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Letters - August 6, 2005

Love and conquer

In response to “Love, not conquer,” in the July 30 Hood River News “Our Readers Write.”

To understand the Assembly of God message we must understand the teaching of the Bible, and how Jesus Christ (having God’s nature) fits into God’s plan for mankind. Christ’s first coming was as a suffering servant (2,000 years Ag). His second coming will be as a Conquering King (hopefully soon). The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is Jesus Christ. The details of His battle against Satan and his followers are explained in Revelation 19:11-21.

The Bible reveals Jesus Christ as a loving, merciful God to all those who are willing to receive His forgiveness and submit to His authority. He is patient and long-suffering, desiring that all might come to repentance.

The Bible also reveals Jesus Christ to be the executor of God’s judgment. He will bring to justice all those who refused to acknowledge and glorify God. Death and destruction await those who are rebellious, who refuse to ask for his forgiveness and submit to His Lordship.

If we pretend that only half of God’s nature exists and the other half doesn’t, we have a very distorted view of God, and will be in for a huge surprise on judgment day.

With the above in mind, we can understand the Assembly of God message which read, “There is victory in surrender when the conqueror is Christ.”

Gary Simpson

Hood River

Don’t trash rivers

This is to everyone in the community who likes to take advantage of the numerous and wonderful swimming holes that we have hidden and not hidden all over Hood River County.

Recently I went swimming at one of these and was quite disappointed, as were my friends, at the amount of garbage, broken glass, and smells of human waste. Who are you that disrespects your fellow man and the beautiful river we have for our enjoyment?

Please try and clean up after yourselves. If you want to get drunk and smash beer bottles do it on your own property not on everyone’s.

Joe Sheahan

Hood River

Support Commission

Several weeks ago the Hood River Planning Commission followed the will expressed by city voters this spring and recommended a 100-foot setback from the top of the bank for new development at the waterfront with the possibility of a 75-foot setback with special approval. This recommendation is consistent with statewide goals, which would require a minimum 75-foot setback from the top of the bank. Water-dependent uses such as a pedestrian walkway or a boat dock are allowed within the setback.

Unfortunately, the Port of Hood River does not support the Planning Commission’s recommendation nor the State’s standards. Instead, it wants the city to adopt the recommendations made by its paid consultant, which would allow development much closer to the water’s edge. Why?

In the past the Port has argued it needs to develop as close to the water as possible to get the most money it can for yet-to-be-named economic development purposes. Yet, it seems the Port is awash in unutilized and underutilized property further back than 100 feet, which could potentially bring it plenty of funds.

How about the Expo Center? What high-value-added, job-creating use is currently being made of it and the land on which it sits? What about the vacant land to the east and southeast of the Expo Center? What long-term use does the Port have in mind for the building to the east of Hood River Distillers? What plan does the Port and Luhr Jensen have for the Luhr Jensen building once all Luhr Jensen’s jobs are sent to China? What fitting use does the Port have in mind for Lot 7 and the Nichols Boat Basin?

Seems to me the Port has plenty of vacant, soon-to-be vacant and underutilized property. To quibble over a 100-foot setback when there are thousands of feet available really misses the mark.

Hood River already has too much development too close to the water’s edge — development that limits protections for the river and the public’s access to it. Hood River has voted twice and spoken repeatedly not to let the mistakes of the past be repeated. A 100-foot setback along the Great Columbia River — for all it provides to this community — is not too much to ask.

The Hood River City Council will take public testimony on the 100-foot setback Monday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. in the council chamber above the police station at 211 Second Street. I encourage everyone to attend and speak in support of the Hood River Planning Commission’s recommendation for a 100-foot setback at the waterfront.

Brian Harris

Hood River

Tell City Council

Monday night at 6 p.m. the Hood River City Council will once again decide whether to support the public’s interest in seeing a river protection buffer along the Hood River waterfront that would prevent development down to the water’s edge.

At packed public hearings last year the public repeatedly told the council that we wanted to see a significant river setback to protect river access, water quality, river winds and the scenic beauty of the Columbia River.

The Port of Hood River stood alone in pressuring the council to exempt the Port from even the minimal 75-foot state setback requirements. Sadly, the former council caved into the Port’s interests. As a result, Columbia Riverkeeper and others filed a referendum and over 61 percent of the public voted to overturn the City’s exemption for the Port.

The planning commission has now recommended a 100-foot river setback along the entire waterfront. Although state and federal water quality and fish experts recommend a 250-foot buffer, the Commission’s decision is a major step forward.

While Columbia Riverkeeper believes the council should adopt at least a 150-foot river setback, some on the council appear poised to cave into the Port’s special interest once again and not even require the 100 foot buffer.

When communities across the country are trying to preserve their waterfronts as public open space, it is hard to understand the push by some to allow development on the water’s edge.

If there is only one meeting you come to this year, please come let the City Council know what you think on Monday Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers on State and Second.

Brent Foster

Hood River

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