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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 2, 2011

Feb. 2, 2011

Oppose

'horse tax'

I strongly suggest you write your local state senator and representative to ask the m to oppose Oregon Senate Bill 262, the Horse Tax.

Read, learn and be aware of Oregon Senate Bill 262. This proposed bill is basically a tax on the ownership of horses. There are many problems with this bill.

Bill 262 has NO provisions for addressing its theoretical purpose, dealing with abandoned horses. There is nothing in this bill that even remotely addresses horse abandonment or abuse. It is simply a tax on ownership and an expansion of state government.

To learn more about the proposed bill, go either to www.state.or.us/bills_laws or visit my clinic website: www.hoodriveralpinevet.com and then look at our blog, on the Horse Tax.

Please, become informed and prevent the beginning of taxation of our animals.

Mike Foss, DVM

Alpine Veterinary Hospital

Hood River

Bullet math

I grew up in Oregon with both handguns and rifles. We hunted and went target shooting regularly and I am definitely not an anti-gun person.

I do, however, question the "need" for anyone other than military or law enforcement to pack a 33-round clip. Mr. Lane's statement (Our Readers Write, Jan. 19) that "a couple of revolvers" would have provided the same fire power to the Arizona killer is hyperbole at its best.

A normal revolver holds six rounds, so we're really talking about five and a half revolvers and the requirement for the gunman to juggle that many handguns in a crowd in order to fire that many shots before being wrestled to the ground.

Guns don't kill people, but people with guns certainly do, and people with guns that can shoot 33 rounds in a matter of seconds can be extremely effective killers. There's a huge difference between sensible gun laws and Chuck Heston's famous quote about prying his gun from his dead fingers.

Don Stevens

North Bonneville, Wash.

Ballots,

not bullets

As I continue to hear about the tragedy in Arizona and read the drivel from gun owners about their rights to have guns, I get more and more upset. They say guns don't kill people, people do; yet they block any attempt to make sure that unbalanced individuals cannot get them.

People with semi or automatic weapons can kill a lot more people. A couple of six-guns in the hands of an untrained, unbalanced individual would not have fired fast or accurate enough to do the same amount of damage.

Arizona representatives are even pushing forward with a bill to allow students to carry guns on college campuses. Why? To kill cockroaches or just the professors they don't like?

Don't get me wrong; I have no problem with someone having guns. I grew up in Texas, where every pickup had at least one gun in a gun rack in the rear window. What I do have a problem with is the justifications used to keep guns available to anyone, even those with mental problems.

I have a couple of proposals that might make something of a difference in this issue. I propose no "gun control," but if someone kills someone for any reason but the most dire self-defense reasons, they get automatic death penalty. No appeal; no excuses allowed. If they threaten someone with their guns, the guns should be confiscated until the situation is resolved through some form of mediation.

If the Arizona legislature passes the bill allowing students to carry guns on campus, all who votes for this bill should be co-defendants in the first murder trial. If someone incites someone else to murder or use a second amendment remedy because they don't like their looks or politics, they should be co-defendants in the murder case and receive the same punishment.

Freedom of speech is fine but inciting others to commit murder should be held akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is illegal!

Your rights end where mine begin and you do NOT have the right threaten me with murder if you don't like me or anything about me.

We should not have resort to violence to solve our problems in this country. We still have a peaceful ways to deal with issues, they are called letters to the editor, the police department and the ballot; use them.

Gregg Morris

Hood River

Help Leos

help library

During the process of rebuilding our library I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support we have received from so many in the community.

When the campaign ended I said, "It took the community to pass the measure and it will take the support of the community to bring the library back to life," and that is exactly what is happening. It is kind of amazing the number of spontaneous events like this one, that people of all ages and walks of life are putting together on our behalf.

The Hood River Valley Leos Club is a great group of kids who do all sorts of wonderful stuff. This month they are focusing their generosity on the library. The HRV Leos voted to donate all redemptions from bottles and aluminum cans received on Saturday, Feb. 5, to the Library Foundation to support summer opening of the library.

