It's vital to vote yes on Referendum 51

Referendum-51, the Nov. 5th statewide transportation package will provide long-overdue money for our transportation system. It contains money to help make our highways and bridges safer and will increase funding for our city and county roads. These improvements are needed not just for Pacific County residents, but also to help attract tourists to our area - a critical industry in Pacific County. That is why the Pacific County Economic Development Council supports R-51. Here are just some of the R-51 projects that will help benefit Pacific County residents: realign Swensen's Curve on SR-4; safety improvements for two swing bridges that serve rail-dependent shippers in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and the Port of Grays Harbor; help construct a new bridge across the Cowlitz River linking I-5 and SR-411 from the Ostander Interchange to Lexington. R-51's gas tax is a user fee - the less you drive, the less you pay. Even driving 12,000 miles a year (24 mpg), it will only cost you $4 a month. It is a small price to pay for safer roads. And, the state constitution requires every penny of it be spent on improving roads. The Port of Ilwaco, Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, Association of Washington Business, AAA of Washington all support R-51 and we urge Washington voters to do the same. Vote "YES" on R-51 on Nov. 5.Mack FunkBoard PresidentEconomic Development Council of Pacific County

Sympathy for downtown businesses

Regarding a recent front page article in the Chinook Observer, I feel the Eppings should be commended on their Long Beach business. They bought an old building, revamped it, and created a wonderful spot for the youth to visit. It's clean and employees are courteous and rough-housing is kept to a minimum. There have been groups of youths that hang out in the Second Street South alley, and in the parking lots. Litter piles up even though there are two large garbage cans in close proximity. Since there have been two bombs placed against the Cottage Bakery wall within the past two years, I'd say the businessmen have a legitimate complaint. With all the articles on guarding against pick-pocketing and purse snatching, it is intimidating to choose to walk through a group of people gathered in the alley to where your car is parked. Another serious worry is the damage that could be done to the parked cars. This summer there was a running battle as to where the heavy log baracade should be placed. The owners didn't win that one either!Wanda JacksonLong Beach

Letters of Thanks

Education foundation says thanks. Thank you for your cash donation for our benefit auction held on Sept. 14. The money we raised will be used to support our organization's projects. On behalf of those who will benefit from your generosity and the rest of our members, I wish to thank you for contributing to our success. Your generous, tax deductible donation will assist in funding in our community activities. Sue Freese President Ocean Beach Education FoundationFood bank thanks donors OCEAN PARK - ReachOut Food Bank would like to thank the many people and groups that have made donations to us and support us in our endeavors. We thank the following groups for our benefit dinner: Peninsula Christian Council for sponsoring the dinner, The Peninsula Assembly of God for hosting the dinner and Maze Kahlsdorf and all the wonderful crew who prepared the dinner. Special thanks goes to the Lutheran AAL and AB groups who made it possible for us to receive additional funds. Through the efforts of all of you we received $2,847.62. Thank you all so very much. We thank the North Beach Security and Alarm (ACLS) for the donation of our security system and Al Wald for all his advice and assistance in installing the security system. We are so thankful to all in our community who have been sharing the fresh vegetables with us. Our clients are so appreciative of the fresh produce. We are very appreciative of the continued support of the Ocean Park United Methodist Church. Your checks each month help us continue to meet the needs of our community. We especially would like to thank all who have made cash contributions to us. Many of you have asked not to be named, but we want you to know that each one of you are very special to us. No letter of thanks would ever be complete without our mentioning our fantastic volunteers. Each of you are so important to our continued operation. All of you contribute so much to the food bank. Thank you for not only your time but the care and concern you always show our clients.ReachOut Food Bank Board of Directors Carol Porter, Donna Simonson, Jim Williams, Marjorie Williams and Mickey Padgett I would like to thank the Chinook Observer for the great article about Peninsula Learns and Jenny Schmidt. Peninsula Learning Center would like to give a big thank you to the local fire district for the presentation they gave the students in the program. The youth were given demonstrations of various life-saving equipment, and allowed to tour the fire truck. The flood of questions that followed showed the staff how important a service the fire department plays in our community. A special thank you to Commander Donahue and Lt. Herrington. I would also like to give a special thank you to the local Cliff and Rescue Unit - Greg McLeod, Doug Knutsen, and Carla McLeod - thank you for helping to make this happen. Also to Gary Forsman, Mike Nurkowski, and Randy Cook thank you for conducting the activity and informing the youth about Search and Rescue. The team showed the youth the equipment, how its used, and took the youth for an actual descent over a cliff. WOW! It was a experience the youth and staff will not soon forget. Thank you very much. Last, I would like to thank Cottage Bakery and Sid's Market for the donation of cookies. Community support keeps the program healthy and growing. Thank You.Peninsula Learns I would like to thank the Chinook Observer for the great article about Peninsula Learns and Jenny Schmidt. Peninsula Learning Center would like to give a big thank you to the local fire district for the presentation they gave the students in the program. The youth were given demonstrations of various life-saving equipment, and allowed to tour the fire truck. The flood of questions that followed showed the staff how important a service the fire department plays in our community. A special thank you to Commander Donahue and Lt. Herrington. I would also like to give a special thank you to the local Cliff and Rescue Unit - Greg McLeod, Doug Knutsen, and Carla McLeod - thank you for helping to make this happen. Also to Gary Forsman, Mike Nurkowski, and Randy Cook thank you for conducting the activity and informing the youth about Search and Rescue. The team showed the youth the equipment, how its used, and took the youth for an actual descent over a cliff. WOW! It was a experience the youth and staff will not soon forget. Thank you very much. Last, I would like to thank Cottage Bakery and Sid's Market for the donation of cookies. Community support keeps the program healthy and growing. Thank You.Peninsula Learns

