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Letters to the Editor for August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011

Accident waiting

It's pretty clear I have to rearrange furniture. If I keep my computer in front of the window I am going to eventually witness a tragedy.

Since moving to Hood River Crossing apartments I have seen a runner trapped in the middle of the road for what must have seemed a long time to her; a woman and her children (one in a stroller) in a similar situation; another mother with two in tow nearly forced into the ditch; and numerous near-rear-end accidents when my neighbors tried to turn (slowing and signaling) into our parking lot.

After that happening to me several times, I now make a habit of slowing excessively and signaling long ahead of time (to the honking and gesturing of fellow motorists)!

Today was worse. About 1:30 p.m., a teal-color member of the local "Mitsubishi Racing Team" coming from the west passed two cars directly in front of Les Schwab causing the oncoming driver of a newer white pickup to take emergency moves, landing in the bike lane three abreast to avoid a head-on collision - while I watched, open-mouthed.

Several things passed through my mind at that moment: An accident was very nearly averted; this is what causes road rage; I occupy that bike lane almost daily; but foremost: Why was this not thought of long before - 35 mph is too high a speed for this neighborhood.

Almost no one goes 35, or they get passed! It needs to be 25 mph from the time they get off the freeway end to the Oak/Cascade end!

When I first moved to this general neighborhood (summer 1999) there was a stoplight "in the works" for Rand and Cascade. Though much needed, 12 years later it's not there yet!

When ground was broken on these apartments, there was mention of a crosswalk - a year later IT'S not there yet either.

Will it take two fatalities like on the Heights for these to happen? I certainly hope not; this time it could involve a family getting to Walmart.

If you make it possible for this many families to live in a congested neighborhood, don't both developer and city have a responsibility to make it safe to live there BEFORE they move in?

LaRayne Kayfes

Hood River

See 'Mockingbird'

Dear Lynda (Dallman) and "To Kill a Mockingbird" cast members Atticus, Scout, Miss Maudie, Mrs. Dubose and Calpurnia:

A very warm thank you for giving your Saturday morning to devoted readers at the library. The "Mockingbird readings enabled us to sit on the porch with you in Maycomb and surely whetted our appetite for what's to come.

It was wonderful to hear the expression in your voices and the soft Southern accents. I left the library with Miss Maudie's words about "baby steps" ringing in my ears and am so proud of the commitment we share to this story.

I encourage everyone to see Plays for Non-Profits' production of "To Kill a Mockingbird," and to support the Hood River County libraries.

Betty Bezzerides

Hood River

Wrong again

Once again your paper has gotten the facts wrong. In your "No easy solutions in Cascade Locks fire debate" story you said; "A Cascade Locks citizen committee has met twice since the city learned Thursday it is losing fire protection support from Hood River, but is no closer to finding a solution to the situation."

You also said; "Monday's continuation of a Friday public meeting of the five-member city services committee was adjourned after volunteer firefighters were allowed a few minutes to air their concerns." Boy, did you ever get this wrong.

First off, the meeting you are referring to is a city council meeting. Second, the city services committee is working to find a solution to the problems. And we had our first meeting before it was known that the city might lose its intergovernmental agreements to cover calls this city could not respond to.

Now I am the chair of this committee. We have had two meetings. We have offered to meet with the volunteers and went so far as contacting the volunteer association president for a meeting for this committee to hear their concerns and made it the first new business agenda item for our last meeting. Yet this committee got no reply back from the volunteer association; nor did a single volunteer attend the meeting.

As a matter of fact, no one from the public or the newspaper reporting this story attended any of the two meetings this committee has held. Yet this article sheds a bad light on this committee, because your paper has the facts totally wrong again.

So in the future I ask that if you are going to report on this committee, attend the meetings and report on the facts, not something as far from the truth as this story is.

Cody Steelman

Cascade Locks

Crosswalk safety

How about if we address our local crosswalking concerns? If you're not aware of it, you can get a hefty fine for not stopping for a pedestrian. I believe it's anywhere they want to cross the street, so drivers beware; also crosswalkers know the fine they can get.

Having said that, we need to educate the crosswalkers and I'm sure many of you would agree. It is vital that we stop, but it's just as important that we know how to cross. Not that we sort of don't know, but let's do it so we help out all the drivers on the roads.

Don't just jump out all of a sudden; take the time to make it known that you're going to cross - like step out enough so they can see you, maybe wave at them to get their attention.

Don't stand on a corner if you're not intending to cross at that time; step back a ways until you're ready, for the courtesy of the drivers; we want to stop for you. If you've almost missed someone it can be heart-stopping.

Let's keep everyone safe so we can enjoy our summer and the beautiful days we're having in the Hood.

Carol Hoffmann

Hood River

United voice

Thank you, kiteboarders and windsurfers, who attended the Department of Energy's public hearing on proposed cleanup actions at Hanford Nuclear Reservation last Tuesday, July 26. The wind sports community spoke out alongside fishermen, river peoples and activists to create a strong, united voice demanding a less-toxic Hanford and a cleaner Columbia for our children.

The river is the Gorge's heart, and you guys keep it beating. See you at the next hearing!

Corie Lahr

Mosier

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