Letters to the Editor May 14, 2011

May 14, 2011

Arnold for Position 4

I am writing to recommend Charlotte Arnold for the Columbia Gorge Community College Director Position 4.

Charlotte has years of business and education experience and the people skills to do an excellent job. She's smart, honest and hard-working, and strives for excellence in everything she does.

She will take the responsibility of this position seriously and will work diligently as a team player to accomplish tasks and meet goals. She has the smarts, energy, and open-minded attitude that are vital to a board position.

I urge you to vote for Charlotte Arnold.

Mary Ann Hay

Hood River

Letter to my congressman

I always understood that the current rating system for bonds marketed by Wall Street, et al, provided them an essential service and convenience. A service for which they pay a modest fee to presumably unbiased, objective and unimpeachable businesses (such as Standard & Poor, Moodys, et al).

I have just learned that this rating system has been contaminated by pressures within certain businesses offering these services to Wall Street banks, which contamination has resulted in inappropriate and unsubstantiated numbers. Unfortunately, these false numbers have been and continue to be used by innocent bystanders in making their financial decisions.

I really don't care what numbers Wall Street folks like to bandy about for their entertainment until I see those numbers wreaking havoc among my friends and neighbors. Right now I find myself way past being really angry. We do not have time nor resources for this kind of silliness.

Please exercise your power to fix this dysfunctional practice. If you can't do anything else, please ensure the integrity of whatever rating system is utilized in such Wall Street shenanigans.

If you can't do that, then please use your bullhorn to bring to light a deeply coveted secret which has ruined thousands and plunged our economy into its deepest depression since the BIG one which occurred early in the last century.

Synopsis: Dear Sir, FIX IT. Yesterday already. No bank is too big to fail. We all know that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Thus should bank CEOs and their boards of directors keep all their feet planted on solid ground.

Please ensure that you and your constituents (all we little guys whose sweat and toil hold up this edifice called the U.S. economy) are informed prior to the impact of such high-fliers. Thus may all the innocent avoid becoming "collateral damage" as the whales of commerce do battle in the deep seas of economic theory.

Gloria Krantz of Dee

Hood River

Protect Medicare

Later in life, health care is available to many of you and to your families, to veterans of our country's wars, to farmers and clerks, to professionals, to service industry people, to retirees and teachers because of Medicare. Many of you might not be able to afford lifesaving procedures and therapies without it.

There was a recent vote in Congress on Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal that included replacing this system with vouchers to be used in the for-profit private insurance market. "For-profit" translates to "companies keep 30-50 percent off the top for their investors and to pay their management well. You get scraps unless you have a pre-existing condition, etc., whereupon you get nothing or close to it."

Greg Walden voted for this bill that essentially repeals Medicare.

Remember who is served by the current not-for-profit Medicare system. Is it you? Your parents? Your favorite teacher or coach from school days?

Tell Greg Walden that he should protect or expand Medicare; not gut it. And go have a look at the difference between a not-for-profit nursing home and the kind that puts its investors first.

Your taxes are paying to put Walden and the rest of the Congress in not-for-profit homes while he is fighting to put you and your family in the other kind. Talk about a death panel.

John M. Wood

Hood River

Taxation IS representation

The way I see it, taxes aren't the problem, it's the irrationality of the "Let's do everything we can to avoid our fair share" mentality that's wreaking havoc on our society.

People don't mind going shopping for the things they need and want - the malls are filled to capacity even during this recession - but they hate to put a penny into the community pot. People don't seem to realize that paying taxes is how we shop for civilization.

We're not going to put together a rational tax policy in these United States until we acknowledge that taxes are good for our country, good for our society and good for all of us - but only as long as we all participate (that's right; I'm looking at you, GE) and pay our fair share.

Stuart Vance

Pleasantville, N.Y.

Vote for Arnold

I am writing to encourage you to cast your vote for Charlotte Arnold to serve on the board of directors at Columbia Gorge Community College.

Charlotte is a lifelong resident of Hood River Valley and has seen this community through many changes. She was indeed, part of those changes when she founded what is now the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy. She is an excellent businessperson who is dedicated to lifelong learning and growth.

I have known Charlotte for over 10 years. She has been a personal mentor to me, to my daughter and to thousands of students over her 40-plus teaching years. As a member of the CGCC board, I know that she will bring that same dedication as well as knowledge, insight and energy to the job.

Cast your vote for Charlotte! She will be a strong voice on the board with a proven eye to the future!

Ann Harris, career counselor/academic advisor, CGCC

Hood River

Arnold for CGCC board

I strongly encourage the voters of Hood River to consider Charlotte Arnold to serve as a member of the Columbia Gorge Community College Board of Education.

Charlotte has dedicated her life to being a friend, mentor and positive role model to the youth of Hood River.

As a business partner and associate of Charlotte's for the past 35 years, I feel strongly, and believe, in her dedication, integrity and service to our community.

Please consider her for your vote.

