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Letters to the Editor

Kalama’s loss

I find it regrettable that Kalama City Council members have lost sight of their responsibilities to the citizens of Kalama in siding with the former mayor who chose to terminate Molly Ciancibelli’s position on the library staff.

Even after several large crowds came to meetings in November and December to show their support for keeping the library staff’s quota, City Council members still chose to vote for the removal of the longest standing and most valuable librarian on the staff. Even after a show of support from dozens of citizens at those council meetings, the council’s library representative, Councilwoman Mary Putka, chose to defy the desires of her constituents and side with the mayor in downsizing the staff size. Shame on you Ms. Putka and shame on the council for refusing to represent the citizens of Kalama.

I believe it is time for the council to dust off the council members’ manual and reacquaint themselves with their job descriptions if in fact they ever have understood them in the first place.

Dominic Ciancibelli


Just kidding

All joking Assad, things are getting pretty Syrias.

Burt Harwood


Who pays?

I wonder how many people there are with favorable experiences with the isolation box like those expressed in Niki Favela’s Jan. 3 letter to the editor? The letter was well-written and Favela should be a character witness. There are so many complications, i.e. why the children misbehaved, and did the teacher cross the fine line of discipline? I would not want to judge or be on the jury. The jury needs to be child psychiatrists at the least, but I know that’s not possible.

And who would have lost if Principal Patrick Kelley and Jerry Stein (school district) lost? The Cowlitz County taxpayer or all the school children, with fewer education funds? First, the school district pays, the insurance pays, the insurance increases the rate to the school. Yes, Stein has to be a Solomon in his decisions and for the school and taxpayers. Let’s hope he is.

Perhaps (and I feel) the blame should be on Hollywood, TV and today’s society. There are movies on TV which are too violent for me to watch (at 83 years old) and language my mom and dad (and school teachers) would have spanked me for.

Ours is a messed up society.

Yes, taking out of Favela’s letter, “This is an injustice by adults wanting to cash in on their children’s behavior.”. Stein is doing his best to correct the kids, but it’s like pushing on a rope.

David R. Westerlund



Sen. Franken should not resign without a fair ethics committee hearing.

No other men should resign because of harrassment charges until Donald Trump apologizes to the nation and resigns from his office. Until that happens, we all know that those in government power don’t really mean what they say about the harrassment of half of our people.

Mike Russell


The real problem

The mayor is correct. Longview has its problems. However, the problem starts with the mayor himself. If we the people of Longview want to see things get better it would start with the resignation of the mayor and the dinosaurs on the city council. Talking about “fake” news, they are full of it. Hey Mike, quit being a puppet on a string, it just may come back to bite you.

Mark Lengyel


Law of averages

Steve Kern, general manager of PUD, is getting a raise from $206,000 to $214,240 in 2018 up $8,240 per year he started 2016. We are a small town. Average annual employee salaries at the PUD are $57,000 to $136,000; another site says $84,000 to $118,000 a year. Also, for the state the average is $84,000 per year. Rates go up 3 percent in April 2018. Social Security is going up 2 percent in 2018. That’s 10 dollars a month more for me, so there goes my raise. Longview is a low-income town. I live off a little over $8,000 a year, others not much more. I have heat in two rooms only, the rest of the house is cold. I know of another in the same situation, and they are sick with a bad cough. The PUD needs to stop raising rates. Water rates also keep rising, along with employees salaries.

Property taxes go up when schools are voted for. Superintendent Dan Zorn’s salary is $172,880 a year; Chris Fritsch, assistant superintendent, is at $135,186 a year. Principals average $107,000 to $114,617 a year and teachers average $44,208 a year.

N.E. Haynes