June 30 Letters to the Editor
How about a tunnel?
A bridge at the Washington Way location is an eyesore and impedes pedestrian traffic for lake walkers. I would suggest an arcing tunnel.
School closures and red flags
Austerity is a powerful adversary of the working class. Communities are forced to prioritize and wage heavy-hearted battles for the services they believe are necessary to maintain a quality of life. Chicago, for example, just closed 50 schools earlier this year. However, Longview is not Chicago. When it comes to our schools, we have the advantage of a stronger influence in the democratic process.
At the June Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council meeting, delegates representing thousands of area union members unanimously endorsed the Save Our Schools campaign, along with Longview School Board candidates C.J. Nickerson and J.D. Rossetti. These endorsements were made on the basis of how the school mergers and the candidates themselves could affect labor, including loss of jobs and crowded schools.
Cowlitz County is unique. We have prime industrial land, sound infrastructure and low energy rates, making future business and population growth likely. Should we not be planning ahead for the future?
With the LEA’s resolution of no confidence in the process that led us to the current recommendation to close schools, there are plenty of “red flags” to be worried about. Lack of teacher input, questionable data, lack of administration neutrality, are some of the concerns with the process. All we ask is that the School Board compare apples to apples, stick with the issue at hand, listen to teachers and the broader public, and make certain the facts and figures are correct before making any decision.
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council President
Better value needed on CRC
I was baffled to read Ken O’Hollaren’s attack on U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in his support of Clark County’s own “Big Dig” project — the doomed CRC bridge. For those not familiar with that reference, the Dig was a boondoggle tunneling venture in Boston that went tens of millions of dollars over budget, years over deadline and hurt countless local businesses as it shut down part of the city. All that was put on the backs of local taxpayers.
O’Hollaren’s (June 22) letter (really butchered Herrera Beutler’s stance on this flawed project. She’s for a new bridge, and she even put money in place when she helped write the transportation bill last year. She’s just not for a bridge that is too low, too expensive and not adequate enough to even reduce travel times by more than 60 seconds.
It’s just not reason enough to sink $3.5 billion into a bad bridge design to say that we’re almost to the point where fewer local jobs will be lost because the design is too low. Herrera Beutler is right to push for a better design and better value than what the CRC offers.
New I-5 power line not needed
Recent developments clearly show that the I-5 Reinforcement is not needed to provide power to the Portland/Vancouver area, as BPA constantly claims.
Portland General Electric recently signed contracts for two power plants, a wind farm and entered into a memorandum of understanding with BPA. The MOU identifies specific upgrades to both the BPA and PGE grids that will allow PGE to serve its customers for decades to come. This cooperation, conservation, and lower growth allowed PGE to cancel the 500KV Cross Cascade line and BPA relieves grid constraints.
With the Portland/Vancouver load resolved and less constraints on BPA’s grid, BPA’s main justification for the I-5 Reinforcement is no longer valid nor is the urgency to build it.
BPA’s repeated lies about local needs have final caught up with it. Now is the time for BPA to cancel this ill-conceived and politically motivated project and to release the thousands of homeowners whose lives have been put on hold for over three years.
Richard van Dijk
Brush Prairie, Wash.