I have been following the events related to the Confederated Tribes intent to build a casino two miles east of Hood River overlooking the Columbia Gorge. I find this appalling and am in opposition to the action.
While I empathize with the plight of the American Indian, it distresses me that they have the "legal authority" to do so as expressed by Dennis Karnopp in his article in the Hood River News on Aug. 8, 2001. No organization, company or people should be able to take such action when opposed by the vast majority of the citizens of the Hood River area. Any wrongs that have been done to the native people in the past should not grant them the right to do things that are wrong for the current citizens of the Hood River area. There is nothing about "gaming" that even closely resembles "harmony with nature, respect for the land and respect for each other" as stated by Mr. Karnopp.
Every community has a personality, represents values, and has a fiber that makes a community that people wish to live in (or not live in) and share with their family, friends and neighbors. The current elements are what bring good people to the Hood River area.
The building of a casino will completely change the fiber of Hood River and will make it recognized as place to gamble, drink, smoke, and conduct activities that are inconsistent with the values we share today.
This is perhaps the most critical issue that has faced Hood River and it is important that the many people who are opposed to the casino get their opposition known today. Don't be complacent. Don't wait. Act today. We need to hear from our community leaders and long time residents as well as as the people who came to Hood River because of what it represents. The future of the Hood River area depends upon your action -- or non-action. Contact your elected representatives, write letters to the newspapers, and do everything possible to express your opposition.