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Letters - October 30

Stop brake noise

In response to Jim Klaas’ “Braking the Law” letter, published in the Oct. 26 paper:

Jim, Jim, Jim. I too share in your grief, but you see I live in Cascade Locks right off of I-84. The “Jake Brake” problem is not only annoying, but it’s downright ridiculous!

There are literally no less than ten trucks every day that break this law. Sometimes it seems that they are even competing on who can get the loudest. Oh, there goes one right now (and I’m not kidding.) We do live close to a weigh station, but every trucker knows that it’s there, and as for the signs that state the maximum fine of $500, ours are on the opposite side of the highway going the wrong way. Go figure.

I’ve personally called sheriff/police, ODOT, Highway Division, Weighmaster, Port of Entry. I’ve talked with everyone I could about this nuisance and after the biggest run-around and a great deal of stress I eventually was told to contact the attorney general. Why do I alone have to challenge these avenues? There are people who get paid big bucks to make it right.

All I want is for my baby to be able to sleep through her nap without being awakened by these rude and inconsiderate drivers. Someone please help!

Angela Schlager

Cascade Locks

Don’t fall for it

My husband and I recently returned from our honeymoon in Oregon where we spent a wonderful evening in Hood River.

We stayed at the Oak Street Hotel, went shopping downtown, ate dinner at Stonehedge Gardens restaurant, enjoyed cocktails at the Sixth Street Bistro, and had breakfast the next morning at Holstein’s. In fewer than 24 hours, we gladly contributed several hundred tourist dollars to the city’s coffers.

What attracted us to your beautiful town was its rural character and natural heritage, the Gorge, the trees, the river, the mountains, the fresh air.

We were quite upset to see in the window of one of the merchants that plans for a new 16-acre Wal-Mart site were proposed for the area up the two-lane roadway from downtown. If we wanted to shop at Wal-Mart, we could have stayed in Sacramento, a city itself fighting homogenization with the rest of the United States.

We then picked up a copy of the Oct. 16 edition of the Hood River News and read the article “Grappling over the Gorge.” It saddened us to see such a beautiful town caught in the battle over urban sprawl.

I ask this to the people who think the Scenic Act is cumbersome: What happens when Wal-Mart goes out of business some day and your city is left with the environmental remediation bill? Hood River’s natural area will have been destroyed.

In the meantime, traffic congestion will grate on your nerves. Air quality will deteriorate and the town will be left devoid of charm and character.

I urge all Oregonians to avoid the pitfalls to which California has succumbed. Your environment sustains the life that supports your economy. Don’t let developers permanently ruin your lovely state. Don’t fall for their spiels of property rights that they use to justify their own greed. Liberty must never forsake responsibility.

You have an opportunity to center Hood River’s economy around ecotourism. Take advantage of this asset while you still have it.

Gwen Johnson

Elk Grove, Calif.

Vote for Buckley

Greg Walden was conspicuously absent from the candidates’ forum on Tuesday, Oct. 22 (Camille Hukari represented him, giving canned statements).

One might think Greg was in Washington, D.C. No. We understand he had been in Bend that day, had indicated he might attend the local forum, and had other options also. But apparently meeting with candidates in his home town was low on his priority list.

So why didn’t Greg Walden attend? Two reasons come to my mind.

One is hubris — the feeling of such personal importance and power that he is above the process. After all, he is the incumbent; he is statistically ahead, and he has a great deal more money to spend on his campaign. Perhaps he felt it condescending to engage that other candidate in discussion of issues.

Peter Buckley is very intelligent, knowledgeable, and articulate. Buckley is idealistic about wanting fairness and justice. He has not sold out to special interests or party dogma. Perhaps Greg Walden might come out poorly if he met Peter Buckley in a face-to-face discussion.

If I am correct in my supposition, why would we want to send Mr. Walden back to Washington, D.C.?

Carroll Davis

Hood River

Where’s Walden?

