This article is shameless propaganda ["Fisherman's Wrath," WW, June 13, 2012]. First, the proposed ban on gill nets has nothing to do with a social attack on blue-collar workers; it is an environmental issue.

Gill nets indiscriminately kill many of the fish that swim into them. This includes endangered stocks of Columbia River salmon and steelhead.... What's more, abandoned gill nets will continue to kill these endangered fish indefinitely.

There was a time when fish runs were strong enough in the Columbia to handle gillnetters. That time, however, has long since expired. Banning gill nets in the Columbia is an important and necessary step in restoring our wild runs.

Second, there are substantially more working-class Oregonians—thousands more—who are sport fishermen than commercial fishermen. "Class warfare?" Give me a break. As an avid fisherman, I can say that most of my fellow sport fishermen and women are working-class folks. Sportfishing provides affordable opportunities for people of all income levels to enjoy our public lands and waters. 

I find it disheartening that WW has glorified private gillnetters who profit off a dwindling public resource and degrade the environment.


Thanks for an insightful article. Greed under the guise of conservation is an insult to the green movement and a death sentence for family fishing businesses.

Sport fishermen kill far more endangered or threatened Columbia River fish (all species) than the commercial fishers.... Commercial family fishers are the only way most of us will be able to enjoy the bounty that belongs to all.

Oregonians are not so gullible as to eliminate jobs and access when not a single listed fish will be saved.

—"Bruce B"


Regardless of whether there is criminal culpability, Rep. [Matt] Wingard exercised an exceptional breach of trust by engaging in a relationship with a subordinate employee ["A Violation of Trust?" WW, June 13, 2012].

Even worse, it does not appear outside the realm of possibility that he hired her expressly to seek a relationship. The outcome of the matter is exactly what one would expect: The employer stays employed and the employee is out of work. 

Wingard appears to have forgotten that he is a "representative." I suppose we have long left behind the days that we expect a higher ethical standard from our elected officials. But it is precisely this type of behavior that has eroded and continues to erode public confidence in our democracy. 

The Republican caucus should quickly discipline Wingard to demonstrate it is unacceptable to engage in a sexual relationship with an employee. In doing so he has, at a minimum, compromised his claim to a leadership post.

—"Responsible boss"

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