Letter to the Editor for April 25, 2012

Bike or walk to school

I currently attend the sixth grade at Hood River Middle School. I would like to inform you that Walk and Bike to School month begins May 1.

Walking and biking is a great way to stay active and healthy. I would like to encourage my fellow students at local schools to participate in Walk and Bike to School month.

If all drivers could please be on the lookout for walkers and bikers. Walkers and bikers please follow the rules of the road. Happy walking and biking!

Dylan Chambers

Hood River

Support people of CL

I really enjoyed the April 14 “Another Voice” article from Cascade Locks about the CAVE (citizens against virtually everything) people. I have yet to hear any positive suggestions from the anti-everything folks as to how to improve our local economy by creating jobs.

So far the general cry is always “The sky is falling,” or some version thereof. I would like to see some sympathy and support for the people of Cascade Locks.

Ruth Turner

Hood River

Keep ‘water independence’

Declining resources yes, but for water — no substitute. All of us are well aware of the issue of declining oil resources. The cost of a barrel of oil keeps going up and we know there is no end in sight. But we are searching for other alternatives — solar, wind, natural gas etc.

Many of us however are not aware of another declining natural resource — and that is water. All around the world, large bodies of water are drying up. Even in our country, the Colorado River is so depleted that it no longer runs to the ocean. Recent projections on Lake Mead (behind the Hoover Dam) is that it could be dry by 2021.

The reason we should all be far more concerned about the depletion of water is that there is no substitute for water and every human requires it to live! Without oil, we may have significant discomfort; but humans have lived for thousands of years without oil, but can’t go a week without water.

Selling our natural water rights to a multi-national corporation like Nestlé is a huge mistake. We threaten our very existence by selling our water rights and will impoverish the Gorge in the future as water becomes ever more expensive and in short supply. The short-sighted gain of a few jobs that could be created by Nestlé will never compensate for the fact that they own a precious resource that we all need.

We seek “oil independence” from the Middle East through solar, wind and alternative energy sources. We are tired of being beholden to others who own this resource and force us to pay high sums for it.

In the Gorge, we have “water independence” through the natural springs that are a part of our region. Selling our natural water rights to Nestlé is to enslave our future.

We have a choice to make: Say NO to selling our water rights to Nestlé.

Ann G. Kramer

Hood River

Fraternally yours

I think we need to take notice of our fraternal clubs around us. They do and have done a lot for the community.

I speak of the Hood River Elks 1507, the American Legion Post 22, the Eagles 2150 — they have done a lot for charities in our town. Now they need us to help them or there is not going to be any Elks, Legion or Eagles.

We need to step up and pay our dues and go to our clubs at least once or twice or more a month to have lunch or dinner, and see some old friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

Come down and play a good game of cards, maybe a little pool and maybe a drink, and just see what you have been missing this winter. There have been a lot of things going on with our clubs — and by the way, women can join these clubs, so as the old saying goes, it’s not about the men any more (sorry guys).

So take a friend out for lunch or dinner at your club and ask them if they would like to join?

Lyla Parrish


Help protect dolphins

I am in first grade and my school is learning about endangered animals. I chose to learn more about why dolphins are endangered. I found out that one of the biggest threats to dolphins is from pollution: both marine debris and invisible toxins we create every day.

Marine debris is anything from a sandwich bag thrown into the ocean to a lost fishing net. Many dolphins accidentally eat marine debris causing injury and death. Toxins can include things we use every day, like our automobiles, air conditioners and household products. These all create many toxins for the dolphins.

Please think about everything you do and how it might affect the ocean and the dolphins. Every day you have the opportunity to choose and change your behavior. I want to do better and try to help save the dolphins! I hope you will too!

Bree Albiston

Hood River

Just thinkin’

We were just thinkin’: Do any of the three candidates running for sheriff have their pilot’s license (like Joe)? And do they know how to ride a horse (like Joe)?

Scott wants to know if they can hunt down an elk (like Joe)? Scott of course does not want to offend any vegetarians, he just wants to know if the candidates can read a Metzger map, compass and track someone in the snow, on foot, by horse, or by air?

We are assuming they know their business in forensics etc. Hold your horses, we’re just thinkin’: This is also a compliment to Joe for all of his talents.

Gail and Scott Hagee

Hood River

Cable park

A cable park in Hood River will only make this town even more world-class!

Joby Cook

Hood River

Forewarned is forearmed

I live in a small town in Michigan located in one of the poorest counties in the heart of Lower Michigan. In Mecosta County, 45.8 percent of students attending school receive free or reduced lunches and 29 percent of the families are below poverty level.

Nestlé did research on Mecosta County over a two-year period before the residents heard of Nestlé’s plan to withdraw, divert, bottle and sell out of the watershed over 263 million gallons of spring water per year. Upon hearing of Nestlé’s plans 12 years ago, citizens formed the grassroots organization Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation.