The HRV Leos further voted to match the redeemed deposits for the first 10,000 bottles and cans collected on that day, thereby increasing their redemption value from five cents to 10 cents each - up to a $500 matching gift.

The Leos will be accepting water, soda, and beer bottles and cans from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by the southern entrance to the Rosauers parking lot.

The teens of our community are committed to helping the library - help them help us!

Any questions, please contact Tom Schaefer, Leos advisor, at leos@gorge.net or 541-354-2095.

Heather Staten

Hood River

Natural or not

I have been a citizen of Hood River for five years now. In the second year I lived here there was a landslide that deposited 26 new acres of silt on the Hood River delta. My question is why has this delta has been left to expand without any plan or community discussion of shaping the delta?

Yes, it was a natural event. Is the Columbia River a natural flowing river? No. This is a man-maintained environment. Complications due to wind sport activities, beached barges and lost tourism should have at least sparked the idea to dredge the delta.

I think the problem is no one entity is willing to broach the subject due to accountability. The port, city or county of Hood River is not willing to take on such an expensive venture in this economic climate.

The Army Corp of Engineers is responsible for keeping the channel dredged, but this is in question due to the barge the New Dawn that ran aground while visibly within the channel markers. I think we can all admit that was a narrow escape from an environmental disaster the windsurfing mecca of North America could not afford.

The Event Site has become crowed and dangerous. This doesn't affect many locals due to their knowledge of other sites, but it does affect the economy if our reputation becomes diminished due to overcrowding, expensive parking and inhospitable conditions.

Cora Bradstreet

Hood River

Casino aids

People agree with this and that regarding the casino proposal, while others cry out their feelings on how it's going affect the community, the local environment and beauty of the Gorge, but if this proposal is not approved, what other proposals out there can give back $850 million dollars over time? The Nestlé Bottle Company? I mean they can provide excellent water quality and perhaps hire 200-300 people tops, but they don't stand a chance giving back as much as the casino would.

Also, with the high unemployment rate in the Gorge, citizens are forced to collect unemployment, forced to use programs such as food banks, and welfare just to meet monthly needs.

If the casino is approved it will provide 1,700 jobs, helping reduce the unemployment rate. It will also eliminate or reduce the needs of welfare assistance for families; at the same time making money available for such programs to in the future with money they give back.

The intention of the casino is not to destroy the reputation or beauty of the Columbia Gorge but rather to improve the local economy by attracting thousands of tourists daily.

I've lived in the Gorge since I was 2. I value its beauty, and the small-town feeling; but I also feel that job opportunity is important and in these hard times. I would agree that a casino is indeed necessary.

Jesus Mendoza

White Salmon, Wash.

Casino ills

In response to Arni Kononen's letter of Jan. 22 saying Cascade Locks wants the casino, I would like to let you know Hood River's opinion counts as well, because the casino will not only affect Cascade Locks, but Hood River as well. If casino is built, our traffic, our scenic view and family-oriented area will be affected.

I was born and raised in Hood River and I can guarantee you what I love the most about the area is our nature's beauty and the safe environment we have. I would love for Hood River County to keep its small towns so one day I can raise my own family here.

I am concerned about our small town turning into a big city-like town just because there would be a huge building standing out from miles and miles away. Most of the people who have been local in these towns for years are the ones who disapprove this proposal.

Sixty-three percent of Oregonians say no to the casino and conservation groups, small businesses, and family groups oppose to the casino proposal as well, says the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

The casino proposal just isn't a good idea. Because it has been proposed for so long shows us it has been a very controversial proposal. If many had thought it was a brilliant idea and wouldn't come with negative side effects it would have been approved a long time ago.

This was first proposed Aug. 30, 2005. That is about six years of debating whether it should be approved or not. If it is approved, then it will be all up to our incoming democratic governor John Kitzhaber to give the final approval.

