Sad without pets
This is in response to Kelly Carroll’s letter of Dec. 11.
I know Kelly and she is a great lady and an excellent dog groomer. Her shop is very dog-friendly and she is kind and caring with all dogs. She does my older one. Doggie bags are on hand if needed, while you are coming and going with your pet.
The world would be a sad place without pets. They give us their unconditional love and companionship every day. They help to ease the heartache from the loss of our loved ones. They are my everyday family and I love and respect them.
Just maybe, the next time the insensitive young man with the big mouth is in the great outdoors and gets the sudden urge to relieve himself in the bushes, he might think of the little dog who also “just needed to go.”
It is my hope that with the recent developments in the ongoing Cooper Spur controversy, that the citizens of this county will take the time to get to know the facts of this possible change in life as we know it. At stake is our drinking water, the continued use of valuable land to grow food and the general quality of life that is available to us at a reasonable cost, right now.
There is going to be a slide show presented by Friends of Mt. Hood to celebrate the exquisite beauty of the mountain and to present the possibility of that beauty being sold to developers. The show will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Hood River Hotel. Come check it out and start educating yourselves to the possibilities of the future in this beautiful valley.
In September I wrote a letter containing the following events (I’m glad that two of these were somewhat resolved. My letter was never printed):
The first was about (Hood River School Superintendent) Mr. Jerry Sessions and his spending $49,000 without authority from the school board.
The second was about Norberto Maahs, Senior Services licenser, phoning two adult foster homes to place a twice-convicted and paroled sex offender in their homes. They both refused. I understand this person was placed in another county.
The third was the action of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments to give their Executive Director John Arens a $5,000 performance bonus, plus an advance in his salary. When I attended their regular meeting and asked for an explanation, Mr. Erickson, Wasco County Commissioner, answered, “Because he has gone through so much this past year, but that is confidential.” Mr. Arens’ problems have been brought on himself, by his non-performance. Two legal actions, still pending, will prove this against his administration.
All these above actions, when Oregon has limited funds, seem ludicrous.
Hood River Senior Advocate
Sorting out thanks
The Hood River FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) Food Bank extends a heartfelt thanks to each of you for all of the food donated this past year. We really couldn’t have given out such good nutritious boxes without you.
We also send a big thank you for volunteering time to collect, sort and distribute food and for the donations of cash.
God Bless you for your caring and compassion.
May the New Year 2003 bring you joy — and peace for the world.
Hood River FISH Food Bank
Why not a casino?
I would like to respond to Toni Vakos’ “Another Voice” article in your Dec. 7 edition. First, I want to point out that Ms. Vakos is a paid employee of the “No Casino” group. She makes the point that having the 40 acres in trust east of Hood River does not guarantee the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ approval to build a casino on it. She is correct. What would you say the odds are that, given the BIA’s push to have the tribes become self-sufficient, it would be approved? Even if there is only a 50-50 chance do you want to take that chance?
My guess, from information gained from BIA’s office of the Director of Gaming in Washington, D.C., is that the chance of its being approved is more like 90 to 100 percent.
Ms. Vakos says 10 other Oregon counties’ unemployment rates are higher than Hood River County’s. Well, there’s good news! Hood River County’s unemployment rate as of last June was only 10.9 percent. Is that acceptable when it could be near zero? I will give you another statistic that is irrefutable: Oregon’s per capita income is $20,940; Hood River County’s is $17,877; Cascade Locks’ per capita income is $15,356. The Tribe has said that their lowest starting wage would be $9 per hour plus full benefits which makes the hourly wage around $12 per hour. This works out to nearly $25,000 yearly per capita income and benefits. Do you really want to turn your back on that? The Warm Springs have estimated they will need 500 employees for the casino and another 300 to 500 for their resort/recreation complex. Mr. Daughtry had his facts right on that one, too.
Ms. Vakos says the combined Hood River/Gilliam/Sherman/Wheeler uninsured rate is 13.6 percent. Why these counties are lumped together is hard to figure, but would you care to find out what the uninsured rate in Cascade Locks is?