Nestlé purported to be a “good neighbor” company to our area, yet it continued to pump at high rates during a long period of low precipitation and lower recharge. Even when dramatic impacts and damage to lakes, streams and wetlands occurred, Nestlé continued to pump. Nestlé was cautioned by the trial judge that it proceed at its own risk in building its plant.

True to form, Nestlé pushed ahead in building its plant and continued to threaten the possible loss of jobs as a way to strong-arm our governor and legislators. Most of those jobs are now held by temp workers with no benefits or job security.

Lives have changed for the people of Mecosta County and the over 2,000 members of MCWC since Nestlé came to Michigan. The issue has pitted neighbor against neighbor; friendships have been severed. Nestlé has violated our lives directly and indirectly with telephone polling, private investigators, FBI visits to our homes and a threatened SLAPP suit against my son.

MCWC spent over a million dollars on the lawsuit against Nestlé. We continue to hold fundraisers to pay our legal and environmental expert bills. I would caution the residents of Oregon to ask hard questions and don’t take Nestlé’s word for anything.

The bottom line is its only motivation. Irreparable harm has been inflicted by Nestlé on our waterways, wetlands, tourism industry and the fabric of our community. Water is our heritage and our culture. It must be protected for our future generations.

Terry Swier

Mecosta, Mich.

Please, no cable park

We have been coming to the Gorge/Hood River since 1985 and love it! We now own a place in town and come down from Seattle as often as possible. We hope to retire in Hood River — some day.

The proposed cable park and hotel project just seems so out of step with Hood River. People come to Hood River to enjoy the natural beauty of the place as well as ALL the wonderful recreational opportunities. All the friends we have introduced to Hood River over the years love it because of these natural attributes.

I feel the cable park unfairly takes away a prime area for everyone to play right in the middle of Hood River and does so for someone’s personal profit. Whatever happened to the windsurfers’ and kiters’ mantra of “the wind is free”? Selling out to commercial interests?

The cable park would change the whole feel of a great area that is enjoyed by many. The area would be adversely affected by the sight and sound of the cable park.

I do not feel that people come to Hood River for mechanical theme park-type entertainment and think it would be big error to allow the boat basin to be permanently impacted by this project and taken out of the public domain. I am hoping that this project is not approved.

Toldy Dolack

Seattle, Wash.

Holste goes extra mile

Every now and then, in some families, along comes an outstanding son or daughter. They are never in trouble, no smoking or drugs along the way, outstanding grades in school, always willing to go the extra mile to help out wherever it is needed. We ask ourselves, “Where did he or she come from?”

Having known Neal Holste from the first day he was born in Hood River until this present time, I’ve got to say without reservation that he is one of those people who come along every now and then!

Being Neal’s uncle, and along with Aunt DyAnn, we can proudly say that Neal is a man of immense integrity, honesty, faithfulness, dedicated to his Christian walk and a great husband to Amanda as well as an awesome father to their four sons. I know he will be the sheriff of Hood River County for years to come.

He will be a sheriff who takes his position seriously; a man who practices the word commitment and who loves Hood River.

Neal is the perfect candidate for sheriff! A man of character, he will have the utmost dedication and devotion for the safety of all families in Hood River County. I only wish that we lived in your beautiful Hood River, so we could cast our votes for Neal Holste as sheriff!

John Rybarczyk

Caldwell, Idaho

Support English

Please join us in support of Matt English for Hood River County Sheriff. While we are sad to see our current sheriff retire, we are very confident that Matt will continue leading the department with the same professionalism, compassion and vision Joe Wampler has brought to the position over the years.

After talking with several county deputies, who are backing Matt, we are convinced he is the best choice for sheriff.

Valori Worth and

David V. Princehouse

Hood River

Vote for English

I’m writing to urge you to vote for Matt English for sheriff. As the former chief of police I’ve had opportunities to see Matt in action, and how well he works with fellow deputies and members of other agencies. He is a dedicated and intelligent man who has the character, integrity and work ethic that the Hood River County residents need in their sheriff.

Matt wants to be sheriff for the right reasons. He is committed to our countywide community for the long term, and he has the best interests of the citizens driving his decisions — not personal agendas or gain.

Matt is the only candidate, in my opinion, with all of these characteristics. Please join me in voting for Matt English.

Bruce Ludwig

Hood River

Vote Sewell for DA

As a retired victim’s advocate representing victims in the District Attorney’s Office for 18 years, I can assure you John Sewell cares about victims and has dedicated his life to the prosecution of criminals. This takes a special kind of person.

Mr. Sewell is not a man who is in a popularity contest and sometimes has to make decisions that are not what everyone wants him to do. He is a person who puts his community and their safety first. He is an honest man who is above the good-old-boy politics of “You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”

He has 28 years’ experience in the courtroom and believes in justice for victims. There is a real difference between a man who has defended criminals his entire career and a man who prosecutes them.