Recently Kitzhaber did make a firm point: "I am opposed to it, period." He has said this during his entire campaign, which means he is most likely not going to change his mind.

Let's hope his opinion remains the same, and let's all protect our national treasure of natural scenic beauty and family-oriented small towns.

Lily Renteria

Hood River

Keep land, water clean

My name's Amanda and I'm currently a student at CGCC. All my life I have grown up in Hood River and it's an astonishing place with a lot of things to do. Like others, I like to do a lot of outside activities such as: hiking, biking and swimming.

Being an outdoors person, I like the view of nature itself; but the only thing that I don't find appealing is the garbage I see thrown on the ground and in the river.

Hood River is an already a polluted area, but not like Salem or states like New Mexico and Chicago. Even though at the moment we aren't as a polluted as other areas, it still doesn't mean that it won't happen.

Hood River's river, the Columbia, is already polluted. Many of us already know that, but for those who don't the Columbia was polluted by toxic waste that had leaked from Hanford Nuclear Reservation site located in Hanford, Wash.

Toxic might be one big problem affecting the Columbia, but so is garbage. The river is not our trash can. Garbage doesn't belong in the river or on the ground.

Some garbage does affect plant soil and the growth of new plants. Other garbage some animals do mistake for food, and those who do usually end up sick or dead. Killing nature is not one of our goals in life.

Help nature by keeping it clean. A clean environment will keep everything from falling apart.

Amanda Ayala

Hood River

Libraries:

a necessity

A library in a community is an essential commodity for knowledge and education. As a student and passionate reader, I find the libraries to be convenient and efficient. They provide a portal for free resources and a variety of information.

The loss of the Hood River County Libraries after the first failing election really disappointed me and other people in the community. The close-out of all the libraries was the hardest to see; how would young children and adults be able to borrow books? If these young children and adults don't have a computer at home, how will they be able to use one? Or, use these computers for educational purposes?

After a few months, the second measure for the special library district passed and hope was once again restored. It seemed the community realized the loss of libraries after the first failing measure; it brought all of us together as a community and helped the voter turnout for the second measure to pass and succeed.

This is just a portrayal of one action that demonstrates how the community did strain without libraries. With the reopening of all libraries in Hood River County, I can safely say that children, teenagers, and adults will once again have the option of free sources to educate themselves and expand their knowledge.

Vanessa Cervantes

Parkdale

Save small businesses

The future of The Dalles may be bleak: Super Walmart, the supreme financial marauder, may be constructed in this fine town.

The Dalles cannot support the drain on its economy that construction of Super Walmart would create. Small businesses in The Dalles, which provide income for many families, close on a regular basis. If Super Walmart is allowed to build, most of the spending power of the community will be used at Super Walmart.

For every dollar spent at a locally owned business, three times as much is re-spent in the community than that of each dollar spent at a Super Walmart.

Super Walmart's construction would leave us wondering exactly how the rest of the community would make a living. We are usually told a story about Super Walmart and how it creates jobs and income for many unemployed community members. When most people speak about a job or income, they usually expect at least a living wage. Employment by Super Walmart usually means part-time only; significant as this means no health care benefits and not enough money to adequately support one adult.

Instead of a quick fix that would make the situation worse, we should all be looking for solutions like creating truly living-wage jobs. This is our responsibility on the financial level as well as a society.

Community support is relevant to this or any issue. In fact, it may be the most important aspect. When a community recalls its inherent strength - after all, it is the spending power - it may easily affect whether or not Super Walmart is constructed.

The Dalles' future is very hopeful, as long as we as a community say that we won't let Super Walmart in!

Megan Perry

Hood River

Recycling questions

I wonder. I wonder about recycling. How far must the materials be carried? How much gasoline or diesel does that journey require?

How much does it cost in gas or electricity to reconstitute the materials? How much CO2 and other chemicals enter our air or drift into our water as a result of transportation and processing?

I wonder. I wonder as I try to imagine taking my roasting pan to the butcher to buy a bit of meat and then to drive home in a gas-consuming automobile with my pan jostling by my side.

