Missile defense should be a priority
Missile defense should be a new priority for U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, and Jeff Merkley.
North Korea's bellicose comments coupled with their recent rocket engine tests have extended the radius of danger which, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal this weekend, now may include the West Coast of America.
True or not, steps should be taken.
The mobile missile defense system, known as Thermal High Altitude Aerial Defense, or THAAD, capable of intercepting and destroying incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) has been deployed in Japan and South Korea recently. The effectiveness of this system is so advanced that China has registered adamant disapproval at what this defensive hardware does to the "threat equation."
The Chinese response to a purely defensive upgrade raises questions about their political intentions and just how big of a part they play in encouraging North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
THAAD should be immediately dispatched on the West Coast to protect Washington and Oregon, starting with the high-density population centers. There is no question the American military would respond to any attack with devastating precision which under "normal" circumstances should be a powerful deterrent.
But North Korea's social construct doesn't reflect values or circumstances Americans would recognize as normal.
Supporting Iverson for Port
I am writing to support Chris Iverson for commissioner of the Port of St. Helens. He's a lifelong friend who has always cared about our waterfront and our community. Chris led the access project that allows all of us to get to Trestle Beach. As many of you recall, getting to Trestle Beach used to require parking along the narrow shoulder and whacking your way through the brush on the other side of the culvert before you could get to that popular beach.
But that all changed when the Port three years ago took it upon themselves to construct a parking lot and improve those trails down to the river. Chris not only supported and approved the money as a Port commissioner, he was out there driving his Caterpillar to lay rock for the new parking lot. He dedicated his weekends to seeing that the project was finished (and saving the Port money at the same time!).
I appreciate that Chris looks for ways to bring business and jobs to our community and works to make sure we have great recreational sites that we all get to use.
The Port needs, and we will benefit from, Chris remaining on the Port Commissioner, especially with the transition to a new executive director sometime soon. His leadership and understanding of how to get things done has led to wonderful things in our community, both economically and recreationally. I hope you will join me in voting for Chris Iverson.
Diane M. Dillard