Kudos to Sen. Patty Murray for Teal Slough additionHiking in the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a great personal joy, and the newly opened trail in the 338-acre Teal Slough unit is of particular interest because of its access to old-growth cedar and Sitka spruce stands.

The unique habitat in the Teal Slough uplands and in the estuary itself supports an abundance of wildlife, with evidence of frequent use by bear, elk, cougar, eagles, murrelets, salmon, salamanders, and numerous other bird, amphibian and mammalian species.

I've just learned that the Teal Slough addition to the Willapa NWR was accomplished through the direct intercession of Sen. Patty Murray. When the appropriations process needed to create this refuge unit slowed to a standstill, the senator wrote a letter to the committee on behalf of the refuge and the citizens of Washington. Only after this push from Sen. Murray did the funding finally come through.

Our sparsely populated corner of Washington state offers few votes to garner political attention in state-wide races. Sen. Murray acts on her convictions to deliver services and support to the entire state in response to issues that impact the quality of our communities, without regard to political favoritism.

Sen. Murray is a responsive and effective champion for our interests in D.C. She is a valued contributor to our legislative team, to be equally treasured as the pristine lands that she helps protect for our - and nature's - benefit.

W. Kelly Rupp

Ocean ParkUnhelpful clerk leaves sour impressionMy wife and I visited Long Beach for the first time from June 10-12. As a whole, the experience was delightful with much good food and fellowship.

I did have one unpleasant experience though. Being an early riser, every morning, I would get up and enjoy your wonderful beach. It does, however, begin to look all the same after miles of walking. I walked past my entrance point and found myself two miles south. I walked east and found myself on 17th South and Boulevard Avenue. I knew that in any event I should be walking north so I did so and stopped by a motel to get directions.

It seems that a complete stranger knew more about the community because the older lady at the desk had no idea where Boreas Bed and Breakfast was located. All that I wanted was directions on getting from point A to point B. It was about 7 a.m., and I needed to get back for the morning's activities. The date was Saturday, June 12. She had never heard of the Boreas Bed and Breakfast because it was not on her "list." I asked to see her phone directory, and even after I had given her the address, she had no idea where to send me. She could have offered to call and get directions, but neglected to do so.

My point in describing this situation is the message that this type of behavior sends to visitors in your community. Why would I return in the future and select that motel for a destination point? It seems that your businesses should be complementing each other rather than competing against each other. Being kind and cooperative to visitors, whether they spent money or not, is the hallmark of good business practices. I hope that this is not a regular occurrence in your community, because if it is, your business climate will definitely suffer.

Long Beach has a lot to offer, and would hope that you take advantage of every opportunity to serve the customer, who like my wife and I, have come a long way to enjoy the Pacific Ocean which is in your back yard. I will be back, but I won't be going to this unhelpful motel.

Brian J. Redshaw

Syracuse, Ind.Happy to see access restrictionsRecently, a fellow working for the county installed a sign at the end of our street on the path to the beach. It reads, "Pedestrian Use Only, Driving in Dunes Prohibited."

While although its purpose seems logical and innocent enough, the poor guy bemoaned the fact that either people love him or hate him. Well, we love him and wholeheartedly support the state and county's mission to close all of the illegal roads through the dunes to motor vehicles and leave only the designated beach approaches for driving. There are already seven well-maintained beach approaches.

Having seen first-hand the stress to wildlife and the dune ecosystem caused by unlimited motor vehicle access, we can't imagine why anyone with half a brain wouldn't want these illegal roads closed. It doesn't affect anyone's ability to drive on the beach, unfortunately; that's been made clear. Everyone knows the advantages, so why not support the protection of such a beautiful place? And if you don't, there's always Texas.

Marsha Sparks

KlipsanJack's Web site has great old photosI just spent a couple hours enjoying the historical pictures at Jack's Country Store Web site. http://www.jackscountrystore.com/

Thanks so much for putting these photos online so many folks can enjoy the heritage of our beautiful Peninsula.

Sheri Stritof

Ocean ParkState shouldn't mandate recyclingThe Department of Ecology recently released a report advocating universal recycling. It is the first step toward a new state-mandated recycling policy.

Treating recycling as a flawless ideal, one to be pursued at any cost and against all opposition, is a waste of resources and a seriously misguided policy proposal. While some waste should be recycled, it is safer, better for the environment and more economically efficient to discard other types of waste.

Contrary to popular belief, the nation's landfills are not filling up, household garbage disposal is safe and efficient, packaging can often actually reduce waste, some recycling increases the use of non-renewable resources and recycling decisions are best made voluntarily by the market, not through government imposed mandate.

Before squandering more time and resources on taxpayer-subsidized recycling programs, the state should fully consider the costs of recycling and the alternatives available. In many cases recycling makes sense, but universal recycling is a careless and potentially damaging policy objective.

Eric Montague

Director

Center for Environmental Policy

Washington Policy Center - Seattle

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