Johnson best qualified

On Wednesday, July 25, I attended the sheriff’s candidates debate in Ocean Park. I carefully listened to all three candidate’s positions, accomplishments and goals for the sheriff’s office.

In 2009, I retired from a sheriff’s department as a homicide sergeant after 34-plus years, working for some good sheriffs and some not so good. I know the dedication it takes to perform the sheriff’s job. Based on the candidates comments and my experience, I noticed the following from each candidate:

Chief Souvenir: Chief Souvenir runs a small department in a small jurisdiction with a small population. Chief Souvenir sounds like a good leader with administrative experience. After the debate, I listened to Chief Souvenir discuss some of the issues with others and he seems to be an honorable, well-intentioned man.

Sheriff Johnson: The other two candidates brought up issues of working with other departments and reallocating resources. I heard Sheriff Johnson address each idea Chief Souvenir raised, already having made the changes suggested by Chief Souvenir. Based on my conversation with Sheriff Johnson, he is an open-minded problem solver. He has put his professional life ahead of his personal life and shows dedication to the job, not just as a figurehead, but as a law enforcement officer.

I’m glad to see that there are some people who avail themselves of the opportunities they’re given by drug courts and are no longer a burden to our community. But there are others who will continue their drug use at any cost and will try to take advantage of the drug courts to continue on their criminal path and continue to be a burden on our community. I believe Sheriff Johnson also recognizes, as I do, that drug (opioid/methamphetamine) crimes are not “victimless crimes,” and are responsible for the “downstream” victim crimes such as burglaries and thefts. He is doing what he can, within the law and his budgetary means to reduce those crimes.

I believe that Sheriff Johnson is doing the best he can for Pacific County given his limited resources and budget. Sheriff Johnson is a Democrat and I am not, however, the sheriff should not be elected because of the partisan politics. The most qualified candidate should be elected regardless of party affiliation, and that is why I am voting for Sheriff Johnson, because I believe he is the most qualified and would urge others to vote the same.

Mike Powers

Ocean Park

Oaks says thanks

I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who have supported me in my campaign for the position of PUD commissioner. You know who you are & you are appreciated! It is impressive how many people I’ve met on the campaign trail who attended forums and meetings and who really care and want to be informed. This election is a great example of how our political system works and how important local issues really are. I have spent a lot of time talking with people across Pacific County; and, even though I have been a resident and business owner in this county for over 40 years, I have met many people who are part of a growing, diverse population who want to be involved in our future.

PUD stands for Public Utility District. It is owned by the taxpayer — by you! The mission statement says that our PUD is “…a progressive, customer-owned utility company providing electricity, water and wholesale telecommunication services in Pacific County, Washington.” It further states, “Our goal is to provide responsible, reliable and professional service at the lowest possible cost to our customer-owners.” No matter what your opinion is of past decisions, which affect your current electricity bill, there is always room for improvement and for your voice to be heard. You get to elect a commissioner who will be your voice on the board and will make decisions that will affect the PUD’s future.

The commissioner’s role is to set up policy and rates and to hire a general manager to run day to day operations. Being a commissioner requires a collaboration, communication and community leadership. The job is not to micromanage or to represent the special interests of any particular individual or group. If elected, I am committed to representing the interests of all residents of Pacific County.

This has been a great experience; and, no matter what the outcome, I am thankful to have been a part of it. I have learned so much, and this will make me a stronger advocate for the people of Pacific County in whatever I do. Through this election process, I have gained a renewed appreciated for the process of representative government. I am encouraged and hopeful. So, no matter what you do, educated yourself on all the issues and candidates and vote by Nov. 6!

Debbie Oakes

Long Beach

Vote McClain, Souvenir

It is my pleasure to support and endorse both Mark McClain for prosecutor and Robin Souvenir for sheriff. I have had the privilege of working very closely with Mark McClain over the years in the prosecution of criminal cases that I have been involved with as a sheriff’s deputy. I have found Mr. McClain to be extremely competent and effective as our county’s prosecuting attorney. He has a very in-depth knowledge of criminal law and a very successful strategy and balance towards crime and punishment. McClain has a passion for public safety and creating safer communities and I have seen first-hand his success in that endeavor. Be assured, you can sleep better at night knowing that Mark McClain is at the helm of the prosecutor’s office. He is a trusted and proven leader and well respected by law enforcement and our local courts.

