Letters to the Editor

Letters: Nov. 29, 2018

Palouse calls not all emergencies

Have you seen our brother? He was here the other day..., but he only came to say that he was leaving. As I criss-cross this country, oftentimes lighting in my favorite cities, I’m always drawn back to our fair cities, like a magnet, to care for my mother and welcome the solitary respite.

I don’t think the recent events at Palouse Falls should be called “emergencies.”

How I wish the sweet little innocent ones hadn’t gotten the place so much attention. I liked it before ... when I could ride my old motorcycle out there, and there would be hardly anyone around. No, we shouldn’t respond to these “emergencies.” I’ve hiked to the top of the falls, and never fallen in. I’ve hiked to the bottom of the falls, and never felt so strong to think I could swim among the waves.

Maybe a tragedy, but these are the acts of misspent, and ill-advised youth. Maybe I’ve become jaded and cynical, but I don’t think we should bear the cost of such folly. Hard-hearted? No ... methinks the costs involved border on socialism. Take responsibility, fair youth! Yes, experience it while you are young. But don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

Barry Bergstrom, Kennewick

We need better dust controls

I read with interest the latest state attempt to begin controlling our famous (infamous?) dust storms. As a former newsman here in the 1970s, I can remember storms that would block out the noonday sun so even the street lights would come on. I covered several serious accidents, many fatal, because blowing dust reduced visibility to nearly zero.

While agriculture must be a major part of the discussion, there are two other major players that must be included. From my experience as chairman of the Yakima Regional (formally County) Clean Air Authority and now as a longtime Tri-Citian, the two players are cities and developers. I witnessed the billowing clouds of dirt during construction of the Keene Road project, the huge rolling clouds of dirt from Badger Mountain development along Dallas Road, and other obvious violations of EPA and DOE fugitive dust emission levels.

With the increasing loss of natural habitat and ground cover, it is vital that all those who participate in the creation of human-caused dust also participate in resolving this issue. Yes, the wind blows here and there will be dust, but at least we can try to do a better job of controlling it when we are the cause.

Jim Lewis, Richland

I-1639 vote was to send message

Regarding the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin editorial on I-1639 reprinted in the Herald on Nov. 25, which scolded the voters for passing what is likely an unconstitutional Initiative: I knew I-1639 was flawed.

I think it will be thrown out by the courts. I voted for it anyway. I voted for it because I know that more than 70 percent of the suicides in Washington involve a firearm.

I’m sick and tired of the gun violence in our society. I voted yes because it sends a message to our state and federal elected officials that their constituents want some meaningful action on this issue. Too bad it takes passing a probably unconstitutional Initiative to deliver that message.

Kirk Williamson, Kennewick