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Letters to the editor published Aug. 21, 2015

Nancy’s good news

So, you want to hear some good news?

Last week, a Columbia County Circuit Court judge cleared the way for an important initiative to move forward in Columbia County.

First, I would like to give you a little background. Bear with me, please.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF, is a nationwide organization, and Columbia County Sustainable Action for Green Energy, also called CC SAGE, is the proponent of this initiative.

You can read all about both these organizations by logging onto cleancolumbiacounty.info, where you can access their Facebook pages.

Basically, their main focus is to establish a community bill of rights for the people of Columbia County and to “Help stop global warming. Protect our forests. For now and for generations after us.”

Wow! That is an amazing undertaking, and it is hard to believe there would be opponents to this vision. However, that is the case.

The initiative was challenged twice by Alta Lynch and Ron Bodell, who were represented by Greg Chaimov of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, of Portland.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP has over 500 very expensive attorneys located throughout the United States. This firm also represents Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose.

Lynch and Bodell lost.

Thus, we have something to look forward to, perhaps even on next May’s ballot.

Can you stand some more good news?

Last week, I attended a Port of St. Helens meeting. I wanted to urge the commissioners to reconsider approving a methanol plant at Port Westward. I reiterated to them that if a methanol plant is built at the Port of Kalama and at Port Westward in Clatskanie, over 14 million gallons of water per day will be sucked from the Columbia River, with only 90 percent being returned to the river.

The Columbia River is already stressed out and nearly at an all-time low. Global warming has arrived.

The good news is that three of the five commissioners heard what had to say. Newly elected Commissioners Paulette Lichatowich and Larry Ericksen both listened and took notes.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Chris Iverson actually said I had made some good points and he wanted further information on this project.

It appears two new commissioners on the Port Commission might just make a difference.

At previous Port meetings, five out of five did not even listen to visitors’ comments.

Hey — three out of five ain’t bad!

Nancy Whitney

St. Helens

Kudos to Moss for anti-weed stance

My kudos to police chief of St. Helens, Terry Moss, for his courageous stand relative to the legalizing of marijuana for recreational use.

I was appalled that an applicant for a business for such adjacent to the St. Helens waterfront park stated that it would be “family friendly.”

So, if accepted, the once-family gathering for a barbecue now could all get “stoned” together.

I have many objections to marijuana use, considering that it is possibly a stepping stone to more harmful and addictive drugs. Its residue in one’s system is long-lasting and problems of its presence are now unknown.

Now it appears the state is in “civil disobedience” to federal law. What next? A note to segregate schools or to disallow women the right to vote. (I have lived through both.)

My views on an elderly senior who “has been around the block” don’t count much. But I doubt that the paltry tax revenue on legal sales of what was once called “loco weed” will compensate for the problems it presents.

I am sorry I don’t now have a typewriter or computer. At age 90, my days as an administrative secretary are over. I still enjoy reading your paper and debating now and then.

Bonnie Nelson

St. Helens

[Editor’s note: Thank you, Bonnie, for reading the Spotlight and for being engaged in your community. DS.]