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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 29, 2018

Published on August 28, 2018 3:46PM

The community of North Cove in northwest Pacific County is working to keep coastal erosion in check. This is particularly vital now, as winter waves may be energetic this year if an El Niño forms.


The community of North Cove in northwest Pacific County is working to keep coastal erosion in check. This is particularly vital now, as winter waves may be energetic this year if an El Niño forms.

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North Cove is rocking

North Cove is rocking again in preparation for the predicted El Niño season. Thanks to a state grant to Pacific County Conservation District, the drainage district will continue protecting our shoreline with locally sourced cobble.

Cobble stockpiles are growing on the pasture land southeast of old State Route 105 and at the corner of Whipple and Spruce. Placement on the beach will begin after Labor Day. Phase 1 will protect the base of the vegetation line from the spit southeast of Old State Route 105 to north of Blue Pacific.

David Cottrell, chairman of the Pacific County Drainage District, stated “This is an exciting time. In the past we’ve been limited to little patches on the shoreline. Now for the first time we can protect the whole community at once!”

Rock previously placed by the drainage district and concerned citizens is accumulating sand and providing structure to rebuild the barrier dune. Based on this work and several successful projects on the Oregon Coast, this “dynamic revetment” has taken the destructive power from waves and reversed the gradual deterioration caused by wind.

According to Cottrell, “Our focus for now is getting through the next winter without losing any land. But we’re also partnering with local, state, and federal agencies to develop a permanent fix.”

Connie Allen

Wash Away No More chairwoman

North Willapa Harbor Grange treasurer

Before voting, ask questions

“The duty of a prosecuting attorney is not to persecute, but to prosecute, and that he should endeavor to protect the innocent as well as to prosecute the guilty. He should always be interested in seeing that the truth and the right shall prevail…”

This quotation was chosen by the Pacific County Prosecuting Attorney Mark McClain for the county’s website describing the duties of his office. He is also the head of the Civil Division, which is responsible for civil litigation involving various agencies of country government.

We believe some serious questions need to be asked of Mr. McClain about how he has chosen to spend the county’s money. According to articles appearing in the Chinook Observer, Mr. McClain as the representative of the Department of Community Development has pursued enforcement of a series of aggressive regulations and lawsuits against the Oysterville Sea Farms, a business that existed in this community for decades.

According to the reporting, Dick Sheldon, uncle of the owner of this business, pressured local politicians to pursue these efforts. While the Department of Community Development is responsible for the regulation of business, the Civil Division of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is responsible for providing sound legal advice to county agencies that have responsibility for spending tax dollars wisely.

Under Mr. McClain’s supervision, Pacific County pursued five years of escalating litigation involving Mr. Driscoll’s business. Each successive court case resulted in a loss to the county and more appeals by Mr. McClain’s office, which produced rulings, each more favorable to Driscoll than the last. The county finally gave up this last July after losing every appeal.

Questions need to be asked of Mr. McClain as to why he pursued such a frivolous case against a small business. We, as taxpayers, would like the following public information disclosed by Mr. McClain.

1. What was the total cost to taxpayers of this unnecessary and frivolous litigation against a local business?

2. Why were successive and obviously frivolous appeals filed at taxpayer expense upon loss after loss?

3. What political motivations were at play in his decision to file successive appeals?

4. What was and is his relationship to Dick Sheldon?

5. Was any pressure placed on him by Mr. Sheldon with respect to his elected office?

The taxpayers of Pacific County have some questions to ask themselves as well. Do we want to continue to employ a prosecuting attorney/county counsel who has such poor legal judgment as to pursue three losing appeals that taxpayers pay for? Was he incompetent in not knowing that these appeals were hopeless? Did he succumb to political pressure from a business competitor of the citizen he was trying to put out of business?

Elections have consequences. Taxpayers pay for those consequences.

Karen Engstrom, Joseph Candito, Linda Gierke and Deborah Wells


Is District 3 really represented?

Despite the discord in politics today, there are many things the people in our district can agree on.

• Healthcare. We all need it and it’s too expensive without some form of coverage.

• Prescription drugs. Most of us would agree that the drug companies gouge us, especially when the same drugs we buy here are 50 to 100 percent cheaper in Canada.

