An ongoing theme of United States history and culture has been our inclination to regard railroads as seldom worthy of public trust, and frequently worthy of little more than demonization. It has been an exceedingly easy matter over the long course of years since 1830 to identify this form of surface transportation as a truly horrific peril to the proverbial Average Joe. One gets ideas from media discourse on the subject that today's rail managers have nothing better to do with their time than to push loads of volatile danger through North America's thickly settled territory.
I read Larry Little's Feb. 24 letter, "Progress halted by party of 'no,'" and could not have expressed the same thoughts as well. I would add that my disgust with the Republicans and disappointment with the Democrats stems in part from my outrage over the ads that have been appearing on TV by the Wounded Warriors begging for money to aid our boys. Not that they do not deserve or need help, but by the fact that the U.S. Congress refuses to honor their commitment to them. Add in the fact that it was Republicans with much Democratic consent that sent us into these wars in which these servicemen and -women were wounded, and you compound the disgrace and phoniness of the Republican Party.
Prompted by news of government interventions to protect diminishing populations of spotted owls by killing a rival species of owl better adapted to its forest habitat, many letters published here lately defend evolution, and gleefully heap scorn upon those who do not.
Five commissioners right now probably would cure our two-to-one politics, and be a good thing for our future. Our county has grown and our issues have grown, as well as becoming more complicated. It is a great burden to make just three people totally knowledgeable on all issues and to respond to them responsibly. New commissioners should have a crash course to learn the ropes, which could take up their first year.
The Department of Ecology listened to the people last fall. Thousands showed up to public hearings to voice their concerns about transporting dirty coal through their local communities, and an astounding 215,000 comments were gathered, all in an effort to help determine the scope of issues to be studied.
On March 3, the Battle Ground City Council will be voting on whether or not to approve paying approximately $170,000 of taxpayer money to purchase property that would be needed for the proposed city road project No. 53, which is part of Battle Ground's Transportation Plan. However, for project No. 53 to continue forward, additional land would also need to be purchased from the Battle Ground School District.
I read with awe the Feb. 25 front page story, "Family fears health plan costs," about the Burgess family and the Affordable Care Act health reform. Tracy Burgess was quoted, "Then along came the ACA, which we fully supported until we got hit with it." What exactly did they expect? As business owners, they should have known there is no such thing as a free lunch. The ACA should be called the UCA (Unaffordable Care Act).
The Washington state Board of Education wants districts to stop using Native American mascots. I can say, as a member of the community and a "Chieftain" at Columbia River High School, I don't believe efforts should be focused into changing the mascots as much as they should be in improving the overall education systems of the schools.
Allow trend to emergeIn support of the Feb. 19 editorial "Ease rules for food carts": For more than 20 years our local firm has worked as a food and beverage consultant, including with the annual Clark County Fair. We have seen this trend, which started with taco trucks in large city neighborhoods, explode into a national trend that has proven it is more than just a fad. I agree that food carts "could lend a little energy to the city." The editorial also stated that the city is considering a rule that would regulate the proximity to existing restaurants. There is that word again -- regulate.