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Saddened by loss of landmarks

First, the Kiggins Theater closes, and now Oxford Athletic Club closed Sunday. For those of us old enough to appreciate a Vincent Price movie for 35 cents and the Hicks family-owned Oxford in its prime teaching kids how to tumble and helping girls attempt to cheerlead, the closing of these landmarks is truly a bittersweet time for Vancouver. Tell me Burgerville is here to stay.

Barbara A. Peterson

Vancouver

Washougal’s pride shines

I would like to comment on the beautiful job the city of Washougal does on keeping the area looking so clean. The guys and gals certainly do their work with a great deal of pride. My kitchen overlooks W Street and it’s so nice to see it looking so neat. I have lived in many small towns in my 78 years and never have I seen one that could compare to all the landscaping that is done here.

Keep up the good work.

Ila Hammerstaedt

Washougal

Watch where the money is spent

Where do I start? First there was the May 26 story “Church counterprotest may bring chaos,” regarding the Westboro Baptist Church protest at Heritage High School. I side with the students on this one. I feel someone should stand up to a group preaching hate in the name of their God. I say “their” because it sure doesn’t sound like the God I was taught about.

I was going to let it go, but then I read about our nude biker in the May 28 story “Jury deadlocks in nude cycling case.”

Let’s see, the city budget is busted, people are being laid off, their income reduced for lack of funds. But we have money for the trial of a drunk and disorderly individual riding his bike in the nude. A jury of the biker’s peers voted 5 to 1 for acquittal, not good enough, let’s do it again. What a terrible waste of time and money. There should have been an appropriate fine, period.

Oh, and did I mention the Clark County Sheriff’s office is going to spend more money protecting everyone at the counterprotest? No wonder the people are losing faith in their government.

Dan Euliss

Vancouver

Line blurred by regulators

Bureaucrats are funny beings. Recently, I noticed that state workers refer to people who are in need of assistance as customers rather than clients. Someone, probably a Republican, came up with the idea, even though it means nothing when it comes to actually delivering the goods.

I note that stockbrokers and lawyers and big shots have clients while businessmen have customers. One is a professional relationship, the other is a business relationship. Frankly, if I need state services, I’d rather be called a client than a customer. But perhaps I’m missing the underlying reason for the change.

The idea that oil companies are customers rather than highly competitive institutions needing oversight probably helped Republican appointees build the cozy relationships between federal energy regulators and British Petroleum that overlooked environmental and safety concerns. Hey! Isn’t the customer always right? Is that the idea?

George Thomas

Vancouver

Survival is a basic instinct

I am a student at Ridgefield High School, and I believe that no sea lions should be harmed just for doing what we too are doing: eating salmon. The sea lions have every right to the salmon. I believe that we humans should do something to help increase salmon numbers, such as having zoologists reintroduce farms.

I also believe that forcefully moving the sea lions is wrong. No one would like to forced out of their own house. The sea lions are smart enough to swim back up the river again, so we should leave them alone. They just want to eat and live like all of us.

Madison Woodward

Ridgefield

United States, not Estados Unidos

Finally, finally.

In a May 27 letter, “Calderon’s comments are insulting,” Ernest Badolato voices outrage at Presidente Calderon’s invective; an outrageous act that should have invoked ire of Americans of all ethnicities. Señora Calderon’s tumble on the White House steps gleaned more attention in our news media than the incendiary comments from Presidente Calderon.

No less provocative was the YouTube video showing the Mexican flag, flown above the upside-down American flag above Montebello High School in California. Another outrageous act that was completely ignored by our media.

More outrage and embarrassment when our first lady, Michelle Obama, consoles a little girl; the girl was distressed because her mother is an illegal. Obama coos, saying “We’ll have to fix that.”

A standing ovation for a visiting head of state that not only indulges in the free meal, but insults the host as well?

Why not deport the illegals, give them a small stipend to assist in their repatriation and the appropriate forms to apply for entry to the United States of America? Pay attention, that is the United States of America. We are not the United Socialist States of America nor are we the Estados Unidos de Mexico con America.

Peter L. Williamson

Vancouver

Listen to those who’ve seen genocide

Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, and Mia Farrow, guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal, have written repeatedly and urgently regarding the plight of the southern Sudanese people, the Darfuris. For seven years, 3 million defenseless souls have been the subject of genocide carried out by rebels with the knowledge, funding and approval of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

He’s wanted by the International Criminal Court for “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Kristof suggests the White House’s recent tepid response to a flawed election putting Bashir back into the presidency led Bashir to gloat that, “Even America is becoming a National Congress Party member. No one is against our will.”

According to Farrow, who has visited Darfur and is one of the primary spokesmen for Genocide International, “Sudanese government bombs are still falling, murderers and rapists still roam free.”

Kristof was raised in the Gaston-Yamhill area of rural Oregon. His willingness to bring the horror of genocide in Darfur to our attention should be acknowledged by all proud Oregonians.

Let your Washington, D.C., representatives know it’s time to chuck current Sudanese policy and get Bashir up before the ICC.

You can find Kristof and Farrow columns online.

Wayne Mayo

Scappoose, Ore.