Letters - February 19

Welcome Cardinal

The following letter was sent to the Hood River County Commission:

Dear County Commissioners:

On behalf of the Hood River Valley Residents Committee, warmest congratulations to you on the announcement that Cardinal Glass will open a plant at the Neal Creek site previously occupied by Hanel Lumber Company. We understand that:

The County worked cooperatively and well with the State and with the Port of Hood River to attract and accommodate Cardinal Glass.

Jobs at the plant will pay well above Hood River’s average, and will include retirement and health benefits.

Jobs are expected to begin with approximately 50 to 75 employees and to expand to as many as 200 jobs.

Cardinal Glass is a healthy, 40-year-old company with some 18 plants around the country.

Cardinal Glass is an environmentally benign company, with little in the way of air or water emissions, and it produces thermopane window glass that saves energy in residential and commercial applications.

The plant site is currently zoned for industrial uses, and so the plant will represent an appropriate use of industrial land.

Cardinal Glass is ready to begin construction this spring and hopes to commence operations as early as this autumn, representing a rapid contribution to our economy and high-quality job base.

Cardinal Glass is asking for no more than modest tax advantages offered by an enterprise zone.

The company chose Hood River primarily due to our location.

Cardinal glass intends to become and remain part of our community.

We believe these factors represent a high level of benefit for the community from positive economic development, and urge you to use it as a model for future efforts.

Very truly yours,

Ken Maddox, President

Hood River Valley

Residents Committee

Pictures unneeded

Hood River is known for its sense of decency, community and caring. I wish the Hood River News had the same values. There was no need to use the picture of Mr. (Faustino) Garcia being carried off the field on the front page of Saturday’s paper. The story of the Garcia family could have been told without invading their privacy with a picture on the couch.

Barbara Ritoch

Hood River

Pebble to scale

I am not a consultant creating charts, diagrams and colored maps, or writing about the technicalities of watershed boundaries and zoning laws as they relate to the Mt. Hood Meadows proposed resort. I am exercising my right and responsibility as a citizen.

A good part of my life has been spent in the upper Hood River Valley and I raised my children there. They grew up on Crystal Springs water and hikes to find giant boletus mushrooms in the woods near Cooper Spur. We marveled at the sight of elk herds crossing the East Fork Hood River and Highway 35, on the move from Dog Mountain to the wild places of Lamberson and Cooper Spur. We explored parts of the historic irrigation ditch above the Cooper Spur Junction, peeked through the trees for glimpses of the steep and straight old wagon road to Cloud Cap. We reveled in the quiet while cross-country skiing high above the roads and houses, with Mt. Hood always looming yet higher.

I fear what will become of the wild places of the elk and boletus if Mt. Hood Meadows develops its proposed resort in the Cooper Spur area. I believe those wild places will be fertilized and mowed, native species will be sacrificed or expected to move along, and what is left will be available only to the club of highest bidders. Surely the very Hood River County residents employed by the resort will not be able to afford membership in that club.

I oppose this proposed development. I believe the permanent loss will far exceed any presented gain. Mt. Hood Meadows has the financial backing to present a pretty picture. It is for profit. Theirs.

Mt. Hood Meadows’ influence is a boulder. I am but a pebble. I add my pebble to the scale.

Carol Davidson


Avoid war

1. I learned long ago, in a military school, that war must only be used as an extension of diplomacy.

2. The United States has never before launched a “preventive” war.

3. George W. Bush must not now violate either of the above.

Roland M. Grotte

White Salmon

Fight with principle

As our country prepares to wage what it claims is a just war, it may be helpful to attempt some moral clarity by reflecting on the traditional conditions for a “just war” as they have been taught by Christian theologians ever since St. Augustine. I would hope that anyone who approves the war against Iraq will take the time to reflect on these principles:

1. A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.

2. A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.

3. A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause. Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.

4. A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.

5. The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.

6. The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered.

7. The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

(From www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/in-trel/pol116/justwar.htm)

I hope these principles guide and challenge us in the days ahead.

Patrick Rawson

Hood River

Give peace a chance

More than six million protesters around the globe took to the streets over the weekend with a passionate message to President Bush and his administration not to invade Iraq and give peace a chance.

I am reminded of conferences I attended at the United Nations and Washington, D.C., where world leaders were advocating peace and to learn more about how to retain it through non-violent peaceful resolution. Oregon’s own Senator Mark Hatfield worked diligently for the formation of a Peace Academy where peace instead of war would be taught. Nearly two decades later, six million people are again advocating peace and to give it a chance. But by Monday morning the drumbeat of war will drown out dissent, as it is silenced by a cattle call by Bush’s hawks and their media pigeons to get the herd chugging in the same direction. Smother dissent with patriotism, a sure fire winner.

