Our readers' views
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Senior park pass is rational request
I submitted a question for “What’s up with that?” about the park permits for disabled and seniors. But the Aug. 11 Columbian story “National program not a key to unlock local parks” twisted my concerns. I was fully aware the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge is federal and the city and county parks are not. The city and county are still funded partially by local taxes I and other users pay, as county parks spokeswoman Jilayne Jordan confirmed funding from “local and user fees.” So we deserve to request consideration for when we are retired and disabled with limited incomes. It seems fair to have a pass for usage. Even a reduced fee and permanent parking permit would be nice.
The seniors are overlooked by most businesses and have only one day a week and in some cases in a month to receive any discounts on the shopping in this area. Some stores in Seattle and Tacoma offer senior discounts every day. This encourages and coordinates more easily with available transportation for those using assistance on the bus.
I urge the city and county government to consider a discount pass to seniors and disabled to allow the pleasure at a reasonable fee to enjoy some parks.
Government shouldn’t sell gambling
The Aug. 11 Columbian story “Lotto cash changes man’s life swiftly” disgusted me. I am not one of those who “like stories about down-and-out folks winning the Lotto.” The winner, by his own words “had only a few bucks left before going to be indigent” but the Lotto managed to get a piece of his last few dollars. How many thousands of our neighbors does the Lotto do this to who don’t win? The thousands the Lotto preys on is the real story.
You may say that these people need to take responsibility for their own choices. However, we the people are the government and the government is selling this shell game.
I resent being forced to take advantage of people’s poor choices and so should you.
Concrete umbrella will block views
The Aug. 1 Columbian story “Casting a long shadow” correctly suggested the apparent negative visual impact of the I-5 replacement bridge now calculated to rise eight stories above the north bank of the Columbia River.
This bridge will hide numerous city blocks of recently revitalized downtown and future waterfront development from the view of northbound travelers as well as set an enormous concrete umbrella high overhead, casting shadows year round.
What about this alleged permanent “long shadow” about to be cast over Vancouver’s heart? Many of us Vancouverites were unaware that possibly for the next 100 years the view from our city’s core may be looking upward toward a dark underbelly, condemning our city to a reality like that of an ugly troll hiding under the bridge.
We shouldn’t waste any time to call for a redesign of the Columbia River Crossing with the purpose of minimizing the visual impact on both Oregon’s and Washington’s riverbanks.
No resident of America’s Vancouver should be subjected to living, working or playing under the colossal shadow this soaring bridge will cast.
Bruce R. Randall
Wasteful trip sign of one-term leader
Yes, I too have a beef about the first lady’s trip to Spain, with some costs of it on the taxpayers’ dime. Seriously, if a Republican president’s wife had done this, I would be making the same comment. This shows me that it’s a “do it while you can” attitude that the first family has taken since the president’s actions have all but said that he’s a one-term president.
Glenn Alan Pierce
Criticism of vacation is unwarranted
The Aug. 10 Columbian story reports “Critics rain on Spain getaway for first lady.” Enough is enough.
I realize not everyone voted for President Obama but we did elect a president and with him comes a first family so let’s support them in a nonpartisan manner.
Sure, an Air Force jet was used to transport Michelle Obama and her daughter to Spain for a vacation with friends. But then Mrs. Obama paid for their meals and hotels costs. And her group of friends paid all of their own expenses and did not fly on an Air Force jet.
I sure hope the Obama family does not feel the pressure to stay in a cheap motel when making vacation trips.
Now, what about Hewlett-Packard’s CEO Mark Hurd’s severance pay upon resigning? Nearly $30 million and counting. Now, that is a senseless expenditure to raise a ruckus about.
Robert Henry Walz
Routine threats go unnoticed
Do you believe things will return to normal in the Gulf of Mexico now that the oilspouting BP well has finally been sealed?
Do you think that the devastating impacts of the massive oil spill on beaches, wildlife habitats, and marine ecosystem are gradually abating? Because there also is a more clear and present danger lurking in the Gulf, with no immediate plans to abate this much larger, deadlier, and continuing spill smothering life in the Gulf.
According to Wikipedia, there is an 8,500-square-mile “dead zone” roughly three times the size of the BP oil slick. It’s the result of the Mississippi River dumping agricultural and chemical waste into the Gulf of Mexico. Factory farming spews billions of tons of farm animal waste, overloaded with nitrogen and other potentially damaging nutrients compounded by waste from petroleumbased fertilizers and pesticides.
This waste produces vast algal blooms that suck up oxygen from the water, killing all marine life. We react dramatically to unanticipated threats like the BP oil spill and accidental deaths, yet we tend to accept and tolerate the much more damaging, but routine, threats from these animal waste discharges.
In-depth coverage helpful to voter
Thanks for stories and editorials regarding the candidates. It gave me much more information than the voters pamphlet. I do like to be an informed voter. I don’t always agree with The Columbian’s recommendations, but that’s what makes an election.
What’s missing is asking candidates the most important question, “Where are you on the principle of honesty?” One thing the president has shown is the transparency of back-room dealings. I have always believed one should vote for the best person. The best candidates do not do back-room deals and do their best to prevent others from such bad behavior.