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Letters April 27

Win with Wal-Mart

Residents of Hood River are the winners now that Wal-Mart wants to put in a superstore in Hood River. Many agricultural towns have died when the stores moved; they would give anything to have Wal-Mart or any store relocate in their town

Many people who reside in the Hood River area do not have the means to shop in Troutdale or The Dalles and are not able to shop on a computer so they must depend on catalogs to buy what they want. Oh, the catalog stores are gone.

Well that creates the need for many small businesses or one Wal-Mart to fill the need. Taxes have all but eliminated the small business so we must depend on the big.

It took 30 plus years to get to this point so maybe in 30 plus years the situation will change and we will not need Wal-Mart in Hood River but until then we must do what is necessary to survive.

Paul Nevin

Hood River

York is involved

I have known Carol York for nine years and am constantly amazed at the level-headed enthusiasm she brings to all her interests. And those are many. The breadth of her involvement in the community makes her uniquely qualified for County Commissioner. She’s a business owner, politically active, and she’s on at least one board of directors — an indication of the value people place on her wisdom.

She has integrity and is sharp. She’s an athlete who appreciates the recreational value our area provides and its relationship to the rest of the community. And her publishing business thoroughly involves her in the local economy. I have yet to meet someone I could recommend more highly.

Scott See

White Salmon

Back Arens, York

Voters face a distinct choice in candidates for the Hood River County Board of Commissioners. Those distinctions became all the more clear after the candidates forum April 24 at the Hood River Middle School.

We respect and thank Rodger Schock for his willingness to challenge incumbent chair John Arens, and Ladd Henderson for his interest in the Position 3 seat now held by Carol York. We are all better for their support of the democratic process.

That said, we have decided to vote for Arens and York.

That doesn’t mean we’ve agreed with everything they’ve done. The county commission and city of Hood River totally botched an opportunity to coordinate efforts in support of a “big box” ordinance, leaving open the door for our only big box to get even bigger — at no appreciable benefit to the county job base, and much potential detriment to existing business. Stronger leadership could have helped prevent that, but Arens and York bear only partial responsibility.

Beyond that criticism, we see in each a wealth of experience, an openness to all viewpoints, and a growing awareness of what Hood River County needs to diversify its economy and create family-wage jobs.

At the forum, each spoke of the need to embrace sustainable county forestry practices, to hear fairly any environmentally sensitive destination resort proposal because it fits with the county’s economic development plan, to work with the farm economy on new markets and products, and to build essential telecommunications links.

They know — more now than may have been the case a year ago — that a responsible approach to growth is an active approach, that there is a bright future only in aggressively creating the economy we want rather than passively waiting for an economy we may resent and regret.

Arens and York are smart, decent and committed. These are the partners we all need to create and protect a Hood River County we can be proud to pass to future generations.

When our mail ballots arrive, we will vote for Arens and York, because we think this is the best thing for the future of Hood River County.

Stuart Watson

Kathy Watson

Hood River

Re-elect York

Re-elect Carol York to the Hood River County Commission. Carol has worked diligently for her constituents in Dist. 1. She has also demonstrated an ability to communicate with diverse interest groups throughout the Hood River Valley. These contacts and her experience in business and community organizations enhance Carol’s role as a commissioner. She is a good listener and studies the issues, especially important factors at a time when those qualities are in short supply. Carol’s goal is simply described as service to the community. All of us will benefit if we give her the opportunity to continue to serve.

Pat and Eckard Toy

Parkdale

County needs voice

As a voter in Hood River County I am surprised that Mr. John Arens decided to seek re-election as Hood River County Commission Chair. Even though his being the Executive Director of Mid-Columbia Council of Governments and Commission Chair may be legal, I have a problem with the ethics of it. Mr. Arens was elected in good faith to serve Hood River County. Yet, when it comes to such major issues as dealing with NORCOR and Senior Services, he has to excuse himself and sit silent because of a clear conflict of interest. We did not vote for Mr. Arens to be silent but to serve our interests fully and we should keep that in mind when it comes to this year’s election.

