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Letters to the editor, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011

Will miss Duncombe

Although I never met the man, and most of the time I did not agree with his political views, I must admit the Gorge area lost a very caring and committed individual on June 11. I enjoyed reading his letters to the editor and the articles he wrote for this paper regarding his life.

In my mind this man not only talked the talk, he also walked the walk! As far as I am concerned anyone who serves their country for two tours, works with Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders, becomes an ordained minister, counsels individuals during trying times, serves others more than himself and donates his body to science, has every right to yell from the highest mountain.

As I stated earlier, I wasn't his biggest fan, but I did respect his opinions more than most who write on this page. David Duncombe; you will be missed.

Daryn Fogle

Hood River

Passing of

a legend

On June 8, 2011, Joe Lawry passed away. He was around 90 years old. He was a legend in the motorcycle trail riding group in the Hood River, Ore., area.

Joe started building and riding trails on the east side of the Hood River Valley around 1980. Around 1990, he started to help build trails on the west side (Post Canyon) with the hope of connecting the west side to the east side.

Around 1995, most of the Hood River Valley had a single-track trail from Post Canyon, across Middle Mountain and Pinemont Road, connecting into the Mosier Loop Trails that Joe had started. Today, the Hood River Valley Loop is part of the master plan for the recreational trails in Hood River County.

Joe was still helping to build trails about six years ago when he had a bad motorcycle accident coming down Kingsley Road at the end of a day. He loved riding and building trails for the local riders.

We plan to dedicate a future staging area on Fir Mountain in Joe's name. His ashes will be placed in a few special places up on the trails that meant so much to him.

Please think of Joe the next time you ride the Hood River motorcycle trails. He loved to see riders up on the trails having a great time.

Rick Higgins

Hood River

Good dialogue

I don't know Steve Kaplan, but I know from his letters to the editor that he is a thoughtful and caring family man and a conscientious and productive worker. So, when he says he is a capitalist also, that confuses me.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the following description of capitalism: a person who has capital especially invested in business; broadly: a person of wealth: plutocrat. 2: a person who favors capitalism. (www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/capitalist)

My confusion lies in whether he is a person of wealth, a person who invests in business through the stock market maybe, and/or a person who favors capitalism. The fact that he deplored the Enron case where many people lost their life savings makes me believe that he favors capitalism but with controls (as I do).

I had no intention to belittle his letter, but just to ask for clarification. Thank you, Mr. Jensen, for doing so. Karen Harding wrote a very good letter (June 15) on the subject of corporate power and its abuses abetted by the Supreme Court's recent ruling that a corporation has the same rights as individuals.

I think we are having a dialogue through letters to the editor, which I think is a very good thing. I want to commend the editor very highly for bringing this about.

Anne Vance

Hood River

Consider CL

fire district

I watched the City of Cascade Locks budget committee last night on local TV channel 23 perform its tasks. The city manager and staff presented to the committee a balanced budget. The committee proceeded to attempt to deal with the city's debt and find ways to do so within the budget presented.

The fire chief's salary and benefits were targeted specifically. They reduced the chief's salary by more than 10 percent. I noticed that no other city employees' salaries or benefits were even considered in this process. It seems to be an unfair decision and rather discriminatory to target one particular employee and not address the others.

Perhaps it is time to form a local fire district and remove the power and control of finances from the city and give it to a newly formed fire district so that the personal prejudices of certain power brokers can be checked and our local fire protection safely secured.

Chaplain (Major) Patrick

Stuart, USAR (Ret.)

Cascade Locks

Say 'no' to more waste

You need to respond to this editorial like your health depends on it, because it does. Three things you need to know:

1. The United States Department of Energy is coming to Oregon again to solicit public comment on their proposal to bring MORE hazardous material to Hanford. It is not just the disposal of waste at Hanford that puts the public at risk. It's also transporting it on public highways, railroad and water ways.

When a semi truck loaded with radioactive waste jackknifed on I-84 near La Grande in December 2008 it should have served as a wakeup call.

The first responders to a local radioactive accident are our local fire department (your spouse, brother, son/daughter). If people are hurt in a radioactive accident they would come into our local Mid Columbia Medical Center hospital. Those employees then in turn take it home to their families, further distributing it into our communities. This directly affects you and I; and I am taking it very personally.

Public comments on expanding Hanford for storage of more chemical/radioactive waste: (ends June 27, 2011) http://www.gtcceis. anl.gov/involve/comments/index.cfm

2. This week our United States government has proposed through the House Appropriations committee by cutting about $20 million from the 2012 budget for Hanford cleanup. See details at the website below. Article on Congress's $20 million budget cut that impacts the Hanford Cleanup: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/06/15/1530866/hanford-house-proposes-20-million.html 3.

The Hanford radioactive material that was pushed down into the aquifers below Hanford has already reached the Columbia River in several places already. See EPA 910-R-08-004 January 2009 "Columbia River Basin: State of the River Report for Toxics," page 8.

I know this to be true from personal experience, as I have elevated levels of uranium (and other heavy metals) in my body. Learn more here: Hanford & the River (by Columbia River Keeper): www.columbiariverkeeper.org/public/documents/h_r_report_11.pdf

More information can be found here: Department of Energy - Hanford website (last updated June 16, 2011): http://www.hanford. gov/page.cfm/RiverCorridor

Please take the time to tell the Department of Energy "No" to more radioactive waste being brought to Hanford. Your health and the health of your family depend on it.

Sandra Ihrig

The Dalles

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