Sure, I knew big cities offered many exciting things we did not have, however not all of them were good, such as crime and a growing drug problem. I also recognized that the Willapa Harbor area offered many things the others did not. Foremost we have the spectacular natural bounty of beautiful forests, scenic hills, and world-class rivers, however the most import aspect of our area were the intangibles. Intangibles such as looking out for your neighbor, never needing to lock your door, and the sense of belonging to a community. Because we are a small town, everyone knew everyone else, making no one anonymous, so our actions had consequences. At the top of the list of what small towns have to offer is a pride in our home and the people who lived there.
Granted that was a long time ago, and I also understand that the world changes and not all changes are for the better. Nevertheless, compared to other places, we here in north Pacific County managed to retain many of the important values I grew up with. I understand that we are not perfect. No longer isolated, we have moved into the modern age with Internet, television, and close proximity to shopping malls our lives. Moreover, sadly the drug problem has reared its ugly head among more of our friends and neighbors than any of us would like to admit. Nevertheless, that is no reason to throw up our hands in frustration with the “if you can’t beat them join them” attitude.
Pacific County has the highest percentage of senior citizens in the State and north Pacific County has most of them. This is and has been a magnet for retirees from all over the country. The natural beauty, the hunting and fishing, the relatively crime free existence when compared to other places, are just a few reasons seniors who live here want to stay and those who retired elsewhere come here to live out their lives. What a wonderful bounty for our area, seniors are crime free, good neighbors, and a benefit to our economy.
After the last election, the use of marijuana in Washington state is now legal; some of our local leaders are leaping at the opportunity to exploit this because of the promise of a few jobs. Yes, we need jobs, but at what cost? Opening up the port industrial area for dope growing will add jobs and once other clear thinking cities say no to this scheme, more and more would be drug growers will move to the one unscrupulous town that welcomes them with open arms, Raymond. Soon the once proud timber town will be known as potville or something similar because the name Tokeland is already taken.
Think about it, there must be a reason other larger, more politically influential cities, have not applied to be the pot provider of the state. If this fiasco goes through, it will be the first time in my life that I will be ashamed of where I live. With all this area has going for it, why lower ourselves to nothing more than a legalized dope pusher?