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Letters - April 6

Roeseler for Port

I am concerned about the future of Hood River’s waterfront, and that is why I am supporting Cory Roeseler for Port.

I moved here from Fairhope, Ala., where the municipality has established a covenant to maintain the entire waterfront for public access. No hotels or condos, strip malls or movie theaters are built on the water’s edge. Many of the neighboring communities have sold out to the idea that having tall buildings on the waterfront somehow creates jobs, but today, many of those condos are seasonal or vacant. Many of those tall buildings regrettably lack the kind of work that was once promised to those small southern communities.

Fairhope still thrives, with a steady economy, an environmentally friendly manufacturing business I helped to create, and a vast waterfront for families to enjoy. Please visit http://www.cofairhope.com/ to catch a glimpse of my former hometown and consider a waterfront utopia on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay.

Then consider the direction the current Port of Hood River is taking. The current commissioners have chosen developer Bill Smith to push something on Hood River based on his “Old Mill District” in Bend. The Old Mill District has turned a portion of Bend’s waterfront into a cluster of national chain stores that has nothing to do with the waterfront it claims to enhance. Sure, he made use of some old buildings, but we can do better!

We have acres of undeveloped waterfront that can either be preserved for public access, or sold off to become someone’s condo two weeks every summer. The rest of the time, I’ll bet, it will sit vacant, blocking someone’s view who was born and raised in Hood River.

You might ask why I moved here from Mobile. Well, it wasn’t because Hood River was planning to build a factory outlet mall 100 feet from the beach! It was because the Gorge is a special place where I could raise a family, windsurf, work a decent job and possibly start another business someday. As with Mobile, I enjoy the family-friendly lifestyle and the outdoor recreational opportunities the Gorge offers.

My friend, Cory, understands the difference between selling out with tall buildings on the waterfront and creating the kind of place that business owners seek to relocate their businesses. I hope you do, too, and I hope you will vote for Cory Roeseler for Port position 2 when your ballot arrives in the mail.

Allen Smith

Hood River

Great examples

Frank Wimmers, who recently passed away, was a friend and tremendous inspiration to me. Frank and his wife, Marie, were great examples of what is right about America. People of faith, they started with nothing and built a highly successful orchard business. They lived a simple life because the things they liked most, being with family, working, gardening and especially helping others, cost very little but brought them so much joy.

The world would be a better place if there were more people like them. I look forward to the day when I will see them both again.

Paul Mansur

Hood River

A question

Craig Marquardo, Hood River’s Wes Cooley?

Louis Hukari

Hood River

‘Games’ get going

I would like to thank the nearly 50 people that showed up to the Creamery last Saturday for the first meeting of the Columbia Gorge Summer Games! Thirty-five of you signed up to volunteer and many more called in over the next week.

Keith Liggett, of Stevenson, will officially be running the event this year. He helped run Gorge and Sailing events in the past and shares my vision of Summer Games that are about the local athlete and not the advertisers; it’s about the sports, not the sponsors.

With that said, Keith and nine others attended the first management meeting of the Summer Games last night and everyone left with their task to get the logistics and costs pinned down for the five core races and surrounding events in July. Thanks to everyone and may the Summer Games begin! We have signed a three-year lease for retail space on Jewett in White Salmon and it will open its doors next week. For more information please e-mail me at john@pcsafe.com

John Gotts

White Salmon

Transport needed

The just-ended “Tree of Life” exhibition at Columbia Art Gallery reminds us not only of death and life, but also of how much the people of Hood River County, sponsoring such an exhibit and hospice, care for one another. Another sign of our caring is our CAT bus service, transporting anyone who needs it within the county (weekdays, if phoned well in advance).

But, unlike our Gorge neighbors in Washington where scheduled bus service links Stevenson to Vancouver/Portland, we have no real transportation to the city for those who cannot drive — from age or disability or lack of funds for a car — we have only Greyhound, which regularly runs up to two or three hours late. This is disastrous for persons with life-threatening illness needing specialized treatment only available in Portland; for our gifted students hungering for college classes there or in The Dalles; and for unemployed and underemployed Hood River County residents unable to commute out-of-county.

I have heard this need expressed by doctors, by ecologists, by elderly residents; by young high-schoolers working part-time and hoping to get ahead. I have heard it from women slowly falling behind on time to drive ill neighbors or strangers into Portland. Yet the CAT board and director say there is no money for such a bus, that times are hard, that rural-urban transportation here, for our people, is “not a priority.”

We need them to know otherwise. We need to tell our state and county representatives that our people require adequate public transportation.

Let us attend CAT meetings (8-9 a.m. second Wednesdays, at Brookside Manor). Let us contact our representatives. Let us help one another, people of this county. Please also contact me (pnfpnf@aol.com) with your ideas; we can make this happen.

Paula Friedman

Parkdale

Wrong priorities

A human life in a different part of the world sometimes isn’t worth very much. Life is short. Consider death squads in Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sudan, and all the people the U.S. government has killed in Vietnam (3 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans). I wonder how many people our government would be killing in Iraq if their main crop was broccoli. It’s laughable where we put our priorities.

I was talking to a 10-year-old named Cheyenne the other day, who goes to May Street Elementary School, and she says they have no physical education, music, or art classes because the state doesn’t have the money for these essential classes. Greg Walden, you are on vacation right now. Where did the money go? We had a surplus four years ago. Now we’re trillions in debt. Our president spends money like it’s nothing on this ridiculous disregard toward human life in Iraq for ... broccoli.

How about our elected officials regaining their spines and demanding greater fuel efficiency for cars and trucks that should all get 20-30, even 40 miles to the gallon so we don’t have to kill people for our lifestyles.

The president also wants to fix the Social Security “problem.” He says that in 20 years, if we don’t fix it now, it will be $60 billion in debt. What difference does it make, George? We’re already a trillion dollars in debt. A billion here, a billion there.

I know where our money for schools has gone. It’s gone toward killing innocent people who have oil so we can fill our gas-guzzling cars and trucks. How many lives per gallon does it cost us? Isn’t George Bush in the oil business? His buddies are raking in record profits. Figure it out, people.

Stephen J. Curley

Hood River/Underwood

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