Letters to the Editor

Un-entitled

I take exception to a letter in the Nov. 9 paper from Dan Myers.

Social Security is not an entitlement!

This is a federal insurance program that every working person pays into their entire working life — whether they want to or not.

Medicare is not an entitlement!

There is an insurance fee taken from the Social Security payment every month. Since this only pays 80 percent of the entire medical bill, we are forced to buy a supplement plan. Medicare takes $104 per month before I receive my Social Security payment. I then have to pay $127 per month for the supplement. All of this is insurance, not an entitlement.

I get so tired of having to explain this over and over to people who do not depend on these two programs in order to live with a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator. Most seniors depend on these payments, or we would have a much larger homeless problem than we do now.

Gloria Sanders

Longview

Too long

The Millennium Bulk Terminals project presents an exciting opportunity for both Cowlitz County and Washington. The terminal would employ thousands through construction jobs and create lasting family-wage jobs for hundreds of others, to say nothing of the state and local tax revenue.

This project has faced unprecedented obstacles from regulators because the product being exported is coal. State officials have created an unpredictable regulatory environment, one that is sending the wrong messages to employers looking to invest in our community. It’s worth noting that coal exports are expected to increase by 37 percent this year according to the Energy Information Administration. That means this project will help provide a key energy resource to many of our foreign allies like Japan and South Korea, who need a stable source of energy.

We need a regulatory process that is timely and fair if we want to attract new business to Cowlitz County and throughout the state. Six years is just too long.

Shannon Stull,

LiUNA Local 335

Vancouver

Future optimism

My immediate response to having read in TDN “Statehouse flips to Democrats” was, “We are so screwed”; honestly, not all that dissimilar to my reaction while witnessing Republican legislative ineptitude and dysfunction in the nation’s capitol.

I’m looking at the local election results with anticipation for Longview and hope for Kelso — despite the loss by one of the candidates, Alexander, for whom I voted — as the source of any future political and economic optimism.

Richard McCaine

Kelso

Ruling was right

In Saturday’s newspaper, the editorial page gave Washington state’s habit of putting “politics over policy” a thumbs down. I’m relieved to see this important recognition.

Judge Stephen Warning ruled that the Department of Natural Resources’ decision to deny a sublease to Millennium Bulk Terminals was “arbitrary and capricious.”

This ruling is exactly right, and DNR’s decision isn’t the only state action against Millennium to have been arbitrary and capricious. Rather than following the rule of law, state agencies have been acting politically and finding new ways to block the coal terminal.

Every citizen should find this overstep deeply troubling. No matter one’s politics, the law needs to be applied appropriately. State regulators have grown so out of hand that it has become necessary for a judge to step in.

Hopefully court intervention will no longer be needed moving forward. State agencies should start treating infrastructure projects fairly, as they are legally required to do.

Adam Davis, UA Local 26

Plumbers & Pipefitters

Longview

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