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Renew funding for fire district

The June 5 Columbian story “Life-saving rescuers honored” described how a firefighter-paramedic team from Fire District 6 quickly responded to and performed CPR on a man who was volunteering at the kids’ fishing derby at Klineline Pond on April 10. Thanks to their efforts, that man is still alive today.

What wasn’t mentioned in the story is that the training and advanced life-support equipment that were used by the firefighter-paramedics team was made possible due to a voter-approved EMS levy that provided the funding to ensure that on staff we had the best trained firefighter-paramedics with the right equipment to provide advanced life support for residents. The voter-approved funding now in place ends Dec. 31.

On the ballot Aug. 17 is an EMS renewal levy. If approved by voters this EMS levy will retain current paramedic staffing and keep advanced life-support services rolling to your door. Without this funding, fewer emergency medical personnel will be available to respond to medical emergencies which are 88 percent of all calls.

Paramedics save lives. Passage of this emergency medical services levy will continue to provide fire, rescue and emergency medical services at the paramedic level — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please vote “yes” Aug. 17.

Doug Ballou

Hazel Dell

Third bridge is best solution

It just amazes me that someone finally mentioned the bottleneck at the Rose Quarter in Portland.

However, it was not in connection with the Interstate-5 Bridge, even though it should be. They are finally fixing Delta Park but that isn’t going to fix the rest of it.

I still think that there should be a third bridge up at Camas or Washougal, not west of the I-5 Bridge. Then they wouldn’t have to worry about Hayden Island either.

By the time they get through studying everything, there won’t be any money left for the bridge anyway.

Harriet M. Hooper

Vancouver

Speed limits set too high

The May 30 Columbian story “Padden Parkway: A flawed jewel” got my hackles up.

I cannot understand how civil engineers can make the same mistakes over and over again.

Several years ago, a gentleman came to Vancouver to talk about how to make streets designed for natural speed control. He said that street designs just naturally lead to certain speeds. At that time, we already had the “residential highway” that is McGillivray Boulevard and the newly opened 86th Avenue. That street rated at 25 mph is as wide and open and speed inducing as you could ask for. I tried the gentleman’s principle. My natural speed on that 25 mph street is 37 mph. Quite understandably the residents complain loudly about the speeders.

State Route 500 and Padden Parkway are not highways. They are parkways with traffic lights.

Traffic races up to 50 mph or better and then has to come to a stop a short distance farther on.

The speed limits should be rated around 40 mph.

That means traffic will probably run at 50 mph but that is certainly slower than the maniacal and dangerous speeds currently maintained.

Whoever is responsible for assigning road speeds should reevaluate those decisions.

The maximum speeds assigned are neither appropriate nor safe.

Marilyn Tyrrell

Washougal

North Dakota understands cleanliness

While my husband and I were on a trip through North Dakota we were struck by the cleanliness of the roadways and streets.

We were told by a friend who lives there that children are taught not to litter from the time they start school. It surely shows.

During my daily walks here in Vancouver I am appalled at the wide variety of litter along the streets of my route — Fourth Plain up 137th Avenue to Padden Parkway.

What do we have to do to teach people that the world is not their garbage can?

Corinne Dullum

Vancouver

Blockade has had reverse effect

Israel spokesmen state that millions of tons of food and medical supplies enter Gaza on a regular basis.

What they don’t say is that medical supplies may be held up for weeks while they poke through their warehouses looking for contraband.

Contraband materials include crayons, felt-tip markers, macaroni, spiral-bound notebooks, mechanical pencils and goats.

Thousands of homes were destroyed by the Israeli offensive but building materials are also contraband.

But that’s not all. Gaza residents cannot leave. Back in the day, thousands of Gazans had jobs in Israel and those jobs are lost. Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison.

Hamas, of course, is hardly blameless. Hamas hijacks some of the goods that do make it through, and then sells it for outrageous profit. And firing rockets into Israel is a pointless and despicable practice.

However, the blockade has had the perverse effect of reinforcing support for Hamas and hatred of the Israelis, not only in Gaza but throughout the Muslim world.

Philip B. Scott

Vancouver

Reports distort action and reaction

Recent AP stories concerning the blockade of Gaza contain distortions.

Hamas and the Palestinians have been lobbing missiles at will into Israel.

This is a violation of international law that the world chooses to ignore. In response, Israel imposed a naval blockade, in accordance with international law.

The truth about the Mavi Mamara ship is coming out; the Washington Times has published the version without political spin. If passengers aboard had been peaceful, as on other ships, there would have been no injuries or deaths, and the humanitarian goods would have been passed through, as they have been.

The June 6 story “Israel remains defiant, seizes another aid ship” stated, “What Israel needs to understand is that nothing is accomplished by force.” Really? Why don’t these people give the same message to Hamas?

Force seems to be what gets the international community to their side. Just like what is happening with the Mavi Mamara.

My grandfather told me that one day in the U.S. there would be anti-Semitism as there was in Europe. I disagreed with him. Now, after the behavior of Barack Obama and the utterances of reporter Helen Thomas, I see my grandfather was right.

The masks are coming off.

And the press is fully complicit in the coming wave.

Neal Brenner

Battle Ground