Robin Souvenir has a vision for bringing unity to the sheriff’s office and other departments and agencies within Pacific County. I agree with his approach in changing the culture of the sheriff’s office through team work and leading from the bottom up by getting staff more involved in decision making and ownership of the job. This change is needed and comes at a time when there will be significant turnover from upcoming retirements in the months ahead. Strong leadership through creating a positive work environment will be crucial in recruiting new talent and qualified applicants to fill these positions. I have come to know Chief Souvenir as a public servant who tells the truth and relies on common sense and a strong work ethic to solve problems and get the job done. Let’s vote to put Robin Souvenir in a position to make the changes needed for a thriving Sheriff’s Office and safer communities.

Sean Eastham


Oakes is best choice

What a pleasure it was to see the Primary Election results for the PUD District #2 commissioner race. Was I surprised? No, not really. Debbie Oakes knows no stranger. She is one of the most giving and hospitable people I have ever been around. Her kindness and willingness to serve family, friends and community has obviously not gone unnoticed, as the early election results showed.

As the General Election fast approaches and everyone in Pacific County now gets to vote, I wanted to take one more opportunity to encourage my friends and acquaintances in the South County and my old friends and acquaintances in the North County to consider voting for Debbie Oakes. For those in District #2 who voted for one of the other candidates in the primary, I hope you will consider voting for Debbie in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. To my northern friends I realize it can be difficult to decide who to vote for when you really don’t know either candidate. I can honestly say that many times in the past I have relied on letters to the editor from people I know and trust. I’m hoping that those of you, who know me, also know that I do not have an agenda, I simply care about our communities. I would not support someone who I does not have our citizens’ best interest at heart.

Debbie has been working hard to learn the duties of a PUD commissioner. Because of her and her husband’s many years in the commercial fishing industry, she totally understands budgeting, watching expenditures and having a plan for the future. Her time spent on the Ocean Beach School Board also gave her the irreplaceable experience of serving on a board. Debbie is a forward thinker and open to new ideas. Personally, I am very excited about her desire to look for ways to bring high-speed broadband to everyone in Pacific County.

Debbie’s willingness to thoughtfully examine all issues and listen closely to the public’s questions and concerns sets her apart from the other candidate. I enthusiastically support Debbie Oakes for PUD commissioner and hope that you will join me in voting for her on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Mavis Gerwig Shucka

Long Beach

McClain earns re-election

I have lived in Pacific County for 50 years. I have been in law enforcement for 31 years; 29 of those years have been in Pacific County. I have been a chief of police for 14 years. I believe I have the experience and knowledge to know what kind of prosecuting attorney we need.

I endorsed Mark McClain four years ago for Pacific County prosecutor and I am proud to endorse him once again. He has done an amazing job as an advocate for the victim and for law enforcement. He has earned another four years as our prosecutor.

People talk about supporting law enforcement and I am grateful for that. If you really want to support law enforcement in Pacific County and truly help victims of crimes, please vote for Mark McClain. To do otherwise will cut the feet out from under those who are in the day-to-day business of trying to enforce the criminal laws of the State of Washington.

This may not be “politically correct” but I’m going to say it: There are people in this world who seek to harm you either by stealing from you or by physically hurting you. The job of law enforcement is to try to stop criminals before they act and, failing to do that, to build cases against criminals to try and bring them to justice. For years we did our job but had a prosecutor who didn’t do his — everyone knew that. Now we have a prosecutor who does his part in putting the bad guys away. He does it very well. The bad guys know it and the defense attorneys know it as well. I want you, the voter, to know it to. Please vote to reelect Mark McClain as Pacific County prosecutor.

Flint Wright


Volunteers stepped in

I wish to commend the people who stepped up to direct traffic at a collision at 49th Street and Highway 103 on Friday, Oct. 19, afternoon. The collision was between mid-sized pickup and a small SUV that had pulled out of 49th Street and was turning left onto the Highway and was hit by the pickup.

Before I left home a notice came across the scanner saying not to call dispatch unless it was an emergency; well, this was an emergency, however, no one came. It was at least 25 minutes before a Seaview fire truck arrived and an EMT got out and assessed the situation. An ambulance from Seaview arrived right behind the fire truck and the EMTs got busy extracting the injured person from the SUV.

I was amazed at how crumpled the pickup’s hood was and the left part of the front part of the bumper was and the fact the left front tire was flat.

The woman who went out into the street to direct traffic was on her way to work, the man who went out to direct traffic was from South Bend, the women who blocked the traffic from driving through the parking lot of the laundry mat was from South Bend, and the man directing the southbound traffic must have been from the local area.

Finally, 30 minutes after the crash, Washington State Patrol arrived.

A few of the drivers were really rude. One driver ignored the women in the street and drove left around her between her and the crumpled pickup truck in order to continue north. He must have had a very important appointment to keep. Another car tried to bluff its way through the laundromat parking lot even though the women was telling him to go around the block. She stood her ground.

