Letters - May 4

14-23 a bad idea

Measure 14-23 is such a bad idea we are amazed we even have to consider it. The suggestion by others that we can replace our need for fluoridation with dental programs for low-income children shows how little is understood about the benefits of water fluoridation. Fluoride is shown to improve the dental health of all age groups, from toddlers to the elderly. No matter what their income level, families should not have to be saddled with thousands of dollars of dental care costs simply because they did not have the most effective and safest way of treating their teeth with fluoride.

Robin B. Young

Andre Young

Hood River

Roeseler, Bergstrom

I urge everyone to vote Roeseler and Bergstrom onto the commission of the Port of Hood River.

The Port urgently needs the guidance these two individuals will provide. We don’t want four more years of the same Port.

Vote for Cory Roeseler, vote for Lars Bergstrom.

Andy von Flotow

Hood River

Keep Port leaders

We are suprised to see so many candidates rumning for Port Commissioner.

I hope you will join us in marking your ballot for the two candidates with proven leadership: Fred Duckwall and Don Hosford. Please vote as this is an important election.

Brian Steeves

Monica Steeves

Hood River

Yes on 14-23

It was with sadness and disappointment that I read the literature being distributed by opponents of the Drinking Water Protection Measure. A local dentist handed me a yellow brochure and a white sheet of paper that are filled with accusations, misinformation, and a nasty tone that reminded me too closely of tactics in a recent national election.

The literature first states the measure is “promoted by out of town activists.” All of the people involved and the chief petitioners either live or work in downtown Hood River. Though I live elsewhere I drink downtown water every day. I am not an outside agitator.

It also states that “medical grade fluoride would be illegal.” This measure does not address fluoridation with a pure fluoride product! This is an out and out lie to make the public think this measure is a vote on fluoridation. It merely prevents the use of contaminated fluoride that is a hazardous industrial waste by-product.

The literature states that “Fluoridation, by enormous safety factors, has no measurable effects on the environment.” The effects of fluoride on fish are so well documented that the Canadian government has set strong regulations to protect fish from fluoride pollution.

Fluoride has effects in very small amounts and its toxic effects are manifested at levels just over the recommended “dosage.” We get fluoride in juice, soft drinks, and cereal so you can easily get an accumulative dose that exceeds safe levels. Fluorosis is a characteristic white spotting of the teeth that indicates too much fluoride already, in bones as well as teeth. Look around. I am sure you can find someone close to you that has this spotting of the teeth that can be an indicator of possible serious health consequences, like degenerative bone disease. Should they be forced to consume more? Should we?

The cover of the brochure states, “Hood River’s Dentists ask that you choose better dental health for our community over fear and misinformation.” I urge Hood River dentists to look closely at this literature being distributed.

If you care about a healthy community, let’s stop this nasty backbiting and have a real discussion about mandated contamination of our public drinking water supply with dirty fluoride containing lead and arsenic.

Thank you, and vote YES on Measure 14-23, to keep our drinking water clean and healthy.

Karey Shawe

Hood River

Bergstrom, Roeseler

The upcoming Port of Hood River Commission election is a study in contrasts. The challengers, Lars Bergstrom and Cory Roeseler, bring to the table fresh ideas, a promise of change, a pledge to listen to the voters, and a commitment to vastly improve the business climate of the Port District. The incumbents unfortunately offer nothing new, but will continue more-of-the-same policies. The failed policies of the past have given constituents flurries of lawsuits, ever changing plans for the waterfront, disdain for public input, wasting of funds, and, simply put, “good old boy” politics.

Under the current Port Commission, we have seen new business head elsewhere, the expressed will of the voters to protect the waterfront disregarded, and a commission that operates as if Port properties were their own and not the public’s.

Cory and Lars went on a journey a couple of weeks ago. In wind and driving rain, they rode their bikes from Mount Hood to the Columbia River. Not content just to go door-to-door in the city, they went door-to-door in the Upper Valley. They listened as the voters expressed their disappointment with the Port of Hood River. Time and time again Lars and Cory were praised for showing up at their door to talk of future plans, listen to their concerns, and to ask for their support.

