The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Letters from the community

 


What’s with the lack of support?

To the Editor:

I am dismayed at the opposition to the city’s lighting ordinance intended to protect the dark skies above Goldendale. One of the many wonderful things that differentiates life here from the big city life is the ability to look up and see thousands of stars at night. Consider also that we have in the Goldendale Observatory a world-class tourist attraction. Both the scientific value and the tourism appeal of the Observatory will be severely diminished if we allow light pollution to render our night sky too bright to see through, and it would be quite sad if we eliminate the simple joy of the starry night from our experience.

I have read the proposed ordinance, and it seems a reasonable approach. The provision that probably draws the most objection is the new requirement that all existing non-compliant outdoor lighting to be replaced over the next seven years. It seems reasonable to me for local residents and business to spend a little money over several years in an effort to avoid harming one of our city’s tourism draws. Consider how the community would react if a local practice were identified that harmed the local fishing or hunting resources. I believe there would be community support to reverse that practice and to prevent it going forward, even among those community members who do not fish or hunt. The same may be said of light pollution and its effect on the Observatory. You yourself may not visit the Observatory (although I encourage you to do so) but the fact that others visit should be enough to motivate us all to protect it.

John Gardner

Goldendale

Here’s how to contact us

To the Editor:

After reading an article in the paper, I wanted to help people out a bit. If you need to get a hold of the school board members, the contact emails are found on the school district website (goldendaleschools. org), or you can see them here.

Alex Gorrod, - alex.gorrod@gsd404.com

Deborah Hart -dheart@gsd404.com

Virginia Amidon - virginia.amidon@gsd404.com

Beth Schroder -beth.schroder@gsd404.com

John Hoctor - No email; call the district office to get his phone number

We have school board meetings every first and third Monday of the month (check the district website to confirm dates). The first Monday is a work session, so there is no public input. The third Monday is our regular meeting; it is at 7 p.m. at the Goldendale Primary School. We would love to have people come and participate and see some of the great things our schools are doing.

Alex Gorrod

Goldendale

Let it happen

To the Editor:

Guest Commentary Connor B. McDermott’s editorial last week against Mr. Maley’s re-zoning request seems directed at emotionally swaying the readers, while missing some key points. As a reminder, Mr. Maley is asking to rezone roughly 8.5 acres in Dallesport from 21,000 square foot residential lots to 6-7000 square foot residential lots.

I want Klickitat County to be a small town and rural place. However, we need affordable housing for the technology sector employees if we want to retain and increase the tech company presence in our county. With 1,000 employees, Insitu’s reported biggest single issue is affordable employee housing. Klickitat County development is restricted to within the National Scenic Act’s Urban Growth Boundaries outside the NSA area. The transfer of much of Lyle Point to the Tribes has further limited building space for affordable housing near Insitu’s offices and within the Lyle School District. Lack of affordable housing is driving people to Wasco and Hood River Counties.

Lack of school and fire infrastructure was raised by Mr. McDermott. The Lyle School District’s issue is lack of students and tax base, not facilities. The Dallesport Elementary School is now closed because the School District student population doesn’t support the extra facility. Similarly, The Dallesport Fire District’s issue is also a lack of tax base. Both issues are helped with increased development in Dallesport.

Dallesport already has areas of higher density housing. Not affording Mr. Maley the same small lot development rights, as have already been allowed with other Dallesport landowners, appears to be discriminatory. How can our county grow if we keep changing the rules for land owners?

Peter Leon

Dallesport

It’s a sad litter situation

To the Editor:

Aren’t we lucky to live in such a beautiful area? For the past several years I have been working to keep it beautiful by cleaning up trash along the roadway from Turkey Ranch Road and Pine Forest road toward town. It is amazing how much litter has accumulated as I have worked my way, a little at a time, for seven to eight miles. Every year I hope to come to the last of the road but have to start all over again each year, because people keep making messes over the same areas I’ve done before. It is so discouraging to find litter along places I covered the previous day!

Paper, plastic, metal, glass, clothing—you name it. Among my bags full of stuff are beer bottles and cans, whiskey and vodka bottles, cigarette packages and butts, snuff cans, fast food containers, Pepsi and other pop cans and juice containers, pizza boxes, candy wrappers, multitudes of Kleenex and napkins, used Q-tips, broken glass, pieces of plastic, sacks, a fork, a knife, tools, string, recording tape, broken cell phones, pieces of rubber, packing materials, pill bottles, and on and on. Someone has even dumped ashes along several places on Pine Forest.

Not only is litter unsightly, it is also illegal. How hard is it to carry a bag in the car to take trash home and put it in your garbage? To those who toss out trash along the road, please stop! To those who also dislike the mess, please help by devoting a little time and energy to clean up our roadways. And to those who do pick up litter, thank you.

It has become increasingly difficult for me to scramble up and down embankments, since I am now nearly 78 years old and feeling my age. I can’t do this much longer. A clean countryside is more appealing to prospective businesses and visitors to our area. So please keep your trash off our roads and keep our beautiful county beautiful.

Karen Kempt

Goldendale

 

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