• Social Security and Medicare. Many of us couldn’t survive without them and many more will need them soon, when they retire.

So how has Jaime Herrera Beutler represented us on these issues? Her website says: “Standing up for Seniors — We must keep our promise to Americans who depend on programs like Social Security and Medicare. This means ensuring that these programs are strong now and in the future, and not raided by D.C. politicians to fuel government overspending.”

• The tax reduction she voted for gives most of the benefit to businesses and rich individuals and will place our grandchildren in debt to the tune of trillions of dollars in the next 10 years. The Republican leadership has announced that they plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, in order to make up some of the deficit.

• With the federal budget in enormous debt, Herrera Beutler voted to spend $25 billion on a wall along our southern border. It was voted down, but it surely demonstrates support for government overspending.

• Herrera Beutler was able to take advantage of one of the most generous health insurance plans in the country (provided at very low cost to congress) to pay for the unfortunate difficulties in her last child birth, but afterward, she voted to abolish the Affordable Care Act, without any realistic alternative. The ACA is far from perfect, but no insurance is certainly worse. Her vote demonstrates a lack of empathy and understanding for her constituents needs, despite the flowery words on her website. She became the DC politician her website words disparage.

• Lastly, Herrera Beutler voted to detain and imprison asylum seekers and would-be immigrant children with their parents, for indefinite periods of time at the border. This also demonstrates a lack of empathy and complete support for the Administration’s agenda. How do you think she will vote when her party brings the cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to the floor?

A vote for Carolyn Long, will be the right step in having all of the people of District 3 represented, by someone who cares about people. I encourage everyone to look at the issues, not party, and vote for Carolyn Long.

Rick Moltzon

Ocean Park

Impressed by Long

Let me tell you about last week’s Town Meeting with Carolyn Long.

I sort of felt like I had made her up. You know… fantasized a person who could be the perfect candidate to run for office against our current representative to Congress. And there she was last Saturday in Ilwaco — Carolyn Long at a town meeting talking to 40 or 50 of us, not only answering our questions but explaining some of the whys and wherefores about our broken system of checks and balances!

She began with a quick description of her background: grew up in rural America in a family that sometimes had to seek public assistance to get by; dropped out of school in 7th grade when she was needed to work in the family fruit stand for a while; went on to get her doctorate degree in political science and has been teaching for 23 years as a professor at WSU, Vancouver — classes in American institutions, public law, American public policy and public civility. (OMG! She’s a living fairy-tale-come-true!)

Then, Carolyn… but wait! Did I say that as we were seating ourselves in the meeting room at the Ilwaco Library, she walked up to each person, shook hands, introduced herself and asked our names? Throughout the 90-minute meeting, she called on those who raised their hands — by name! We all felt a personal connection by the time the meeting was over. Before she began that question and answer period, though, she told about her reasons for running for this office. (Yep! I made her up!)

I was delighted to hear her say that first and foremost, she was running to unseat Jaime Herrera Beutler. I had felt a little guilty that I had voted for Carolyn in the primary for that very reason without even knowing much what she stood for. Turns out, my instincts were absolutely right! Keeping and bolstering Social Security and Medicaid, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, reforming our tax structure, supporting affordable education for all whether we are college-bound or not, revamping the rules under which Congress has been operating so that across-the-aisle cooperation is again possible — every issue, one that we angst about every day. (Wow! I definitely imagined her into reality!)

Oh — and did I say that she opened the meeting by talking about the attention the Chinook Observer articles (my “Stories from the Heart” series) had brought to the Hispanic crisis? And she also mentioned that she had just met with people of our shellfish industry and expressed her concern about the burrowing shrimp catastrophe and the consequences to the community as a whole if that situation cannot be solved. Soon. (Talk about bonding! As I listened to those remarks, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the room who felt that Carolyn Long actually knew and cared about our little corner of the state.)

No matter which side of that aisle you gravitate toward, I hope you will avail yourself of any upcoming opportunity to meet Carolyn. She’s young. She’s informed. She has practical ideas about fixing our democratic process so it will work again. We need to make Carolyn Long a key part of a happily ever after conversation by electing her to Congress. (And, so you can see for yourself that I didn’t make her up, check out her website: www.electlong.com/about.




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