The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 1:00 a.m.
Oso tragedy

No blame, just help people

I keep hearing people on the news calling for someone to be held responsible for the mudslide in Oso. Consider for a moment, had the state told the landowners above the slide area that they couldn’t log (Oso/Darrington are logging communities supported by logging) that area because at some point in the future the clear cut areas could set up a situation where there could be a mudslide in the future. Do you think the landowners in that area would have been respectful of that decision by state geologists, or would the furor have been so loud that everyone would have heard it? I think the latter.
What about the people in the valley that bought property? What if the county had told them that they would not grant permits for people to build their homes in that valley because of the possible threat of slide in the future? Again, do you think landowners would have just said “OK well that is fine, I bought this land that is completely worthless, but I get your point about the slide thing?” Hardly. People should stop calling for someone to be held accountable for this. It’s a terrible thing that happened, but should someone be blamed, no. We decided we need logs and we decided that we want to use our land the way we want to use our land and because of that, sometimes bad things happen. Now start concentrating on the people that need help, and forget trying to blame someone.
Cary Cleland
Lake Stevens
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.