Letters - April 30

Roeseler, Bergstrom

Last Saturday in the pouring rain, Lars Bergstrom and Cory Roeseler started at Hood River Meadows and rode their bikes down to Hood River. Along the way, they spoke with hundreds of people and talked to them about what they expect the Port to be doing.

I thought they would cancel their day because of the weather. Lars told me, “If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.”

That’s one of the reasons why I support Lars and Cory for Port. They both are committed and will do what they say they’re going to do. They also want to listen to us and will incorporate our ideas. It’s time for new blood and new ideas.

And, why do we have to pay toll for both ways on the bridge? In the summer, the backup on the highway is dangerous and can easily be changed.

Mr. Fred Duckwall explained at Tuesday’s candidate forum that the toll needs to be both ways because we want to make sure that everyone gets charged. His response doesn’t make sense.

Ruth Berkowitz

Hood River

Fluoridation for all

The local debate over water fluoridation reminds me of the debate over seat belts, a campaign I worked on for five years. Even though seat belt proponents could demonstrate that seat belts save lives, critics resisted seat belt laws, saying “I have a right” to choose whether I or my children wear seat belts.

Time has shown that with the increase in seat belt use the number of adults and children tragically killed in crashes has dramatically decreased — by the thousands annually.

Even though fluoridation proponents can show that water fluoridation improves dental health in adults and children by preventing cavities and tooth decay, critics resist fluoridation, saying, “I have a right” to choose whether I or my children drink water with fluoride.

There will always be people who care about their individual rights over the public good.

Fortunately the rest of us will, together, base our decisions on benefiting the people in our community. We will be voting no on Measure 14-23.

Susan Denzer DeBonis

Hood River

No kidney risk

I am a nephrologist (kidney doctor). For the past five years, I have provided care for patients in the Hood River area with kidney disease and kidney failure. I am writing in support of water fluoridation.

I understand that concerns have been raised about the potential risks to kidney dialysis patients that would result from the addition of fluoride to the water supply. Water used in the kidney dialysis procedure undergoes extensive filtering and purification. This water must meet exacting standards before it can be utilized for dialysis. This process removes fluoride from the water supply, leaving it a level no higher than had there been no additional fluoride added. The result is that the kidney dialysis patient does not experience excess exposure to fluoride during dialysis.

There is no evidence that fluoride in the concentrations that would result from the addition to the water supply as is proposed contributes to bone disease or any other health risks in patients with chronic kidney insufficiency or failure.

This observation is supported by the fact that many kidney patients in Oregon and other states live and dialyze in municipalities where fluoride is added to the water supply.

The addition of fluoride to the water supply in the amounts proposed carries no risk for patients with kidney insufficiency of failure.

Hem Deodhar, M.D.


‘Sensational’ article

I stand with many other health professionals in this community in supporting fluoridation of our water. The Hood River News article printed April 16 (“‘Fluoride Facts’ not entirely true’”) misled your readers.

There was nothing untrue about anything the “Healthy Teeth for a Lifetime” campaign“ said about fluoride.

The discrepancy that Christian Knight reported on was simply over the use of the word “endorsement.” The campaign printed that several organizations, including the Hood River County Health Department, La Clinica del Carino, County Health Clinic, and Mid-Columbia Children’s Council, “endorsed” fluoridation. What they should have said was that they “are in favor of water fluoridation.” These organizations all are — they simply cannot “endorse” campaigns or lobby for anything that is to be voted on by the public. The important point is that these reputable organizations stand by the effectiveness of fluoride for improving public health. Go ask them.

Your sensational headline and confusing article was unfair to the well-meaning group of dentists and doctors who are trying to serve the best interests of the people in this town. Most importantly, it did a disservice to your readers.

Kristen Dillon, M.D.

Hood River

Are means justified?

As a longtime critic of the Iraqi war, I’ve been having some second thoughts.

The Administration’s recent change of emphasis from preventing something (WMD, terrorist attacks, etc.) to promoting something (worldwide democracy and freedom) may warrant a new look at our invasion of Iraq. If toppling one oppressive middle eastern country can give heart and hope to other oppressed peoples in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Iran and Lebanon, then invading Iraq might not have been a bad idea.