After they take their seats on a new Port Commission, Cory and Lars will continue to listen to the people. Back room politics will become main street politics. The future of Hood River County and the Port of Hood River is bright, but challenging. The Port must actively market the area and not be consumed by continually fighting the will of the people.

Please vote for Cory Roeseler and Lars Bergstrom for Port Commission. Vote for change. Vote for your future.

Brian Robb

Hood River

Look at logging

I would like to reply to a couple of important points made in (Brent Gleason’s) opinion column, “County forest operations cost-effective, sustainable,” printed in the April 23 Hood River News.

First, I believe that public discourse is the best way of addressing questions of public policy and practice. In this instance, the public forests and the public have a clear connection.

Whatever the words “cost-effective, sustainable,” and the like are supposed to mean, it’s hard to argue against going up and taking a look. The clear-cut that I mentioned in my letter of March 19 was not a county operation. The Longview Fiber company cut an estimated 40-50 acres of trees about nine miles from the junction of Highway 35 and Lower Neal Creek Road.

You can see the expanding clear-cut by looking southeast from Highway 35 at Glass Drive. It provides a clear example of modern forestry practices in Hood River County and all over the Northwest.

Although increasing revenue for public services is a commendable goal, modern forestry has consistently underestimated the impact of logging on forests.

Forests are not agricultural operations. And modern industrial logging practices have not proven successful in balancing revenue demands with forest health and regeneration.

Mark S. Reynolds

Hood River

Thanks to News

I would like to express my gratitude for several features in the Hood River News.

Dave Leder’s contribution to our community over the past four years has been legendary. Dave’s Herculean efforts to cover all sports and local schools and programs was monumental. His enthusiasm and special interest in the youth of our community has been boundless and his positive, upbeat nature and writing style was a joy. He will be sorely missed by many.

Secondly, Christian Knight’s thought-provoking and insightful series on the Mexican Dream was excellent. The voice of an immigrant is often silent and the stories that were told gave readers an excellent opportunity to “walk in another’s shoes.” My husband immigrated to America from Ireland at the age of 7 and I’ve always believed the immigrant’s story and experience is so relevant to us in this melting pot country of ours. Like previous immigrant populations from Japan, Europe and elsewhere, our Hispanic population is an essential and vibrant core in this community where a diverse variety of multicolored threads form the beautiful, complex tapestry that is Hood River.

Heartfelt thanks to both of these reporters who are using the power of the pen to illuminate so many lives.

Becki Rawson

Hood River

What nightmare?

This letter is in response to Mr. Winans’ parallel of “nightmares” in the April 23 issue. What point were you trying to get across by writing that? Were you just discriminating? Trying to make a joke? Bored? Whatever you were doing may have offended quite a few people who have an Indian and/or Mexican heritage/backgrounds. It just takes a few people (who make comments such as the “nightmare” statement) to remind one how ignorant some people can be when it comes to culturalism vs. individualism. It is sad to see such a parallel in (the letter), especially if it was done to offend those who are just trying to better their lives, regardless where they immigrate from. I also hope it was not written in response to the recent wonderful series published in the Hood River News regarding the “Mexican Dream.” The individuals and the families portrayed are working people who help with the continuance of farming in the great Hood River Valley and help keep the Hood River Valley remaining beautiful. I hope that if his intention was not to offend, then maybe Mr. Winans should write an apology for all those who were offended by such an awful parallel.

Terri Tangalin-Piedra

Hood River

Time for change

It is quite obvious that the incumbents holding positions 1 and 2 on the Port Commission see the passage of measures 14-16 (to create a waterfront park) and 14-22 (to protect the waterfront from development) as a challenge to their authority and indicative of a movement that must be stopped, perhaps by lawsuits. They are trying to convince us that a public park on the only waterfront we have, open to all, is somehow elitist and exclusionary. Let’s show them that elected officials need to heed the will of the their constituents, not fight them; that the passage of the waterfront measures was no fluke. It is time for a change. Please join me in voting for Lars Bergstrom and Cory Roeseler for Port.

