Our Readers’ Views



We need more like Herrera

I read the Feb. 25 Columbian story “Wallace slams Herrera absences.” Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, accused Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas, with a lack of integrity because she did not push her voting button every time in the legislative session. It is customary to have others push your voting button when you have conflicting business during the session.

As was pointed out in the story, Herrera is the deputy floor leader for the Republicans, has not missed a vote this session and has been busy fighting to retain the voter-approved I-960 which requires a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to raise taxes. The Democrats, who control both houses, have now voted to suspend I-960 so that they can raise taxes with a simple majority vote. My question is, who has more integrity — the person working to maintain the voters’ will or the one sitting dutifully at their table and voting to suspend what the voters passed?

The real problem is that we do not have enough people like Herrera in the state Legislature.

Roy Heikkala


Most of us pay taxes to benefit all

There have been recent letters about how retirees have paid their dues to education over the years, and how it is unfair. To those retirees, I have to ask, “Are you on Social Security?” Because if you are, then be quiet. I don’t have kids, and I’m not rich either. Every paycheck the government takes money from me and gives some of it to you. When it comes time for me to retire, Social Security will have nothing for me, so that makes me mad that I’m being taxed this way. Paying for a school levy is no different than paying for Social Security. Retirees should not throw stones in glass houses.

Maybe other people’s money helped to put me though school so that I could become a hard-working American who then pays Social Security taxes that they benefit from. If you take away levies, then people aren’t educated to work high-paying jobs, then there is even less money for Social Security, and perhaps then you won’t get any check.

Go ahead, bite the hand that feeds.

Heather Cowley


Donnelly column missed the point

In her Feb. 25 opinion column, “Legislators right to just say no to pot,” former Clark County Republican leader Ann Donnelly argues that studies linking adolescent marijuana use with increased risk for developing schizophrenia justify keeping marijuana illegal.

Earth to Donnelly: Any serious marijuana decriminalization would still make pot — like booze — illegal for minors. The rationale is that children are too immature to decide for themselves the risks of using inebriants, and should be legally prohibited from doing so. That makes sense. But current marijuana laws prevent even adults from deciding for themselves the risks of using pot without facing the added hazard of legal punishment.

As a general principle, Republicans believe that adults are capable of deciding how to run their own lives, and should be free to do so, free from government interference.

That shared belief motivates Republican opposition to seemingly small regulatory excesses — like banning smoking in bars and restaurants — as well as important ones like government-controlled health care.

Yet Donnelly — and many other Republicans — think that when it comes to marijuana, adults must be treated like children. They justify this using the same rationalization of “societal risk” from individual decisions that leftists exploit for their favored governmental intrusions.

These Republicans should really grow up.

John Burke


20-year plan is challenge for riders

Did everyone get your C-Tran insert in the newspaper in early February talking about its 20-year plan? They have many bright ideas for the future, but they need to fix C-Tran now.

They have laid off drivers. They have cut bus routes down to nearly nothing — four routes have no Sunday service and two have no weekend service.

They also are closing the Evergreen Transit Center and building a new one at 112th Avenue and 18th Street for commuter express bus service — these are the riders who pay $105 a month to ride the “Cadillac” buses that C-Tran bought.

Mike Yancey


Comparison is cruel and thoughtless

I’m responding to Virgil Birdsall’s comments in his Feb. 24 letter, “Democracy in America may be dying,” about a “Christian Taliban” supposedly oppressing a child who wanted to wear a “God is Dead” T-shirt for his debate club yearbook photo. If Birdsall truly believes Christians in this country are comparable to the Taliban, I would encourage him to take a trip to Afghanistan and wear an “Allah is Dead” T-shirt around town. I expect he will find out very quickly how misguided his theory is.

Don’t the rest of the debate team members have the right not to have their yearbook photo ruined by one obnoxious teenager? Or is it only the atheists or anti-religious who are allowed to have their own way?

In Afghanistan, letters like Birdsall’s (if criticizing the Taliban the way he criticizes Christians) would rapidly result in his and his family being gruesomely murdered.

In Vancouver, letters like his result in a lot of eye rolling from those he so thoughtlessly compares to a group that promotes wholesale brutality, torture, death and destruction, even of their own people and their own children.

Christians are not the enemy. Just ask any of our military personnel who have served time in Afghanistan. They will set you straight.

Liz Grauer


Why vote if result is reversed?

Recent headlines in The Columbian, as well as news reports on various TV stations, have helped in making a much thought-out, sad decision for me.

Patriotism was instilled in me at an early age and I have always felt a matter of pride each time I voted. Telephone calls, mailed literature, radio and TV ads and inserts in the newspaper urge people to vote and often state that “each vote counts.”

Now I feel betrayed.

Our governor was elected to support the wishes of the people and yet she has rescinded Initiative 960 in order to garner more taxes. The Columbian’s Feb. 25 front-page story “Governor OKs anti-tax law suspension” begins: “A measure to temporarily suspend the tax-limiting constraints … was signed into law.” What a joke. Once a tax is imposed it is unlikely to be removed.

Each vote does not count. Results of elections are almost always given before our polls are closed. Save postage, don’t bother to send me a ballot … I will not be voting.

Barbara Jackson