My lingering concern is with how we went about it — this business of “pre-emptive war.” To a achieve a noble goal like the spread of regional democracy abroad, is it acceptable to attack another nation, destroy its infrastructure, cause the deaths of innocent civilians, break international treaties, risk misleading our own nation, even allow torture?

The Administration’s current position seems to be that all this “bad stuff” may turn out to have been worth it in the end. There is a case to be made for this view. Years from now we may look back to see that our attack of Iraq was the precipitating factor in improving the political and social life of the Middle East (or we may see it as a tragic mistake that further promoted worldwide terrorism).

The question is, does the end ever justify the means? Does liberating oppressed peoples make it all right that we attacked and crippled one country to do it? Are these “means” morally justified in light of our hope for a good outcome?

Ancient wisdom, the experience of nations and the moral codes of most great religions would answer “no.” Good ends never justify questionable means. But could the U.S. be an exception?

It was Chairman Mao who said that his ideal society (communism) grew out of the barrel of a gun. Is it possible that our ideal society (democracy) can also grow out of the barrel of a gun?

David C. Duncombe

White Salmon

Thanks, Dave Leder

We would like to thank Dave Leder for his ongoing support of Hood River Valley High School sports over the last four years. Thank you, Dave, for all the hours you stood on the sidelines, despite snow, rain or blazing temperatures. Thank you, Dave, for the great local coverage. Thank you, Dave, for the action-packed photos. You will be missed. Good luck in Roseburg!

Melissa Princehouse, Anna Smith

and Alex Evans

HRVHS Leadership students

Race about vision

Civic duty, honesty and integrity were not enough to ensure a waterfront park; that was a citizen-led initiative.

If you read the campaign materials being circulated by our port candidates you will notice a whole list of credits. I haven’t looked up “instrumental” yet, and I still don’t believe Al Gore invented the Internet. But to be fair to Al, he didn’t claim to invent the Internet, although he may have been “instrumental.”

More than anything else, the current port commissioner’s race is about vision. A resume isn’t going to cut it.

Dallas Fridley

Hood River

Lars has integrity

I have known Lars Bergstrom for over 15 years and I couldn’t recommend him more highly as a candidate for Port Commissioner. He is an individual with the utmost integrity. He is a true giver, donating countless hours toward the betterment of our community while maintaining an incredible schedule that would exhaust the best of us. He is successful as a father, husband, teacher, and businessman.

As most Port watchers would know and understand, we need some fresh ideas from individuals willing to listen and cooperate with the entire community. Finding common ground has not been the forte of Port commissions over the last 15 years. Lars is energetic, smart, and willing to give his insights, enthusiasm, and knowledge to the community. Don’t let this opportunity go by without giving him your vote.

Pat Frodel

Hood River

Duckwall, Hosford

Concerning Port Commissioners election:

I really appreciate ANYONE who is willing to run for a public office. In most cases these offices involve a lot of time and little reward.

That said, I now want to encourage all of you to vote for Don Hosford and for Fred Duckwall.

I have known both of these individuals for many years. Both have been involved in many community activities, and served on numerous community boards.

I know that both really care about this community. In addition I do not think that either has a hidden agenda. I really think that either will vote the way that they feel is best for their constituents. I think that they are both concerned with the whole community rather than with any segment of it.

I encourage all candidates to come forward with community activities or organizations that they are involved with. This is a sure method of finding out if they have a specific interest in this position.

In closing, I urge you to vote for Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall.

Leonard Hickman

Hood River

Hosford, Duckwall

Ballots for the May 17 election should be in mailboxes this weekend. As a county resident and a property owner, I will finally have the opportunity to vote in a Port election. As a taxpayer, I have been denied two votes on the waterfront because I don’t live in town — taxation without representation! The vote on the Port Commissioner race is very important and I urge everyone to mark their ballots and turn them in — don’t be disenfranchised again! We have a clear choice — jobs and economic development or parks and recreation. I choose jobs and economic development. I choose Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall. Please, take the time to exercise your vote in the May 17 election. Re-elect Hosford and Duckwall.

