Letters to the Editor

'Wheel mystery': Wheels could be from nets

It is puzzling how the railroad wheels got into the ocean at Ebey’s Landing. In your photo (News-Times, July 3) they look like they are attached to axles, so my explanation of how they might have gotten there may not be right in this case. Railroad wheels wear out and either have to be refurbished or replaced. Replaced wheels become scrap and sometimes are used as weights on large fishing nets.

We are truckers who have hauled railroad wheels needing to be refurbished for Amtrak. We also have hauled them for NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) from their warehouse facility in Seattle. NOAA is required by law to conduct fish population surveys for the purpose of establishing commercial fishing quotas and they use scrapped railroad wheels as weights on their fishing nets. Along with the nets, they tend to find themselves on the ocean floor from time to time and have to be replaced.

An interesting adjunct to the story is that whereas we used to haul NOAA’s equipment to their ships who port at Newport, Ore., that got changed to where we delivered it to commercial fishing boats. It seems that the Bush Administration has ordered the surveys to be conducted by commercial fishing boats. When I questioned this as having the fox guard the chicken house NOAA immediately blacklisted us from hauling their stuff.

Recently when our agent/broker couldn’t find another trucker to take a haul and sent us to do it, he got blacklisted too. Of course they came up with a lame substitute reason for it that made about as much sense as the single-shooter theory our Supreme Court acknowledged in President Kennedy’s assassination.

It might not be long before Bush Administration policies may make Bill Clinton look like a Sunday school teacher.

Al and Barbara Williams

Oak Harbor

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