Is historical tribal crabbing a myth?

Your paper of Nov. 4 stated 599 square miles was set aside for tribal boats. One hundred and fifty years ago how did they get the crabs? Must have been very good at swimming and holding their breath or they washed up on the beach. I think the latter is more likely. I have nothing against tribes getting their share but this is ridiculous. Maybe a native can explain it to me.

Jim Falkner


Legislator-replacement process is unfair

This is more substantive follow up to my recent letter expressing due concern about the so-called “democratic” process used to appoint the 19th district’s new representative, especially about the gross inequality of the weighting of the votes of the 15 county commissioners.

The most recent, and accurate, tabulation of the representation of each of the five counties in the district comes from the official November 2012 listing of the number of registered voters. Out of a total of 76,376 voters, the two smallest counties, terms of numbers, were Lewis and Wahkiakum, with 9.1 percent of the voters, but commanding 40 percent of the commissioner voting power. Add in Pacific County, that total comes up to 26.1 percent of all registered voters, with a substantial majority of the commissioner votes at 60 percent, while the other nearly three-quarters of the voters have the remaining 40 percent.

Cowlitz County comes out of all of this the worst of all, as with just under 50 percent of the voters, they represent only 20 percent of the 15 commissioner’s votes.

Surely, this current process is a grossly inequitable method for selecting any type of a truly representative “winner” of anything, and can so easily be manipulated for egregious purposes. Not that I am insinuating that necessarily occurred here, but I do believe there definitely was some behind the door collusion geared to help the ‘other’ parties chance in the November 2016 election.

What a pity that 45 duly elected precinct committee officers, having a chance to do their duty, gets all their efforts thrown back in their face. Whatever happened to our historical principle of “One man, one vote”?

That Washington State Democratic Committee on this type of procedure really has to look at what improvements can be done to make this process truly representative, and less prone to manipulation.

Michael J. Spencer


Wind-powered vehicles get cold reception

This letter is to inform everyone involved as to the sad circumstance that transpired at the 2015 Washington State International Kite Festival held at Long Beach. I was hoping that time would slip by and my anger would subside. I decided to speak about this matter so at least I can get past it, with the hopes it will be a thing of the past and never raise its ugly head again.

On Aug. 20, 2015, a small group of 60-year-old men was approached by “Park Ranger Rambo,” who we later found out to be Officer Thomas Benenati. Officer Benenati drove out onto the beach and directly approached us and the first words out of his mouth was that we are breaking the law and if we did not leave immediately we would be arrested and fined. Officer Rambo then stated that “We (Park Manager Evans Roberts and Officer Benenati), have been planning this for over a month.” Not having a clue to what was going on or what he was pissed off about, we asked for clarification.

We have been approached by visitors, kite fliers, city employees, local law enforcement, business owners, park rangers, not to mention dozens of others who have nothing but good things to say about the wind-powered vehicle law that was changed to allow our sport to operate on the beaches of Washington state, bringing revenue to this area that was going to the state of Oregon.

This was the first time anyone in this sport in over five years has had anyone with such a Gestapo attitude get in our face and threatened us with such an asinine attitude.

After this group of 60-year-old men, who have been working in getting the law changed for some 20 years, refused to vacate the beach or file a late use permit and pay $50, Officer Benenati took Evans Fletcher’s ID and returned to his vehicle.

At this time, Fletcher made a phone call and upon the return of Officer Benenati, Benenati’s attitude changed 1,000 percent. Now, we were told to file for a use permit in the next three days.

At this point, half of our group left the beach and returned home. The other half decided to make a few calls and find out what was going on.

I was not going to attend WSIKF this year due to some prior commitments. I was asked by a paraplegic to teach him the safety aspects and how to operate his new landsailer while at WSIKF. I then rearranged my schedule to help out with this request. I was also asked by a young couple from Canada who wanted to learn how to kite-buggy while at WSIKF. I then added a couple more days to my stay at Long Beach for the event and to help promote the sport while adding to the financial bliss of the event and the city.

Now, whether this was an oversight on the city of Long Beach for not dealing with the permit process — the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing — I hope you are able to check your problems at the door for next year.

If this was a Parks Department problem, shame on you for the devious planning a month earlier. A simple question about the permit would have made things much easier and dealt with the situation much quicker without the end result which will now take affect.

I will not attend WSIKF, or any beach in Washington state, until I receive a personal apology from those who are responsible for the problem and the Gestapo attitude. I will now resume my old habits of visiting Oregon State where I will personally spend hundreds of thousands of Washington state’s lost revenue dollars on the beaches of Oregon state. I will also spread the word to future hopefuls in wind-powered vehicles to go to a state where it is legal and welcomed, even though it is supposed to be legal in Washington state.

Jeff Earl


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