Laurent Picard

Hood River

‘Humble’ request

The election is finally upon us. This campaign has brought me to delirious highs and frustrating lows. But during the process I got to meet hundreds, if not thousands of residents — many I may never had met.

I ran for Port Commissioner because I became overwhelmingly convinced that my opponent, Kathy Watson, was so terribly wrong for the job. Before I decided to file, I had a lengthy discussion with her about the Port. Not only was it clear that she didn’t have a plan, but that (in my opinion) she didn’t really care what other people thought.

My friends who had hoped for a waterfront recreational development (other than Lot 6) thought Kathy was on their side, when instead she was ardently behind condominiums, and now industrial sites. Those who thought she was a vocal supporter of jobs and economic development were dismayed when she and her husband opened their new restaurant across the river, in Bingen. Then of course, there are many in the valley who said that after Kathy worked for the Mt. Hood Meadows resort and condo plan, which would have destroyed numerous acres of valuable forest, they didn’t think they could trust her. To me and many others, she just didn’t seem to come as advertised.

I have been told that I am an idealist. I believe elected officials should vote the will of the people, and the people should hold their officials accountable. I think the waterfront is the gateway to our community, and simply putting a “For Sale” sign on it won’t solve the problem. I think the Port needs to remember that it is here to serve not only the waterfront, or its owned properties, but the entire county.

Good government does what the private sector cannot. The Port is mandated to stimulate economic development throughout the county. With me as a Commissioner, I promise you that it will.

So in my very humble position, I am asking for your vote.

Craig R. Marquardo

Candidate for Port Commissioner,

Position 3

Three for all

Three positions on the Port of Hood River Commission will be voted on May 17. As voters review the candidates, and what and who they stand for, I believe a few critical qualifications should stand out:

Leadership, which includes being objective, listening to all, not having an agenda, keeping a balanced approach to and for all.

Experience, a history of active involvement in both business and government activities in the City, County and Port District.

Community involvement, serving on the school board, on the Columbia Gorge Center board, being a Court Appointed Special Advocate are examples from many that come to mind.

Fred Duckwall, Don Hosford, and Kathy Watson fit these qualifications, and are deserving of your support.

Being disingenuous, on the other hand, is one qualification that shouldn’t be rewarded:

Some who have worked to cause gridlock on the Port waterfront now are running to solve the gridlock they caused. You don’t hear about leadership, experience and community involvement, only their special interests.

Please join me in voting for Fred Duckwall, Don Hosford, and Kathy Watson for re-election to the Port of Hood River Commission — all three are committed to working together to achieve a balanced and healthy economy.

Bill Lyons

Hood River

Watson for Port

For too many years, the Port of Hood River trapped itself in an endless argument over job creation versus public use of the waterfront, resulting in no significant public or private investment, businesses turned away and a dusty, unsightly place which cries out to be a centerpiece for the entire Columbia Gorge.

Since Kathy Watson joined the Port Commission, this situation has started to change. Kathy has led the Port in the revision of its strategic plan. Kathy has demonstrated the vision that we can have both a public recreational waterfront and a new jobs center. Kathy understands that recreational amenities will help attract high quality employers to Hood River. Kathy’s influence on the Port resulted in the commitment to donate Lot 6 for a public park. Kathy is good at listening to the public and at working with her fellow commissioners. We need Kathy to serve a full term on the Port.

Vote for Kathy Watson for Port Commissioner.