Camille Hukari

Hood River

Class of the block?

Every year, as is traditional in most high schools, a group shot of the senior class is included in the annual. What has always set our school apart, however, is our seniors don’t just stand in a big mass, but form the last two digits of their graduating year. This is a fun opportunity for the students, and it also looks pretty snappy in the yearbook. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this year.

Today was the day we took our senior group shot. While the rest of the school was inside electing next year’s ASB officers, the seniors filed onto the football field for the picture and the teachers immediately began to organize us. It didn’t take long for us to notice that something was amiss. There was no shape to the order they had us standing in; we were just in a large block. We questioned the adults present and they explained that we were not going to be making numbers this year, but rather a block. The students immediately began to protest, shouting “We want 05!” upwards to the photographer. The photographer eventually explained to us that a five was too difficult to form, and it would be unrecognizable in a photo anyway, so we were just going to be a block. This did not silence the protests, and several students opted to leave the field at that point, so aggravated by the lack of effort that people were willing to put into our senior picture.

I personally find it insulting to the intelligence of our class, that they did not think us capable of standing in the shape of a five. I’ve looked back through my yearbooks, and they had no problem forming a two, a three, or a four, why is a five so much more difficult? Last year there was a sky art piece done at Westside Elementary that turned the entire elementary student body into an erupting volcano, and we can’t even make a five on a football field?

Despite our protests, the pictures were taken with us standing in a block. Everyone left the field in a foul mood, none of us happy at being converted from the class of ‘05, to the class of the block.

Corey Krutsch

Senior, HRVHS

Duckwall, Hosford

I am urging voters to please support Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall for re-election to the Hood River Port Commission. Both candidates are long-term residents and businessmen in Hood River County, and have experience serving the port commission.

I am not acquainted with Cory Roeseler or Dr. Lars Bergstrom. I’m certain both candidates are well-intentioned, intelligent people, but recent articles in the Hood River News raise concerns. Both Roeseler and Bergstrom claim the port should not have overturned Measure 14-16 even though it was deemed unlawful. I disagree — the port commissioners must follow existing laws, no matter what the majority wishes. Which laws will these candidates ignore next if elected to the port commission? Dr. Bergstrom vows to “end the gridlock” if elected. I find this ironic, that as the author of Measure 14-16, his ballot measure is one of the reasons for the gridlock.

Both Roeseler and Bergstrom claim the port should not have spent port money fighting the illegal measure. What either candidate fails to mention is the thousands of dollars the taxpayers of the City of Hood River had to spend to put this illegal measure on the ballot in the first place. Ballot initiatives can serve a purpose, but it is time special interests quit trying to run the Port (and the City) by initiative petition.

Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall have a balanced approach to the Port of Hood River property, and deserve to be re-elected.

Jon Laraway

Hood River

Change MIP law

I was recently informed of an Oregon Statute that unfairly holds a child responsible for an adult’s negligence. ORS 471.430 (Minor in Possession) states (as explained to me by Oregon state police) that a child riding as a passenger in a car can be cited for MIP if there is alcohol or any controlled substance within the reach of that minor. Although this law is well-intentioned — to keep drugs and alcohol away from children — it was poorly written to where it becomes a child’s responsibility to check an adult’s car, before obtaining a ride, for any substances illegal to them.

The way the law was explained to me, the officer can cite a 5-year-old for minor in possession if a careless baby-sitter leaves a bottle of alcohol in a car. I discovered this law’s flaw on Saturday, April 23 when my son obtained a ride home three blocks away from my house from a friend. The vehicle was pulled over and found to be not insured. The Oregon State trooper searched and impounded the car. During the search an unopened bottle of alcohol was found under the back of the driver’s seat; neither the driver nor the passenger (my son) were aware of its existence. The co-owner, a 21-year-old, came up to the car and told the officer that she had purchased the bottle of alcohol prior to going to work and had left in under the seat because she could not take it to work with her. My son was charged as a minor in possession although he was unaware and the adult confessed that the alcohol was hers.

