Time to end divide
Over the last couple of years the attention of Southwest Washington’s public and policymakers has been consumed by a couple of industrial development projects which would offer at most a few hundred permanent direct jobs.
In contrast, little attention has been placed on a silent but growing disparity that is undermining the foundations of economic competitiveness, quality of life and public safety in Southwest Washington for decades to come.
Tens of thousands in the rural half of Washington State are not served with high speed and quality internet and cell phone service.
They cannot access school homework assignments, on-line courses, telemedicine, videoconferencing or emergency services.
The net in-migration experienced by the areas between Portland and Seattle signals an opportunity to create higher–paying local jobs linked to small businesses participating in the new digital economy. These businesses and jobs depend on having reliable, high speed and high capacity fixed and mobile broadband beyond the cities and the I-5 corridor.
The economic, social and public safety costs of this growing divide will be paid by all citizens of this great state. So, it is sound public policy that the upfront costs of these infrastructure investments with long periods of financial return be shared by all the state. For example, the cost of a catastrophic forest fire dwarfs the investments needed to detect it early.
The needs assessment and feasibility study of 2013 managed by the counties and the 2016 FCC study provided a solid basis.
Action is overdue and the House Bill 2749 is a good start, hopefully, a rallying point for forward-looking practical action by legislators, county and state officials including those that have jurisdiction over roads and utilities.
Vicente A. Molinos
The national monuments slashed by Trump were officially open to mining on Feb. 2. Our tax dollars and laws have kept those beautiful monuments for our future generations in place. That man hates America. He proves it with every move he makes, stripping laws that keep our air and water safe. He is wrecking it to fill his, and the top 1 percent’s, wallets. I pray he can be stopped.
Larry J. Davis
Grateful for care
On Dec. 17, my husband, Keith Karns, suffered a ventricular cardiac arrest. This note is to say thank you to the following people who were instrumental to his survival! Thank you first to the Lord for having mercy on our family by sparing Keith!
Thank you to the 911 operator who kept her cool while I was hysterical doing CPR. Thank you to the EMTs with AMR who got to my house so quickly and jumped right into action.
Thank you, Cowlitz 2, for bringing support personnel to assist. And to the battalion chief that drove me to St. John Medical Center, thank you for being so very kind. To St. John’s emergency and Dr. Jim Crider, for your quick action to get Keith stable and ready for the LifeFlight crew. To LifeFlight for your professional handling and skill in a very tense situation.
To all of the ICU nurses and doctors at OHSU, I cannot thank you enough for putting up with a spouse that would not leave the room.
Thank you for taking such extraordinary care of Keith. I am certain that he has made such an excellent recovery because of all of you. Thank you to the surgeons and cardio doctors for your amazing skill in performing open heart and then ICD implant. I stand in awe of that kind of skill. And last, but certainly not least, to our children, Kristen and Jeremy, who cleared their work schedules so that they could be by my side for 2 1/2 weeks, our army of prayer warriors that lifted us before the Lord everyday, and all of our wonderful family members who came and spent time with us during our stay. Keith is doing really well and is making a full recovery!