Those ‘green’ cars can cost a lot of green

Jim Redden’s article (“Including fuel, EVs cost less,” Sustainable Life, Nov. 14) is half the truth.

Yes, we all would love to skip the gas station and put those dirty, evil oil companies out of business. The article reads like a rosy-colored glasses thing. Please, let stop drinking the Kool-Aid for a moment and look at the truth.

It was never mentioned that most car buyers will buy a battery replacement program of a $100 per month, above and beyond the car purchase price and warranty. OK, so the owner in the article is a lessor and may not be part of that program, but a buyer, which most people are, will pay for battery insurance instead of buying gas.

The Nissan Leaf has a 60,000-mile lifespan and the batteries need to be replaced. The price tag? $15,000. My car with 189,000 miles has a total cost of around $10,000 for maintenance. So the Leaf owner has a choice in order to drive 189,000 miles: Replace the battery two times at a cost of $30,000 plus the price of the car or, at 60,000 miles, replace the car two times.

With all that aside, the real problem with the Leaf and all battery cars is the environmental damage used to manufacture the car. It’s the dirty little problem the politically correct green movement just won’t report on and would like to keep a secret, because if people ever found out about the heavy metals needed to make batteries and the toxic nature of mining, refining and storing the toxic metals, and the environmental impact to our Earth, people would revolt.

Please, can someone write the entire story and not sound like a commercial for Nissan and the rosy green movement?

Andrew Weisenberger


History casts shadow on Iran deal

I read on Sunday, “Iran Nuclear Deal Reached.” I remember another agreement that had a promise of peaceful arrangement between powerful nations. An individual stood and made a speech of peace on Sept. 30, 1938, at Heston Aerodrome, England — it would be “Peace in Our Time.”

Within a year, the world would not be at peace until August 1945.

In that time my father would be in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Yugoslavia — he would be injured in Italy, continue fighting and by 1946, be classified a 100 percent disabled veteran.

My father-in-law would serve in the Pacific and by luck of the draw, have a duty detail one afternoon when his group was loading bombs and there was an accident — no survivors.

A piece of paper has had very little importance in the quest for peace — especially with those that use peace for a cover for other purposes. The honorable Secretary of State John Kerry should be fully aware that on Jan. 27, 1973, at the Majestic Hotel in Paris, France, the Paris Peace Accords were signed — an arrangement to end decades old conflict and have a start to a return of peace. By April 30, 1975, units of the North Vietnamese forces would enter Saigon.

It is very difficult to think of peace in the Middle East when the publicly stated goals of many countries for a very long time have been contrary to the peaceful coexistence of diverse cultures.

David E. Teuscher


Appeasement of Iran is a bad idea

Easing the sanctions on Iran will do nothing but get ink and reinforce American weakness in the heart of every bad player on the planet.

The comments, “line in the sand,” “don’t call my bluff” — the picture’s clearer then ever.

Israel is right to be worried.

Iran, the country that supplied improvised explosive devices that maimed countless American soldiers, is now thought to be sincere when they’ve been caught continuing their nuclear bomb development in secret after promising not to? Is anybody even watching?

Watch. North Korea will again threaten something, somewhere, and get some ridiculous sum in the billions of food and medicine from America in exchange for a temporary “promise” of non-aggression.

The reason? America’s in a givin’ mood.

Wayne Mayo


  • Editor’s note — While the Spotlight does not actively report on world news, as far as we can tell from credible media reports, Iran has never admitted to having a nuclear weapons program, nor has hard evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program been made public by the United States government. Several national governments, including the U.S. government, have openly accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons.

    Constitution has changed, sometimes for better

    I believe Mr. Roy Fuller misinterpreted my letter concerning Mr. Ray Biggs; I made no judgment as to what laws should be, but only that an elected official should not misstate what our laws actually are. But in Mr. Fuller’s letter, he makes statements that need to be questioned. One is, “The first 10 amendments ... and the Thirteenth Amendment banning slavery were the only amendments serving the cause of justice. The Fourteenth Amendment was flawed because it didn’t extend the Bill of Rights to bind State Governments.” We can examine amendments passed after the 13th Amendment to see if this statement is correct.

