When people around the world are fighting and dying to have elections, it is outrageous that NorthernStar says the liquefied natural gas pipeline referendum is a waste of time.

It is our right and responsibility to vote, and I hope all county voters will get their ballots in by 8 p.m. Sept. 16 so that our voices will be heard and counted.

The Oregon Constitution guarantees the right to have a law referred to voters for a vote. Voting on this referendum confirms that the people of Clatsop County can challenge the decisions made by the county commissioners.

Here's why I hope you will vote "no." The pipes in question are 3-foot diameter high-pressure interstate pipelines proposed to go through county parks and open space. The pipes would carry unodorized regasified liquefied natural gas. The natural gas pipes coming to our homes are 1 to 4 inches in diameter with natural gas that has been odorized so we can smell a leak.

Because the gas in the 3-foot pipes would be unodorized, people and animals near a leak would not know they were in danger until they started showing symptoms of inhaling the gas. Natural gas spreads rapidly and can ignite, burn and start other fires in its path from a spark, lit cigarette, a match, a flame from a campfire, etc.

Three pipelines coming from an LNG terminal are proposed to go through Clatsop County. The parks and open space they could cross include Carnahan County Park, Lee Wooden/Fishhawk Falls Park, Sigfridson County Park, Camp Cullaby (Camp Royce-Finel) and North Fork Nehalem County Park.

Existing pipes in parks are allowed by county law because they go to structures within the park, such as water to showers, natural gas to hot water heaters, etc.

The county commissioners changed county law to benefit the LNG companies by giving the OK to this industrial infrastructure to go through all designated parks and open space in the county as a conditional use. Voting "no" would maintain existing county law prohibiting LNG pipelines in our parks.

I applaud The Daily Astorian's endorsement of a "no" vote ("No to LNG, no to Measure 4-131," Sept. 2). People for and against LNG are voting "no" because they know these high-risk pipelines do not belong in our parks.

Laurie Caplan