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

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BEING FRANK Thursday, May 8, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-5 Let's keep big oil out of Grays Harbor ur environment, health, safety and communities are at risk from decisions being made now to transport and export trainloads of coal and oil through Western Washington. If coal export terminals pro- posed for Cherry Point near Bellingham and Longview on the Columbia River are ap- proved, hundreds of trains and barges would run from Montana and Wyoming every day, spreading coal dust along the way. That same coal will continue to pollute our world when it is burned in China and other countries thousands of miles away. Now that threat is joined by pro- posals to use mile-long crude oil trains to feed massive new oil ter- minals in Grays Harbor. Safety is a huge concern. Since 2008, nearly a dozen oil trains have derailed in the U.S. In December, a fire burned for By BILLY FRANK JR. over 24 hours after a 106-car train carrying crude oil collided with a grain train in North Dakota. In July, an oil train accident killed 47 people and leaked an estimated 1.5 million gallons of oil in Quebec, Canada. It's clear that crude oil can be explosive and the tankers used to transport it by rail are simply unsafe. These oil trains are an ac- cident waiting to happen to any town along the route from the oil fields of the Midwest to the shores of Western Washington. Plans for shipping crude oil from Grays Harbor also include dredging the Chehalis River estuary, which will damage habitat needed by fish, shellfish and birds. Large num- bers of huge tanker ships moving in and out of the harbor-would interfere with Indian and non-Indian fisheries and other vessel traffic. The few jobs that the transport and export of coal and oil offer would come at the cost of catastrophic dam- age to our environment for years. We would have to live with that damage for many years. Everyone knows that oil and water don't mix, and neither do oil and fish, oil and wildlife, or oil and just about everything else. It's not a matter of whether spills will happen. It's a matter of when. Thankfully, the Quinault Indian Nation is taking a stand. "The his- tory of oil spills provides ample, devastating evidence that there are no reasonable conditions un- der which these proposed terminal projects should proceed," says my friend, Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation. "We op- pose oil in Grays Harbor. This is a fight we can't afford to lose. We're in it to win. Our fishing, hunting and gathering rights are being jeopar- dized by the immediate and future impacts of these proposed develop- ments." Right now, public hearings are being held and environmental im- pact statements are being developed for these oil export schemes. You can send comments to Maia Bellon, Director of the Department of Ecol- ogy, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98503-1274. I urge you to join the Quinault Indian Nation and the many oth- ers who are battling Big Oil on this issue. Email ProtectOurFuture@ quinault.org or more information. "We have a responsibility to pro- tect the land and water for the gen- erations to come. Together, we can build a sustainable economy without sacrificing our environment," says Sharp. She's right. Billy Frank Jr. was the chair- man of the Northwest Indian Fisher- ies ComMission. He died on Monday at the age of 83. continued from page 17 Tax bill hurts senior center Editor, the Journal Did you hear the one about the senior center that pur- chased a million-dollar facil- ity to provide activities and services for its growing mem- bership, only to be billed for approximately $10,000 in real estate taxes despite its 501(c) (3) status that had previously exempted it from such tax? It's not a joke for the Ma- son County Senior Activities Association (MCSAA), which finds itself in that situation. Apparently there is no code for exemption of a nonprofit senior center property. I hope our legislators will correct that issue as soon as possible. Further complicating the is- sue is that a small number of hall rentals are to "for profit" entities, which apparently affects the interpretation of the senior center's nonprofit status for the real estate tax exemption. The MCSAA took on a siz- able debt to acquire the sorely needed Sentry Plaza property. Remodeling, a new heating system and a new dance floor are needed. Those expenses, plus servicing the mortgage debt, are challenging enough. Having an unexpected real es- tate tax bill of over $10,000 is devastating for this organiza- tion, whose board of directors, staff and volunteers work so hard to provide a wide variety of services and programs for seniors. The organization is funded by the Nifty Thrifty thrift store, private donations, fundraisers and hall rentals. It is admirable that the MC- SAA has been able to provide so many excellent programs without government funding. Let's hope our legislators recognize that MCSAA prop- erty should be exempt from real estate taxes. Diane Hartley Grapeview Be in the Mason County Forest Festival FAMILY & PET PARAD Sign Up Now Or Sign up lOam at 5th & Railroad Saturday, May 31 st (All pets are welcome, bat you have to clean up after them!) ......... Entry Form ........... Child's Name: Age: Group or Family Name: Parent/Guardian/Group Leader: Phone: Signature of Parent or Guardian: Date: First Place Cash Prizes will be given in the following categories: a Group and/or Family Entry a Forestry Theme a Float or decorated wagon Dress-Up with your Pet(s) a Costumes / Fairy Tales a Decorated Bike(s) Mail this to: ( Mason County Optimist PO Box 925 ,, Shelton WA 98584 OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL Family and Pet Parade Sponsored by: Mason County Optimist and Squaxin Island Child Development Center ................................... For questions call: Lorraine Coots (360) 426-9852 or web4coots@msn.com Squaxin Island Child Development Center sales service parts special radio-controlled orders CARS ' TRUCKS HELICOPTERS PLANES BOATS open 11-7 every day