    The 14th Amendment reads in part, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This part of the amendment is what actually does extend the Bill of Rights to bind state governments.

    The 15th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged...on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

    The 17th Amendment requires U.S. senators to be directly elected by the people.

    The 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.

    The 23rd Amendment allows residents of Washington, D.C., to vote for the president and vice president.

    The 24th Amendment outlaws poll tax for federal elections.

    The 26th Amendment lowers the voting age to 18.

    It is difficult to understand someone believing that these amendments do not promote justice.

    A second statement, “Since the Thirteenth Amendment was passed ... our rights as expressed in the previous (sic) Constitution have severely eroded,” is just as troublesome. Just because laws are written, it doesn’t mean governments will follow them or courts will not reinterpret their meaning to suit their own political beliefs.

    It may take decades to obtain the freedoms for which a law was written. For example, five years after the passage of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court decided the rights protected in the amendment only applied to national citizenship, such as traveling to Washington to petition the national government, thereby removing citizens’ Bill of Rights protections from state and local governments (Slaughter-House Cases, 1873). The Supreme Court only began to reverse this decision and agreed that the 14th Amendment provided Bill of Rights protection from state and local governments: for some First Amendment rights in 1925 (Gitlow v. New York); for Fourth Amendment rights in 1961 (Mapp v. Ohio); for Fifth Amendment rights in 1964 (Malloy v. Hogan); and for Second Amendment rights in 2010 (McDonald v. Chicago).

    Bill of Rights protections from the federal government were also greatly expanded during the middle of the 20th century. In fact, the Bill of Rights as we now know it did not exist 70 years ago. But this is not to say that rights cannot be rolled back, as we have seen with the Patriot Act and Supreme Court decisions over the last 35 years.

    To protect our freedoms, we need educated, informed citizens that understand the law and can recognize when our freedoms are being eroded, and will be willing to pressure local, state and the federal government to make changes.

    Garrett Lines

    St. Helens

    Questions, ideas for jail not addressed in meeting

    Before attending the Nov. 25 Columbia County Jail stakeholders’ meeting, I wrote down four specific questions pertaining to jail requirements. How many jail beds are required to support the Columbia County court system on an average day? How many jail beds need to be funded to meet the minimum operational cost, i.e. food, utilities, maintenance and staffing? What is the current cost per bed for the Columbia County Jail? What discount is given to agencies that rent jail beds?

    The meeting started with Sheriff Jeff Dickerson giving a PowerPoint presentation and a verbal explanation on how many deputies are needed to operate the jail, after which the commissioners started off the round table discussion of stakeholders. While Commissioner Tony Hyde touched on a few specific topics the remainder of the night was rather vague, and the main topic drifted at times. At no time did anyone mention subjects listed in my questions. My suggestion to the stakeholders is to follow a standard PDR-type priority list as follows:

    Purpose. A county jail is to support the local county judicial system providing holding facilities for accused awaiting trial and convicted inmates that require local punishment, and at no time is a jail bed rental to be considered a priority.

    Discussion. How many beds does the local court require? Being that the jail is three times larger than needed, what is the minimum number of bed funding needed to meet operational cost? What is the cost of a local bed? What discount, if any, should be given to agencies renting a bed?

    Recommendation. Having no operational budget, taxpayers should fund 40 percent of bed capacity (102 beds) to meet operational costs: 50 beds for the court, 10 beds for the sheriff for medical and isolation cells, 12 beds for overflow or Clatsop County to use, if they pay for their own transportation and food costs, leaving 30 beds available for outside agencies to rent. Estimated costs to be $127.50 per bed at 56.25 cents per thousand, and with a 10 percent discount rental cost to be set at $115.

    For me personally, I voted against the recent jail levy for two reasons. First, federal inmate population exceeded 30 percent of our total jail population. Second, I lack trust in our civic leaders with their personal agendas.

    Joe Turner

    Columbia City

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