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Letters to the editor for November 2, 2011

Pizzas help grieving kids, Friends of the Gorge, Balance CL budget, more...

Pizza helps grieving kids

Twice a month, every month, the Hood River Papa Murphy's on 12th Street supports grieving children by providing free pizza to Providence Hospice of the Gorge children and teen grief support groups.

The donations provided by Papa Murphy's is a huge relief for families that have children who attend these support groups; it's one less thing that parents need to coordinate on school nights. We couldn't do it without them!

Colleen Ballinger

Providence Hospice of the Gorge

Hood River

Friends ofthe Gorge

In Rob Brostoff's letter titled "Living in the Gorge" (Oct. 26) it was refreshing to read about his concern for the health and quality of life of Gorge communities. Friends of the Columbia Gorge (Friends) shares his concerns.

Whether it's the proposal for a mega-casino resort in the heart of the Gorge, potential transport of millions of tons of coal by rail through our communities for export to Asia or the construction of two large, polluting power plants near the boundary of the scenic area in Troutdale, Friends is actively engaged to ensure that Gorge communities and the outstanding natural resources of the Gorge are protected.

The PGE Boardman coal power plant is a significant source of air pollution affecting air quality in Gorge communities. Friends of the Columbia Gorge and its allies recently got Portland General Electric to agree to reduce its pollution emissions from the Boardman coal-fired power plant to levels below what is required under state law. Friends also got PGE to agree to a court-enforceable order to close the Boardman coal plant by 2020 and to provide $2.5 million in environmental restoration funds, with $1 million earmarked for the Gorge.

To avoid any appearance of self-dealing, we insisted that the agreement with PGE include a clause that prohibits Friends and its allies from using any of these funds.

Friends has consistently advocated for protecting air quality in the Gorge from air pollution sources outside the Gorge. Unfortunately, the Oregon DEQ and the Gorge Commission recently agreed to allow new sources of air pollution to pollute Gorge communities without any additional protections. We are currently considering legal options to compel the Oregon DEQ and the Gorge Commission to enforce laws that protect our communities from new sources of air pollution.

If you would like more information about Friends' efforts to ensure that the Gorge is a safe place to live, work and raise a family, please contact us at 541-386-5268 or visit www.gorgefriends.org.

Peter Cornelison,

field representative

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Hood River

Are glaciers shrinking?

Adam Lapierre wrote in his Oct. 26 (Kaleidoscope) article about the 2006 debris flow forming the Hood River sandbar, "All 12 of [Mount Hood's] glaciers are shrinking, and although the cause of their drawback is debatable, the fact that they are doing so is not."

Adam, REALLY? Maybe in the sense that the cause of gravity is debatable. By all means, please do give yourself (and others) credit if you have a basic understanding of climate science.

Bonnie New

Hood River

Awards unwarranted

Some of the statements made in praise of Greg Walden's receipt of the Mark O. Hatfield Statesmanship Award ring false.

For instance, one of the "leading efforts" of Walden is his "championship of rural health care accessibility and affordability." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Walden voted against approximately 140,000 of his second district constituents to have access to affordable health care. When it passed and was signed into law, Walden voted to repeal that law.

Walden is praised for his "political moderation." Walden does not have a political moderate bone in his body. He is 100 percent far-right Republican.

Walden has also been awarded the National Religious Broadcasters Faith and Freedom award for his efforts to repeal the FCC Fairness Doctrine. This doctrine requires the holders of broadcast licenses "to present controversial issues of public importance, and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced."

Apparently Walden wants broadcasting stations to be dishonest, inequitable and unbalanced. He must want all stations to be like Fox News (sic).

The mayors of The Dalles, Prineville, Madras, Redmond and Medford should be ashamed of themselves for proposing Walden for the Mark O Hatfield Statesmanship Award. Hatfield must be turning in his grave.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Missed dam opportunity

I watched Canadian National Television in disbelief as they showed scenes of muddy water cascading down the White Salmon River. The Condit dam had been deliberately destroyed. A thrilled exponent of the dam destruction explained to viewers that wild salmon could now spawn in the area where the lake once stood.

There was no discussion of the 40,000 tons of coal that would need to be mined and burned each year to replace the electricity lost, let alone the cost of doing so to every household and business in the area. There was also no discussion of the fish hatchery near the mouth of the river which permits huge numbers of fish to spawn compared with what could possibly be produced by spawning grounds in the restored lake, even if that were to recur in the future.

There is another way to produce large numbers of salmon. That is through fish farms. The former lake behind the Condit dam would have been an ideal place to establish the first one in the Pacific Northwest.

As the former minister responsible for science in British Columbia, I had a great deal to do with establishing the technology that made salmon farming possible in our province. Salmon farming has since leaped from nothing to become British Columbia's largest agricultural product.

Salmon farms have a gross product of $800 million per year and employ 6,000 people. Their output is already more than triple that of wild salmon producers, providing fresh salmon year-round for your local food stores.

Washington and Oregon, like British Columbia, are blessed with a high rainfall. That renewable resource can be utilized for more than just clean energy. It can also be utilized as a source of food if common sense can prevail over environmental efforts to recapture the past.

Patrick L McGeer

Vancouver, British Columbia

Balance CL budget

Millions of Americans make a budget, work hard and pay their bills. Is this too much to ask of the Cascade Locks city government?

My advice: Go forward and not backwards. Whatever plan our elected officials and new appointed officials put together, I hope it includes a plan to live within our means and have a plan to balance the city's general fund without raising fees or increasing our taxes.

Don't rush the process. You have time to get the necessary help we need to put a good plan together. And don't forget! You will go along way if you base your decisions around healing the community and bringing citizens together.

Richard Randall

Cascade Locks

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