Letters to the Editor

Coal train assault

Friday, July 28, was another perfect day in the Columbia River Gorge. Early that morning, I drove from Stevenson to Hood River on Washington’s Highway 14.

The sky was blue. The wind whipped up white caps on the river. The scenery was beautiful. It was business as usual in the jewel that those of us fortunate enough to live in the Gorge call home.

A railroad train of nondescript cars heading westbound approached me.

As we passed there was a hailstorm of coal dust. Little pellets slammed like ice particles against my windshield. The assault continued until the train was gone.

I contemplated the fundamental unfairness. If a citizen throws trash from a car, an activity which should not be condoned, that person is subject to being stopped, cited and fined. Why is similar activity by a railroad company lawful?

Coal trains dumping their trash here or anywhere is environmentally immoral and repugnant. It needs to stop.

Many voices of complaint have been raised against this injustice. Include mine in that chorus.

Paul Crowley

Hood River, Ore.

Angered allies

A few people have written letters saying their hope is in the U.S. missile defense system to save us from a nuclear attack from North Korea. However, the Pentagon has said the missile defense system has failed most of its tests. If North Korea launches more than one missile at a time, the missile defense system can only shoot down one missile at a time.

The military isn’t the solution. The best hope in dealing with North Korea is negotiations. Getting allies, such as South Korea, Japan and China, to work with us on a peaceful solution. Trump shouting at China to fix his problem for him, then telling China they did not fix the problem fast enough, only angered China. Which made China not want to work with the U.S. Trump needs to learn to get along with our allies and stop insulting them. Trump needs to realize we need our allies, especially China, who controls North Korea’s commerce.

K.D. Slade


Bipartisan benefits

I wanted to thank Jim Walsh for his comments in a recent Chinook Observer Article. The article discussed how the 19th District was slated to receive $59.9 million in the proposed 2017-2019 capital budget. This put the district in the top 10 for funds received, fairing better than 39 other districts. According to Walsh “That’s the advantage of having representatives in both caucuses.” As a Republican, he was able to work with his fellow 19th District Representative, Democrat Brian Blake, to accomplish a great deal for the district.

The 20th has been represented solely by the Republican Party for 20 years. Being represented by any one party leads to a lack of growth. In order to create real, substantial growth, our representatives need to listen to each other’s differing ideas and values before working together to create positive change for the people they represent.

Brennan Bailey

Chehalis, Wash.