May 8 Letters to the Editor
GOP master plan
In Congress 2011, 40 Republican Senators and 236 Republican Representatives, voted to dismantle Medicare and replace it with the weak Ryan Voucher Plan, leaving us to pay mostly out of pocket. That is one example of the damage they will do. You need to remember this and vote Democratic, or next time the Republicans may become successful. Our futures are at stake. The Republicans want to take from us and give to the ultra-rich, raise our taxes and not tax the rich. It is their plan. If you are poor, or sick, they want you gone. They are fighting to take away your family-wage jobs and voting rights. Let's use our votes to take away their jobs and save our country.
The Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument was created for scientific study, and an economic engine for the region. While science has studied the area, learning what changes have occurred, we have watched the engine run from a high of 3.5 million visitors a year, slowing down to less than 245,000 a loss of more than $168 million dollars a year to the region — from year-round operations to six months, with many local businesses closing.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Buetler is planning to review the USFS progress in meeting the Mount St. Helens Advisory Committee recommendations in July this year. We hope this will bring some light to the continued decline and show what changes have been made.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Cowlitz County commissioners are looking to vote on a resolution with Lewis and Skamania counties to continue to support USFS management of the monument, giving them a "job well done." This vote of support is premature, does not support the advisory committee process and makes the decision before reviewing all the facts. This action would not be in the best interest of the county, residents, stakeholders, the state, the advisory committee or the monument. I urge the commissioners to delay action on this matter until after Rep. Herrera Buetler's performance review is completed.
Mount St. Helens Advisory Committee member
Eco Park Resort
Judge 'outs' himself
The turbulent and murky waters of salmon recovery became clear through the revealed bias of Judge James Redden. The judge presides over the Columbia River Biological Opinion and his delays and modifications in that Bi-Op have driven up the cost of electricity. In a recent interview with Outdoor Idaho, Redden confirmed suspicions that he desires to remove dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. For years the judge has acted as a dam, stopping the flow of efforts by public utilities to keep your electric bills low.
About 25 cents of every dollar our customers spend on electricity pays for fish recovery. Judge Redden has wasted millions and millions of PNW ratepayers' dollars and the veil is now completely off.
Partnering with Northwest RiverPartners — an organization for sensible, science-based salmon recovery — Cowlitz PUD fights diligently on its customers' behalf to control electric costs while supporting efforts to utilize sound science to best recover salmon.
The judge's actions may constitute an improper bias influencing his previous costly ruling. This should be further investigated to determine if sanctions are appropriate.
Edward M. Piper, Secretary
Merritt H. Ketcham, Vice President
Mark McCrady, President
Cowlitz PUD Board of Directors
BPA's energy production cuts
Both the cuts and the wind turbines indicate extremely unacceptable planning. The wind turbines, because at the time they were bought, we had much better and efficient options that do not bother birds, the cuts because we have always had options like pump storage that actually save energy until it is needed. Let's replace the turbines with something that makes sense and build some pump storage.