We can do better than easy fixes

 

January 18, 2018



To The Eagle:

Allow me to applaud Krist Novoselic’s assertion that less knee-jerk partisanship and a restored focus on “real problems” would be healthy for Wahkiakum County. During a recent visit, I encountered a harder, more bitter right-left divide than I remember from my term as Cathlamet’s mayor (2010-13). I also sensed that tensions between old-timers and newcomers are intensifying beyond the point where the cross-current of ideas and perspectives is healthful to one where hard “camps” are emerging.

In one instance, a friend shared that she had ceased participating in some Community Center activities because she felt ostracized by folks who do not share her politics. In another, a venerable native son lamented the influx of out-of-town property owners and the resentment locals feel about runaway home prices. Both examples reflect real problems (the rise of hyper-partisanship in the internet age and the yawning rich-poor divide, respectively), though neither, in my view, is largely ideological or demands fealty to a major political party.


I recall the day a group of volunteers gathered in cold rain to build a fence around the community garden in Erickson Park. At post hole after post hole, two expert craftsmen – one from a prominent Cathlamet family and the other a recent transplant – bickered amicably about hole depth, string lines and such. This lasted for hours until the job was done; both experts clearly felt great appreciation for the other. That’s why Cathlamet works. In a community so dependent on volunteerism and neighborly cooperation, it would be a shame to lose either over the false promise of, in Krist’s words, “easy fixes.” We can do better.

George Wehrfritz

Salinas, CA

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 08/03/2018 23:23