor entitled, There are alternatives to shrimp pesticide, published in the June 13th edition of this grand newspaper; I mention five alternatives to shrimp poison that are in use today. In that letter I provide some history and details; but in short, these methods include flip and tumble bag culture, tumble cages, tray culture, floating systems, and reef culture.

I also mentioned that burrowing shrimp are not an invasive species. They are a native species and they are important to our bay’s environment. It is our own fault that they are over populating. We can turn that situation around and the best way is without poison. Please see the letter referred to above, There are alternatives to shrimp pesticide, which I have reposted to my blog for easy access: bit.ly/2NO61xb.

I do whole heartedly agree with Clemenson. We need a task force to work on the shrimp issue. Revegetating our eelgrass beds, establishing oyster reefs and other off bottom culture, encouraging burrowing shrimp predators like salmon and sturgeon by maximizing our watersheds for their spawning habitats and our estuaries and bay for the survival of their fry, and learning more about supporting populations of the small but mighty sculpin — which is another predator of burrowing shrimp — will go a long way toward a permanent solution.

Many of the colleges and universities in our region offer fisheries and marine biology degrees. Advanced degrees require projects and research. Our state government has, as well as the Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture. I am sure there are other possible sources for burrowing shrimp task force members. Meanwhile, the Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association spends tens of thousands of dollars on public relations every year, mostly to push their pro-poison narrative. That money would be better spent looking for real, sustainable, long term solutions that are healthy for our bay, our economy, and consumers as well. Don’t ever forget that shellfish are filter feeders. Poison in our bay equals poison in our shellfish.

Harvest McCampbell


Ocean Park Food Bank reports

The Ocean Park Food Bank has just completed its fiscal year. During the past 12 months, we served 5,707 families, comprised of 15,738 individuals. This represents an increase of more than 500 families and 1,200 individuals from the last fiscal year. That’s an additional 45 families a month. We distributed 216,067 lbs. of food (18,564 lbs./mo.). 33,003 lbs. of food were donated locally by individuals, stores and organizations. This was an increase of 3,000 pounds locally from a year ago.

Our food bank has experienced a dramatic increase in clients served for the past two years. We are seeing more homeless families and families who are coming to any food bank for the first time. We have seen our warehouse inventory depleted as never before. Many clients come from the Long Beach area because of our convenient operating schedule of four days a week versus many food banks that are only open two times a month.

Because of the generosity of our community, we purchased over $32,000 in food items. We are now purchasing bread, eggs, margarine, milk, peanut butter, bologna, chicken and canned meals (like ravioli) every month, because what we get from our warehouse sources provides a limited quantity of food. We also provide a special holiday meal in December.

We received over 11,000 lbs. from A Simple Gesture (the Green Bag Program; our program where we pick up food every other month at your home. This is an easy way for local citizens to support the food bank. We send reminder notices and you don’t have to remember to come to the food bank. We come to you. Please contact us at 360-244-3969 to enroll.

We would like to thank all those individuals, churches, the Moose, Eagles, Elks, many service organizations, the Peninsula Senior Center, employees of Worldmark Resort, Surfside Inn, Surfside HOA, and the Corder Foundation for providing us with the means to help the large number of children and adults who do not have an adequate amount of food. We operate on a shoestring budget to put as much money as possible into food purchases. Our success is due to our great volunteers and you. Thank you.

Michael Goldberg, President

Ocean Park Food Bank

Walsh won’t participate

On July 16, the Willapa Bay Resistance Group held a public forum for the LD19 District state representatives. All candidates were invited a month ahead of time and confirmed a week before that they would be at the Raymond Theater for the forum.

The day of, Jim Walsh and David Parsons didn’t show. As a voter in this district I wanted to know why they weren’t there when they had specifically said they would be. I tried to contact both of them via Facebook and asked why they weren’t in attendance. David Parsons didn’t respond but Jim Walsh did.

Jim Walsh’s responses were very aggressive. I was not the only member of our district he proceeded to argue with online. There were several members of our community he berated and attacked. You can see the responses if you go to his Facebook page.

He and his page followers let us know if we weren’t Republicans he didn’t feel the need to talk to us despite the fact there were plenty of every party in attendance. He also claimed we had questions to make him look bad but the questions were about issues in our local community, as well as a few statewide. These questions were asked to all the candidates and there was nothing that a state representative shouldn’t have been able to answer.

Who is Jim Walsh afraid of? It couldn’t be the senior citizens who ran the forum.

I’m writing you all because I believe this is no way that a representative should act nor respond to his voters. It’s highly unprofessional. Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I believe that the voters in our district need to see this. It is not a way for a representative candidate to treat his voters.

Katy Rutherford


Auditions can be fun

When Woody Allen quipped, “My one regret in life is that I am not someone else,” he may have been referring to actors who, after all, do pretend to be someone else.

So Peninsula Players is inviting the public to attend and participate in auditions for two comedies to be staged on November 9-11 and November 16-18.

You too can pretend to be someone else, like a sculptor or debutante or spinster or millionaire or mistress in the one-act farce, Black Comedy. Peter Shaffer’s 75-minute play provides great opportunities for creative role-playing by five males and three females. Shaffer’s award-winning play is loaded with mistaken identities, unexpected visitors and numerous surprises, mainly on a darkened stage.