As Bush climbs into the Axis of Evil, opposition has been discounted in advance by disqualifying celebrities, academics and allies. James Wolcott, when writing for Vanity Fair states, “The quickest way to dismiss a dissenter is to label him un-American. Judging from the media, Arab Americans don’t exist. And non-Americans — how dare they criticize the policies of this country? And Liberals, although there has not been a self professed Liberal since the 1970s, daily there is an attack on the ‘typical liberal’ as if it were a pest or plague.”

The six million protesters have little chance to affect change in the Administration’s plans. This was revealed in an interview of the president by CNN.com in Crawford, Texas, Dec. 31, 2002, when the president responded abruptly to a reporter when it was suggested that war was inevitable. “You said we’re headed to war in Iraq? I don’t know why you say that,” Bush responded arrogantly, “I’m the person who gets to decide, not you.” George W. Bush and his ministry of fear will continue, unaffected by other world leaders and the millions throughout the world who shout, “Give Peace a Chance.”

Betty Foxley

Hood River

Farmers are needed

For several years now, I’ve heard people saying, “farming is going out.” Whenever I hear that, I like to think of a quote by Marc David that says, “with every morsel of food swallowed a voice says, I choose life. I choose to eat, for I yearn for something more.” Isn’t this true? As long as we feed ourselves, it means we want to hang on, to breathe, to see a new day and to see people we care about. I think it would be wise to support agriculture. What is more sustaining, more elemental than earth, water, sun and growing crops for humans? And, we can’t possibly think about importing our food from other countries. Talk about an issue of national security! I’m co-owner of an orchard in upper Parkdale. A lot of growers are feeling the pinch of low returns for their fruit. Our business is no exception. In time, possibly not that far into the future, we may have to support our families with other kinds of employment. This is frustrating because we are ready willing and able to produce fruit. Not twinkies and cheese whiz, but fruit. Something decent for one’s body. It would also be frustrating to pursue other means of income because to do something else would be a disservice to our world. The world needs agricultural lands, it needs crops and it needs farmers. If we do decide to quit, I hope we can cut the trees down, afford the property taxes, and just let the land sit, rest and wait. We would like to use the land right now, to support the Hood River economy and feed a hungry world. But if that is not to be at this time, I want to save this agricultural land for people and governments who will see its value and support it, so it may start to produce food again.

With regard to the current goal 8 mapping process, please protect all agricultural farmland in Hood River County. We need it now and we are going to need it in the future.

Randal Gray


Keep kiteboarding

It seems a shame to ban any sport in Hood River. Kiteboarding is so colorful and exciting to watch, and most kiteboarders follow the rules.

Instead of banning the sport altogether, why don’t they advertise heavy fines for violators — something like $500. If offenders can’t or won’t pay, confisgate their gear. A few instances of enforcement, and the work will spread through the kiteboarding community.

Wendy Best


Clear consensus

The testimony that the Hood River Valley Planning Commission has heard over the past weeks has given the Commission a clear mandate. This mandate is that a destination resort is not wanted or needed in this county.

Approximately 80 percent of all the persons giving testimony at the recent public hearings were against the destination resort concept, while 90 percent or better of the audience members were in opposition to the resort proposal. This was true even after Mt. Hood Meadows bussed in supporters from distant places like Portland and Salem. These numbers represent the highest opposition yet in Mt. Hood Meadows’ 25-plus year effort to add unnecessary and unwanted housing to their resort. The commission must choose the no destination resort alternative, the consensus is clear, the people of Hood River County by a vast majority do not want this proposed resort or any other of its nature.

Goal 8 of the state planning codes does not require that Hood River County approve any forest land for alteration into a destination resort, this specifically includes areas where such a resort is opposed by strong local sentiment. There are few, if any, times that the Hood River County Planning Commission will ever have a chance to please such a large majority of the citizens of Hood River County on such an important issue as it is now open for them to do.

To approve a destination resort in any form will only open the gates to years of contention and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the county. Let’s end this battle now. I ask that the Planning Commission please keep destination resorts out of Hood River County.

Avalon K. Totten-Denton

Mount Hood

Protect the Springs

Now that Crystal Springs has delineated its water source with a map certified by the State Health Department, it should be evident that the proposed destination resort zoning around Cooper Spur Development exclude this watershed and protect it from development of any kind. The zoning ordinance should also add a section delineating Crystal Springs watershed and protecting it once and for all. There is no negotiating this physical land feature. It exists as it is, in its entirety, for no human to change.

There have been many comparisons between Hood River and Bend and in adopting Bend’s destination resort ordinance. It should be noted that the City of Bend is quite proud of its water and the fact that it is recognized as some of the highest quality water in the nation. That water is protected and managed in a cooperative effort between the City and Forest Service. The high water quality is such that it does not require a water treatment plant, only disinfecting. Hood River would do well to mirror this attitude in their land use planning.

If this development is allowed at the Cooper Spur site and over the watershed, there is the grave danger that water will be lost to existing users in the valley below. How will this fare economically for Hood River?

This zoning process needs to be halted, scientifically examined and given the time and conscientious effort necessary for a proper decision.

Susan McKenzie

Hood River

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