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Letters - August 14

A positive position

A few comments and corrections are are in order in response to various derogatory remarks recently about the Hood River Valley Residents Committee.

It is erroneous to the point of irresponsibility to call the Residents Committee anti-growth. Our position all along has been to support Oregon’s land use planning program which requires planning for growth as well as conserving resource land. By law our land use program requires making land available for residential, commercial and industrial growth.

Planning ahead, or smart growth, makes it possible to coordinate growth with the infrastructure needed to support it. This cuts down on sprawl and saves the taxpayer a bundle.

We tend to oppose development that is out of scale with our small towns and small valley or threaten to conflict with our important agricultural industry. We cherish our beautiful, productive, rural valley of small family farms. We feel this is a positive position in line with what so many living here care about.

Letters - August 10

Improve waterfront

To the Port of Hood River, I have been a Hood River resident for 23 years. For several years now I have heard all of these grandiose ideas of developing the waterfront area. Is this ever going to materialize?

Sure, there has been a glimpse of what could be, such as the event site and Expo Center, but do you just stop there? I think our waterfront is pretty sad. The only beaches we have to enjoy cost $3 (event site), is a big “sand box” (Marina Beach) or is a rock quarry (The Hook). Is this seriously all you can offer us? Will you ever dress up the face of our town or just leave what could have been a Burger King in a pile for all to enjoy? Better yet, let’s wait until we don’t have any more tourists, and develop it then! Seems like the ship has sailed out of the Port of Hood River. Thanks (I guess).

Mike Garrett

Hood River

Goodbye, Ruth

I was saddened to learn of Ruth Guppy’s death on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2002. As a local historian and early newspaper woman, Ruth loved research, always finding interesting tidbits that increased our knowledge of ourselves and our community. Her weekly newspaper column “Over the Picket Fence” brought history into many homes with grace and wit for almost thirty years.

As a young graduate student, I began visiting Ruth in 1988, eager to learn about early Hood River. She welcomed me into her home and shared many stories about the community, its settlers, and its buildings. Her extensive knowledge not only came from poring over old, dusty newspapers and interviews with “old timers,” but from her own family that settled in Hood River in 1910.

We thank you Ruth for recording our past with warmth, a smile, and sense of humor. You will be remembered in our history books.

Sally Donovan

Hood River

(Editor’s Note: Please turn to page A3 for writings by Ruth Guppy.)

Stop U.N. Court

I am writing to alert citizens to the fact that minutes before midnight on Dec. 31, 2000, then-President Bill Clinton signed the U.N. Treaty creating a U.N. Court! Clinton had worked tirelessly to give liberal globalists the building blocks for one world government.

Now that the U.N. Court is a reality, pro-U.N. globalists are claiming it should investigate American soldiers for “war crimes” committed during our military actions in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, Honorary Chairman of the Liberty Committee, has sponsored the “Protect Our Servicemen” Bill, H.R. 4169, and is seeking letters to President Bush urging his support of this vital legislation.

I do not believe that we should allow Secretary General Kofi Annan of the U.N. to decide the fate of our brave American soldiers trying to root out “terrorism.” Do you believe judges from countries like Syria, Iran and Afghanistan sitting on the “Ultimate Power” World Court under U.N. should have the power to prosecute American citizens like you and me?

Many of these judges burn with hatred toward America. We have seen on television scenes of people dancing in the streets of their countries when terrorists attack America or kill innocent men, women and children in Israel.

I urge you readers to research the Liberty Committee, “Political Action from Principle,” Exec. Dir. Ken Snyder, address: P.O. Box 98121, Washington, D.C. 20090-8121, which is circulating a petition to Pres. Bush urging his support of this vital legislation: H.R. 4169 denying the U.N. Court power over our constitutional government. Remember that in this country, individual voices and opinions still count!

Letters to President Bush should be mailed within 48 hours because the U.N. International Criminal Court is now in session and it is claiming authority over America’s soldiers — even though we have not signed up for this Global Court!