We in this community are very fortunate to have people who are willing to step in and help during an emergency.

I have a question. Isn’t there a mutual agreement between law enforcement offices like there is between fire stations? Were all the officers of the Long Beach Police Department sent to the emergency in South Bend? Oh well, they probably have a good reason why they couldn’t respond. I know three calls were made to 911 trying to get help.

Lois Cameron


Oakes testimonial

When I moved to Pacific County over 35 years ago, some of the first people I had the pleasure of meeting was Debbie and John Oakes. Debbie has integrity. Debbie will not make impulsive decisions. Debbie will research all items brought before the Commissioners. Debbie is approachable. She will listen to your concerns and needs. Debbie and John have successfully managed their business for years. Debbie is smart with money and knows how to stay within a budget. We need accountability to the community and adding Debbie will give the ratepayers a full commission that will be strong and transparent.

If you have any concerns or want to hear more about my friend Debbie, please contact me after 5 p.m. That way I can give the needed hour or two to let you know how wonderful a community member Debbie Oakes truly is!

Jeannie Bliss Weyl

Long Beach

Souvenir is a leader

I support Robin Souvenir as the next sheriff of Pacific County. I have known Robin for most of his career and supervised him, when he was a deputy for Pacific County. Robin is one of two subordinates in my law enforcement career that I acknowledged as having leadership qualities. In my estimation, Robin demonstrates a genuine desire to make positive changes to the Sheriff’s Office, and has expressed every intention to engage personnel, from entry level through command staff, in finding working solutions to better engage and partner with community members in providing a safer environment for everyone in Pacific County.

Robin has recognized that the morale level of the sheriff’s office, as whole, has significantly declined. When I transferred to the sheriff’s office in 1997, we were more about family and the needs of the community in our core responsibilities. Morale was much higher, deputies talked to each other and were more willing to help each other between shifts. Our goals were to solve crimes and make our communities safer places to live. Things have changed. On my last day of service in 2016, after almost 27 years in law enforcement, I ended my shift alone. I turned the lights out, closed the office door and got a ride home with my sister. It has been very clear since 2011, that traffic stats and appearances are more of a priority in the Sheriff’s Office, and the family atmosphere, camaraderie, solving person and property crimes come second. This backwards thinking needs to stop.

Deputies should never feel dread in going to work; they should be made to feel valued and inspired. I believe that Robin has the desire and ability to return the sheriff’s office to the respect and level of community support that they deserve and show all employees that their work matters and is appreciated.

Kendall Biggs

Former Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputy

Salem, Oregon

McClain: Great priorities

My family and I relocated to Pacific County so that I could join the prosecutor’s office. We had many, many other options, but chose to come work with Mark McClain and Don Richter because it was clear from my experience with both of these individuals that they are exceptionally qualified attorneys who tirelessly work to protect the citizens of Pacific County.

On my first day in the office Mark sat me down and explained to me that his office has two guiding principles. First, protect the community. Second, change defendant’s behavior. These principles guide every decision we make in the prosecutor’s office. When I come to work, I see each person in our office demonstrating this philosophy in their actions and working as a team to keep the citizens of Pacific County safe.

I have been troubled by the negative campaigning from Mark’s opponent who has suggested that this office has conflict. It is simply inaccurate. I am in the office every day working hard with individuals who are passionate about their community and work as a team to make Pacific County a better, and safer place.

There is a reason that every police agency leader is supporting Mark. Please return Mark McClain for another four years as your prosecutor.

Joe Faurholt


Keep the USA free

Your Oct. 24 edition was one busy newspaper. With people getting their last endorsements in for the midterm elections, it was like Christmas shopping season for journalists. For State and Federal it had at least one shocking article and sensible letter.

The shocking one, while trying to read your guest column entitled “Rep Walsh, Your Silence is Deafening,” I had to put the paper down because I thought it was going to spontaneously combust. Fire came from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow.

“Trumpster”? “Former Republican Party”? Someone needs to grow up. Jack Kennedy is rolling over in his grave as well with what Democrats are doing these days. The 1960 Democrat in today’s climate is a conservative. The article goes on and on about what national politics a State Rep should be commenting on. Surprise, it’s irrelevant! Well, except for smoke-screening purposes.

What we have there is just another (extremely) liberal friend gnashing their teeth as our country needs to ‘progress’ towards their ideal (and theoretical) image. Progressive is theoretical. The largest contention is I (and so many others) don’t want to be dragged into our liberal friends’ social experiments.

