Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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In the Columbia County Spotlight's weekly mailbag this week, we have letters from Deer Island and Clatskanie readers.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Commercial solicitations and campaign announcements will not be accepted as letters to the editor. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity.

Fed up with stereotypes and propaganda

I am a nasty person!

I take long-term care of the trees in our forest because I grew up in the woods, so I am a job-taking tree-hugger.

I don't allow hunting on our forestland, so I am stealing food from babies. (The real thieves: Average full-expenses cost per pound of local "hunted meat" is between $40 and $65.)

I own a couple of guns but don't consider them toys or romance objects, so I must not be a patriot.

I don't kill or torture animals for a thrill, so I must be anti-hunting.

I have been all over the world and accept many different types and colors of people, so I must be trying to destroy the white race.

I have learned to do many things, from serious high-tech to bulldozer use, so I am an elitist.

I do not believe that humans are above all other creatures, so I must be godless.

I get most of my electricity from solar panels, so I am "redistributing wealth."

I believe in equality among genders, so I must not have read the Bible.

I am deeply angry about the prejudice, ignorance and corruption in the county Sheriff's Office, so I must be a member of antifa.

I consider outlets like Fox to be the real fake news, so I must be an uninformed lefty.

I don't like cities and live in a rural home so I must be a bigoted redneck righty.

These are things that I, and others, have been accused of by local fools — including in this newspaper. Our county needs to wean itself from the propaganda that streams from "talk" shows and dishonest web sites, which are not required to tell the truth or have an honest discussion about reality. They lie intentionally, for money.

Learning, study, and analysis are only relevant if the basic sources are observable facts, rather than assumptions based on ideological desires. Science does that for us, which is why it is hated by propagandists.

Charles Bickford, Deer Island

NEXT clean fuels project should be celebrated

The recent decision by the Oregon Department of State Lands (ODSL) to approve the NEXT Renewable Fuels' $2 billion clean fuels project is worth celebrating! It is one big step closer to allowing for the construction of NEXT's state-of-the-art renewable diesel facility and the restoration of nearly 500 acres of wetlands in our community.

NEXT is going above and beyond by inviting the Clatskanie School District into the wetland restoration project, making hands-on learning opportunities for science-based curriculum possible in ways our community has not had the opportunity to experience before.

With what is currently happening in the world, it is more evident than ever that we need our own clean fuels industry, and it's an added bonus that this project comes with leadership that wants to do right by the community, which includes protecting our unique environment.

Give us green energy jobs at fair wages and environmental benefits of wetland restoration over fracking and traditional fuel any day. It's time to get ready for a future that prioritizes cleaner fuels for our community and provides career-making opportunities along the way. It is getting closer and closer to being able to celebrate what's NEXT!

Kathy Engel

Director, Clatskanie School District


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