An Opinion: The Power of Listening

Recently a conversation took place on the internet that got me thinking about several things.  The discussion was held on Facebook on the Vernonia Community Bulletin Board and was started when someone suggested that community members attend a Vernonia Planning Commission meeting.

An interesting conversation emerged that went on for over a week, included over 135 separate postings and involved numerous participants.  The discussion centered on the City’s wastewater facility upgrade project and the possibility that utility rates could increase in Vernonia-again.  The conversation revealed many things.

People expressed concern, anger and outrage about the potential of higher water and sewer rates.  Others tried to explain the reality of the situation and the reason Vernonia has such high rates.  Some people encouraged citizens to become more involved.  Some said they would and  did.  People vented their frustration and a feeling of helplessness at increasing rates. Read More

An Opinion: What’s Going On?

Trails End Recovery has been working in Vernonia for the last several years doing home demolitions after FEMA flood buyouts. More recently they have been  conducting the old school site demolition.

Trails End has hired and employed several local  people during their time working in Vernonia.  They have recovered and made available to the public many items and materials at extremely reasonable prices.  They have been easy to work with and good friends to this community.  Trails End provided a low bid for deconstructing the school site and saved the Vernonia School District money in the process.

So how have at least a few member of this community chosen to repay Trails End Recovery for providing jobs for our folks?  By stealing from them and vandalizing their equipment.  Read More

An Opinion: Becoming a Vegetarian

Amanda Mikalow with part of her Senior Project.

Amanda Mikalow with part of her Senior Project.

I decided to become a vegetarian six months ago when I saw a PETA video.  PETA stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” The video showed me the horrible conditions of slaughterhouses and the life of the animals we eat on a daily basis. I was devastated to see how these poor animals lived. I immediately decided to keep meat off of my plate for good.

When time came for our senior year projects at Vernonia High School I was stuck deciding on a subject to pursue. I had to write a speech, make a poster board and spend time with a mentor who would help me with my project. Then it hit me; I could teach people about the vegetarian lifestyle and the positives of living it. Read More