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Letters to the Editor for March 21, 2012

Support Sewell, Don't allow cable park, more...

Support Sewell

We support John Sewell for District Attorney. He has done a great job for our community for over 20 years. Why would we want to change what's working so well?

John is honest, hard-working and committed. In the hospital ER we see the co-ordination between him and other elements of our law enforcement, while he is on call for our community 24/7.

At church we see his commitment and integrity, as he volunteers for multiple committees.

We wholeheartedly support John for re-election!

Lou and Linda De Sitter

Hood River

Don't allow cable park

The Hood River planning commission (met) Monday night to discuss the installation of a kitesurfing cable park in Nichols Basin. The park will be a commercial enterprise and interfere with wildlife in the basin and other recreational uses.

The planning commission's report on the matter states no legal authority under which a private park may be built in water that is part of the Columbia River. In fact, no legal authority exists.

Under the Public Trust Doctrine, a hallmark of water law that dates back to the time of ancient Rome, the state governments hold public navigable waters in trust for all citizens, not just one private group or owner. The Magna Carta cited this doctrine and outlawed fishermen's weirs that were blocking the free navigation of rivers.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Illinois Central Railroad adopted it into law and overturned the city of Chicago's decision to grant part of its harbor to the private use of the railroads.

The Public Trust Doctrine is a pillar of our democracy and our country's legacy of allowing unrestricted access to our bountiful natural water resources. Our country has seen a move away from social and economic equality and the private ownership society has left many of us behind. Yet the Supreme Court has decided that the rivers and riverbeds still belong to all citizens equally, without extending privileges to one group over another.

Unfettered public access to the rivers for all recreational uses is one part of our heritage as Americans we must keep sacred. Allowing private owners to develop public waters for private benefit is both illegal and contrary to the ideals of our democracy.

Liz Hallock

Portland

Keystone won't help

In reply to "Start Saving" (Our Readers Write, March 17): Bill Davis states that we should "save up to prepare for 10-12 bucks per gallon for gas...." because President Obama has been reluctant to sign the deal to allow the Keystone pipeline to run across the U.S. to carry Canadian oil from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast.

Mr. Davis, you and many people should learn more facts about this project. It will not lessen U.S. dependency on foreign oil, but will transport Canadian oil to American refineries for export to overseas markets. There are many negative aspects to this whole thing; not the least of which is to the environment.

One little-known fact is that the Canadians will authorize and encourage the killing of thousands of wolves that live in the area of the extraction.

Remember this project is not drilling. It is extraction. It is not a clean process, but will require the dumping of huge amounts of water, used in the process and tainted with dangerous chemicals, into the environment.

Go to www.tarsandsaction.org to read about the negative aspects of this project and then you will not wonder why Mr. Obama and his administration are reluctant to agree to the pipeline project. Many Americans are against, it too.

Bottom line is: It is not oil for Americans.

Pennie Burns

Hood River

Cable park out of place

Our area has become a destination because of the surrounding wilderness and opportunity for recreation such as kiteboarding, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, horseback riding, mountaineering, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, windsurfing, sailing, cycling and mountain biking, fishing and more.

Building and architecture is for the most part in keeping with the rural wild character we prize. Wineries and microbreweries have sprung up as watering holes of choice and there is a growing investment in clean food production.

The proposed Naito hotel, by contrast, would be at home on S.E. 82nd in Portland. Located as proposed it is merely an eyesore which will undermine the qualities that make our area special. The cable wakeboarding setup entirely displaces uses which are already integral to our community and provides nothing better.

I believe the Naitos can do better. It is up us to make sure this happens. Developers from other areas continually seek to profit from this special place. We as a community have the right to demand that investment here remain true to the factors that make our area a world destination.

Laurie Balmuth

Hood River

Reasons for the 'no'

(Re: "Start saving," Our Readers Write, March 17)

Foreign Energy Corporation: "Can we have the Canadian oil Pipeline? Please, Mr. President? We have oil that we need to get to the Gulf ports to ship to China for huge profits."

President: "That would be no. Build the pipeline in your own country to your own port."

Foreign Energy Corporation: "With the environmental risks from a spill? With the trampling of private property rights in the path of construction? Canadians would never allow such craziness. Please, let us build it in your country. It will even provide some temporary jobs for construction and occasional spill cleanup."

President: "That would be no."

Jon Krutsch

Hood River

Kudos to

HRV drama

Another remarkable theatrical production at the high school recently - this time, Thornton Wilder's ambiguous, hilarious, profound "By the Skin of Our Teeth," realized by a terrific cast and crew under the direction of the extraordinary Rachel Harry.

Once again I feel very fortunate to live in a community with such outstanding school faculty, students and cultural events.

Tina CastaƱares

Hood River

Vigilant ODOT

The Oregon Department of Transportation, in its mission to keep state property free of trespassers, has been confiscating campaign signs that were erected on ODOT rights-of-way without so much as a courtesy call asking that the signs be removed.

You know, if somehow we could have identified the location as "their" property (it's not marked) we wouldn't have put the sign there in the first place (good thing they aren't elected). The really maddening thing is that ODOT is ignoring other signs in the right-of-way that they choose not to take down.

Now, if they did just half as good a job fixing the potholes on Highway 35 to make it drivable, we'd be getting our money's worth.

Fred Duckwall

Hood River

Vote Aaron

for DA

Hood River, like the rest of Oregon, faces major challenges. With the struggling economy, it would be a relief to get some thoughtful leaders who would spend more time focusing on solutions.

As a veteran, I am recommending Brian Aaron for District Attorney. He has the experience, knowledge and desire to make that position an example for the rest of Oregon to follow.

There have been hundreds of new veterans added to Hood River County's population, some with problems resulting from their service. Mr. Aaron is willing to work with veterans, minorities, young adults with emphasis on prioritizing cases and making the judicial system more effective and less costly to the public.

Mr. Aaron carries through with his promise to listen to the district voters. He also plans to expand the duties of the DA office.

Brian Aaron is a proven prosecutor, lawyer and responsible manager. Veterans need someone who is interested in our problems and able to make solutions that are fair and equitable.

Les Logsdon

Hood River

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