Theory on why Democrats win here

In this election cycle there has been much made about the hold Democrats enjoy politically in Pacific County, the inference being that it's a condition that shouldn't exist. Well, it should. The Pacific County Democrat Party is a forum for working people and Pacific County is a place vastly made up of them. It is also a place where working people come for their vacations and where they come to retire. We are also a small county where candidates can get to know the voters directly and, through that discipline of work, come to the truth. For example let's look at three candidates in this election. Bruce Walker has spent his career in the exacting and competitive world of the title insurance industry, where true means exactly true. Bruce is running for County Assessor. He thinks of himself as a 10 hour a day kind of guy and defines his work ethic in terms of quality. Bruce Walker is a Democrat. Tracy Shawa and her husband, Nabiel are cranberry growers and are rooted, both financially and emotionally in Pacific County. Tracy also works in an llawco bank. Bringing with her the oomph of the Energizer Bunny and a maturity well earned during the successful raising of three children, (two of them are currently in college) Tracy is running for County Treasurer. Over the last six weeks, Tracy has doorbelled at least half the voters in Pacific County. You've probably met her. Tracy is a Democrat. Pat Hamilton. Since I've lived here (12 years now) Pacific County has been in the cross-hairs of the Olympia environmental extremists. During that time I have seen Pat scurry back and forth between the halls of our State Legislature and her duties as County Commissioner. It is largely through her gargantuan efforts (and the teamwork of Sid Snyder, Brian Hatfield and Mark Doumit) that she has literally saved the farms of many Willapa Valley families, our Weyerhaeuser Mill and Coast Oyster. Herself a worker bee, Pat honors work and, by extension, those who do it. Close down those three entities and you eliminate the source of living for close to half of the working people of her district. Pat Hamilton is a Democrat. It's through the focus on truth in this time of lies and the honor of work in this time of greed, we Democrats find our principles. Next, it's through candidates like Bruce Walker, Tracy Shawa, Pat Hamilton and, certainly, Brian Baird, Brian Hatfield, Mark Doumit, Virginia Leach, John Didion, David Burke, and Pat Gardner these principles come to life. And, in the end, it's that life that gives our party meaning and gives our party success.Dick SweenNemah