Rob Hukari

Hood River

One senior’s view

To the new resident from California let me say that we have had and will continue to have the same problem with orchards and strawberry fields being taken out of production to build houses on. We haven’t had big box stores going in on prime farm land.

The present Wal-Mart store sits on a rocky piece of ground not fit for farm use. The proposed new Wal-Mart wants to build on an unsightly piece of land.

I feel I can respond to all the above as a senior having lived and worked in this valley since 1919.

I don’t feel the business people in Hood River need to worry about competition and here is an example:

In 1958 Montgomery Ward planned to put in a catalog store in downtown Hood River. The men in Wards in charge of new store site selection came to Hood River, approved of the site and went back to headquarters in Portland getting lease papers signed. The owner of the building called Wards in a few days to say that some business, fearing competition, leased the building for two years. Two years later, in 1960, Mr. Reynolds, the owner of the building, called and said the business leasing the property was giving up the lease at its expiration. Now this business had never used that building or even occupied it in any way.

Now that business is still here doing well — Wards is no longer here. Neither is Penney’s.

Hood River has thousands of people coming in — everywhere new houses are going in.

Where the new Wal-Mart store would like to build would be better than looking at that unsightly area that is there now.

I don’t blame orchardists and farmers for selling their land to the people for housing developments — fruit prices are too low and taxes on their land is too high.

I don’t go to the grocery stores anymore during the daytime except at 6:30 or 7 a.m. The store lines are too long and parking is hard to get.

Wards opened in June 1960. I opened it and was their first manager, and I retired after 21 years of service.

Myrtle Goetz White

Hood River

Park needs work

The Children’s Park in Hood River is starting to become a little bit dangerous. There is this place there where there’s a black rubber bridge that kids can run across or jump on. It has a board on either side so that kids can hold on and not fall down. A board came off at one end, so the nails that were keeping it together are just sticking out. Also, the bigger set of swings are coming apart. At the top you can see that the wood is split by about an inch or so. My sister, brother and I go to Children’s Park just about every single day. Next year, my baby sister will be coming with us to Children’s Park. I’d want my baby sister to be safe.

Adriana Toscano

Hood River

We do oppose the Mt. Hood Meadows-county land trade. About 85 percent of the land traded to the developer by the county is in the “state-delineated Crystal Springs Watershed Protection Area.” We value our watershed!

These concerns were brought up at the August 2001 hearings. The attorney for the Crystal Springs Water District opposed the trade. The county commissioner representing the Upper Valley, the area most involved, opposed the trade. Upper Valley farmers and citizens opposed the trade.

These concerns were ignored by the majority of the commissioners and were not recognized, addressed, or dealt with during a speedy deliberaton and vote.

We consider this land trade a serious problem and are deeply concerned. This is not a frivolous issue.

We believe it is pretty hard to make a good case for trading 600 acres in our drinking watershed to a resort developer.

We believe this decision, and the way it was handled, needs to be challenged. We believe working to protect our drinking watershed is a positive position.

Kate McCarthy

Parkdale

Screen stroke claim

I was concerned on reading your article titled “Screening reduces Stroke Risk” (Aug. 3). First, screening has never been shown to reduce stroke risk. No major medical organization recommends screening ultrasounds for this. Controlling your diet, blood pressure and stopping smoking can reduce your stroke risk and are much cheaper. I have had many patients pay $100 they cannot really afford to get tests from this or similar businesses. The abnormal ones, which I followed up with hospital tests, have turned out to be normal.

The Oregon Medical Association is investigating these types of groups for these medical claims. When the Hood River News portrays these advertisements as a news article without quoting a source, it encourages people to pay for these tests of questionable accuracy. If you notice, they don’t mention anything about the accuracy or quality of their tests.

Mike Harris, MD

Hood River

Off the scale

I have lived in Hood River County for 13 years. I own a manufacturing company located in downtown Hood River. I occasionally shop at Wal-Mart. I am not opposed to Wal-Mart as a business or corporate entity. I believe they are like Sears or Woolworth’s or K-Mart, just newer and a bit more efficient. They have every right to run their business as they see fit, to offer their wares to customers and try to make a reasonable profit.

