Smothering


Saturday morning I was on my way to Aberdeen from Westport.

I got on the road at 8 a.m. There was quite a bit of traffic, then I remembered it was opening day of salmon season.

Pulling onto the road I saw a Westport police car followed by a Washington State Patrol car a couple cars back. Then a few cars farther back, a new Ford Washington Department of Fish and Game truck. I was just about to the Bay City Bridge and passed a sheriff and behind him was a sheriff’s truck, towing a sheriff’s boat.

I was thinking maybe a prison break. All this enforcement for a couple of weekend warriors trying to catch a salmon, can’t be.

I turned the radio to 1450 am for some news and all I heard was opening day of salmon season.

A little farther down the road I was at Bottle Beach and there were two park rangers checking for the $30 parking permit. Why they pack 45 caliber side arms, I don’t know.

Got up to the winery and passed another State Patrol. That was a lot of law enforcement for a short distance of about five miles.

Got back to Westport from Aberdeen and drove to the dock.

Sheriff deputies were busy writing tickets. I talked to a boater who had renewed his registration but could not find it and they wrote him a ticket for $294. No warning! He was very upset and said it would be the last time he launches out of Westport.

We live in one of the most oppressed areas of Washington state and I would be willing to bet with the most law enforcement per capita in the U.S.A.

Everywhere you look there is enforcement — marked and lots of unmarked. Let’s count: Coast Guard, Fisheries, State Patrol, City Police, State Park Rangers, Labor & Industries, ATF, Customs, Immigration and FBI.

Next thing you know they will want a SWAT team.

Growing up here on the beach I could not imagine not being able to ride my motor bike in the dunes and on the beach. It kept me off the couch and active. Every day after school and all weekend, rain or shine, I was riding or working on my bike, fixing it, mowing lawns to make money to buy parts.

Now, if kids ride on the beach, they get their bike taken away, and if they try to make it home to save their bike, they get charged with felony alluding. Kids don’t ride. They go to the couch and play video games. Not all, but some.

Just think how well all businesses would do if we could ride motor bikes on the beach like Oregon does. It would be a windfall profit for all businesses on the coast.

Jerry Tilley

Westport