I wonder what the good answers are.

Lynne Holmes

Hood River

No classes, no CGCC

At a university a student can expect countless amounts of classes that are offered in just one term. Community colleges, on the other hand, are a little different. They are smaller than a university and they do not have as many or all the classes that are offered at a university.

However, most community colleges have a decent-sized campus with a fair variety of classes to choose from. Columbia Gorge Community College is different from most other community colleges because it is small and it does not offer enough classes.

CGCC does not offer many classes. There is no variety. If a student is interested in science, nursing, or the renewable energy technology program, then CGCC may be a perfect college for them. Students are able to get their prerequisites finished at CGCC, but not all students want to take the elective classes that are offered at CGCC.

As a student at CGCC, I am not interested in taking any art or science classes as electives. Mythology or journalism classes would be great classes to offer. There just needs to be more elective classes at CGCC that a student will enjoy.

Unlike the campus in The Dalles, the Hood River campus is small and dull. There is no campus life to it. The Hood River campus consists of one building; whereas the Dalles campus is made up of three buildings.

The Hood River campus has two floors. The main floor is mostly made up of the front desk and an area where students can hang out and study or use computers. The second floor has about eight or nine classrooms - two of which are computer labs. Pretty small, don't you think?

If money is the issue for adding more classes or to make the Hood River campus bigger, then how can Hood River help bring more campus life and classes to CGCC? Who do we go to get the money that is needed to make CGCC better?

Elizabeth Marquez

Hood River

Marijuana helps many

Saving Hood River, one marijuana plant at a time:

"This is about compassion for those in need, for people who are in pain or struggling with medical issues. I want to provide a place where people can get a medicine that they have been prescribed," says Bob Niebuhr, founder of Columbia Gorge Alternative Medicine.

This is a registry located on the Heights in Hood River, offering medical marijuana in a legal way to those in need. Columbia Gorge Alternative Medicine has provided cannabis products for Hood River County card holders.

This registry should not be carrying a bad reputation for serving ill patients of Hood River County marijuana products. Columbia Gorge Alternative Medicine opened in September of 2010. Since then our medical care has improved due to the fact that we are able to provide medical marijuana to patients in need. We are lucky to have this benefit, because most card holders in small towns don't have the privilege of getting their medicine legally.

A registry and a pharmacy are alike because they both provide medicine prescribed by a doctor. The opening of Columbia Gorge Alternative Medicine has decreased the selling of illegal marijuana on the streets. Caregivers are able to donate the marijuana to the registry to be disbursed in a legal and helpful way. This has decreased the number of arrests the county has made due to the selling of marijuana.

This business has literally cleaned up our town. Some may argue that "drugs are bad," and this is a true statement. Others think that it's unethical to use marijuana as a medicine. But how can you deny a dying person the right to numb their pain? How can you deny a cancer patient the ability to have an appetite?

You can't; marijuana helps these people.

Danielle Chamness

Hood River

Casinos are not natural

As a student and citizen who has lived in the Gorge her whole life, I have always been grateful to live in a place that still recognizes and enjoys its natural look. The natural look in the Gorge has also made it a great place to be very active outdoors with kiteboarding and windsurfing which most people and myself have taken advantage of.

However, my concern for our beloved area has grown since the proposal for the casino in Cascade Locks has been approved by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The Columbia Gorge is very well-known for its natural beauty, since it was ranked sixth internationally on National Geographic's "133 Destinations Rated." A casino in Cascade Locks would just ruin that accomplishment this area has made; it is estimated that there would be 300,00 visitors per year which would just make an increase on air pollution by all the smog that would be created by cars.

Although the casino promises to bring more jobs, people would be better off working at other box stores like Walmart, that actually promise a stable low-paying job, unlike the casino.

We need to cherish these places that still contain clean air, green grass, trees, mountains and a large river so that future generations can grow up and enjoy it as well.

Sandra Guzman

Bingen, Wash.

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