Letters to the Editor
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Mr. Clarke, not the port, neglected research
In the last issue Mr. Michael Clarke said, Terry Luttrell and other port commissioners voted to run coal trains through Columbia County without doing any research. (See Port of St. Helens neglected to research rail capacity, Letters, April 12.) It appears, he is the one who didnt do his research.
Interstate Commerce Law supersedes all local ordinances. We have absolutely no say in regard to trains and what they transport. This is federally regulated.
By the way, no leases have been signed as of yet. We simply gave them authority to do their due diligence to see if they could meet the tough state and federal guidelines which we all know are very strict in Oregon.
Our county needs family wage jobs. If we want family wage jobs, trains will be used in many different industrial applications. My concern is the number of people in our community that want to work but nothing is available. I feel it is my responsibility to at least listen to any possibility that may provide our county with an enlarged tax base for our schools, county sheriff, 911, and other needed services.
To accuse the port of reckless behavior when Mr. Clarke has only attended one port meeting and is misinformed about the issues isnt what our county needs.
Argument against port
In regards to the letter written by Michael Clarke in your April 12 edition regarding the Port of St. Helens (Letters, Port of St. Helens neglected to research rail capacity): I feel that Mr. Clarke should have done a better job in making his argument against the port.
As with most politicians these days, Mr. Clarke went out of his way to throw in the quip about how trains operate next to our schools and that safety and repsonse by emergency response personnel could be impacted.
The use of the Conneticut shooting statement is egregious. Every liberal politician is trying to use this to promote themselves and keep cititzens in this country in fear. It had no place in a column about coal and the port.
The fact is that all schools in Columbia County have access to police and fire response regardless of whether a train is going through town, and with multiple fire stations and police stations on both sides of the track our kids will have timely response in the event of all emergencies to all citizens.
Mr. Clarke, as with all politicians, needs to quit spreading fear and just stick to real facts. The people are tired of it. And to the port: please keep trying to bring in jobs.
This county is devastated with the loss of blue-collar businesses. We desperatley need to get people back to work and quit our dependance on government assistance.
Applauds Rainier councils stand against coal trains
As one who has been regularly involved as an educator and volunteer in efforts to improve the quality of life in the Rainier area since 1970, I applaud the Rainier City Councils recent decision to oppose the expansion (rezoning) of the Port Westward industrial land for a coal terminal that would entail massive rail shipments through Rainier, bisecting other Columbia County communities as well.
The council correctly foresees, in my opinion, that the quality of life and the economic conditions in Rainier will be adversely affected by the Ports extreme expansion plans. Rainiers situation is such that a moderate use of the existing railroad infrastructure for a limited number of short train passages per day is the appropriate choice for city and county (and port) planners. Unit trains of coal and/or petroleum, each composed of 125 or more cars and measuring one-and-a-third miles long, will not allow the city to function effectively and safely without millions of dollars being spent for redesigning and rebuilding city and rail infrastructure, and for the consequent uprooting and removal of dozens of businesses, families and city services.
Since the Port of St. Helens board and some of our county officials seem determined to roll over our town without even conducting a decent economic impact study in their frantic efforts to join the coal-and-oil export craze, it is heartening that our city leaders have the courage to insist that Rainier must not be collateral damage from this wholly misguided and foolish enterprise.
For the girls and the game, please show some respect
I loved growing up in Scappoose and Warren. I have a lot of fond memories of neighbors helping neighbors, always supporting one another. Life was simple growing up, playing ball, sharing mitts and having fun.
Attending softball and soccer games Ive overheard parents from opposing teams comment as to the poor sportsmanship of fans in Scappoose. What those parents were referring to I unfortunately witnessed at a recent varsity softball game at the district office field, Scappoose versus Banks.
I observed a fan from Scappoose yelling angrily at another Scappoose fan saying the F word several times. I proceeded to ask the fan to clean up his language.
Perhaps, if other supporters of these sporting events would speak up this inappropriate behavior would cease.
There were two foreign exchange students in the audience, as well as the opposing teams players, overhearing this unfortunate outburst from an adult. I was so embarrassed, thinking to myself about the image being portrayed of Americans to these students from Brazil.
Its only a game, for girls to have fun, learning the fundamentals of the sport, good sportsmanship and respect toward team players, coaches and umpires.
One of the primary roles of parents is to set good examples for their kids to look up to, admire and follow. How do you expect to raise good citizens if you dont set good examples?
Its so sad as to how people act toward one another.
Hopefully, in future sport events, the fans will show respect toward others and set positive examples for our youth.
Luttrell truly cares
I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Terry Luttrell for many years. Terry has served as a Port Commissioner for the Port of St. Helens for six years.
His decisions are well thought out and logical. He truly cares about our entire Port District and deals with the many issues that face the Port on a daily basis. He is hard working, and investigates every issue so he can make a well informed decision taking all points of view into consideration.
Terry also has a very calm demeanor. You never see him get excited or belittle anyone even if their opinions differ.
Please join me in voting for Terry Luttrell for Port Commissioner.
Just ask Israel
about border security
Its obvious the Bipartisan Path to Immigration Reform (Wall Street Journal, April 16) offers little if anything regarding true border security. From the narratives first in line point offering drones to patrol the borders, followed immediately by the comment, ...only yards from us in downtown Nogales, Ariz., a young woman climbed an 18-foot fence right before our eyes... its clear the six senators dismissed a barrier that absolutely stops everyone.
Come now, senators.
Israel has one that stops, well...everyone.
With Boston as a backdrop, when will Congress realize America demands as much protection as Israel?
Its America thats been dubbed the great Satan after all.
Someday we may suffer an explosive device much deadlier, smuggled through our porous borders.
Imagine the economic chaos that would ensue.
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