Listening and understanding needed
March 14, 2019
Commentary from me?
No need for me to write something about national affairs; the letter writers have that covered.
State issues: Our county's Republican and Democrat political parties are sponsoring a listening event this Friday, 6:30 p.m. at the Skamokawa Grange. The goal is to collect comment and input from the public about issues important in our area, issues which seem to be ignored by residents and politicians in the urban parts of our state which wield political power.
I agree that denizens of the metropoleis have a hard time understanding the ins and outs of tree farms, salmon management, beach nourishment and family hunting traditions, and that I'd like to see our governor and legislature acknowledge and respect the economic structures of rural communities.
Of course, listening works best when all "sides" listen to each other.
For example, ask yourself why urban residents voted overwhelmingly for increased procedures for access to guns. Is it because they're suffering from an epidemic of gun violence? Should we vaccinate ourselves against that just as we vaccinate against measles?
Listen; understand, comment.
Local issues: The Cathlamet Town Council is going to consider leasing a lot at the corner of River and Broadway streets for use as a parking lot.
One thing for that group to consider committing to a lease and site improvement is the terrain and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The act mandates a certain slope to accommodate use of wheelchairs. It has been pointed out to me that the entrance to that lot probably wouldn't meet that standard.
Two other parking lots in Cathlamet, one built at the Courthouse Annex, and the other proposed for the lot uphill from the municipal library, ran into ADA trouble. An architect lost money and work for slope trouble at the Courthouse Annex, and slope concerns quashed the lot by the library.
We received many letters to the editor this week. Writers, if you don’t see your letter this week, look for it next week. And please, remember the word limit. When you go long, someone else may go out, so to speak, and that happened this week.
Finally, a note about the passing of a longtime friend: Cathlamet native Kay Cochran died Tuesday. She was one of the most dynamic, optimistic, hard working people you could ever meet. She served as county assessor, and began a new career in real estate after retiring from that job. Throughout her life, she found many ways to serve our community. We join many others in expressing sincere sympathies to her family. She was one of a kind. She will be missed.
[This column has been corrected: Kay Cochran served as county assessor, not auditor. We became friends in 1979 when she was the assessor's clerk. I can't believe I wrote that and that we missed it in proof reading.]