Playwright Robert Brake’s one-act comedy, The Son Also Rises (Willy Loman Redux), offers parts for actors who relish exaggeration. Director Andy Tauber is looking for someone to portray Willy, a stressed-out retired salesman, desperately trying to convert his son Happy to a new life and career. Happy’s mother tries to be helpful, but it appears to be a very long haul for her and Willy. Two males, one female, and two detectives with a walk-on part.

Auditions are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14-15 at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Theater, 127 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco.

For more information about how to be someone else for a change, contact Director Andy Tauber at 360-823-7037 or via andytauber@gmail.com


Ocean Park

Rebutting Oysterville allegations

In August 2017, the county commissioners abolished the Oysterville Design Review Board, which for 40 years had been their instrument for promoting and maintaining the character of the National Historic District which is the village. Up until last August the county used its planning and permitting process to support this well documented community. The Design Review Board used guidelines prepared in the community with the assistance of the Council on Historic Preservation and the National Alliance of Preservation and their nationally known facilitator, Nore Winter. These guidelines applied to all construction within the Historic District for both historic and non-historic properties and facilitated a discussion of design ideas to achieve an overall goal.

The county retained the guidelines when they established the position of hearing examiner as the approver of building permits. Under the planning and approval process, the county has a vested interest in certain outcomes which is why we have a process at all. For 40 years one of those outcomes was retaining the character of the Oysterville village.

By appointing an attorney, with no design experience or education to apply the guidelines, as the hearing examiner the commissioners walked away from that vested interest. Attorneys are educated to adjudicate disputes between two parties.

Thus, the county has established a process that requires a party, other than the county, to pick up the vested interest and argue the case on the behalf of the guidelines. The only group in the village that has a requirement to do so is the Oysterville Restoration Foundation (ORF) through its charter to “…manage, maintain, repair and aid in the preservation … and to do all matters of business incidental thereto.“ This demands that the neighbors in the community personally take on the process, hire their own architects and attorneys to argue the historic district’s position before the hearing examiner. For ORF to do this it will need to invade its endowment which has been built up, in part by you, the readers of the Observer, to maintain the church and other properties, to litigate on the historic district’s behalf.

In addition, the litigative process lends itself to the arguing parties who are arguing for permitting to make statements to support their position that may not be true. Without an opposing side to contest those misstatements, the hearing examiner rules in the favor of the permit request, correct or not.

The cause of this change by the county was threat of litigation by a purchaser of property in the village whose outspoken view was to get rid of the design review process and move, as the county has done, to a hearing examiner. He hired a land use attorney, a major part of whose practice is to rid communities of the design review model. These threats of litigation caused the commissioners, as a matter of fiscal responsibility, to remove their support of the historic district.

As the result of several permit reviews, property owners assume they can do as they choose with their properties within the historic district except for the one other organization which still carries the historic character of the village in their charter, the Oysterville Restoration Foundation (ORF). Therefore, ORF has become the target for those who choose to disregard the historic preservation guidelines and do as they want.

Pursuing that target, Bradley Huson wrote a letter to the editor of the Observer dated June 20, 2018 wherein he made misstatements about ORF that are patently untrue. And yet those untruths are circulating as uncontested truth in general conversations on the peninsula. I address this to challenge the claims made about ORF. He said:

• “ORF has not been following the current by-laws.”

The by-laws, which were amended in 2005, have been followed since that date. He must have known, and ignored this, as he served on the Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2014.

• “The ORF checking account has not been balanced or reconciled since 2002.”

When one is writing a few checks as the organization does, comparing the bank balance with the checkbook balance does not require anything other than observing that both balances agree on any given date.

• “Seven Windows were removed from the church for repair without obtaining even one estimate for the repair or a time frame for their reinstallation.”

ORF was using its standard practice of using local manufacturers whom they had previously used for the work, knowing that issues arising from their removal could be addressed as necessary. As we all know removing them in the “off” (rainy) season would be a foolhardy move.

• “A very intelligent and financially capable board member resigned from the board because of the board’s attempted meddling in private property rights concerning a non-historic structure.”

See my commentary above about the application of the design guidelines to all of the properties in the district historic and non-historic.

• “ORF spent $11,000 more than it took in last year.”

This statement ignores the $15,000 grant and other supporting grants that it received the prior year for the replacement of the church roof. The grants were in excess of the replacement costs.

He goes on to say that ORF will spend itself out of existence, which also ignores that ORF has maintained the church and a variety of local open spaces for 41 years, collecting grants and donations to not only complete that work but also to build an endowment in excess of six figures.

He goes on to talk about houses rotting away due to “limited vision, lack of funds, lack of care, lack of over sight, lack of community outreach.” That is an interesting view from a fellow who has a few years on the Peninsula as compared to the 140 years of experience some families have had maintaining their properties.

This will not be the last letter that the paper will receive from Mr. Huson. I’d suggest putting his statements in the context of his goals.

Further, I would recognize the impact of the county commissioners decision to walk away from supporting the character of the Historic District, placing the burden on neighbors. The county has moved from acting as an agency supporting the Historic District to creating an environment which requires litigation between neighbors.

David CE Williams



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