Letters to the Editor for March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

Attention music lovers

March is finally here and with it comes the hope of spring and warmer weather - we are really blessed to live in this part of our beautiful country. And with the spring comes the fourth of our roster of five community concerts for this season. And have we got a treat for you!

On Monday evening, March 28, at 7:30 in the auditorium of The Dalles-Wahtonka High School, The Mid-Columbia Community Concert Association is honored and thrilled to present to all of you concert members, and non-members too, the lovely and talented harpist Anna Maria Mendieta.

She is an exceptional and charismatic harp soloist. Her performance includes tango interludes. Violin, cello and percussion provide instrumental accompaniment. Her concert also features a flamenco dancer in addition to Anna Maria's tango partner.

Something you all will be amazed to see is when she is playing a lovely tango on her harp and her dance partner comes dancing by and gracefully takes her by the hand and swings her out onto the dance floor - without missing a beat - where they perform a tantalizing tango together. And when they finish he gracefully swings her back to her harp. It is really something to see.

Anna Maria is the principal harpist with both the Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera in Sacramento. She earned her degree in music with honors from Notre Dame de Namur University where she now serves on the faculty. She has appeared in movies, on TV and on PBS; and when she's not at the harp she's on the dance floor.

This concert is not only a treat for the ears, but also for the eyes. All of the gowns and costumes are strikingly beautiful.

So once again you all are in for another lovely evening of music and beauty. So be sure to take out your pen and mark a big circle around Monday, March 28, and come prepared to be thoroughly enchanted by these lovely and talented people.

On another note, our final concert of this season will be on May 12 when we will present the Wind Soloists of New York. That is when you members may bring a guest free of charge to acquaint them with the quality of concerts that we present. (More on them at a later date.)

Marilyn Keys

The Dalles

Forgive and join

This is a time of world tragedy when most of us cannot do anything about what is happening. We can donate a few dollars, but we can't hold a hose to put out fires in Japan or rebuild a tsunami wall. Perhaps, then, we should focus on our loved ones, our friends.

I'm sure you have someone so close to your heart; it actually bothers you that this person seems to get so much more out of everyday life than you do.

This person seems to appreciate everything. "So what if it's cloudy and raining here - there just might be a rainbow soon; or "It's snowing up there on the mountain for that much-needed fire protection during the hot summer months, or all the fun the mountain snow can bring."

So the next time someone you know (or don't know) smiles and wants to stop, even if you're both drenched with rain, to gaze at a beautiful flower or curious little animal for a brief moment, forgive them and join them and smile with them! They ARE enjoying life - don't you think you should too?

Nancy Wilson Waters

Hood River

Safe driving

Ms. Vance's letter on Wednesday (March 16) obviously took a long time considering how well it rhymed. It failed to discuss some obvious and serious things about driving in the Gorge and fuel efficiency.

I drive to places like Glenwood, Trout Lake, Stabler and Parkdale in snowstorms to feed my family and provide home health services to patients in need. Other people are afforded the opportunity to work from home on their computers to meet their family obligations.

Since my situation places me at greater risk that the home office parents, I make a conscious choice to drive a Subaru which gets only 25 mpg in order to make it home safely to my wife and children.

I hope Smart Car drivers are considerate of this fact as we pass each other on the road. They are granted the benefit of knowing I am very unlikely to lose traction and hit them while they go about their business.

Some things are not as clear as they appear on the surface. With all due respect Ms. Vance, I love the environment, but I love my family much more.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Blame bad policies

Gregg Morris' letter Wednesday (March 16) implying that Glenn Beck's some sort of spokesman for Republicans is ridiculous. It's like saying that Keith Olberman, Joy Behar or Louis Farrakhan are the Democratic National Committee spokespersons.

Beck's simply a highly paid talking head making an insane amount of money stirring up the loony left. A right which is guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution.

Unlike Mr. Morris, I'm not a follower of Glenn Beck so I don't really know what he says, nor do I take the idiot seriously.

Let's talk about someone with more credence: Congressman Mike Capauano (D-MA)? He's speaking to the Wisconsin Union supporters about how they should fight Republican efforts to reform the unions.

I quote: "Get out in the streets and get bloody." This is an elected member of Congress. Telling people what? Does he want them to self-mutilate, leaking blood in the streets for the cause? Or maybe flagellate themselves like those whackos in the Dark Ages?

No, he is telling his audience to go out and attack anyone who does not support the public employee unions. People like myself whose only crime is having the gall to disagree with the great, all-knowing liberal mind.

I will say this again: Contentious POLICY incites this violence on both sides of any issue.

I was a union member for many years. I was forced to pay money to belong. Union leadership took my dues and used a LARGE portion to support Democrat candidates and policy. I quit and started my businesses to get away from their attempts to "spoon-feed" me Bill Clinton's policy.

If the situation were reversed, the Republican Party were sole beneficiary of union support, Democrats would be clamoring to dismantle these same unions. The American Civil Liberties Union would be suing in every venue they could get an audience, trying to put a stop to it.

It's about perspective. Unions are an unnecessary anachronism, as witnessed by their steady decline in the private sector. Unless unions are supported by state governments like Hawaii or Illinois, the general working public wants nothing to do with them.

And the federal/state policies of paying union "prevailing wage" on highway construction jobs adds BILLIONS of dollars a year to the cost of infrastructure maintenance. Money America doesn't have.

Cliff Mansfield


High-tech registration

According to the latest figures, some 75 percent of the estimated 30,000 drug-war murders in Mexico last year were linked to firearms bought in the U.S.

In most states, it is legal to buy guns with only a criminal background check. Beyond that, the law has no control over who subsequently might possess those firearms or how they are used.

One U.S. citizen recently bought a bundle of AK-47s at a gun show, and then in plain sight, handed them over to a Mexican national.

The Supreme Court has ruled that it is my Second Amendment right to own a gun. But it was silent on what responsibility this right entails.

What if I were to be held criminally responsible for how it was used by another person? Say I purchase a gun in El Paso, sell it to a cartel operator in Ciudad Juarez, and he shoots someone with it. Shouldn't I be charged as an accomplice to the crime?

That might make me think twice about how I exercised my Second Amendment right to gun ownership; i.e., who I sold it to, who borrowed it, who might steal it, etc. Rights always carry responsibilities. There is no reason the right to own a gun should not.

And how could a weapon be traced back to me? Standard practice is to file off the serial number when it is used illegally. But now modern technology makes it possible to embed an electronically readable bar code within the gun metal itself - a code that is registered with my name and fingerprints at the time of purchase.

Will this eliminate the flow of guns across the border? No. But it sure might slow it down!

David C. Duncombe

White Salmon, Wash.

Others' money

A few months ago the library closed. There were little children in front of the library holding signs and begging for us to open the library. We put it to a vote and it failed.

Sometime later after the children put a paper chain around the library to drive home the fact that it was "locked down" we had another vote. After much letter writing from Google and the people across the river who have no need to pay the bill, it passed.

Now you have an ad in the paper for a library director. SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS a year! Holy camolie!

It must be quite a rush to spend other people's money.

Mike Farmer

Hood River

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