My employment keeps me away from home for much of the year. When I return, I take great pleasure in catching up with the changes, or lack of, in our community.

It seems we are on the verge of some major economic changes in our area. Bradwood Landing, the influx of big box stores, a surge in condo development and a shift to a tourism-based economy to name a few.

One thing seems to remain constant: the lack of interest by our elected and appointed officials to follow up on a wonderful opportunity to bring a large government entity to our area. State Sen. Betsy Johnson has been working for the last six months to interest our local leaders in this opportunity to no apparent success.

For those of you who may not know, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a fleet of ships based on the West Coast. Its current port is located on Lake Union in Seattle. NOAA is currently involved in the process of seeking a new site for its West Coast headquarters.

Johnson, and myself, feel that Tongue Point would be a perfect site for this facility. NOAA is aware of Tongue Point, and it may be considered as a potential site. Any form of promotion they receive from our community will surely focus attention more closely on Tongue Point.

The city of Bellingham, Wash., is lobbying hard to have the NOAA fleet located there. It recognizes the many benefits of having a fleet of ships homeported in its city.

Here is a golden opportunity to have a government entity that is nonpolluting and has a low environmental impact located in our area. The economic contribution would be significant and long-term.

If anyone is interested - city council, county commissioners, mayor, port officials or concerned citizens - I am sure that Sen. Johnson would be pleased to answer any inquiries.

Roger Stone

Hammond

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