I am opposed to the new super giant Wal-Mart store however, and it’s not because it’s a Wal-Mart. It’s because any single super giant store would create a monopoly in Hood River. For example, some people prefer to shop at Safeway and some at Rosauers, but who would prefer to have only one super giant grocery store so there would be only one “choice”? We all know what would happen, they would raise their prices and take advantage of Hood River residents who can’t easily run into Portland or The Dalles to shop. Limiting the size of all stores in Hood River would keep a level playing field and maintain healthy competition. Competition is what gives shoppers lower prices and a varied selection of goods. Who would want AT&T to be the only phone company again? The county has passed a law limiting other super giant stores after Wal-Mart. Is it fair to let Wal-Mart be the only super giant store? Do we want lots and lots of super giant stores?

There is also a question of scale. The existing Wal-Mart store fits in with the scale of our community, creating healthy competition and lower prices. A super giant store would not do this. Instead, it would create a monopoly and take advantage of the fact that Hood River is a geographically isolated place, which is one reason Hood River is still such a great place to live. The people of Hood River have the right to plan and decide whether they want this or any other super giant store. I know I don’t.

Wes Lapp

Parkdale

Support the veto

Kitzhaber’s choice to veto the two school bills shows that he cares about Oregon’s future. We live in a fast food, just-charge-it society and it appears most of our elected officials want a fast financial fix. I do not want Oregon’s children learning that when times get tough financially there are irresponsible methods acceptable for short-term gain.

Oregon’s legislature has been aware for a long time of the impending problem of balancing a budget that cannot be balanced successfully without detrimental cuts in state services or additional taxation for sustainable funding. Instead of berating Kitzhaber’s decision, our elected officials need to aim for a financially healthy future without digging into revenue that is unsustainable, or does not even exist. Our choices are terrible now, but they will be devastating in six months if the House and Senate overturn the vetoes.

Heather Blaine-McCurdy

Hood River

Turn it down

I’m a little wired and having trouble getting to sleep tonight because of an event that disturbed me earlier this Saturday evening, so I decided to go ahead and get this off my chest. I live on Taylor Avenue and tonight my family and I, along with everyone else who lives in this vicinity, was subjected to what was supposed to be a benefit dance being held on the tennis courts by Collins Field. I like loud music, when I want to listen to loud music, but I don’t play it so all my neighbors can hear it in their houses down the street. The music tonight was tolerable for awhile. We just turned the volume up on the TV. But at 10 p.m., the music got so loud we had to yell to each other to converse. Then the extremely vulgar lyrics came through loud and clear. That was it. I had already called the Sheriff’s dispatch and was told there was nothing they could do, so I went to the tennis courts and I was going to personally unplug their power when I saw a police officer. In talking to him, he assured me I would go to jail if I unplugged them.

So I called the city manager and he told me he had issued them a permit to play until 12:30 a.m. He said it’s a benefit dance plus it’s Saturday night. Well, it’s my Saturday night, also. If my grandkids would have been over, was I to scoop them up and get a motel room so they wouldn’t have to listen to the profanity? I think I speak for everyone who had to hear this noise when I say that when the city issues a permit for someone to go beyond the 10 p.m. county noise ordinance, make sure they turn the music down, not up.

And, please, screen the music they’re going to play. I can’t believe you can buy music with lyrics like that. As for people who want to have dances like this, to each his own, I’m all for having a party, and I’ve been to lots of them louder than yours. But use some common sense and have it someplace where you don’t bother anybody. You only draw attention to yourselves when you do it the way you did.

Dale R. Peck

Hood River

Don’t attack Iraq

On Aug. 5 The Oregonian headline was “Mideast violence intensifies.” It’s a headline we’ve seen for decades. “An eye for an eye ...” is not bringing peace to the Mideast. President Bush recognizes that and in recent months he has frequently called for an end to the violence.

Will a U.S. attack on Iraq bring peace, or will it escalate the world’s violence? Will it stop or will it increase suicide bombers? I have asked my congressional representatives to oppose any U.S. military action in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

Lou De Sitter

Hood River

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