The Oregon Legislature recently repealed a state law that prevented the building of new critical facilities within the tsunami inundation zone ("Legislature repeals tsunami zone building law," The Astorian, June 24).
In the case of Seaside schools, the state also requested the city of Seaside to redevelop vacated school sites to lower usages so that fewer people would have tsunami exposure. This request has been ignored by the city; the Seaside School District wants to get a maximum return when it sells this property.
The city, per the recent county housing study, wants workforce housing. Per the city plan, workforce housing should be in R-3 zones, which allow 20 dwelling units per acre. The 11-acre high school site would allow 220 units that would house about 300 children (150 school age, 150 younger).
So, we moved the 500 high school students out of the site so they wouldn't be exposed seven hours a day, and we replaced them at the same site with 150 young children who are exposed 24 hours a day, and the other 150 school-age children, who will now be exposed 17 hours a day.
It costs taxpayers $125,000 a student to create a new, expensive hillside schools project that could potentially make area children 65% more vulnerable to the tsunami threat. The state Legislature is only now starting to recognize how poorly its past tsunami safety programs solve real problems.
We need to temper people's emotional impulses by electing better local leadership who can rationally analyze and formulate realistic disaster preparation.