Letters - October 11

Limit population

It makes sense to talk about population growth’s role in our quality of life in this valley and around the world. One of the most immediate problems around the globe is water scarcity. Oct. 20-25 is World Population Awareness Week, and we need to be aware that half of the world’s 6.2 billion people lack adequate water purification systems (In 1960 Earth had only 3 billion people.) The math is simple — more people means less water available per person. Population growth can be turned around if women have access to family planning options to choose when and if to have children.

The current U.S. president reinstated the global gag rule to limit international family planning and cancelled the scheduled $34 million in funding to the United Nations Population Fund.

Population growth equals fewer resources, such as water, oil, trees, fish, for everyone and more troubles, such as stoplights, crowded classrooms, higher taxes for everyone. Hood River’s quality of life is under these pressures. Perhaps our city council should give a nod to this basic threat to our quality of life and officially recognize World Population Awareness Week, Oct. 20-25.

Bruce Howard

Hood River

Yes on 14-16

Please join me in voting YES on Ballot 14-16, to preserve a portion of the waterfront for park purposes, for the present and future generations. We have a marvelous opportunity to let our collective voices be heard and to protect our waterfront. This is the last piece of undeveloped waterfront and once buildings are built, they will not be taken down so easily. Let’s work to protect the waterfront and make it the true diamond that it is. Please register to vote and vote YES on Ballot 14-16 to keep the waterfront public!

Susan Froehlich

Hood River

Baffling bull

There’s an old saying that those readers who have worked in a technical field (and sometimes other fields as well) will recognize.

It goes: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”

Those who attended the Sept. 24 Hood River County Planning Commission meeting regarding the water issues with the proposed Wal-Mart expansion were treated to two of the first and a phenomenal demonstration of the second part of the old saying.

First the County’s independent water expert, Mr. Ken Vigil, gave a clear and concise review of the issues and recommended denial of the Wal-Mart application. He was followed by Mr. Roger Sutherland, another water expert retained by the Citizens for Responsible Growth, who agreed with Mr. Vigil’s data and analysis methods. He concurred that the application should be denied. These were two dazzling presentations.

Then the Wal-Mart water expert, Mr. Gorman, began his interminable (about three times as long as either of the two others), mind-numbing, extraneous detail-filled explanation of how the application should be approved even though his data was the same as the previous two speakers, namely, the water flow will be increased and the flood plain will be reduced. Clearly his presentation was meant to confuse and yes, baffle the Commission.

He stated that redesigning two culverts and removing the junk from Phelps Creek would make everything better! Incredible. Further he stated that the Columbia Gorge Hotel was already in the flood plain and implied that any further flooding due to the Wal-Mart expansion would essentially be the Hotel’s fault.

Even more incredible.

In my 30 plus years in a highly technical field, I have never witnessed so great an effort to “... baffle with bull” as I saw last Wednesday. It was a truly remarkable performance.

It is my hope that the Commissioners, many of whom, if not all, have been exposed to similar attempts to baffle, recognize it as such, follow the independent analyses and deny the application to expand.

David G. Hmiel

Hood River

Closed too soon

On the weekend of Oct. 4-5 I visited Hood River’s waterfront Event Site managed by the Port of Hood River. I estimate that by late afternoon there were approximately 200 to 300 other visitors there; windsurfing, playing with their children, flying kites, watching all the activity, and generally enjoying the wonderful fall weather.

To my dismay, the restrooms were closed, “for the season” I was told. Is this another demonstration of how the Port of Hood River truly regards the windsurfing and recreational community? It certainly appears that way. Where does the Port think all these people will go ... when they need to go?

If the Port is truly serious about addressing the needs of the recreationalist community which lives and visits Hood River and also greatly contributes to the support the local economy, it is once again failing miserably to demonstrate it even by their most basic actions.

Mike Stroud

Hood River

A dogged solution

Our class read the recent letter about the dog doo problem at Hood River Middle School. We want to let everyone know that our class has come up with a solution. Mr. Tom Kost in our shop class helped us make boxes that hold plastic bags. These bags can be used by dog owners to clean up their dog’s doo. Mr. Greg Snider, our custodian, installed the boxes at both sides of the football field. We really hope they are used, because we want our school to be clean. We have already seen some people cleaning up. Thank you!

Juan Badillo, J.R. Loredo,

Cody Sprague, Max Farris,

and Kera Thomsen

Hood River

Green for danger

Here we go again! Has anyone else almost been in an accident when traveling southbound at our new stop light intersection (Brookside and 12th?) How many of us have been sitting at the light in the center lane and just when the light turns green, a car blows by you in the right lane and cuts you off almost causing a wreck?

We have already had too many unnecessary deaths in this area. Do we need more to happen? Hopefully we do not need to wait for numerous wrecks or worse yet another death to fix this problem. When the light on Pacific Avenue is installed and the paint put on the road can we spare a little white paint and make a right turn only onto Brookside?

What if there was a person in the crosswalk and your view was obstructed by a vehicle in the center lane. Can’t we stop being in such a hurry and unconcerned? Drivers need to remember the rules of the road also involve a lot of common sense and courtesy. I, for one, travel this road daily and wonder if I have seen it so many times, how close has someone else come to being hurt? Could we possibly get an officer to sit there and witness this daily occurrence? Maybe some citations issued would make someone think twice!

Sherri Kennedy

Hood River

‘Acrimonious’ act

In reading the Oct. 4 edition of the Hood River News, I was both surprised and appalled by the statement made by one member of the City Planning Commission during the Port of Hood River’s presentation on waterfront zoning. This appearance by the Port staff involved a wind shadow concern by the planning commission and the Port took exception to this issue. The planning commissioner’s statement implied directly and indirectly that Port officials and staff were somehow dishonest and that if a professional firm were hired to study the issue, it would be biased and the “deck would be stacked.”

Commissioner John Everitt certainly should know better. To cast aspersions on this body and staff of the Port of Hood River is uncalled for and further strains an already acrimonious situation that exists between these entities.

I am assuming the planning commission chairman and the city council have already concluded this commissioner is biased, has totally compromised his position, and does not properly represent the planning commission or the community.

Finally, the City Planning Commission is responsible for land use issues and not wind use issues. Leave these issues up to the Port as they have in the past, and will in the future, represented the surfing community very well. The Port values and appreciates the windsurfing community and has shown this by the many changes they have made to the waterfront.

Percy Jensen

Hood River

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