Connie Peters

Hood River

Value volunteers

What do you call people who spend their free time taking classes with names like “Mass Care,” who consider themselves on-call at virtually all times, who will leave their families in the middle of the night to help another family find a place to sleep — and who don’t get paid a dime for the trouble?

What do you call people who take time every few months to give away one of the world’s most precious gifts: blood.

What do you call people who teach strangers how to save a life, assist military families desperate to get word of an emergency to a loved one far away and much, much more — with no monetary compensation?

You call them American Red Cross volunteers. This year, over 300 individuals in the Hood River area volunteered more than 7,000 hours of time to help people who were helped by Red Cross Services.

April 21-27 was National Volunteer Week, and we want to thank the 314 local residents who chose to serve our community this year through volunteer service with the American Red Cross. The theme of National Volunteer Week this year is “Celebrate the American Spirit — Volunteer” and it is particularly appropriate at this time. In the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedies, 13 local volunteers accepted a relief assignment in the New York area. For seven of these 13 volunteers, New York was their first Red Cross national disaster relief assignment. Four of these seven volunteers have accepted new relief assignments in the past two months.

You don’t have to go out on disasters to be a Red Cross volunteer. We need people of all ages and skills. Right now, we would especially welcome people who are willing to serve on our Board of Directors, teach Health and Safety classes or volunteer in the office. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Annie Simonds at 386-6000. Together, we can save a life.

Clara Rice, Chapter Chair

American Red Cross

Hood River

Clean, bright

On behalf of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank all the volunteers and businesses who participated in this year’s Annual Blossom Festival Spring Cleaning Party (April 13). More than 50 kids and 20 adults spent the morning picking up roadside litter in Odell, Parkdale and various other locations throughout the Valley. It was a great demonstration of community pride. We are blessed to be part of a community that encourages and supports projects that put our community spirit in action.

Thanks to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies and their parents and leaders for getting the job done! Special thanks to the Oregon National Guard unit in Hood River for transporting the full bags, and to Hood River Garbage Service for providing disposal services. Rosauers and Mid Valley Market generously support this volunteer effort through donations of food and beverages to keep our clean-up crews fueled. These partners are another tremendous example of what it means to be part of a community!

As we move into the tourist season, keep in mind that our community is special and it takes everyone one of us to keep it that way!

Kristin Reese

Youth Services Director

Hood River Chamber of Commerce

Hood River

Tongue in check

I was so impressed to read of our city’s new parking meter policy. I swelled with pride as I read how the city was willing to lead by example, and sacrifice their fifteen spaces located behind their building on Oak Street to the meter goblins, willing to enjoy the same level of discomfort and frustration the rest of us are during these economic woes. The fact that they will soon be able to appreciate the difficulty in cutting off a customer’s conversation or service needs to go feed a meter is truly uplifting. Or perhaps they’ll choose to pay the very small monthly fee (if they pay in advance) out of their already too low wages and relax, knowing they’re writing those annual checks to fight the good fight, and keep our little system afloat.

Whatever method of payment they choose, it makes me proud to live in a small town where we all work together to meet whatever challenge lay ahead.

“What? They aren’t going to put meters in their lot to earn money to pay their wages and help our town in a moment of crisis? Those typical, bureaucratic ——- How do they expect us to compete with those oceans of asphalt and free parking and retain employees and ...”

Never mind.

Owner of North Oak Brasserie, fines to date for ’02 — about $30 — cost of getting away with one, priceless.

Mike Caldwell

Hood River

Vote yes on bond

I like the fact that the city plows the city streets when snow falls. I also like to have them pick up leaves during the fall. I think the fact that they are doing this with equipment that is about 40 years old is marvelous. I would not want to depend on equipment this old for my day to day operations. Emergencies...No way.

We have had opportunities in the past to purchase new equipment. The reaction has always been that it was too expensive in the current economic situation. It has become more expensive in each succeeding situation. I think that it is time that we “bite the bullet” and pay for our services. The alternative is to accept substandard services. I do not think that we have the right to complain about city services if this bond fails. Pass the city equipment bond.

Leonard Hickman

Hood River

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