Letters - August 30

Waterfront realities

Recent letters to you, including Laurie Balmuth’s guest editorial, concerning Port of Hood River issues deserve comment. I am happy to see that new arrivals to the valley are concerned about the future of the area. Most letters however are full of inaccuracies and meaningless comparisons. For instance the waterfront area is currently zoned industrial and the Port along with the city are trying to determine the best fit for rezoning to commercial, park, etc., not turning it back into industrial land. Comparing this area to Milford, Conn., is a non-starter. Apples and Snakes. The “short term” gains she speaks of have been in the offing for 30 years, with a plethora of port commissioners with all kinds of political stripes. Most have had only the best interests of the “county” population at heart.

Working together, the City and the Port along with a commercial firm with experience in this area, are using the expertise of successful and similar sized developments to determine what will work for “all” of the constituencies.

I have read where some people think the Port tax base would fund a park on lot 6. The Port tax base won’t even cover the lights, water, other utilities, and toilet paper at the marina, let alone any payroll. The city of Hood River cannot afford this option. Security alone for a park on the freeway with no people presence during the winter and night would require more city police just for starters.

I have been told that Tom McCall Park in Portland, which so many compare to us, has a tax population 1,900 percent more than the city of Hood River. After 15 plus years on the port budget committee, most of them as chairman, I feel I have something to say about this subject.

The Port is trying to clean up the waterfront. You people won’t let them. You elected three people a few years ago who claimed they were going to do that. That was a disaster that cost the citizens of this county over $7 million in missed opportunities. None of them are still on the commission. The upcoming initiative on the city ballot is another misguided attempt. Reality, process and fiscal responsibility have to prevail.

Let our elected officials do what we elected them to do.

Felix Tomlinson

Hood River

For Maryhill music

My husband and I just attended the Buddy Guy/Los Lobos concert at the Maryhill Winery. What a great venue—good blues, crisp wine, yummy food, big views, and an enthusiastic audience.

We were a bit surprised at the low attendance and hope that all the good people at the Gorge will support the Maryhill Winery and attend future concerts. We hope this for very selfish reasons — we want to return next summer for another concert. Support live music!

Sheila Liermann

Ketchum, Idaho

Wise words

During times of controversy and divisiveness, a wise person once opined, “Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You both may be wrong.”

Allen E. Moore

Hood River

Questions logic

In a letter to the editor on Aug. 23, Leonard Hickman says it’s “self-serving” for people to be against Wal-Mart’s big box, yet not opposed to Cardinal’s factory in Odell.

Let’s see if his logic is reasonable. Yes, the buildings are about the same size, about 185,000 square feet, covering about four city blocks. Otherwise they differ in every significant aspect.

First, the Wal-Mart’s big-box is located in an area that will eventually be incorporated into the city of Hood River, not in an industrial park specifically built for industry. Second, Wal-Mart’s proposed big-box would generate at least 12,000 car trips per day, resulting in 24,000 cars passing through two new traffic intersections. Third, Wal-Mart proposes to relocate Country Club Road and move in 6,000 truckloads of fill during construction, inconveniencing thousands of people. Clearly, Cardinal’s plant would do none of these things.

As for jobs, Mr. Hickman says he doesn’t know if the proposed Wal-Mart would cost jobs in other sectors. Actually, Wal-Mart’s own studies show that jobs are lost from the existing retail sector wherever a new store is located. Cardinal, on the other hand, proposes to create 60 new jobs.

Finally, Mr. Hickman says that people’s opposition to Wal-Mart “depends on whether or not you perceive that this would affect your livelihood.” I’d prefer to speak for myself, Mr. Hickman, and on the contrary: what concerns me is not livelihood, but liveability.

J.P. Harrison

Hood River

Paint the town

Although a fairly recent arrival in the Gorge area, I already love it. It has so much to offer both residents and visitors. However, I wonder if anyone has considered placing a mural on the back of the Union Building in Hood River? The back of that building, which faces the main Interstate entrance to beautiful downtown Hood River, is not very attractive. Even the simple mural on the building beside the toll booth is so much nicer than the Union Building’s chipped and fading derriere.

Although not an artist myself, even I can envision a colorful collage of the Gorge’s resources and recreations in that space. It would be a much more inviting entrance to the Hood River Valley. With all the artistic talent in this area, I should think a fantastic design could be developed.

Nancy Sliwa

White Salmon

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