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Letters from readers for the Aug. 1, 2014 issue


Leveling the playing field

The July 26 Wall Street Journal reports that a Chinese solar panel company, Trina Solar Ltd., among others, has been accused by German Solarworld AG, which is building solar panels in Oregon, of “dumping at unfairly low prices.”

The administration promptly imposed tariffs of 26 to 42 percent. Now, protected Solarworld foresees a “level playing field.” Predictable.

This is obviously the picking of winners and losers by pandering to American “green manufacturing” that real markets won’t support.

Anytime you hear the phrase “dumping at unfairly low prices,” you’ve got to ask yourself, as a consumer, “Do I hate low prices? I must. The Commerce Department is there to protect me.”

Use your God-given balderdash detector.

The administration should drop the boring pretense of the “dumping” accusation and go after overseas manufacturers operating outside of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are unfairly crippling American industry right now while “misting” Oregon and Washington with mercury, sulfur and arsenic, which can be traced to extremely dirty coal being used in overseas energy production.

Impose an “environmental tariff” — my name for it — of 30 to 70 percent on every product imported until all overseas industrial processes, from the coal-fired energy plant to the cardboard and styrofoam packaging, trucking and shipping industries, meet our strict environmental standards.

That would truly “level the field” for American industry.

Wayne Mayo

Scappoose

Memory lapse

The Scappoose City Council seems to have a short-term memory problem.

Councilor Jason Meshell and the City Council voted unanimously to have a police advisory committee that excludes the public. Does he think we don’t remember that this huge mess and unnecessary expenditures of large amounts of money all came about because the council decided that the professional independent review of the police chief’s actions was biased, and that “good old boys (persons)” on the City Council knew better?

Frankly, I no longer have trust in the City Council to do things the right way. Independent city residents should make up at least half of any oversight or advisory committee for our police department.

Linda Pollard

Scappoose

No more SOS

For about three weeks, Sen. Jeff Merkley and the National Democratic Reelection Committee ran a reelection ad on all the local Portland television stations stating that Dr. Monica Wehby was in lockstep with the Republican Party and that she didn’t see a Republican or Tea Party idea she didn’t like. Well — duh! — Dr. Wehby is a Republican.

What the reelection ad did not mention was a single solitary accomplishment Merkley has completed in his six years in the United States Senate. What about voting for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into law without reading the legislation? What are he and the Senate doing about halting the invasion of undocumented people coming across our southern border? I know he has done some good things, but why didn’t he mention them?

The reelection ad was merely a despicable attempt to spew political partisanship to manipulate voters into supporting the liberal socialist ideas of the current administration. I am not a born-again conservative (Republican) or a liberal socialist (Democrat), I am a registered voter of Oregon. I want to hear what politicians think is wrong or right in our country and what ideas they have to lead us forward, not to hear political partisanship and hatred.

The general election is quickly approaching, and I will be listening to every word — and noting every lie — that come from candidates’ mouths.

With the current local, county, state and federal leadership, I do not plan on supporting a single incumbent, no more SOS. I support term limits of four years to abolish professional politicians at local, state and federal levels; a balanced budget amendment; and a secure border.

Joseph Turner

Columbia City

My Fair Lady marks another success

This year marks another successful My Fair Lady pageant at the Columbia County Fair. The five ladies representing the 2014 court are wonderful examples of volunteers throughout the county — Barbra Bynoe (St. Helens), Charleen Pruett (Clatskanie), Rachel Kelley (Rainier), and Kathy Denkla (Vernonia).

My Fair Lady Queen Ann Mitchell (Vernonia) from the 2013 season was on hand to crown the new queen, who is Kathy Denkla from Vernonia. Even though the weather was hot, everyone had a great time and many thanks go to the following individuals and organizations for helping to make the event a success:

Transwestern Aviation’s sponsorship provided free admission for seniors and veterans. CC Rider provided free transportation to the fair with donations from Columbia River PUD, Clatskanie PUD, Avamere, Rose Valley, Spring Meadows, Columbia Hills and Meadow Park. Prior to the pageant, the Heart Strings Quartet entertained the crowd. RSVP volunteers Dena Chesney and Jean Carulli assisted with a prize wheel, and Leif Nelson, Dylan Hart, Donna Walter and Rennee Shelby helped Sunshine Pizza serve up a great meal for senior volunteers. Doug Cade and Craig Cade helped with setup and filled in wherever necessary. The princesses arrived in style, driven by members of the Clatskanie car club, retired firefighter Brian Gardner and CRF&R Chief Eric Smythe. Don Cross took photos of the event. Northwest Apparel donated the court’s beautiful pink sashes. Diane Dillard was an entertaining emcee, and Commissioners Henry Heimuller and Tony Hyde were in attendance to pass out roses to past princesses and patriotic magnets to veterans in attendance. Helen Purkerson added a touch of class to the event while helping with the staging prior to the start of the pageant. The 2014 Rodeo Court acted as judges. Julie Stephens helped organize events with the fair board, and the Columbia County Fair provided the pageant with the stage, tent and seating area needed to accommodate hundreds of spectators. Big thanks go to the Columbia River Fire & Rescue administrative staff for their unconditional support for RSVP and help with any task needed before, during and after the pageant. And, finally, a huge thank you goes to Columbia River PUD — especially Sherry Welter and Libby Calnon for their many years of planning, organization and generous sponsorship, for without them the pageant couldn’t exist.

I bid goodbye to the 2013 court and look forward to an exciting year working with these ladies filled with the spirit of volunteerism.

Monica Cade, Director

Columbia County RSVP