County needs innovation, not dirty industries; A Christmas blessing; Thoughts from the American hinterland

County needs innovation, not dirty industries

Thank you to the Columbia County Spotlight for your opinion piece regarding proposed economic development of the agricultural land at Port Westward ("Barring new thinking on economic development, new faces to be the norm in local government," Dec. 15).

You really nailed it. Yes, we need the Alex Tardifs, the Paulette Lichtowichs and those supporters who find it so obvious that the idea of another attempt at industrialization in prime farmland at Port Westward is flawed. That it will not be a boon for the county. That the few jobs any industry would create would go mainly to workers in Longview, Washington. That it will destroy the mint farm and the organic blueberry farm that depend upon an unpolluted environment. That it is not the right thing to do for Columbia County.

Some people cannot think outside the box — Columbia County Commissioner Henry Heimuller, Commissioner Margaret Magruder, all Port of St. Helens commissioners with the exception of Lichatowich, and greedy industrialists who want nothing more than to locate businesses that will pollute, that will create increased rail traffic, and that will add to the stress put on the Columbia River.

Is anyone researching agricultural businesses

for Port Westward? I doubt it.

If industry gets its way, we must vote these decision-makers out of office. The last thing we need are more sheep in wolves' clothing. We need honesty, innovation and a desire to make Columbia County more than a dumping ground for businesses that no other county wants.

Cathy Pitkin


A Christmas blessing

I had an unexpected Christmas blessing while shopping at Safeway about 10 days ago. A little boy about five years old came up to me and handed me an envelope, saying it was for me. A woman, who I assume was his mother, and probably an older brother were standing back, watching.

As soon as I accepted the envelope, his mother urged him to leave.

After they left, I opened the envelope and found a card, some dollar bills and a penny. I saw the mother and child in the store again and gave him a hug, but I was so overwhelmed that I didn't find out who he was or thank him properly. I'm hoping his mother will see this letter. I want her to tell the little boy that I gave the money to a family in our church who I knew could use it to add to their Christmas joy. I want him to know that his thoughtful and generous gesture not only helped this family, but also changed my whole out-

look on Christmas this


I was humbled and reminded again that Christmas is not about getting, but giving. It's not about making an impression on others with our house and entertaining. It's not even primarily about family, although that is a big part of our celebration. It's about God demonstrating His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to earth as a gift for mankind. Jesus was God in human form, living a perfect life and ultimately giving His life for all who would choose to follow Him. God bless you, little boy. Your mother is doing a wonderful job of helping you learn what is most important in Christmas and in life.

Ruth Paulson

St. Helens

Thoughts from the American hinterland

Possible 2018 questions to consider? First, I do not have the answers and probably do not even have the right questions; and, I doubt that anyone truly has a grasp of the problems or the solutions. 

From the perspective of a seasoned rural American with progeny, however, it seems that we are poised in 2018 for the "stuff" to hit the proverbial fan and we all should be tuned in.

Here in America, we really don't know if we have a president who is nuts, a criminal or brilliant; there does not appear to be another possibility.

And, the world seems to be in an unknowable period of change, which may include a complete shuffling of political persuasions to the rise of artificial intelligence. The latter certainly would have implications for us homo sapiens.

Given the gravity of the times we reside, it seems a good idea in 2018 to assemble an august group of thinkers and global power brokers to formulate a possible framework for the rest of us to chew on?

My personal "dream team" for such an endeavor would consist of Angela Merkel, Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Pope Francis, Steven Hawking and Xi Jinping.

Joel Haugen


Contract Publishing

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