I went to the candidate’s forum Tuesday night at Hood River Middle School. District 52 candidates Patti Smith and Larry Cramblett were there. State senate candidates Rick Metsger and Bob Montgomery were there. Dist. 2 congressional candidates Peter Buckley and Camille Hukari — wait a minute isn’t Hood River’s own Greg Walden the Dist. 2 congressional candidate? Where’s Walden? Too busy or maybe too afraid. Peter Buckley is a great person who speaks from his heart and really wants this country to become a great democracy. I’m afraid Walden is too worried about corporate America to care about the working class. In how many candidate forums has Greg Walden debated Peter Buckley? The answer is zero.

I found it ironic that when Camille Hukari was speaking for Mr. Walden, his radio station was coming out of the middle school’s speakers. He needs to clean up his radio station’s airwaves and his views on the issues, if he has any.

Please join me in voting for Peter Buckley.

Jack Sprague

Hood River

Keep Patti Smith

On Nov. 5 we have an opportunity to return to the Oregon Legislature, State Rep. Patti Smith in District 52.

Rep. Smith has spent countless hours working on behalf of her constituents and in this time of recession I know we can count on her to listen and work toward solutions that will help us all, rural or urban. She has proven to be a dedicated legislator. As a farmer she understands the complex issues facing our producers and works well with our agencies to find answers to problems.

From transportation issues to community issues, Patti Smith has continually been available and eager to assist and earned the respect of many in our community. I am glad to offer my support and encourage others to vote for Patti Smith for State Representative. I know she will continue to do a good job for us all.

Barry Bushue

Bushue Farming Co., Inc.

Boring

Yea to Buckley

The Citizens for Responsible Growth should be commended for the recent candidates’ forum.

The most notable fact about it was the “no show” of Hood River’s “favorite son” Greg Walden, who refuses to debate his opponent, Peter Buckley. Greg has failed to show up all over Oregon!

Perhaps he’s afraid to defend his record: support for Bush’s pre-emptive war on Iraq, tax cuts for the rich, weakening of environmental laws, etc.

Peter Buckley is bright and articulate. He is courageous enough to tell the truth: “American democracy is the best that money can buy.”

Peter Buckley has my vote for U.S. Congress.

Diane Allen

Hood River

Yes on 27

I resent the multi-million dollar blitz that is trying to convince me it will cost us millions to simply label genetically engineered food. We are talking about fine-print labeling! That costs virtually nothing!

I deserve to know if my food is genetically engineered, organic or otherwise. That is why I am voting yes on Measure 27 to label foods as such.

Bill Kline

Hood River

‘Attack’ uncalled for

When I decided to run for State Senate I expected people to blow out of proportion my previous public service record. After all I have voted on thousands of issues as a state legislator.

However, the recent letter from Ms. Jean McLean taking a personal attack on my wife is unacceptable.

In politics families give up a lot of privacy, but attacks of this nature are uncalled for.

I have the full support of my wife, but that does not give anyone the right to take cheap, uninformed shots, at anyone in my family.

Bob Montgomery

Candidate for State Senate

Cascade Locks

Editor’s Note: The McLean letter stated that neither Montgomery nor his wife, Deanna, are well known in the community and that “they never enter into the social or civic life of the community nor do they support local businesses ...”

Terror and chaos

A recent thought provoking letter to the editor, regarding war with Iraq, brought to mind a number of issues we should all seriously consider.

When Americans go to the polls on Nov. 5, they should ask themselves whether they are more secure than they were a year ago. Yes, the United States defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan. But Afghanistan itself is sinking into chaos. Neighboring nuclear-armed Pakistan and India — both wracked by terrorism — are closer to a disastrous war. Al Qaida appears to have revived — witness the recent bombing on Bali and in the Philippines. Even the suburbs of Washington, D.C., have been terrified by a sniper. Americans fear not only for their lives but also for their jobs and their savings. Are Oregonians feeling more secure about the possibility of finding work while trying to feed and raise healthy children?

Will President Bush’s plan to attack and occupy Iraq make us more secure? Only days before Congress voted to authorize war, CIA Director George Tenet undermined the Administration’s case by saying that war is the one circumstance that would make Saddam Hussein likely to use unconventional weapons or transfer them to terrorists. Virtually all our allies have repeatedly warned us that attacking Iraq will throw the Middle East into chaos and promote global terrorism. Yet the Bush Administration has scorned practical alternatives, from global arms control to domestic gun control. As we prepare to spend two hundred billion dollars fighting Iraq (and much more in years of occupation), we can find less and less for health and education. Who remembers that George Bush campaigned as “the education President”?

