Letters to the Editor

Gun laws

I mostly agree with Kristin Guttormsen’s letter of Oct. 10 but I want to make some additional points. First none of the anti-gunners involved in this discussion seems to grasp that in a modern industrial society guns are surprisingly hard to control. The latest example is the “bump stock” that the perpetrator of the latest outrage used to make his rifle act much like a fully automatic weapon. It is something that someone with a 3-D printer can make himself. They are also not the most deadly means of creating carnage. The worst mass killing in America occurred in a nightclub where the perpetrator threw a fire bomb. Guns are also not the easiest means to use. Throwing a bottle of gasoline is a lot easier. I would also respectfully suggest that you quit repeating that the Second Amendment does not recognize an individual right to be armed. If you get people interested, you are going to look really silly when they find out that the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that right and the bulk of Second Amendment scholars agree with them. And finally, several times I have heard the recording of Nancy Pelosi saying no law she can conceive of would have stopped the attack in Las Vegas. So it is probably unfair to attack Jaime Herrera Beutler for not suggesting new laws to reduce gun violence. The politicians who do are probably just trying to tell you what you want to hear.

William Dennis


Support Siipola

I am writing to support Rosemary Siipola for Kalama mayor. I’ve known Rosemary for 30 years and worked with her at the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments for 18 years. As transportation manager, Rosemary was responsible for advancing the transportation and community improvement interests of five Southwest Washington counties and all cities and communities. Her work required broad technical and administrative expertise to see that the region benefited from numerous state and federal funding and construction programs.

Rosemary brought to the table dedication, experience, enthusiasm and the ability to bring together local businesses, citizens, elected officials, staff, chambers of commerce and other interests to achieve short to long range improvement goals and projects for their communities. Effective working relationships with state legislators and our federal representatives and senators yielded substantial returns for communities from Long Beach, to Longview-Kelso, to Packwood. The successes of the five county region were the envy of others around the state; it was no fluke that our track record was consistently high due to Rosemary’s vision, behind the scenes work and multiple levels of collaboration and cajoling. Not surprisingly, her ego didn’t need the recognition and accolades; the results and satisfaction of the local folks were evident to her that a good job was done.

As mayor of Kalama, you can expect similar results by Rosemary Siipola.

Steve Harvey


Concerned councilor

We lend our full support for Chet Makinster to remain as a Longview City Council member. Now, why do we give our full support for this belief? If you happen to stop by the Triangle Starbucks in the morning, about 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. or so, you will see a group of men and one lady sitting in the alcove of that establishment. There are staunch Republicans and and on the other side of life, firm believing Democrats with a spattering of some in the middle. Everything gets to be discussed with this group. We get to know each other and trust each other, even with divergent passions of politics.

Chet has been a member of this group for a few years and there are few things that we have learned about him. He has a deep passion about being on the Longview City Council. It has been very obvious to us that he does not have an axe to grind or a cause to rant about. He cares deeply about the city of Longview and those citizens who live within its borders. He does speak his mind, which allows one to truly know where he stands. Some might hear that as being gruff or uncaring, and that is so far from the truth. On occasion, when he has made statements that were not correct or things were misstated, he offers a sincere apology. It is obvious that he is concerned about the city budget and spending our money wisely. We are lucky to have him so dedicated to our city and those who reside here. We believe that we need to keep him on the city council.

Paul Batzle, Joel McNelly, Kelly Johnson, Patricia Shaw, Charles W. Rak and Elden L. Alexander


Take action

Gov. Jay Inslee, as our green governor, should stop Northwest Innovation Works from proceeding with its methanol project, in the effort to combat global climate change. The world’s largest methanol refinery, proposed in my hometown, would emit 1.24 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, and would consume more fracked gas than all power plants in Washington state combined.

If Inslee is serious about Washington state’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contributions to global warming, he should take action against all projects in Washington state that increase fossil fuel use.

The public deserves to know the climate impacts from fracked gas, the wellhead to the pipelines, to the refinery, and all the way to the export in Asia.

We all deserve the right to breath clean air.

Linda Leonard


Let’s be excellent

Great things are happening in our community. Now we have the opportunity to take a game-changing step forward: Toward improved quality of place, economy, health, employment, and more. The proposal put forth by Longview Schools is excellent. I attended nearly all planning meetings, listening posts, and school board meetings the last few years and saw the process first hand. They did it right. They listened (to citizens, staff, experts), they consulted, they questioned, they revisited the drawing board. They hired the best consultant possible. They made informed, difficult choices.

This bond can’t address every serious issue identified in the facilities study, but the final plan has the right priorities: rebuild three overcrowded, crumbling, poorly laid-out elementary schools (no more portables for our vulnerable little ones!), fix Broadway preschool, make security upgrades across the district.

If the price tag seems spicy, it’s small compared with what is needed to fix all of our schools’ infrastructure. We have to start somewhere; this is it. Let’s not waste the investment put into this quality plan. Please vote yes!

Ian Thompson, executive director

Lower Columbia School Gardens

Hard copy

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Bill Woodard asked about WSDOT law, keeping to the right. I see “slower traffic keep right,” which is not too clear a statement. About two years ago I phoned the Washington State Police Kelso office about semi-trucks not keeping to the right on I-5. The officer said “That’s not a law” and then started reading me the law on trucks. He read to a part that said “... trucks must keep to the right except when passing, and...” he kept on reading. I immediately said “stop, go back a few lines and read that to me again.” He did and then said, like he was correct (but dead wrong) “We don’t have enough patrolmen to enforce that.” Sorry to say, I did not record his name.

I have been trying to find a book containing all the highway traffic laws in Washington State. The Longview Library spent about 20 minutes with me on the internet. I phoned the WSP in Kelso last week. There is NO book, they tell me (how can I believe them). I called the 1-800 information number for Washington. The only book available is the book to read before a driver’s test, so I’ve been told.

I need a hard copy of WSDOT rules, to carry in my car. When I get stopped (which I have been three times on Highway 4) I want to know the law, not what some WSP trooper tells me is the law. I already discovered the WSP do not know the law. Yes, the rules are on the internet, but I need a hard copy. If anyone can help me find the book, please phone me. My phone number is in the DEX phonebook.

David Westerlund


Worthy vote

Your vote for MaryAlice Wallis means better government for Longview.

MaryAlice has established herself as a fine example in her family, her church and her community. So often we don’t have role models who like MaryAlice demonstrate the adage that “actions speak louder than words.” MaryAlice definitely has the kind of leadership and character that is worthy of your vote.

Barbara Dunlap