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May 7, 2015     Shelton Mason County Journal
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May 7, 2015
 

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 - Mason County Journal - Page A-5 GUEST COLUMN st in Last week, the top story around town was the recently an- nounced sale of Simpson Lum- ber to California-based Sierra Pacific Industries. Timber has been the bread-and-butter of our re- gional economy for more than a century, employing genera- tions of Washingtonians and building our expanding na- tion. The Simpson family has invested in our community for the past 125 years, and I am grateful for their contribution. Those of us in Mason County, and many others across timber-rich Wash- ington, are closely connected to our logging heritage. Whether it's cheering on the High- By DREW MacEWEN climbers, celebrating Forest Festival, or taking pride in a larger-than-life Paul Bunyan parading down Railroad Avenue, forestry is part of the fabric of our community. I believe we will carry these proud traditions well into the future. Many, though, are calling the Simpson sale the "nail in the coffin" for Shelton and Mason County. And while job losses are difficult to ab- sorb with Mason County's unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, I have an unwavering belief in the people of this community. With Sierra Pacific's commitment to build a new state-of-the-art mill on Shelton's waterfront by 2017, we have an opportunity to revitalize the city and usher in a new era of timber pro- duction and economic growth. We should also take this opportuni- ty to invest in a diverse economy that will meet the needs of generations to come. This begins in the Legislature with fully funding education and providing career and technical education oppor- tunities for students. Additionally, we must enact B&O tax reforms, including those I pro- posed earlier this year, to simplify and modernize a tax code that is a barrier to economic growth. Locally, we must attract new busi- nesses to Mason County and develop planning codes that are fair, flexible and allow for competition in the mar- ketplace. Most importantly, we must come together as a community to support those affected during this time of tran- sition. I am committed to working with all parties to ensure they are connected to critical resources and are able to meet their obligations in the weeks and months to come. We must not miss this opportunity to strengthen and diversify our econo- my. With the right investments, I am confident Mason County's best days are ahead. Together we can build a bright fu- ture for Mason County. State Rep. Drew MacEwen serves the 35th Legislative District. He can be reached at 552-2635 or at drew. macewen@leg.wa.gov. LETTERS cont. from page A-4 logic, and I thought he was getting ready to provide evi- dence for his point when he wrote that: "... 95 percent of Washing- ton counties have unemploy- ment rates above the national average -- 30 percent of them suffer double digit unemploy- ment." Unfortunately, Mr. Brunell never provides a single shred of evidence to link those un- employment rates with the current level of Washington taxes and business costs. He does not identify a single in- stance of a business discour- aged from setting up shop in Washington because of taxes and business costs. I readily admit that had Mr. Brunell proved that these high rates were the product of state policies, that would have been damning and cause for reme- dial action. But here's the thing. Not only does Mr. Brunell fail to specify how current state poli- cies were discouraging busi- ness growth, he also ignored all other potential causes. He just pinned the fault on the govern- ment. Now isn't it just possible that the recent national finan- cial meltdown played a part? Isn't it just possible that Wall Street excesses were respon- sible for some of this problem? And isn't it just possible that the near shutdown of the home building sector contributed to the high rate of unemployment in Mason County? I infer that the AWB does not think so, their go-to bogey- man for anything that disqui- ets them being the govern- ment. (Oh, and by the way, the true statistics for Washington counties with unemployment rates higher than the national average is 87 percent, not 95 percent and 8 percent of them have double digit unemploy- ment, not 30 percent). OK. On to the second item that caught my eye. It was on page A-11 in the "That's Old News" feature and was titled "Breathing time wanted." As- tonishingly, its dateline was exactly 100 years prior to Mr. Brunell's article. And guess what? It could have been its grandfather. Here's the sa- lient part: "The chief obstacle ... has been the tendency to legislate all the restrictions possible on .Tatio l Di lo on Race Journal Letter Policy The Join'ha~encourages origina letters to the editor of local interest. [ are welcomed. We will not publish letters that are deemed libelous or letters must be sig ned and include the writer's name, address and daytime will be used for verification and clarity. To submit a letter, email letters@masoncounty.;om, drop it off mail it to P.O. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. or the manufacturing industries, while taking on new fads and fancies ... which only add to the taxes, making it no longer possible ... to establish new payrolls to care for the in- creasing body of laboring men coming to this country." SO there we have it: a Pa- cific Northwest employers group of 1915 bemoans "new fads and fancies" and a Pacific Northwest employers group of 2015 bemoans "business costs." Most people understand that both of these phrases are actually code words for environmental protection and decent wages, and I'm disap- pointed that even after a cen- tury of evidence that Washing- tonians want a strong, well- educated middle class, living a clean and environmentally responsible lifestyle, the AWB still tries to convince our Leg- islature that decent wages and environmental protection are somehow secondary concerns. For shame. Brian Walsh Shelton Set an exam for mothers Editor, the Journal I'm not a mother and my own mother is deceased, so I sometimes feel detached from the national hubbub of Mother's Day. Recently, I came across a book in a thrift store called "Mother is a Verb," which enumerated all the verbs our ideal mothers embody; e.g. tend, care for, protect, reach out, inspire, etc. It reminded me that we all need to practice mothering skills -- those without chil- dren, men and women. In every part of the world there are mothers who love their children just as much as the mothers here in the United States do. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, children in the poorest countries are much more likely to die be- fore the age of 5, often from preventable causes such as lack of maternal health care and clean water. Those mothers won't see their children grow into in- dependent, healthy adults. The international communi- ty has made great strides in reducing the rates of child- hood deaths in the poorest parts of the world and the United States can be proud of its leadership in this re- gard. Half as many children die now as they did 16 years ago. Despite this, more than 6 million children under 5 will die this year of preventable causes. We can do better. The U.S. Congress will be introducing bipartisan legis- lation in May to build on the progress that has been made in maternal and child health care. It will set targets, coor- dinate efforts and ensure transparency to maximize our investment. I hope that our senators and representatives will sign on and support this impor- tant legislation. This will show the world that our moral leadership is still strong and we recognize that the lives of mothers and children everywhere matter. Ann Rockway Olympia Something doesn't add up about debate Editor, the Journal It is election "frenzy" time again, and the hype on rights of women and abortion rights are on the cart. About the only fact they all seem to agree on whether for or againstabortion is that "life" is sacrosanct, perhaps as long as it is in the womb, except, of course, where rape or incest is a fac- tor. Quote Froma Harrop, syndicated columnist for the Seattle Times, "If one holds that the organism formed at conception is a full human person, it is a full being whether con- ceived through rape or marital love. There is no biological difference." Stop and think, for a mo- ment, what the subject is about. We're talking about a mi- raculous God-given ability only a woman has. She can develop, within her body, a life. Man's contribution could hardly be less, miniscule at best and for a nanosecond. Let us go back to sacro- sanct. Life is sacrosanct for nine months in the womb, but at the age of 18 years it becomes boots on the ground fodder for any reason, any- where on the globe. George W. Bush and com- pany legalized the action that killed well over 200,000, all sides and Bush and company get pretty much a free ride for life, but a woman who aborts one life goes to jail. The "Christian right" pret- ty much seems to accept this. Will someone please show me different? Charles L. Winne Hoodsport