Finally, I wish the No Casino people would be specific about why they oppose a casino in the Gorge. They say the Columbia River Gorge is no place for a casino, but why? I think it is absolutely appropriate in a tourist-oriented economy. They insist that a casino will be of the Las Vegas type but the Tribe has said it will not. At their resort/casino at Kah-Nee-Ta they have demonstrated their ability and desire to build and operate a complex absolutely in harmony with the natural surroundings.
If you think as I do, I invite you to write a short note to Governor-elect Kulongoski simply saying you support the Cascade Locks site for a casino. You can mail it to him at Box 399, Portland, OR, 97207.
Chants don’t help
After reading Lynn Mystic-Healer’s word salad to the editor on Dec. 11, I was wondering if anyone really believes what was written. She believes that we should stop the military by promoting universal-cosmic consciousness of pure love. Does she not know that her freedoms of speech and of the press are not guaranteed by some kind of universal cosmic love-in? As a veteran I am appalled that there are American citizens without enough awareness of world current events to realize the very real dangers this nation faces. Sure, it would be nice if we didn’t need a military, but as long as there are people in other nations willing to kill themselves in order to kill us, we do. No amount of New Age chanting and deep meditation will protect our borders.
Raising the volume
The letter from Darryl Lloyd (Dec. 7) is full of errors. Wal-Mart never destroyed small towns. They (small towns) were dying before Wal-Mart came. Thanks to repressive taxation. The only merchant that has a chance of staying in business needs volume. Thus Super-Wal-Mart.
As far as a comparison to Home Depot. I don’t see a Home Depot in or coming to Hood River.
I am seeking the job of school superintendent to turn around the local understanding of economics and the school budget. If the parents want me to fill the job and turn around the Hood River schools without more taxes, consider me.
Winter —- the blanket of mystery.
Winter is good.
Winter is renewing.
Unless we’re yearning for a good run down Mt.Hood, winter is our jolting reminder that it’s high time to hang loose after harvest, time to rekindle and reflect, time to come in from the cold and hold each other in front of the fire.
Darkness falls outside — another blatant reminder that nature provides, guiding us to give birth to the Light within.
So, let’s pay more attention to nature. Nature is hitting us in the face to make a personal choice: Are these Holy Days filled with frenzy as cultural energies seduce us outward to fulfill our Christmas lists? Or, are these Holy Days filled with reflection as spiritual energies draw us inward to refill and renew our souls?
Forget parts of your list.
Hold each other for a moment instead.
Winter is good.
Mary Jane Heppe
Try fire power
Lynn Mystic-Healer says in her letter of Dec. 11, “The military killing machine must be stopped all over the world. Love is the answer ... to stop the killing machine and wars is to promote oneness. Using mass media we can get people to want to find their own angels ...” I read this to my seven-year-old daughter. She said, “Yeah, right ... if you say this to the terrorists, they will think you’re crazy and shoot you.” I think my seven-year-old has a firmer grip on reality. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for peace and love. I try my best to practice it at every opportunity. But let’s face it. There are some evil people out there. And the best way to make peace with them is to make them go away. You try preaching them away. I’ll try blowing them away. Historically, fire power has been more effective than soul power.
Call to action
Our county commissioners speak of “budget woes” as being the reason why county programs for the working poor, senior citizens, and children are being cut back. If you are a conservative Republican you might be glad to see a reduction in county services. But are you happy that instead of a resulting tax cut for you, the commissioners gave the money to Mt. Hood Meadows Development Company? I can assure you that you will not get that money back in any form. Democrats might be angered that the school budget has a shortfall of the same $1.2 million that the commissioners contrived to pay to Mt. Hood Meadows. So you see people, this is not a partisan issue. This is an issue where we all lose. The commissioners need to hear our voices again. Mark your calendars for Jan. 22 and come to the courthouse. For once, all the neighbors of the county can put aside their differences and unite against the secretive work of a largely unseen but powerful force that is trying to crash a ski area into the side of a mountain. In a series of increments, we could all lose our schools, our elder care, our drinking water, our tax savings, our mountain environment, our clear roads, our way of life, and more. Please be prepared for changes to the date, time or location of the meeting.