While on the subject, maybe you do, but I don’t want to be taxed 50 percent. That is what it would take to fund all the progressives’ experiments, not to mention put them in charge of my life while not taking responsibility as usual. Think I’ll take care of my own. It is not I that should move to Russia, it is instead they who should move to the UK or Sweden. Why?

It is not the USA that should be made into the image of another (socialist) country, it was designed different. If it weren’t for the USA (strength for a free world), those countries wouldn’t have the choice to be socialist to begin with. Maybe the gift horse needs to be fed rather than having his mouth examined by thankless constituents.

Progressive (political) simply means change, only for change’s sake. It still gets me a political entity can offer (my) free taxpayer money for votes, and amazes me of both its success and failure. How can half the country still reject free money (services)? Because they know better, it’s not sustainable. You feed that gift horse and you can ride it another day. Drag our economy down as Democrats are so good for (in so many ways) and you starve the horse.

My desires are fairly basic; all I want is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the national strength to keep it that way. (Too bad the founding documents didn’t include having the liberals not interfere with it). Personal responsibility is the horse feed to keep it.

Finally, last time I mentioned democratic socialism, where I should’ve started with the socialism and then sugarcoated it with the democratic part. What democratic socialism really means is you have a vote in your own social and economic demise, which in turn eliminates the self-evident truths described in the previous paragraph. But at least I have that vote to destroy myself.

The sensible letter mentioned earlier is by Mr. James Joyce, and explains well of what it takes to guard our self-evident truths. This is in contrast to a progressive change from it. I defer the remainder of my space to your review of his letter, and recommend it highly.

Robert W. Bonney

Willapa Hills Chronicles, Halloween Edition


No on 1631

Ms. Martha Williams (Letter to the editor, Oct. 24) would have you think that by rambling on about climate change that we will support 1631. Wrong, we all know that by taxing our power companies, natural gas companies, propane, and gasoline and diesel fuel, those costs will absolutely be passed on to us, the consumers. Then the crooks up in Seattle and Olympia will spend our money on their pet projects. They will name an oversight team to manage our money. This will not an elected team, I might add.

This politically charged letter by Williams is filled with lies. We the consumers will not be fooled by this inaccurate, misleading letter. Vote no on 1631. We will spend our own hard-earned money, not the politicians.

Wendy Cicerelle

Ocean Park

Herrera and salmon

I write concerning the Washington and Oregon Columbia fishery closure and how it relates to our U.S. congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler. Wild salmon and steelhead, which are very important culturally, economically and ecologically, are in dire straits across much of the Pacific Northwest. Their populations have been decimated over the past 175 years, for a variety of reasons. I will mention “Six Hs” or reasons for the declines that I have read about: Hydropower, habitat, harvest, hatcheries, heat and history. There are a number of fine sources, including “King of Fish” by University of Washington Prof. David Montgomery; “Salmon Without Rivers” and “Salmon, People, and Place” by Jim Lichatowich; “Recovering a Lost River” by Steve Hawley (a Gorge neighbor); and more recently, “Wild Pacific Salmon: A Threatened Legacy” by eight salmon scientists, including Montgomery and Lichatowich.

Consider that as many as 16 million wild fish returned each year to the Columbia and Snake rivers for thousands of years, through the early 1800s. Over those many years, Native Americans (also orcas, seals, sea lions, osprey, eagles, etc.) had a small impact on salmon populations. We immigrants have changed things. Now, unfortunately, just 842,000 salmon and steelhead — only a fraction of which were wild — passed over Bonneville Dam in 2017, a bad year. And 2018 is even worse. That 2017 return is about 5 percent of the historical numbers. Five percent!

This leads me to a letter I received from Herrera Beutler on May 9, 2018 in response to my concerns about salmon and a bill in Congress, HR 3144. She was a co-sponsor of this bill, which was widely criticized as harmful to fish. I attach her letter, as well as a letter from Gov. Jay Inslee, who was against HR 3144. She said that our current management regime “has helped to produce record fish returns.” Really? She also incorrectly claimed that 97 percent of salmon survive all of the dams. Her letter advised “please contact me if I can be of assistance.” I called her Vancouver and D.C. offices in June 2018 hoping to speak with her. I left my name, contact info and referenced her letter; no response yet.

Unfortunately, she is either ill-informed about salmon, or is misrepresenting the facts, or both. I encourage all who care about our salmon to consider this in November. You don’t have to be a tribal, commercial or recreational fisher to be concerned and support salmon recovery. Don’t help Herrera Beutler make that measly 5 percent into an even smaller number.

A. F. Jenkins

White Salmon

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