Christine Knowles

Hood River

Vote no on 14-23

I am voting no on Measure 14-23 because I’ve lost respect for its proponents, the Columbia Riverkeepers. The Riverkeepers told me that fluoridating our drinking water would add “huge amounts” of fluoride to the Columbia River. I have since learned that the addition of fluoride would be so minute, .000004 ppm, that it will have no effect on the river. In fact, the natural level of fluoride in the river varies from .09 ppm to 1.2 ppm.

They also told me that water fluoridation would add arsenic and lead at deadly enough levels that the river just can’t take any more toxics. But then I learned that there are no detectable, measurable amounts of these elements in sodium fluoride, the compound proposed for Hood River’s water. In fact the spinach I eat has a higher concentration of arsenic than a glass of fluoridated water would.

Now I hear that the Healthy Drinking Water Political Action Committee, the PAC organized by the Riverkeepers to pass Measure 14-23, is calling folks telling them that the fluoride Hood River would use would come from an aluminum plant; an outright lie.

If the Riverkeepers is so untrustworthy on this very important public health issue, how can we trust them on the bigger issues, like protecting the river from Hanford?

Mary Jensen

Hood River

Hosford, Duckwall

Regarding the upcoming Port of Hood River commissioners election:

Fred Duckwall and Don Hosford are long-time and well-respected members of our community. Each has a track record of quality public service that goes back more than 30 years.

The Port of Hood River has been in existence for over 75 years and has brought great benefit to our community. The Port has ministered to the investment of millions of dollars into the development of properties that have brought business and jobs to our community. With funds from the operation of the interstate bridge and other governmental grants, the Port created the waterfront and continues to invest heavily into the recreational infrastructure and opportunities that benefit members of our community.

The “Port” is not a small or insignificant “partner” in our greater community. Its purpose and its mandate is about business and the attendant jobs. Without the Port, and the contributions of public spirited people like Fred and Don (and countless others from a present and historical standpoint) our community could NOT have accomplished or enjoyed the benefits of the many projects that the port has brought to fruition.

One may not love the Interstate Bridge, but no one is leaving it either. That bridge is a blessing to people on both sides of the river. Further, it’s been a triple blessing in that the cash stream provided by the bridge has provided the seed money for the waterfront developments.

Our new candidates, Lars and Cory are good and well-intentioned fellows, I am sure. I am apprehensive, however, about their experience with the greater Hood River Communities affairs and concerns and their seemingly singular focus on the issue of a “Great Big Park.” The Port Commission is a challenging and time consuming job. Further it places the commission member in the line of fire from public groups that may not agree with their policies or actions, and it subjects these unpaid community servants to unreasonable public derision. It’s my opinion that Lars and Cory are simply not qualified for the positions.

And one more thing. If the rest of you “ugly locals” don’t vote, it’s a vote for Lars and Cory. Please — vote!

Phil Jensen

Hood River

Vote down 14-23

Measure 14-23 should be voted down. The debate over water fluoridation is a public health question that should be put before the voters in a straightforward, uncomplicated way. The measure pre-empts this community’s ability to have an honest debate over whether to add sodium fluoride to our drinking water. It is biased against fluoridation — a yes vote will ban it, a no vote will do nothing. Regardless of how you feel about water fluoridation, you should vote no on Measure 14-23. Let’s have a clear-cut decision and we will all live with it.

Tammy Hosaka

Hood River

Watch the coaches

I’ve noticed there is too much politics in high school sports today. I played sports growing up in Hood River, but did not play a lot of high school sports because of some of the coaches. The coach is instrumental in preparing an athlete for the next level or just to simply boost the self-esteem of a young adult.

I did not see much of that growing up nor do I see it now. It has continued to be very political and some coaches base who they will play depending on which parent they will upset or how they are seen in the community, instead of playing the best players or the ones who work the hardest and want to play. High school sports are not about planning for the future when you have young players whose lives can be touched right now. These kids play sports because they love it, let’s not ruin how they feel about the game because a coach has their own priorities coming ahead of what’s best for the players.

