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Food for thought in this week's letters to the editor of the Columbia County Spotlight.

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. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

Local author touched by adaptations of his story

A few years back, I had given my children's story to the St. Helens and Scappoose libraries.

Then I was asked back to Scappoose for a read — only to find children, with guidance, reading my story to me. Then they began doing art objects of the story "Woolly and Hopper." All this was outstanding, and I love it.

Unbeknownst to me, this year at the St. Helens parade day, the float of Woolly and Hopper was shown. As I'm homebound now, the float was brought by for me to see. I was told then they were doing a play of "Woolly" at the new middle school in St. Helens the following weekend.

One can't be more pleased than to hear one's work will be brought to stage. I am told the children did the best of the best in their performance!

A thanks to those of the Shoestring Theater players that stepped up to the city's request for something for the children during the summer, so the children's theater workshop came to be.

Thank you from the author.

Dean Ebert, St. Helens

St. Helens still has questions to answer on failed reservoir

The City of St. Helens has reached a settlement with WPI in April 2022, which began with an August 2016 contract to repair the leaking 2 Mg reservoir.

For me, it began when the city lied when I asked about the leaking reservoir. My concern was the leaking 74,000 gallons per day affecting property. Neighbors have septic systems that could be affected by 74,000 gallons per day.

The city wasn't answering questions concerning leakage. This brings up the question of how long has the reservoir operated in this condition. The city had no plausible acknowledgement of the issue.

Upon realizing the application of the geotextile mat was a failure, I began searching city and WPI documents. What I found was there was a lack of oversight and holiday testing of one-third of the reservoir when the geotextile mat was applied. Water and moisture contributed to the failure of the mat. The condition was so bad that there was a recommendation that it be removed and replaced.

The city makes no mention of whose responsibility was involved. When I asked about this issue, there was no reply. Then I was told that employees were told explicitly not to talk to me.

This continued until I talked with Mouhamad Zaher on Dec. 21, 2021. I believed WPI's repair fixes were making conditions worse. The reservoir conditions are now worse than originally. This was confirmed when leaking increased after liner installation. Questions were always answered the same: It's in litigation.

So this issue continued until March 1, 2022, when the city hired Walker Consultants to investigate the cause and responsibility. Shortly afterward, the report leads to a settlement with WPI's contract W-449.

Why was this reservoir issue allowed to continue with years of litigation, when the Walker report concluded settlement almost immediately? So what is in the Walker report? I filed for a copy and was denied. This report has the ability to bring clarity to this problem that continued for five years.

I believe the public deserves an explanation for the cause and responsibility for failure.

Ron Trommlitz, St. Helens

'Pro-life'? If you're for the killing of other species, not really

Don't bother to pretend you are "pro-life" if you ignore the fact that more than 50 billion living creatures are killed in the U.S. every year to satisfy your gluttony, ignorance, hypocrisy, cowardice and devotion to hedonism.

Don't pretend you care about the living environment when 40% of the arable land in the lower 48 states is used to satisfy your misfit desires instead of growing healthy alternatives.

Don't say you want the clean water necessary for life when every pound of the beef flesh you consume requires 1,800 gallons of water.

Don't pretend that you believe in equality in life when you take pleasure in gratuitous violence against intelligent mammals that have the same basic brains, feelings, families and love of life that you claim to believe in.

Look at the data. Do an honest search for "how many animals are killed in the U.S. each year for your so-called 'food.'" Don't forget that the result of your actions is that most Americans are deeply unhealthy and our lifespans are shrinking as we continue to follow the dictates of organizations that only care about money.

You are not being informed — you are being deceived.

Charles Bickford, Deer Island

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