Protect natural assets

Articles (or letters) written in your newspaper must strive for quality, not quantity such as taking up the entire top half of a page.

This area is appreciated for being an important habitat for migrating birds. People live on the coast because they love its unique blend of forests, mountains and the sea. It’s being able to live in a place surrounded by incredible beauty but you can’t have L.A. and trees. Pick the best choice — if you gain the world and lose your soul. True happiness is derived from nature.

We must help each other to keep out invasives and protect our scarce jobs, our environment, our corridor of trees which are important to animals to allow them to travel and to prevent them from being trapped. This is what our founding fathers intended when the constitution was written or else there won’t be any bird notes anymore. … They paved paradise and put in a parking lot ….

Billie Hawthorne

Ocean Park

Protect everyone’s free speech

Last week’s (April 26) editorial letters and opinions, such as they were, still provided food for thought. The fact that you willingly publish these differing opinions (even against yourself) proves your unbiased management example of free speech.

By the way, I expect to get front page coverage on this letter!

I, for one, understand perfectly what Mr. Waltemate has been saying in his guest columns, and it’s a ‘breath of fresh air’ when someone puts themselves in the verbal line of fire for what’s sensible.

However, if Rob continues on this path, the liberals are going to re-enact the Fairness Doctrine, citing socioeconomic unworthiness, to again limit conservative free speech.

Robert W. Bonney

Seaview

No fireworks changes until at least 2019

We are gearing up for the 2017 Fourth of July celebration with the goal of building on the successes of last year. Our partners are committed to continuing the efforts to educate residents and visitors on the rules governing the beach. We have additional efforts planned to help curb illegal consumer fireworks and to reduce the garbage on the beach and in the dunes. We will again have posters, banners, and handouts describing the “Beach Friendly Fourth.”

Last year we focused on the beach and promised to work on a “Neighborhood Friendly Fourth” for 2017. We heard loud and clear in our 2015 survey and numerous town halls that residents felt their neighborhoods were under siege. They told us that the fireworks went on for too many days, turning their neighborhoods into “war zones.” The majority did not want a ban; they simply wanted a reduction in days.

There are three jurisdictions on the Peninsula — Pacific County, and the cities of Ilwaco and Long Beach. Both the County Commissioners and Long Beach indicated last year that they were receptive to discussing the possibility of reducing the legal discharge dates, which are currently June 28 to July 5. Earlier this year the commissioners advised that they needed confirmation that Long Beach and other jurisdictions were still interested before proceeding to set up public meetings. Their position is that the laws had to be compatible to be manageable. We agreed with them, however we were unable to get all jurisdictions to agree to sit down to start the discussion. Because of this, there can be no change until at least 2019 due to the state regulations that any change to the current laws be passed 365 days before the effective date.

We are disappointed there was no agreement to begin the discussion about a potential reduction in the days of legal consumer fireworks discharge. We had hoped, at a minimum, to eliminate lawful discharge on July 5, as it is counterintuitive to have hundreds of people volunteering to clean up the beach while fireworks are still allowed. We had hoped that opportunities for public involvement would reveal the desires of the residents, which may or may not be what we think they are. That is why a public process is so important. We had pledged to help the commissioners with public meetings, and to publicize how to comment, so we could get the largest response possible. We were hoping for a true cross section of opinions.

We now plan to develop and distribute a survey after the Fourth of July that will seek opinions on options concerning legal consumer fireworks discharge days. Once the survey results are compiled, we will host another town hall meeting to review the results with the community and elected officials. The vast majority of Washington state residents are living in a jurisdiction that either has totally banned consumer fireworks or has limited the discharge to one to three days. Only 16 percent live in an area that is still using the state standards as the Peninsula is.

We will continue to work with all partners to sustain the very positive improvements accomplished last year. We have an education program planned for the neighborhoods so all can make informed and safe decisions.

Your elected officials are responsible to the communities they serve. No matter what your opinion is concerning legal consumer fireworks discharge days, be sure to let them know. Continue to watch our Facebook page, Not A Ban A Better Plan, for upcoming announcements. Contact us at betterplanfireworks@gmail.com with your comments and suggestions.