Why does our community have to continue in this pattern? The parents should take a stand for their kids and end this political sporting environment. There are many ways of doing this, first of all, parents need to be supportive of their kids without voicing their opinions as to who should play or not, that is the job of the coach. Secondly, if the community sees that a coach is not acting in the best interest of the kids, then something should be done to change this instead of doing nothing and letting an influential person “coach” to affect the way young adults will feel about themselves. If nobody does anything, this will continue for many more years. Don’t the student athletes deserve better?

Karl Hoch


Fluoride no answer

When a physician prescribes fluoride, they need to take into account the child’s age, weight, intake of other fluoride-containing liquids or foods to make sure the child gets the recommended amount. If the voters decide that the city water will be fluoridated, a child’s parents should take over this duty. If your child is one of the 480 children less than 6 years old that the city water supplies, you need to calculate how much fluoride your child gets from juices, sodas and common foods, then check out the American Dental Association Web site for the minimum and maximum amount of tap water your child should drink each day. For example, if you are formula-feeding your newborn you can’t use more than 12 ounces of tap water or you exceed the ADA’s maximum tolerable limit. This means for formula-fed infants, you need to buy bottled water. If you have trouble calculating your child’s daily dose of tap water, ask your doctor or dentist, but don’t accept the answer of drink as much or as little as you want.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. One of the sources most respected by healthcare professionals is the Cochrane collaboration. They examined 74 high quality studies and found that for children who brush their teeth, water fluoridation adds no further improvement. They were unable to evaluate water fluoridation by itself, since there were so few quality research studies.

Michael Harris, MD

Hood River

Trusts incumbents

Having known and worked with Fred Duckwall and Don Hosford for many years, I have the utmost respect and confidence that they both possess the credentials and commitment to effectively represent the Port of Hood River.

It has been suggested that the Port is not getting the job done. We need to ask ourselves why. With the gridlock at hand, the answer is the group represented by their opponents, who seem to have their own agenda and refuse to accept the decisions of the elected port commission.

We need to retain Duckwall and Hosford because we need a common sense approach and representation of the people of the rest of the Hood River Valley community. The port belongs to the taxpayers of Hood River County, and I urge everyone to get out and vote for Fred Duckwall and Don Hosford.

Bob Hanel

Hood River

Foods and arsenic

The answer to Christina Thomson’s letter questioning the amounts of lead and arsenic in fluoridated water follows and should put things in perspective.

The Hood River Healthy Water Committee had two random samples of Sodium Fluoride from The Dalles analyzed by an EPA certified laboratory using EPA method 6020. Lead and arsenic were not detectable.

Using the detectable limits for lead and arsenic from the lab results and the Food and Drug testing of common foods, the following correlations can be observed.

There is 22,727 times more lead in carrots, 140,909 times more lead in boiled spinach, 34,091 times more lead in seedless raw grapes, and 22,727 times more lead in cracked wheat bread, than in fluoridated water using sodium fluoride.

There is 12,500 times more arsenic in dry table wine, 73,864 times more arsenic in cooked white rice, 44,318 times more arsenic in raw mushrooms, 1,113,636 times more arsenic in canned tuna, 9,091 times more arsenic in raw pears than in fluoridated water using sodium fluoride.

If one were to minimize their intake of lead and arsenic to EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level Goal they should probably drink just fluoridated water and not eat anything!

Pat Freeman, DDS

Hood River

‘Common sense’ Don

Don Hosford is an excellent port commissioner. He should be re-elected.

I’m tired of hearing him and other commissioners being bashed. Challengers are saying that the commissioners are distracted. You bet, they’re distracted. They have been distracted by two divisive, illegal and expensive elections where only a small portion of the voters in the Port district were allowed to express their views. They have been fought every step of the way as they work toward the goals of the mission of the port.

The Port just donated 6 acres (three football fields) of land to the City of Hood River for a park. I don’t see any gridlock here. The City and Port are working together. We should support this. This is not the time to be changing horses.

