Salmon need a sea lion defense, too

I noticed a political cartoon by Dan McConnell in the weekend, July 14 newspaper: A “new improved salmon” shown with a lot of protective equipment.

I’d say these are all environmentalist goals: gillnetter snips, magnetic hook deflector, lead scale shields for radioactive leaks, pre-gill filter for brackish water, and flying fish fins for flying over dams.

Conspicuously absent was a sea lion defense system that could be combined with a killer whale defense system. If they could somehow keep sea lions from eating enormous numbers of the salmon, it would help the salmon population.

I rarely hear complaints from environmentalists about how many salmon the sea lions are eating. When anything at all is done, they kill something like 50 sea lions a year.

In my opinion that just isn’t very effective.

Vic Clayson

Cashmere

Fifth Street corridor: Public safety is the issue

Affordable Housing are only words to the city and school board. They are not addressed, in truth, along with public safety out of the Fifth Street corridor. The bigger issue is public safety out of the Fifth Street corridor. There is no access out of the Fifth Street corridor above Woodward. In case of flood, wildfire or multiple accidents above Woodward Drive, there is no way out.

The city is in negotiation with the school board to provide access from the west end of Springwater Avenue across to Maple Street above the reclamation ditch to service one property owner not the public. Versus providing access through my property that borders the school district property on their west side, that would provide access out of the Fifth Street corridor.

The school board and now the city will have the deceased on their conscience if deaths are a result for not allowing for the golden opportunity to add a second access out of the Fifth Street corridor.

It’s also a shortsighted decision: the school district property can be increased considerably by taking the hillside back to a 2:1 slope — moving their proposed Springwater to Maple road to the bottom of that slope creating useable, buildable ground for parking and buildings. At the same point, a road up their hillside to provide the needed access out of the Fifth Street corridor.

Public safety and affordable housing are talking points at their required government meetings and bias politics rule their decisions against the public.

Scott Davenport

Wenatchee

Time to speak up on low rates and Chelan County PUD

I just received the July-August edition of Chelan PUD’s newsletter. In it the manager cheerily thanks respondents to their recent survey for helping shape the future. The results are preliminary, but here in part is what he reported as the early trends.

One is that the wholesale electric markets are unpredictable, so respondents support raising local electric rates.

A second is that respondents are interested in water, wastewater and fiber rates becoming more “self-sustainable versus subsidized,” meaning the prospect of higher rates for these essential services, too.

Perhaps commissioners could defer programmed rate increases if wholesale power markets prove favorable in the near future. But this assurance was not mentioned in the newsletter or the survey form.

And who knows if this survey is even statistically significant. Reportedly thousands of customers responded, but Chelan PUD has retail customers numbering in the tens of thousands. It’s hard to imagine the silent majority actually supports raising all of the local utility service rates considering how well Chelan PUD has claimed to be doing financially and in reducing our debt.

It’s important to recognize that Chelan PUD has long been making a subtle distinction about spending proceeds from wholesale electric sales. In the newsletter, for example, our local rates are said to “subsidized” while the Public Power Benefit program for discretionary, non-essential projects is described as being “supported.” That seems to be backwards.

If you believe that low rates should be the top priority Public Benefit of ownership of our electric, water, wastewater and fiber systems, it’s probably time to speak up.

And it’s not that hard to do. Drop your commissioners a quick email to ask them why low rates are not considered to be the top priority Public Benefit of ownership and let them know if you disagree that it’s not! In the past, I’ve found that some of them have proven to be very responsive and interested in your views.

Charles Wagers

Wenatchee

Vote yes on Link Prop 1

I am a senior living in Leavenworth and I have a disability which prevents me from driving a vehicle.

I have been a resident of Chelan County for 48 years and have been riding Link busses for many years to Peshastin, Cashmere and Wenatchee, and I ride the bus in Leavenworth all the time. Every week, I rely upon Link busses to get me where I need to be for doctor appointments, shopping and volunteer work in Cashmere and Wenatchee. The busses are clean, safe and the ride is comfortable in all weather conditions. The Link Transit ballot measure being voted on will expand bus routes to Sunday, holidays, more frequent service and new bus stops. At a few cents of sales tax, which is paid for by visitors and tourists as well as residents, the benefits are worthwhile and will help many people in my situation and others with limited mobility options. Please vote YES on Link Transit Proposition 1 on your August 6th ballot.

Cathy Wright

Leavenworth

Vote no on Link tax proposal

As a Douglas County resident and taxpayer, I have some concerns with the Proposition 1 sales tax increase for the Link Transit expansion.

The question all voters should be asking ourselves, and our community leaders is:

Does Link NEED or WANT this additional money?

Link has already stated that it is not needed, service will continue status quo with some minor improvements along the way.

If the Proposition passes, Link’s plan is to expand services (earlier, later, more often, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). This will only help a very small percentage of people. Is this tax burden really a good way to spend our dollars in a way that will help the entire population of Chelan and Douglas counties?

This is obviously a WANT, not a NEED.

In July of 2018, Link increased services with the reasoning that earlier and later buses would serve third shift workers. Did this reflect more ridership? No, ridership actually decreased in the year following the expansion.

To support this WANT, Link conducted a survey (designed to achieve answers that fit their agenda). Link has also stated that surveys were mailed to every home in both counties. I have talked with countless folks who did not receive a survey.

The survey was answered by +/- 4,000 people, only 3.33 percent of the 120,000 residents of Chelan and Douglas counties. Hardly a “what the communities want” scenario that Link wants you to believe.

To be clear, I do believe that Link provides a valuable service to our communities but as a taxpayer, they have not proven that increased service is needed, especially by the masses instead of the few.

Link, show us that you NEED additional services (full buses/more often, riders paying a higher fare, less free routes, better community response to surveys, etc.). Until then, you will get a NO vote from this taxpayer.

Chris Piepel

East Wenatchee