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Letters to the Editor for March 31, 2012

Health care a basic need, Forest passes still required, more...

Health care basic need

I'd like to thank the Hood River News for the wonderful advance notice of my April 1 reading and talk at the Hood River Library April 1, 2 p.m., re "The Rescuer's Path," my new novel about compassion, nonviolence and a Jewish-Arab friendship, love and struggle for justice.

Relatedly, I'd like to thank Julie Raefield-Gobbo for her thoughtful coverage of GEM's health care forum two weeks ago. I could not be there, yet her coverage makes me feel I nevertheless know much of what took place.

Indeed, as the participating groups and Drs. Pennington and Davis make clear, health care is not something to be sold to bidders/buyers, and not a commodity to be rationed, but rather a basic, basic responsibility of any human society based on what, in another context, Keith Harding notes is our natural human compassion.

Paula Friedman

Parkdale

English

for Sheriff

Matt English is one of the most effective and productive law enforcement professionals I've ever worked with. Among his peers and other professionals in the community, he is considered a natural leader.

Time and time again, I have seen Matt solve significant operational, logistical, and personnel problems with results that are realistic, sustainable and fiscally responsible. His dedication to the sheriff's office and this community are demonstrated every day.

Jerry Keith

Hood River

Forest passes still required

Recently, Hood River News Staff Writer Julie Raefield-Gobbo wrote two articles about a man's court battle against the U.S. Forest Service and the Recreation Pass requirement at Herman Creek. She mentioned several times that it was dismissed due to 9th Circuit's ruling in Arizona, leading us to assume we no longer have to pay.

Well, I have a bit of news. Today, I was about to park my car at Eagle Creek without a Northwest Forest Pass when I encountered a federal USFS officer. He said a pass is still required at all sites and the Herman Creek case was not dismissed due the 9th Circuit, but due to a signage error. He then went on and issued tickets to cars without rec passes.

I ask Ms. Raefield-Gobbo, did you fact-check and maybe call the USFS to confirm your statements? The officer said you did not, and now your readers are the ones (literally) paying the price. Please make a correction.

Ben Parsons

Hood River

Ed. note - Both articles by Raefield-Gobbo review two recent legal cases that question NW Forest Pass requirements. In neither article does it state that passes are no longer required. Both articles indicate that a legal fight is in process. Trail users are advised to determine for themselves if they wish to risk a citation until definitive enforcement guidelines for the USFS are issued in response to the 9th Circuit Court ruling.

Better ways

to spend

Discovered in my Old Farmer's Almanac engagement calendar this morning, cautionary words from the past which I find especially pertinent for today's fast-paced, riotous life:

A truth that's told with

Bad intent

Beats all the lies you

Can invent.

- William Blake, English poet (1757-1827)

Just imagine all the really excellent projects we could accomplish with the millions being spent by the Super PACS for spurious claims against various and sundry political candidates. Or, if we bundled all that dough, we might even eliminate the national debt that we all like to rant about.

No fun in that. Then we'd have to find some other common cause over which to vent our spleen. Then again - without debt burdening our view of the world we might be so happy we wouldn't have any spleen left to spend.

Oh, ho, ho! There really might be a Santa Claus out there somewhere. Let's go find him.

Gloria Krantz of Dee

Hood River

Brian Aaron

has 'grit'

I have been a resident of Hood River County for over half a century and I have had the opportunity to witness many changes for better and worse that have occurred here in our community. During this time I have witnessed countless elections and listened to innumerable candidates make promises.

Not once in over 50 years have I voiced my opinion regarding a candidate nor have I ever before publicly endorsed a person running for office until now.

I am familiar with both candidates running for the position of district attorney and without a doubt I see only one who is clearly qualified to hold this position. That is Brian Aaron.

Based upon my personal contact and experience with each of these men I have no reservations about my choice. Brian has shown his commitment, his integrity and his tenacity in seeking justice that will best serve this community.

Brian has the energy and conviction to protect victims of crime. In my opinion Brian possesses the "grit" necessary to make the right choices and see the job through.

It is time for a change for the better. I strongly encourage you all in joining me and casting your vote for Brian Aaron for Hood River County District Attorney.

Carl Martin

Hood River

New captain needed

It seems the president is an expert at bypassing Congress and force-feeding our nation with endless red tape, rules and regulations that at best stifles any chance of improving economic conditions.

Ask any small business man or woman holding onto their floatation device if this ocean of progressive arrogance and debt meets with their approval. I get this sinking sensation they will answer with a question: "Where is our rescue vessel, and who will be our captain?"

Who knows? Possibly - maybe - there is a majority of Americans who believe that a country staying within a real budget is the best way to keep more people not only encouraged but best of all employed.

Keeping that in mind, we might have a new captain in November, standing at the helm of the USS Constitution.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Dignity

I love my bank and grocery store! Why? Because they treat me with dignity. I know that if I wait my turn in line, I will soon be the most important person in the place. I know that, if someone tries to cut in front of me, the clerk will tell him that "Mr. Dockham or 'this gentleman' is ahead of you."

That's not what it's like if you live in an "institution," such as a nursing home, assisted living facility or Alzheimer's unit. I do. A number of us wait outside the med room for shots or other treatments. If anybody - child, grandchild or friend - comes up, that person will be helped ahead of those waiting residents.

Think for a minute what that would do to your ego! It says that you don't matter, that any outsider, especially anybody younger, is more important than you.

Please think about this the next time you're wondering why your elderly parent seems to be losing interest in life. Think - and wait!

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Faith-backed politics

This is another letter directed to followers of Jesus, so others need read no further.

I need some help compiling lists of Biblical scriptures that support faithful politics on "the political right" and another list for "the political left."

I am especially interested in teachings of Jesus that seem to lean to the right or left. It seems to me it is easier to list them for "the left." I need help listing them for "the right."

So, please, Christian conservatives, send me your favorite texts for your political views as you "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind"; and "love your neighbor as you love yourself" (Luke 10:27).

Send them to me at 3675 Holly Drive in Hood River.

In about six weeks I will submit the lists to this newspaper's editor in the hope that he will publish them here. Then, I hope to host a gathering of persons interested in faithful politics to listen to each other for understanding and to state their views with faith-reasons for them.

John Ihle

Hood River

Keep it wild and scenic

The White Salmon River is free-flowing once again, now that Condit Dam has been breached and restoration work has begun. This is a hopeful sign for the return of the fish from which this lovely river takes its name.

Klickitat County wants to zone land along some of the best and closest (to the Columbia) spawning habitat for high-density (1- and 2-acre lots) development. The Klickitat County Commissioners are holding a public hearing on their scheme on Thursday, April 5, from 4-8 p.m. at the Pioneer Center in White Salmon, and I'll be there.

I live in Underwood, which isn't in Klickitat County, but that Wild and Scenic White Salmon River runs just east of my home and it is dear to my heart. Lining it with houses (with wells and septic tanks) from BZ Corner to the National Scenic Area boundary will have serious implications to the health of the river, to say nothing of the outstanding and remarkable values for which Congress designated it Wild and Scenic in the first place.

If you love this river as I do, please come to the hearing if only to bear witness to the folly of this radical and ill-conceived development scheme.

Sally Newell

Underwood, Wash.

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