With their past in oil and arms industries, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are willing to ask the nation to pay any price to conquer Iraq, which has the world’s second largest oil reserves. They are also involving the United States in oil-rich Colombia’s tragic civil war. Yet they have short-changed alternatives, such as wind, solar, fuel cells, and energy-efficiency, that could make us less dependent on imported oil. If America neglects these, we will find we are no longer technologically competitive in a world that takes climate change seriously. And we will face storms, drought, and political turbulence from global warming.

Dropping bombs will not solve our real problems. Voters who know this should drop candidates who don’t.

Penny Hunting

Hood River

A slice of life

Okay, it’s not world hunger. Not the war on Iraq. Not even Wal-Mart (oops, “big box”) or the casino. Okay, it’s pizza by the slice. But it means something to me. Papa Murphy’s is being bought out by, well, Papa Murphy’s. No more pizza by the slice, no more frozen yogurt, probably no more 20-ounce pop (too small to sell with an entire pizza.) Another corporate cookie-cutter approach.

Our Papa Murphy’s, the seventh-largest-producing Papa’s franchise in the country, has lost anything that could possibly make it different, unique and our own. Everything so far it seems but Tim, the manager of 11 years; let’s hope at least he stays. Pizza by the slice isn’t much, but it was something I felt I could count on. I guess I was wrong.

Anne Geller

Hood River

Yes on 27

I am writing in regard to Measure 27, labeling of genetically-engineered foods sold or distributed in Oregon. A mass mailing from John, former president of OSU arrived, detailing his concern about Measure 27 and his letter brought focus to the debate for me. He tried to comfort by saying that 70 percent of food products sold in the U.S. have some genetic engineering all supported by NAS, AMA and WHO. WHOA! The same AMA that supported the use of DDT in the 1960s? This was far from comforting. He said content labels on food would confuse people, but being ignorant of something does not, in my opinion, make it safe. John and I do agree that Oregon’s state budget deficit could be negatively impacted by this measure.

John knew he would grab my attention by telling me that education would suffer further budget cutting due to increased cost associated with marketing this now blatantly honest food. But since the Oregon legislature determines spending for the measure and since there is little room for education will there be any room in the budget for expression of this Measure as intended?

John’s letter closed by urging me to look closely at Measure 27, so I did. “Genetically-Engineered means... alter the cell biology ... in a manner not possible under natural conditions.” (In the text: 2d). Once present in natural conditions, altered material can easily affect organically growing plants, so I asked myself why buy costly, organic foods when undisclosed, altered, genetic material can make the terminology meaningless. Well John, your mailing made me think. This argument comes down to voting your wallet or voting your gut. I think either you pay now or future generations pay later. Vote Nov. 5 in favor of Measure 27.

Jules Burton

Hood River

Do new survey

As a mom, former teacher, coach’s wife, and downtown employee, I am lucky to come into contact with Hood River teenagers everyday. Almost always, I am impressed, proud and encouraged by who they are, and what they are doing with their lives!

While I know there to be drug and alcohol use, and some sexual activity among our youth, I have to question the numbers quoted on the front page of the Hood River News last week. I’d like to see another survey given to our 8th graders, maybe given to them by our wonderful middle school staff ... people who really know our kids. I trust we would see very different numbers.

Susan Beveridge

Hood River

A cat’s death

Have you ever heard the cry of agony from a cat while being torn apart by dogs? It is a heart-wrenching sound and more so if it’s a family pet.

Five years ago two dogs came into our yard and up on our porch where our slow, not able to see well, 10-year-old tiger cat was. We heard that cry and by the time we could get outside and run the dogs off the damage had been done.

There is a leash law in our county, but it is not enforced. In the past when dogs have come on our ten acres we’ve just chased them off. Not any more. We’ll not let another pet die this way.

Our property is now posted: For all you dog owners who do not care where your dogs go or what they do this is a warning. If any dog is found running loose on our property they will be shot.

What if those cries had come from a child, not a cat — would you care?

Irene Duniphin

Hood River

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