Letters - November 20

Dogs make messes

A dog park in Hood River? It would appear that is what Jackson Park has become. Several times daily I watch dog owners unhook their animal’s leashes and dogs go merrily on their way into the park. The park has become “the potty place” for them. Have you walked through that beautiful park lately? Beware! You might consider wearing your boots. While I certainly have nothing against dogs, I think it is considerate to remove what an animal may deposit in public places. People who go to enjoy the park should not have to walk with eyes downward to avoid stepping in animal waste. You dog owners guilty of this know who you are and hopefully will give thought to this issue. And by the way, isn’t there a leash law in the county?

Mary Faber

Hood River

Eateries serve pears

In dining around town, and thoroughly enjoying every bite of it, I have surely noticed the beautiful use of local pears in and amongst the menus. This is very exciting to me and much appreciated by the farming community. Pears are so versatile, delicious and cook up beautifully. As ‘Pear Savvy,’ Mary Beth Kennedy and I set out nearly two years ago to push for the use of local fruit in our fine dining establishments and were very well received. We wanted locals and tourists to see and taste for themselves how wonderful pears are and hoped they would feel inspired to try these uses in their own homes, or simply go away feeling they had a true taste of our amazing Hood River Valley. Whether or not this is the “fruits of our efforts,” our hearts are filled with appreciation, gratitude and delight as we see so many local restaurants including pears, featuring them as local, and even dedicating entire menus to our local farmers. Thanks, and way to go Hood River for once again pulling together. What a great place to live, dine, and eat well. We hope you, too, will discover these delicacies in your kitchen and in your gift giving this holiday season, Martha surely will.

Carrie Kennedy

Co-founder of Pear Savvy

Les Miz praise

Now that its run is over, I would like to thank the many dozens of parents, helpers, community sponsors, and business people who supported our production of “Les Misérables.” This show was a wonderful example of community building and brought together many people in positive ways.

Thanks to our enthusiastic audiences who filled the theatre and rewarded the students’ efforts with such warmth and generosity. In the spirit of “Les Misérables” we will be donating funds to the Oregon Food Bank and from now on, any school that borrows our barricade units for their production will also be donating to a local charity as a form of “rental.”

Finally, and most important, thanks to the students themselves. They were gracious, hard-working, mutually supportive and performed with passion and real professionalism. I hope they, and the community, understand the depth of their accomplishment in bringing this show to life with such precision, skill, and feeling. They were truly amazing.

Mark Steighner


Sustainable resort

There’s nothing being sustained on Mt. Hood right now. The last herd of elk living on the mountain is dwindling if not gone already, the big cats and bears were gone long ago, the wild salmon runs and the bullhead trout are on the endangered species list because of habitat loss, and the cutting for the newly approved lift 21 will displace songbird nesting habitat. That’s just the animals. The East Fork Hood River runs through 3,000 feet of Mt. Hood Meadows culvert and the headwater wetlands are filled with tens of feet of parking lot gravel and sand from the rotary plows. There are almost no old trees.

How can increasing the number and scope of Meadows’ development holdings make the ski area even more “sustainable”? The only thing that more Meadows style development on the mountain will sustain is the decline of ecosystems and the decline of other recreation opportunities. Think about this as you responsibly consume the greenwashing nonsense known as The Natural Step that Meadows would have you believe is being implemented.

John Wood

Hood River

Bravo, Les Miz

The Hood River Valley High School production of “Les Misérables” can be equated with the Broadway production we saw at Kennedy Center several years ago.

Mr. Steighner has the obvious magic touch. The professionalism and passion exudes, affecting every soul in the audience.

Eternal praises to the entire cast and orchestra.

Mary Jane Heppe

Hood River

Lay off Meadows

It blows me away how the Hood River Valley Residents Committee (HRVRC) and their new Wild and Free Coalition tries portraying themselves as the savers of the forest and the voice of everyone in the Upper Valley. In fact there are over 1,300 families in the Upper Valley, yet the membership of the HRVRC numbers under 150.

Meadows is one of the biggest taxpayers in the county. They do not draw heavily on county services like police, fire or public works, they are a net contributor. They train thousands of people on their first job in a wholesome and healthy environment and if you add the free employee bus, free skiing and other benefits, it far exceeds minimum wage not to mention the wonderful experience these young people get working in a winter resort for a few seasons. Plus, Meadows employs dozens of year-round locals who make family wages, many of whom enjoy the opportunity to make a good living working in such a beautiful environment.

Thousands of people including many from Hood River come to the ski areas to recreate at Hood River County’s quality resorts which adds to the income of shops, hotels, motels, restaurants, service stations, and the list goes on. As for the traffic — if you are interested in the economy and commerce, traffic is a good thing.

Now there is a committee, the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition, obviously spearheaded by the same gang in the HRVRC not representing the feelings and points of view of the mainstream locals but the select few who want to keep us, the public, out of “their” valley. They are unfairly criticizing the environmental condition of Mt. Hood Meadows. All one needs to do is take a hike this fall around Meadows and you will see that the area is very well managed. There are also wonderful improvements being made to Cooper Spur Ski Area that will only enhance the area. The prices are economical enough for most families to afford to enjoy their forest in the winter.

You may think that I work for Meadows. I don’t. However, I used to work there and believe they are an excellent employer, a good steward of the land and they work very hard to be part of the community. I hope people see the HRVRC and the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition for what it really is — a group that has a personal agenda against a company that does not deserve it.

Jodi Gehrman


Wal-Mart buys pears

I’m not for or against a Super Wal-Mart, but when I read one-sided misinformation I feel a need to respond.

Leonard Hickman states he found out they do not sell produce from Oregon. The apples indeed are from Washington; Oregon doesn’t produce the number of cartons needed to supply Wal-Mart or any other large chain store. As for potatoes, I don’t know. But why didn’t he check into pears, this valley’s number one crop? He would have found Wal-Mart is a major buyer of Hood River pears! But then that would not have fit into a one-sided, poorly researched article.

Jim Burdick


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