Letters from readers published Aug. 29, 2014

Radio show to explore coal, crude oil issues

Clean Columbia County has just signed to host a one hour radio program on KOHI, on the dial at 1600 AM. We kick off on Friday, Sept. 5, at 9 a.m. and will be live that same time every week until all the voices of Columbia County are heard.

Over the many months since both coal and crude oil have been introduced to our county, we have heard the same incredulous questions: “Why didn’t we know?” “Who made this decision?” “Why weren’t we involved?” “What about safety?”

Well, we can’t turn back the clock, but we can try to get the information we’re all seeking and we’ll get it direct from everyone involved.

We are inviting people on all sides of the issues to engage in the conversation. The intention is to have a community discussion focused on the community’s questions and opinions. So, get ready to call. Get ready to listen and learn as well. Get ready to have a say in the future of Columbia County.

And, who, you might ask is on the guest list? Well, like any good promo, we can’t tell you everything at one time. For the first week, however, we’ll host Rob Davis, the Oregonian reporter who has been at the forefront covering oil train issues in Oregon.

Nancy Ward


Clean Columbia County

Why fault Christ-inspired positive results?

On the Friday, Aug. 22, front page of the Wall Street Journal stood every bit the muscle and bone of a warrior with his wife celebrating his seemingly miraculous recovery from Ebola.

Fort Worth, Texas, native Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and his 59-year-old colleague, Nancy Writebol, battled a formidable outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, seeing hundreds die before contracting it themselves.

As word got back to the U.S. that Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, under the watchful eye of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was handling their cases, there was widespread concern that these two Christian missionaries would bring the virus to us.

To the contrary, much has been learned about Ebola. The importance of replacement fluids and electrolytes, among other guidelines, have been posted to the field. What’s more, Dr. Brantly and Dr. Writebol are now immune to the disease.

Dr. Brantly said, “God saved my life; the direct answer to thousands and thousands of prayers.”

Brantly worked through Dr. Billy Graham’s son’s “Samaritan’s Purse”; Writebol worked with SIM USA, another Christian charity.

Why would ISIS in Iraq, the regime in North Korea, the Islamic Jihad in Sudan, even the genocide of the Third Reich, irrationally despise the exercise of Judeo-Christian faith, which often involves providing clean water wells, medical clinics, hospitals, schools, books and clothing?

It’s just weird.

In the meantime, honor these two heroes. They deserve it.

Wayne Mayo


Big-time Biggs supporter

Reading the Spotlight front page story (see “School board member again at center of controversy,” Aug. 15) about St. Helens school board member Ray Biggs made me remember the Mark Twain quip, “If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed, but if you do read the newspapers you are misinformed.”

Why was the Spotlight piece, which seemed to find so much fault with Mr. Biggs, written without at least interviewing Mr. Biggs himself? Innuendo and unbacked allusions abound. I want facts and lack of bias in our local paper. Please trust me to form my own conclusions from the facts you provide.

Journalism should serve the truth, not just stir the pot. In the long run you will have more subscribers.

Bob Ekstrom


(Editor’s note: Mr. Ekstrom was given the opportunity to provide specifics regarding the “innuendo and unbacked allusions” in his letter. He did not respond.)

Johnson family an asset to Oregon

I was in central Oregon on the weekend of Aug. 10 when I picked up “The Bulletin,” the local Bend newspaper, and I was pleasantly surprised to see an editorial on the Johnson family, an article I’m glad to paraphrase.

The article was most appreciative of the family’s history of donations of land to the U.S. Forest Service at the headwaters of the Metolius River. Named after the father of our state senator, Betsy Johnson, the Sam Johnson Park sits in Dry Canyon. The local Kiwanis Club has recently raised some $700,000 to enhance that park with playgrounds for all ages.

Along with college scholarships, the Johnsons have been pillars of their community and ours.

Thanks, Betsy.

Len Waggoner


CZ Trail improvement plan stinks

Before I explode, I need to write this letter about expanding and paving the Crown Zellerbach Trail (see “Retired teacher promotes plan to expand CZ Trail,” Aug. 22).

I live seven miles up Scappoose-Vernonia Highway, and have for 37 years because I moved out of Portland to enjoy rural life.

I was forced to have the CZ Trail right in front of my home. I hate it, but have no choice but to accept it as I haven’t had anyone offer to buy my home and property for $200,000.

To read that someone thinks we should pave it drives me crazy. The whole point to this trail is a walk through the woods, enjoying the wildlife and quietness of the walk.

Joel Haugen: move to Portland or Hillsboro or Beaverton or some other place, and leave this quiet trail alone.

Furthermore, I can’t believe you would want people walking through a tunnel that has been dangerous for more than the 37 years I have lived out here.

Please don’t involve our high school kids in something this dangerous. Also, there is the cost of bringing the tunnel to code and safety standards in order to use it.

Who pays for that? Who is going to pay that bill?

I will be at every meeting you have and will be very vocal about not wanting either of these things to happen and why.

Joy Ann Ferrenburg


Thank you for Wings & Wheels success

Thank you Columbia County residents and visiting guests for attending and supporting the 4th Annual Wings & Wheels event at Scappoose Industrial Airpark Saturday, Aug. 23.

I am grateful to all of our sponsors who believed in this event enough to show extra strength and support. Thank you.

There were over 60 businesses represented, including: Port of St. Helens, Scappoose Industrial Airpark and Oregon Aero. Without their support, this event would not be able to incorporate Wings & Wheels in the same venue. Oregon Aero has without hesitation for the second year in a row provided space, power and electricity, not to mention many volunteer hours helping to organize this event. Jim Vanek of Sport Copter, another business at Scappoose airpark, offered event support. Many businesses offered raffle donations. I am certain the winner of the Doyle SUP Stand Up Paddle Board, donated by Scappoose Bay Kayaking, is one happy lady.

The Passport winner of the Annual Zoo Pass is the Gary Davis family from Rainier.

The EAA Chapter 1111 flew 93 free flights to children 8 to 17. We call them Young Eagle flights.

A new addition this year was the presence of Warren’s Tommy Elstoen, who brought his race car along with the St. Helens River City Speedway cars for display.

Thank you Henry Heimuller for accepting the title of event emcee, welcoming everyone in a brief yet powerful opening ceremony with the Division 6 Young Marines and a special appearance from the River City Singers of Columbia County.

There are many pieces to this event. My sincere gratitude and with most respect to every volunteer who made our event a great success. Thank you.

Linda McDougle

Executive Director

South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce

Contract Publishing

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