Incumbent PUD commissioner rebutes letters, ads in local newspapers

Three misleading letters to the editor and a campaign ad have been published in recent weeks; letters in the Oct. 9 edition of The Pacific County Press and the Oct. 16 Chinook Observer and Willapa Harbor Herald and an advertisement in the Oct. 23rd Chinook Observer. These articles are intended to mislead the reader into believing that Public Utility District No. 2 of Pacific County is hiding information and that recent or future rate increases are due to activity undertaken by the utility. These four articles could not be more wrong! In the first case, Gene Barnum requested public information from the P.U.D. and as allowed by law, when compiling the information would be too time-consuming for employees and costly, the district will make the information available for the requestor to review and pick out what is needed for copying. This was indicated in the letter from Manager Miller included in the editorial. Again, the P.U.D. is hiding nothing, the information will be provided for the individual to evaluate at the office in Raymond. The other articles and the caption on the advertisement led one to think that retail electrical rates have or will be increased to pay for a proposed transmission line that will be installed across the bay in 2004. This is far from the truth. Retail electrical rates were increased by an average of 32% on Oct. 1, 2001, lowered by 3% April 1, 2002, and just raised by 2% on Oct. 1, 2002, all due to changes in wholesale power costs by the Bonneville Power Administration. The cost for this transmission line will be spread out over a 20-year period with funds secured during a bond sale in 2001. As happens with all of our major system upgrades, bonds are sold to finance the projects with interest and principle payments made annually. This way, retail rates do not have to be increased to cover large cost projects completed on an annual basis. Improvements have to be made to the system in order to maintain acceptable reliability. Without the bond proceeds and this long-term financing, electrical rates would be way too high if the projects were completed, or reliability non-existent if no work was performed. This new transmission line will serve a substation to provide electricity to customers in Tokeland, North Cove, and a portion of Grayland - all areas of Pacific County. However, the primary purpose for the transmission line is to improve the reliability of electrical service for existing customers of the P.U.D. Retail rates for customers of our Utility will not go up with installation of this proposed transmission line! Public Utility District No. 2 of Pacific County prides itself on having low electrical rates (third lowest of all non-generating public utility districts in the State of Washington), given the current state of the industry, and a reliable system. This proposed transmission line, when completed, will loop the entire county and provide for the utmost in system reliability. If a problem occurs at one point on this system, customers can then be served from an alternate direction with only a minimal outage. Under the current arrangement, if a situation happens to the radial transmission line along Sandridge Road on the Long Beach Peninsula, customers could be out for many hours or even days and this is unacceptable. The new transmission line will alleviate such a situation. Vote for someone that has his facts straight and is fighting with others in our industry to keep wholesale rates down - a commissioner that wants to keep the public in public power and speaks for you the consumer.Lawrence RemingtonDist. 1 P.U.D. CommissionerSouth Bend

Our electric rates among lowest in U.S.

A recent letter from Gene Barnum, a candidate for PUD commissioner, made the comment "If our PUD was operated like a private company instead of raising our rates 3 to 5 percent, they could be lowered." The October 2002 issue of "Energy User News" published a table of commercial electricity prices charged during January by the 170 most expensive utilities in the U.S. Hawaii Electric Light Co. was the most expensive, charging 19.35 cents/kWh. Pacific Gas & Electric, a private, investor-owned utility in California ranked #7, charging 14.95 cents/kWh. Portland General Electric (owned by Enron), another utility operating like a "business," charged 7.72 cents/kWh, ranking 105th. Puget Sound Energy charges 6.81 cents. Our lowly PUD is charging commercial customers 6.31 cents/kWh and residential customers 5.76 cents/kWh. Because almost all of PUD No. 2 electricity comes from the Bonneville Power Administration, BPA's wholesale rate hikes will necessarily impact the PUD's ability to keep rates low. Perhaps Mr. Barnum has done an investigation into the advisability of the PUD's infrastructure expansion plans. I haven't, but I do know we pay some of the lowest rates in the nation. Anthony StoppielloIlwaco

PUD challenger sees economic options

Voters, we have the most beautiful county in the state of Washington. We have dairy farms, timber and Weyerhaeuser. We have the best oysters grown here in Pacific County. We have beautiful beaches, wild life is plentiful - we have deer and elk. The weather is a little damp sometimes, but it is home. I have lived several places but there is no place like Pacific County. Did you ever look out across the Pacific Ocean when the sun is setting, just think what we have. We have some unemployment here, but I think if we got our P.U.D. interested in a sewer system down here on the Peninsula, which the P.U.D. has the authority to do, it would improve the county and our tourism and it would put several people to work. There are a lot of grants and other monies that we can get to do this construction. If you want somebody to work for you, vote for Gene Barnum. I was chief of Police in South Bend for several years. I was also a P.U.D. commissioner for Pacific County - let's keep our electric rates down to where we can afford do enjoy what we can afford to enjoy what we have.Gene BarnumCandidate for P.U.D. CommissionerPacific County

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.