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Letters from the Community


December 12, 2018

Stop ignoring us

Too often (in my opinion) in the last 15 or so years, Goldendale has been ignored or stomped-on by the state or feds, and most of our elected representatives have done little or nothing.

Power rates—about 15 years ago, the feds (FERC) changed the power rate formula from cost-to-produce to equal east and west. Thus, our rates (previously lower because hydro power is cheaper to produce) went up, so bye-bye hundreds of aluminum plant jobs that went off-shore, and, of course, our home rates are higher. To my knowledge, our current Congressional representatives have done nothing.

Cell phone service: it’s become worse over the last few years. Poor reception (two bars) with frequent dropouts and delayed missed call notification is common. The utility commission says they can’t act.

TV stations: based on a recent check with multiple carriers, all our available local TV stations are Oregon-based (granted, OPB is one of the best PBS stations in the nation), thanks to a deal between big corporations and the feds a few years ago. We should have access to western and eastern Washington news, including what’s going on in Olympia. Right now, the only time we hear news is when there’s a train wreck.

There are other issues such as the state liquor commission raising the wine tasting fee which helped to put the local art gallery out of business. The only action I got out of our (then) new state senator was the phone number for the liquor commission. Our previous state senator (Honeyford) had helped to get a more reasonable rate for wine tasting at galleries.

The bottom line on these issues is jobs. Few new businesses are likely to locate here if power rate are high, phone service poor, state TV news limited, and our elected representative not responsive.

Gaywood Paul


America took a stand!

We have just finished with one of the most consequential mid-term elections in our history. While locally no seats were flipped (though it came close in Carolyn Long’s race), the most important goal of obtaining Congressional oversight on perhaps the most corrupt President in our history was attained. Overall America gave a big no to the politics of fear/division that this President has taken to the next level. More people voted, percentage wise, in this mid-term than any since 1914. Since Trump was elected, I have predicted that in the end, after a few years of embarrassment and attacks on the rule of law, we as a country will be stronger because his election has awakened the true silent majority that wants to end the conditions that allow moneyed/special interests to get what they want from our government. I truly believe that if we vote and vote for those with integrity and problem-solving skills rather than candidates who pander on wedge issues, 95 percent of the problems facing us will end up being addressed with time.

Sadly, locally we were not immune from the national based politics of fear/division. Many remember that the Klickitat GOP inserted themselves into the non-partisan White Salmon City Council elections last year, and then this year they continued with the tactics of fear/division by (with zero evidence) claiming that “busloads of Portland liberals” would be coming to the Goldendale candidate’s night. I went. There were no buses. The good news is the GOP Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) have a chance to change this. Both local parties will be having their State mandated re-organization in the coming weeks when new leadership can be elected. As a Democrat PCO, I will do everything I can to make sure the local Democrats continue to stay away from these types of tactics.

Michael Oldfather

White Salmon


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