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May 5, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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May 5, 2014

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]i ! ] ![i ill i il Page A-4 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, May 8, 2014 KOMEN COMMENT Speaking f )r the trees teve Rose is a tree hug- ger. The trees he loves rise in Belfair. He's watched them grow since he was a child. And he fears they are in danger. Steve hardly looks like a tree lover. Big, burly and bearded, he's more likely to be taken as a logger with clear cutting his . call. But, no, he's a passionate tree preservationist. "I'm thinking I might have to climb up there to save those trees," he quietly exclaims. He's serious. Camping out in a treetop to protest the axman might be his only recourse. The trees he's de- fending are in the way of progress. They're squeezed in a 100-yard copse along the edge of a school playground just across the street from the Theler Center. You'll notice them as you drive state Route 3 past Belfair Elementary School. Or maybe you haven't taken much notice. The trees stand there, silent witness these many years to motorists mak- ing careful way past the school. There's a stoplight there that's triggered when children are present. So there are distractions to keep your attention away from Rose's beloved trees. "There's a lot of other trees, but it's the big ones I want to save," he says, spreading his arms wide to show their size. He was a child in Belfair El- ementary when the trees were small. He's retired after 40 years of work at Bremerton's Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Now his time is divided among di- verse interests ranging from the dramatic arts to boosting the bayside community of Al- lyn. He's an actor and singer in Bremerton's renowned com- munity theater, and he prides himself on his stagecraft skills in building sets and working behind the lights. He's keeping an interested eye on the design and construction of the audi- torium and stage to be built as part of the new North Mason High School. A progress report on the school got his careful at- tention during the last meeting of the Allyn Community Asso- ciation. He serves on its board. By JOHN KOMEN But it is the fate of those Belfair trees that draw his wor- ry. His concern has renewed attention because it appears the copse of trees will fall vic- tim to the developers' axes and bulldozers. This piece of forest -- this hundred-yard copse -- may be irresistible to Belfair's ambition for development and growth. It is Rose's fear that the bulldozers may simply show up unannounced one day, and that will be the end of his small forest. There is no of- ficial word the trees are targeted. But tree-hugger Rose is worried. And there's good reason for his concern. Trees are often an aggravation, a barrier to progress. There's every reason to suppose the Belfair trees will be no exception. And with all the work they're doing widen- ing, straightening and improv- ing Route 3, who's to say how long those trees will stand? Already gone -- a victim of progress many years ago -- is an old chalet that once stood near the tr.ees Rose wants to save. The classic wood struc, ture was hand-built in the early 1940s by the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (you can still see their work in the beachfront struc- tures at Twanoh State Park). As a boy, Rose knew the chalet. It's a shame, Rose la- ments, that this example of fine hand-work by the legend- ary CCC boys was allowed to be razed. But the Belfair trees are still there, at least for now. They'll be there forever if Rose can prevail. We're reminded again of Joyce Kilmer's words, a rhyme that rings true with Steve Rose: "I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree." John Komen, who lives on Mason Lake, was for 40 years a reporter and editor, TV anchorman, national TV net- work correspondent, producer, columnist, editorial writer and commentator. His column, Ko- men Comment, appears each week in the Mason County Journal. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We must Guest column exploit all on energy energy options misses mark Editor, the Journal Thanks to Don Brunell for his thbughtful comments on ener and fossil fuels; Finally, sanity in the midst of all this craziness about energy. Anti oil-coal-gas-hy- dro forces would have us all emulating the Amish. I, for one, am not looking forward to trading in my SUV for a couple of horses and a buggy. Of course we should be exploiting all our energy resources and stop the crazi- ness of trying to insist that hydroelectric power is not renewable and not a clean source of energy (Initiative 937 passed in 2006 excludes hydroelectric power as a qualifying renewable re- source). Build more dams -- don't tear them down. For a country that puts men on the moon for over 50 years, I would assume we could design and build an efficient fish ladder. Hell, install fish elevators if you need to, but keep the hydroelectric power coming. If wind and solar are truly viable and eco- nomical, let it compete with hydro on an even basis. William S. Zeigler Shelton Editor, the Journal The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution that al- lowed humans to cook food and obtain warmth and protection. When these cave- dwelling humans showed their fellow cave dwellers this control of fire, there was agreement this might be a good thing. One of their number did not agree. Don Brunell, noted business analyst, chiseled onto his tablet; When government officials Or the Sierra Club talk about eliminating raw food and cold caves, we should understand what that means. If we eliminate the status quo, how will the princess fare? When coal was talked about as a replacement for wood, there was agreement that this might be a good thing. One of their number did not agree. Don Brunell, noted business analyst, wrote in the paper; When government officials or the Sierra Club talk about elimi- nating wood, we should un- derstand what that means. If we eliminate the status quo how will the princess fare? When solar and wind power was talked about as a replacement for fossil fuels, there was agreement that this might be a good thing. Insert here the guest column by Don Brunell, noted busi- ness analyst. Fossil fuels are nonre- newable sources of energy. They are running out. Carbon dioxide, sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and other pollutants are re- leased when fossil fuels are burned. They are harmful for the environment and human health. Fossil fuel production also causes air and water pollution locally and climate change glob- ally. Alternative sources of energy will be required in the future when fossil fuels are used up. The only reason the transition to renewable energy is taking so long in the United States is the extraction industries have purchased controlling inter- est in a lot of our elected representatives and media outlets. All to do with pro- tecting their windfall prof- its and nothing to do with protecting the "princess and her creature comforts." Clinton Ferrara Shelton see LETTERS, page A-5 Mason County USPS 492-800 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, Re. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: Re. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412.www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Journal is a member of Washington Newspaper Publishers' Association. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $37 per year for Mason County addresses, $51 per year in state of Washington but outside Mason County, $61 per year out of state. Owned and published by Shelton-Mason County Joumal, Inc. Tom Hyde, publisher Newsroom: Adam Rudnick, editor Natalie Johnson, reporter Gordon Weeks, reporter Emily Hanson, sports reporter Kirk Ericson, proofreader Advertising: Dave Pierik, Sr. Acct. Executive Kathy Brooks, ad representative Lloyd Mullen, ad representative Front office: Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper Rene6 Chaplin, circulation Composing room: William Adams, graphics Linda Frizzell, graphics All editorial, advertising and legal deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email adam@masoncounty.com.