Come on, what’s next: Are meth babies going to be charged with minor in possession? Kids should not be held liable for the carelessness of an adult. ORS 471.430 needs to be revised.

Eric Meyer

Cascade Locks

Three decisions

Why is every decision so hard for elected people to make? Here are three decisions I made before breakfast: 1) Most places, beaches along water bodies and access are owned by the public — that includes the port of Hood River — so the public decides what happens. 2) The people who want to dispose of toxic waste in our water, use tax money to buy bottled water for themselves. 3) Wal-Mart may not be perfect, but it is sure better than the present lack of shopping.

Paul Nevin

Hood River

Bring troops home

The government has released yet another report stating that there are no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. And no, there are none in Syria either. But now that our stated reason for placing our troops in harm’s way has morphed into to bestowing democracy on Iraq, this information seems to generate nary a ripple. Have we forgotten that President Bush and Vice President Cheney both contended forcefully that Iraq, with weapons of mass destruction, was a gathering threat? Have we forgotten that they argued there was no time to wait, that there were no alternatives? Have we forgotten that Colin Powell went before the U.N. with the same rationale to obtain another U.N. resolution to invade Iraq?

President Bush acknowledges that the intelligence he quoted was bad, but continues to mislead when he says we were all deceived. Many were not. They spoke up and they suffered consequences. Yet Bush rewards incompetence and bestows the Medal of Freedom upon the head of the agency responsible for the misinformation, George (Slam Dunk) Tennant. Our troops continue to be sent into the most volatile situations without enough armor, or medical supplies. Thousands of injured veterans are not getting the support they deserve. We can’t afford it, they say, while cutting taxes and bankrupting the government with supplemental off-budget appropriations. We go to war with the army we have, they say. It’s time to say that the Emperor has no clothes. Its time to support our troops and bring them home.

Jennifer Ouzounian

Hood River

Trust and truth

Trust and truth — is that what we received from Felix Tomlinson’s letter to the editor regarding the upcoming Port Commission election? It was very evident that Mr. Tomlinson has never spent much time with Dr. Lars Bergstrom and probably has never met him one-on-one.

I have worked with Lars for five years and he has always handled his fiscal responsibility with integrity and a clue; and ethical/honest behavior is very important to him.

Don’t take my word for it or Felix’s — get to know all the candidates and decide who you’d like to see as a Port Commissioner. My vote is for Lars. Please vote.

Kim Slining

Hood River

Fluoride takeover?

Well, my mind’s made up on fluoridation. I needed General Jack D. Ripper (in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove) to remind me of the real reason.

“General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden): Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk ... ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers): Lord, Jack.

Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?

Mandrake: I ... no, no. I don’t, Jack.

Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your postwar Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids ...”

Of course, I’m an old guy, started having fluoride in my drinking water in 1946 and Hood River is the first place I’ve ever lived that doesn’t use it for the dental health benefits. But I’ve missed the point! It’s our precious bodily fluids that are at stake and the takeover of our country by cavity-avoiding, subversive-supporting, hard-core followers of the Evil Empire!

Think it over.

Dick Swart

Hood River

Hosford, Duckwall

Hood River County has two excellent candidates for the Port Commission. I hope you will vote for Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall.

Experience, dedication and commitment are everything in public service. Their community service is exemplary. These are the kind of people that have made Hood River what it is — a place where newcomers want to visit and live.

Don is a proven leader that understands the importance of job development in a way that will not take away from our livability. He promotes economic development while respecting agriculture and existing industry. Don is fair and his experience as a coach is helpful in creating team work. We must not lose this good Port Commissioner.

Fred is a native of Hood River with an agricultural background and strong administration. He has given tirelessly to our community on the school board, the Chamber of Commerce, Hood River Grower Shippers and the Board of Associated Industries. He will work hard for all of the people in Hood River County. I urge your vote for Don Hosford and Fred Duckwall.

Rita Swyers

Hood River

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