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LETTERS FROM THE COMMUNITY

 

February 7, 2018



Shocking figures prove the case

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. According to the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Project, “The repercussions of teen dating violence are impossible to ignore—the issue affects not just youth but their families, schools and communities as well. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) brings national focus to the issue of teen dating violence, highlights the need to educate our youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among those who care for them and provides communities with a critical opportunity to work together to prevent this devastating cycle of abuse.”

According to the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP), teens don’t talk about dating very much anymore. More than half of teens have sexual activity outside of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Even when teens are romantically involved, they tend not to use the word “dating.” When most people hear the word “violence,” they think of physical abuse. Adolescent relationship abuse includes not only physical violence, but also controlling and coercive behaviors, sexual pressure and coercion, sexual assault, pressure to become pregnant, interference with birth control, and emotional degradation and humiliation. With that being said, “We cannot afford to overlook the impact on younger adolescents, relationship abuse starts even before the teen years. More than a third of 11- and 12-year-olds say they have had a boyfriend or girlfriend, and those involved in early sexual activity are more likely to have experienced abuse of all types.

Dating abuse is a complex problem, and every relationship is different. Abuse causes depression and the feeling like there is no way out. But there is help! Adolescents, teens, and young adults mostly need someone to just listen to them—with no interruptions and without judgment. Young people are often most comfortable talking through their concerns with anonymous experts through hotlines, or talking to someone they trust like parents, an older sibling, a school counselor, a pastor, or a friend’s parent. The right resources can help teens think through their relationships. Loveisrespect.org and wcsap.org/teen-dating-violence-awareness have really great resources for teens and those who love them. Programs for Peaceful Living advocates for teens and can help them and their loved ones to find the help they need.

Come by the office and make a heart of orange and/or red to post in the PFPL window or your own window, and receive an orange ribbon. Please wear orange every Friday this month, to show your support for a young person that you love. The PFPL offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The contact number for Goldendale is 773-6100, for Bingen it is 493-2662. The toll free crisis number is (844) 493-1709 and is available 24/7.

Programs for Peaceful Living Staff

Goldendale

The point was missed

Looks like I stirred up a little hornet’s nest with my letter about our racist and sexist president.

Mr. Stephen Kenny started out with an insult of “snowflake,” exemplifying the divisiveness coming from the White House, while at the same time not understanding my point. He seemed to think I was complaining about the coarse language. I couldn’t care less if Our President uses curse words. What I care about is the intent behind those words, and, as I explained, it clear that he is a man who has racist and sexist feelings. Mr. Kenny also seems to think that a historically low black and woman’s un-employment rate is proof that Our President is not racist or sexist. I have one thing to say to that: Thanks, Obama! Even if Trump could take credit for that, it does nothing to disprove my allegations. To add, Mr. Kenny should consider the fact that Trump is a president with terrible approval ratings presiding over a strong economy (and consider why that is). His latest vulgar comment is only the latest in a very long trend of this man’s words and actions. Overall it seems as if Mr. Kenney uses a common tactic of those that cannot debate the subject at hand: whataboutism.

I also find it odd that Mr. Peter Leon, writing as chair for the Klickitat GOP, is disappointed in me for simply wanting all our elected officials to condemn the racism and sexism coming from the people’s White House. His reasoning for this is “keeping local politics local.” This is odd, coming from the man who injected his nationally based party into our local non-partisan city council elections this past November. This is the exact kind of political hypocrisy that is slowly killing our democracy.

Yes, I am the Vice Chair of the Klickitat Democrats; however my words are mine and mine alone, unless I sign using my position. I would never make a public statement as Vice Chair without the approval of our executive board—does Mr. Leon do the same? I was raised in a house where ethics was an emphasis, and using my position of Vice-Chair to add “importance” to my words would be unethical unless approved by the whole board, as is publicly supporting a candidate in a non-partisan election as an official of a political party. In my opinion, this is not about ‘liking’ (Mr. Leon’s word) our president or not; it about standing up for historical American values of equality, freedom, and opportunity that our president erodes on an almost daily basis. And these feelings only become stronger with every divisive action on his part. We are either complicit in that divisiveness or we speak out against it. Seems as if Mr. Leon and Mr. Kenny have already made their choices. Klickitat County, Washington State, and America will make their choices this coming November.

Michael Oldfather

White Salmon

Attend KPUD workshop on thwarting new energy

If you think KPUD’s electricity rates are too high now, just imagine 5, then 10, then 20 percent rate hikes as fed-up customers increasingly generate their own power and KPUD must increase rates to cover their costs.

It’s called the utility death spiral, and utilities everywhere are scrambling to avoid it. Except KPUD, who smugly assert that people with grid-tied solar systems still need KPUD to power them through overcast days; therefore the solar power generated is worth less to KPUD than their 7X24 retail power, and distributed generators should not be reimbursed at their retail rate. That’s naive and leads to an expensive death spiral.

Continuously decreasing costs of solar generation and battery storage systems imply that larger users will soon choose when to substitute their cheaper power for KPUD’s power. Nationally, utilities are planning better business models that deliver new benefits, by embracing distributed generation and storage instead of fighting a losing battle. Customers expect a 21st century energy supplier—more reliable, cheaper, and more resilient in emergencies. They expect to benefit from the falling costs of renewable generation, like Walmart, Ikea, Google, and other large companies already enjoy.

Utilities in sunnier climes must figure this out before us; thus a safer and more pragmatic approach would be to wait and learn how those utilities solve these problems.

To voice your concerns, attend KPUD’s “Net Metering Workshop” on their proposal to pay less than retail rates for local generation, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7, at their Goldendale office. The only description of their proposal was distributed to previous workshop attendees on Feb. 2 and not posted on their website as of Feb. 4. Or contact KPUD Energy Services Department at (509) 773-7622.

Eric Strid

White Salmon

 

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