You have a ballot. Use it! Vote to re-elect the common sense approach of Don Hosford, whose only agenda is to serve the best interests of all of the constituents in the Port district.

John Codino

Hood River

Vote for change

I keep seeing these signs proclaiming “Proven Leadership” by the Port Commission Incumbents. What leadership? The only things they have proven are the following: The incumbents have failed to save Hood River from one of the highest unemployment rates in the State of Oregon. They have failed to execute yet another waterfront plan. They have failed to align the Port with citizen input and they have failed to create a waterfront for which we can be proud.

I suggest we change course, elect Lars Bergstrom and Cory Roeseler to the Port Commission and give their fresh ideas a chance. Lars is an economics professor, and Roeseler is a seasoned project engineer with a practical approach to technical problems.

I’m voting for change, this election. I’m voting for Lars and Cory for Positions 1 and 2.

Walter Burkhardt

Hood River

Letter to Wu

Thank you for your concerns about congestion and air quality here in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

We have hundreds of trucks headed from Portland metro to eastern Oregon, hauling garbage passing through here. There are thousands of trucks hauling freight to and from the Portland area, they add to the congestion, the poor air quality and the deafening noise. Your help in abating this will be greatly appreciated by all. Every time the wind blows from the west I can hardly breathe, the aroma of Portland metro is terrible and the pollution exacerbates my asthma. Ending the vehicular traffic and smokestack emissions in Portland will be a blessing.

While you’re at it, Congressman, maybe you can do something about the congestion on Highway 26, the folks in Washington County will love you for it. On your way to Grand Ronde to pick up political contributions don’t get stuck in Tigard. Recently I tried to reach Chinook Winds and got stuck in Tigard myself. We’ll all appreciate your efforts to correct those Washington County problems. Thank you in advance.

Rob Brostoff, Cascade Locks

City Council, and president,

Committee to End

Congressional Obfuscation

Lars and Cory

Thank you so much to RaeLynn Ricarte and the Hood River News for your balanced and thorough coverage of the upcoming elections. The only thing I wanted to add to the discussion was the fact that the Hood River waterfront is not the only issue on the table. While it is true that the Port of Hood River has been distracted by the waterfront for the past two years, the port district runs all the way up the Hood River Valley.

I am the director of sales and marketing at Innovative Composite Engineering. This is a high-tech manufacturer that continues to grow, building everything from drive shafts for Subaru race cars to carbon fiber parts for Boeing. We hire new employees almost weekly.

These are the kinds of positions that the Port of Hood River should be bringing into the Hood River Valley. To Odell. To Parkdale. Not once or twice a year. Weekly! With the natural, employee, and quality of life assets that the Hood River Valley possesses, we should be giving tours to prospective employers every week.

This is what will really help the people who live in the Port District.

So, while the Hood River waterfront is a very important issue to our quality of life and will only make it easier to recruit these new employers; let’s not let our wonderful park cloud the fact that the Hood River Valley is missing out on jobs that are going to Bingen, The Dalles and Portland.

The issue is not jobs versus parks. In fact, the opposite is true. Every increase in quality of life will generate new jobs from companies that move here.

There is more than enough vacant land for both jobs and a nice place to go after work. It is high time we put that land to work for us.

The issue that we get to vote on in two weeks is getting the Port of Hood River back on track. Let’s get some people in there who can focus on the real needs of the Hood River Valley.

If you are ready for a Port Commission that can focus on the issues, vote for Lars Bergstrom. And vote for Cory Roeseler.

Lars Bergstrom

Candidate, Position One,

Hood River Port Commission

Preserve filibuster

Please write your elected representative and let them know that no group is safe with absolute power. The attempt by the extreme right wing of the Republican party to hijack the Senate must be stopped. Please rent a copy of “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” (for inspiration) and in the spirit of Frank Capra, remind our elected representative that checks and balances are a cornerstone of our democracy. Preserve the right of the minority to filibuster!

Lester Appel

Hood River

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