Magen Michaud

Not A Ban A Better Plan Committee

Peninsula

Commissioners don’t know they got played

I am writing this in response to former PUD Commissioner Hatfield’s Letter to the Editor in the Willapa Harbor Herald and the Chinook Observer last week where he said, “Perhaps Mr. Myers has ambitions to be the General Manager.”

Just for the record, I am not and have not ever considered or been considered to be a candidate for the position of general manager of the PUD. I did hear of that rumor late last year and here are my thoughts on what that rumor was really designed to accomplish. It was floated by a person or persons who knew that commissioners Hatfield and Thompson would buy in to it with full vigor. And further, that these commissioners would abandon their own code of ethics by taking some sort of action to protect the manager’s jobs from the new commission majority that was coming into power. The action that came as a result was the granting of this amazing “Golden Parachute” deal, voted in just days before Commissioner Hatfield left office, for both managers.

As for the author of that rumor, it was mission accomplished.

Pat Myers

Raymond

All free to attend town hall

Commenting the April 26 letter to the editor from R. Bonney:

I would like to inform Mr. Bonney and others who share his opinions that the intent behind the Jaime Herrera Beutler stand-in was not for a dart practice or any other sort of damage but rather as a tongue-in-cheek symbol of her well-documented chronic absenteeism. Hence, “Where is Jaime?” She was not lampooned or harpooned either — or even mentioned much, as there were more serious issues at hand. A lot of thought, time, money and creative energy went into that pretty and charming representation and we cherish her. But then, how could Mr. Bonney, in good conscience, evaluate our handiwork when he did not actually see it? Where was Mr. Bonney? Making assumptions?

Although Mr. Bonney was not personally invited to the Town Hall, Jaime had been invited and encouraged to attend many times. Her response was verbose letters likely composed by her aides and to schedule a telephone town hall the night before. Now, telephone town halls are merely watered down substitutes for the real thing. An easy way out of doing the really hard work of looking your constituents squarely in the face — up close and personal. In telephone town halls participants and topics are screened and staged which is not at all like an open and interactive chaotic bi-partisan community gathering to hash out issues and concerns. Jaime represents all the people in her district — not just well-off business folk (who she does occasionally visit in person for exclusively Republican concerns and political fund raising).

Unfortunately, the town hall likely would not have generated much financial support — or maybe it would have. She is a powerful presence, an attractive, personable and charming young woman who should be paying attention to all of her constituents if she has intentions of running for office again. She needs to attend.

As Mr. Bonney is surely aware, a town hall is inclusive not exclusive and therefore this one in question was open to all of Jaime’s constituents. The question might well be more about where was Jaime and where were her devoted supporters like Himself to, at the very least, stalwartly stand up and speak up for their/her political agendas. Disappointingly, no shows! They needed to attend.

The gathering was left to tilt to the liberal, condescending wimpy left (“agree or disagree agreeably”) if only because the upright, stalwart and paternalistic righteous right did not attend — thereby creating a not necessarily desirable imbalance. It was Mr. Bonney’s choice to not attend, to speak up and participate, stick up for and explain his political beliefs and rationale. He’s a capable, intelligent, powerful person. He could have seen the lovely Jaime depiction for Himself. He would have been perfectly safe if only because law enforcement was in attendance. Besides, he knows most Democrats here are pacifistic, pinko tree huggers. Along with Jaime, he was not present and, not unlike Jaime, he can write about it with great authority. “Ya had to’ve been there!” Yes indeed, it does give one pause to wonder about agendas.

Recalling the pivotal town hall in Arkansas initiated by the Republican constituents of Sen. Tom Cotton where he, in person, stood courageously face-to-face before a large bipartisan group of his constituents. He explained his political platform and seriously listened to, discussed and ultimately honored their concerns. It was televised and I watched it. It was heated but respectful. A cardboard stand-in was not required. This was the American way in action, with respect to Sen. Cotton.

KAREN ENGSTROM

Oysterville

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