First things first
I applaud and admire this young man "Benjamin" whose desire is to further his education and improve his life. His goal is to go to college and learn to teach Spanish at colleges and universities and then further, enter the applied linguistics master's program. This is quite a goal for an obviously bright and intelligent young man.
Unfortunately, someone somewhere has done him an injustice. Was it the school he attended? The teachers and guidance counselors surely must have realized that he had the potential to have a great future and should have helped him to understand that unless he is a citizen of the United Sates, he would not be eligible for financial aid or student loans.
Was it the responsibility of his parents? After all, they must have known the roadblocks he would encounter that would impede his success. Their own experiences have told them so.
Could they have started the wheels long ago and began preparing him by encouraging him to begin to study for the test that would lead to American citizenship and therefore eliminate these problems? Yes, they could have and they should have.
Did Benjamin himself know that there would be these steps toward his goal that could have made the process easier for him when the time came? And if he did know, why didn't he prepare for it himself or at least ask for guidance?
Benjamin did not ask for it, but my advice to his is to study for his American citizenship and the rest is gravy.
Here is a radical idea for Zach Olmstead, to fight the system: Bring a sack lunch to school instead of buying a lunch. Then you can have what you want.
When Hood River Valley High School was new, it was an open campus. Some used it and others abused it, ruining it for everyone and the campus had to be closed.
Parking in downtown is awful. I just bought what I thought was the minimum $1 ticket from an electronic dispenser, only to find out I had been "given" two hours and charged $2.
I thought "I can solve this" and I walked over to city hall - only to find out they have no way of returning someone's money when the electronic meters don't work right.
In fact, I was told "This has never happened before." I was also told "The dispenser worked fine. It gave you the correct amount of time." The dispenser didn't work. They can add my voice to the growing litany of voices decrying these contraptions.
I know parking is a problem in downtown. I know the city means well in trying to fix it with meters and tickets, etc. But it's ruining downtown. My wife and I used to be regulars at the restaurants and stores all up and down Oak. Now we rarely go down there. The loss to downtown far outweighs any money the city has made on our parking.
When will our city officials wake up and solve some of the problems: like adding a parking garage or two; or by offering a shuttle service for people who work in downtown so they don't have to park in downtown?
I know: Everyone in city government should have to park on the street, use the meters, pay the dispensers and suffer the consequences. Then, and only then, would they understand that parking in downtown Hood River is awful.
Do the right thing
To whomever robbed the Encore Video store Friday night: Did you know you were robbing a business that was already on a downward spiral into debt? Did you know you robbed a child of God?
These are some excerpts from Encore Video's Facebook page before you decided to be a coward and rob them:
"Well, here is the gist of it: We are in the midst of having DVD Blu-ray and games seized to satisfy a debt to Rentrak (one of our old suppliers). We will still have VHS and audio books and after tomorrow any returned DVD/Blu-rays for rent.
"Prayers and assistance with paying of l/c's and debit accounts will be very greatly appreciated or this one: movies and games checked out at this time are NOT subject to the seizure - but DO need to be returned on their due date. We need them to increase the inventory again :)
"I so appreciate your support in this very difficult time. Please say your prayers for us!"
I hope you know that God sees everything and you will be caught. Maybe not right now, but someday you will have to answer to almighty God for what you did. Do the mature and right thing-return the DVDs and the cash.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow." Praise Him for all the talented/gifted medical personnel here below.
Especially praise Him for the skilled 9-1-1 operators and emergency medical technicians whose captain diagnosed my need (via an EKG) for a heart stent, then called LifeFlight to arrange for an expedient trip to the Portland Providence cath lab via a four-gurney journey for an ASAP procedure.
Heart Attack (H.A.)! Who, me? Had it not been for the talents of these four skilled EMTs, I wouldn't be here today to write this letter - praise the Lord! They had the workings of a Swiss watch!
Their teamwork demonstrated what can be accomplished when their focus is on life-saving goals.
I was greeted by several talented personnel at each gurney exchange. Praise God!
If you think that you may be experiencing a heart attack, don't go to the emergency room; call 9-1-1. I felt like I had a 300-pound weight on my chest, followed later by sweating.
P.S. Become a member of their LifeFlight program.
No free ride
This is for the 'Dreams and politics' story in the Saturday, April 19, paper. This so-called Benjamin got a high school and two years' free college ride education. I think that's good enough.
He won't even use his real name. As far as we know this is all a big scam to get more free college. He lost his sponsor. The system must have found out he was illegal.
The system, U.S. property tax and income tax payers. Our country has paid just about enough on illegals. They clam us as racist if we don't pay. There are thousands of kids out there that would give anything for a free college ride.
Now he is enrolled at Portland State University. Now he says unfortunately now, I have to use my savings to live on going to school. Well, poor Benjamin, how many students are doing that at the present time and students in the past? Join the club.
I don't believe this Benjamin was stranded or marooned, like it says in the statements of Senate Bill 742. Do you think if I had a fake passport to go live in another country and they caught me, the officials would send me right back to the U.S.?
I am disabled and I will show you how I live:
I receive $1,128 a month for Social Security Disability.
Minus $300 a month for property taxes.
Minus $200 a month for doctors, medicine and co-pays.
Minus $100 a month for car and house insurance.
Minus $200 a month, conservatively, for Pacific Power and Northwest Gas.
Minus $25 a month for irrigation, which you have to pay.
Minus $200 a month for gas and automotive upkeep.
Which leaves me $103 a month to live on. DHS gives me a whopping $16.
And if that Senate Bill 742 passes, who ends up paying for it? Property and business owners. It is all baloney.
It doesn't matter what color your skin is. If you're illegal, you're illegal. I am sick and tired of hearing how bad illegals are being treated.
Wednesday afternoon, at 3:15 p.m., to the accompanying crescendo of wind and hail, Heather Soderberg's Sacagawea and Seaman sculptures were installed in the Cascade Locks Marine Park turnaround, fittingly next to the Columbia, adding to an already awe-inspiring vista.
Sacagawea needs no introduction; Seaman was Lewis' Newfoundland who accompanied the expedition. Heather, who is as beautiful as her sculpture, recently came to Cascade Locks, after fighting financial and personal costly delays to establish her studio and foundry here.
Heather and her father are both internationally known for their sculpture. Cascade Locks is now home to two artists featured on Oregon's premiere television art show, Oregon Art Beat, which is broadcast on the PBS channel. Both Heather and the Lorangs are located across from each other on WaNaPa, the main street in the city.
Heather has created a memorial to the Lewis and Clark Journey of Discovery which is unsurpassed in the Gorge; it's the crown jewel in the crown jewel of parks in the Gorge, Cascade Locks Marine Park. Seaman and Sacagawea will be photographed and featured as icons of Cascade Locks and its park.
My thanks to the Port of Cascade Locks and Heather Soderberg for enriching our town.