If Clark County were serious about supporting the homeless, knowing that affordable housing is a key element, there is a solution that has been working in other areas since the mid-1980s. That solution is called the Mount Laurel doctrine, which resulted in the Fair Housing Act. Simply put, the act requires that local municipalities must provide affordable housing at an appropriate level for all development.
The three-part series on the Port of Vancouver was excellent. I felt as though I was reading a murder mystery — who murdered the public's right to know the port's dealings and why were there not more open public hearings done in a legal and timely manner.
In regards to the May 17 article "Culture of secrecy shrouds Port of Vancouver" regarding the Port of Vancouver's approval of the oil terminal, I'd like to point out on Page A6 of the same day, the article "Feds: Amtrak must expand speed control at site of deadly crash in Pa." Amtrak, like many others, is showing a reactive mind set — wait until eight people die, then upgrade the safety features.
One hundred and two years ago a process began to assemble a collection of parks and trails, including hundreds of heritage, historical and cultural sites. This treasury has become today's Washington State Parks system, one of the oldest and most diverse in the nation. This system contributes directly to the wellbeing of the citizens of our state. And the 32-plus million annual park visitors contribute significantly to the $21.6 billion outdoor recreation economy in our state, especially important in rural areas.
Deals made behind closed doors at the Port of Vancouver. Expensive remodeling projects considered for the Clark County council. Who are these elected officials working for? It doesn't appear to be for the Clark County taxpayers and those concerned about health and safety in our community.
President Obama insists that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will not force us to change our laws, which is technically true. However, consider the following: Philip Morris is suing the government of Uruguay for $25 million for passing laws to protect its children from the ravages of cigarette usage. Vattenfall, a Swedish company, is suing Germany for $6 billion for the decision to switch from nuclear power to renewable sources, primarily solar. Veolia, a French company, is suing the Egyptian government for raising the minimum monthly wage from $56 to $99.
Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, has burned any and all bridges when it comes to starting a new dialogue about the construction of a new Interstate 5 Bridge. She did that when she did everything in her power to kill the last bridge project and its funding strictly for political reasons. Millions of taxpayer money was wasted because she and others refused to work with Columbia River Crossing planners.
On May 18, 1980, the Pacific Northwest changed visibly, never to be quite the same again: Mount St. Helens blew her top. Just two years later, the mountain and areas immediately around it were designated and protected as the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, set aside for research, recreation, and education.
Clark County councilors should adopt some of the best practices of corporate America in terms of space allocation. Currently, there are three offices. In corporate America, part-timers would share offices. Therefore, I propose that one of the existing offices be allocated to the council chair, districts 1 and 2 share an office, and districts 3 and 4 share an office. The two currently unused offices can be checked out via a reservation system to be used for meetings. In the shared district offices, there can be two desks, one guest chair for each desk, and a locking file cabinet or credenza for each councilor.
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