Margaret Dallman

Hood River

Raise ceiling

We've heard many conservatives propose Social Security fixes, such as cutting benefits or raising the retirement age. What we don't hear is that Social Security is not in any way responsible for the current budget deficit.

Up until last year, Social Security collected more in taxes than it gave out in benefits. It lent the surpluses to fund the rest of the government. Simply collecting what the rest of the government owes it will keep it in the black for the next 26 years. And a simple change will ensure that it stays solvent much longer than that.

Right now, income above $106,000 is not taxed for Social Security. That means that while most Americans pay Social Security taxes on every dime they earn, the wealthy only pay Social Security tax on their first $106,000 of earnings.

This ceiling, which is indexed to inflation, was set in 1983 to hit 90 percent of all income. It was assumed that as the ceiling rose with inflation, the payroll tax would continue to hit 90 percent of all income.

But today the ceiling only hits about 84 percent of income. It went from 90 percent to 84 percent because a larger and larger portion of total income has gone to the top.

In 1983, the richest 1 percent of Americans got 11.6 percent of total income. Today the top 1 percent takes in more than 20 percent. If we want to get back to the 90 percent, the ceiling on income should be raised from $106,000 to $180,000. The Social Security problem would be solved without any reducing benefits or extending the age of eligibility.

Why isn't anyone talking about this? Why are conservatives so bent on solving the budget problems on the backs of the poor and middle class?

Tim Mayer

Hood River

Keep Carroll, Mahurin

Of the seven names to choose from for board members of our Parks and Recreation District, the two incumbents, Art Carroll and Glenna Mahurin, are "must-be's"

Art and Glenna have dedicated much time in the field following months of planning, discussions and input from the other board members as well; prior to implementing their unified decisions under the guidance of their director.

Art Carroll and Glenna Mahurin have served us well in the past and will do so in the future. I invite you to check out their latest accomplishment: the access trail from the community college's parking lot and its connecting bridge to the Indian Creek Trail. Art knows how to do it right.

I visited a Parks and Rec meeting; It was like a beehive, swarming with activity!

Note: Our Parks and Rec district is separate from our county's parks department.

Alan Winans

Hood River

Small-town benefit

Thanks to a senior moment, I locked my keys to the car inside the car. I stopped at the store downtown where my wife was shopping and told my sad story.

Mary Kay took the time and effort to drive us out to our house, about 3 miles out of town, to get our spare set of keys.

Thanks to Hood River Stationers and Mary Kay our afternoon was not a bust!

Only in Hood River!

Ted Perry

Hood River

Teach your kids safety

As a child growing up, I remember being taught a few things to keep myself safe when crossing streets. Things like "look both ways," "always use the crosswalk" and "never run out from between two parked cars."

It seems over the years, parents have just not taken responsibility to teach children these simple things to learn to take some responsibility for their own safety; in fact, I just witnessed a group of kids being taught to ignore crosswalks at one of the most dangerous intersections in our community!

In this case, a group of kids that I assume had been at the swimming pool were led across 13th Street at May on the south side of the intersection, the side with no crosswalk at all, instead of using the crosswalks. While this would have made it necessary to re-cross May at the signals at 12th, it seems the few minutes longer it would take to use the safety devices provided would be worth the effort in teaching these little ones the basic rules in safely crossing streets.

What is worse, the adults "teaching" these kids to ignore what most of us were raised to follow is were probably school district employees, or at least volunteers at the school!

Another thing I see frequently are parents parking in the yellow no parking areas at the crosswalks in front of the middle school on May Street, totally blocking drivers' views of any children attempting to use the crosswalks - again, "teaching" the kids that ignoring the rules (to say nothing of putting others at risk) is OK if it saves you a few minutes, or gets you a few spots closer to where you want to be.

So, parents, and it seems some instructors: The next time you get up-in-arms about "child safety," take a moment to ask yourselves what your actions are teaching the kids you talk about trying to keep safe. And how about the school district making sure the people in charge of the kids are teaching them the basic safety rules about crossing streets, rather than taking short cuts to save a few steps?

Gary Lindemyer

Hood River

Arnold is experienced

I am urging voter support of Charlotte Arnold as a candidate for the Hood River County Columbia Gorge Community College. She is a thoughtful, educated career woman who will bring a wealth of experience to the college board.

She has worked in private industry, teaching technology skills; she founded and continues to operate a dance academy here in Hood River and serves as a fashion representative for a popular line of clothing.

Charlotte was born in the valley and she lives with her husband of 40 years here. All three of their children were graduated from Hood River Valley High School. She has seen the valley evolve from a sleepy farming community to a diverse economy including agriculture, high technology, tourism and other industries.

She is passionate about serving the college in providing the educational opportunities tailored to our own community.

This range of experience will make her a valuable member of the CGCC board of education. She will serve as a fine representative to the taxpayers who have generously supported the students, faculty and staff of this excellent local institution.

Christie Reed

Hood River

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