Your district attorney represents you if you are ever a victim of a crime. Would you prefer a person who has spent his entire career keeping criminals off the street, which is what Mr. Sewell has done? Or, do you want a man who has spent his entire career defending criminals and trying to help them avoid being held accountable?

I am voting to re-elect John Sewell for our District Attorney and I hope you will join me in keeping passion and dedication in the District Attorney’s Office.

Jackie Henson

Hood River

Nordbye inspires

Peter Nordbye is running for State Representative District 52 in this May’s Democratic primary and deserves your support.

Several years ago I changed my affiliation to Independent in large part because of my dismay in seeing the growing influence of big money on our political system and the major parties.

Peter Nordbye has been a colleague, friend and neighbor for years, and when I found out he was running for office, and his stand on financing of elections, I not only gave him $50, I signed on to help as a campaign volunteer.

What a refreshing change! If you are non-affiliated like me, or a member of some different party, you can’t vote for Peter in the May primary, but you don’t have to stand on the sidelines. You can have an impact on this race, and support Nordbye who has made a commitment to address the huge problem of campaign finance.

Nordbye’s campaign can still use all the support it can get. You don’t need to be a Democrat to volunteer or make a contribution, however; Peter will only take donations of a maximum of $50 per person, and you do need to be a resident of District 52 to give money.

When Peter is elected, he will represent ALL of the residents of District 52 — not just Democrats. To get elected, he could use all the help he can get from Democrats and non-Democrats alike. Please visit http://www.neighborsfor-nordbye.com/, donate if you can, and see how you can get involved to elect such a great candidate.

I realize many voters are discouraged with the political process, but here is a refreshing change — a candidate who will work for the people and not be influenced by the big-money special interests.

Talk to your neighbors, donate if you can and volunteer to help even in a small way.

Doug Sharp


Home-town Holste

I am writing this letter in support of my friend Neal Holste. I have known Neal for about 17 years both personally and professionally. I first met Neal when I was in high school football and he was one of my coaches.

Growing up in Hood River my family, close friends and teachers helped me make correct choices in life that helped define who I am today. Neal has been one of those people. Neal helped me start my career in law enforcement.

Neal encouraged me to apply for a Reserve Officer job which turned into a full-time job a few years later. Neal has always been approachable and has always listened to what I’ve had to say. Neal has always had or made the time to talk to me about anything on my mind either personally or professionally.

Neal has a passion for his job and his profession. That passion shows in his commitment to our schools, children and our community. I have no doubt in my mind that Neal is the right person to be our next sheriff.

Please join my family and me in electing Neal Holste for Hood River County Sheriff on May 15.

Sal Rivera


Conserve and save

Here is something to ponder the next time you are fuming about the high price of gas: Instead of blaming Big Oil, the Obama Administration or the kooks in the Middle East, consider getting a more fuel-efficient car. There are several models available that get more than 40 mpg and the cost savings of such a vehicle are significant over time.

I’ll give you an example. I purchased a new Toyota Prius almost nine years ago. That vehicle now has 140,000 miles on it and averages about 45 mpg for my driving conditions. That means I’ve used 3,111 gallons of gas over the life of this car. Assuming an average price of $3/gallon, I have spent $9,333 in fuel costs.

If, on the other hand, I had driven a less fuel-efficient car that only got half the gas mileage, 22.5 mpg (which is about the national average for cars these days), then I would have spent $18,666 in fuel costs. That is a big difference.

My total savings in fuel costs so far are more than $9,000. And the best part is that the higher gas prices go, the better the investment gets. Fuel economy makes a lot of cents!

Tim Mayer

Hood River

Mom voting for Aaron

In light of this being child abuse awareness month, I feel it is necessary to inform the citizens of Hood River County of my experience with the current District Attorney’s office.

I never imagined my daughter would be the victim of a violent crime. Words cannot express the emotional pain a parent suffers when they discover their own child has been victimized.

Even worse, I never expected to witness the lack of concern shown by the Hood River DA’s office. I was shocked to learn that my daughter’s case was eventually dismissed due to lack of prosecution.

Abuse and crime can happen to anyone. Therefore, we need a district attorney we can rely on to prosecute criminals. I am aware of other victims in our community who are also dissatisfied with the lack of prosecution by this office but are afraid to come forward. It is clear, this office needs a change.

Citizens of this county deserve better and should have a voice that is heard by the district attorney when crimes are committed against them. We need a district attorney who will be responsive to victims.

As a result, I am voting for Brian Aaron as Hood River’s next district attorney and urge you to do the same.

Wanda Martin

Hood River

Aaron takes ‘high road’

When you decide to think about the person you want to support for office a lot comes to mind. I can say that for Brian Aaron. If you want him to tell you what you want to hear, you won’t get that from Brian, but he will tell you the truth. I had that experience with him and was thankful.

After attending the recent candidates’ forum at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, sponsored by the Hood River Rotary Club, I became even more convinced that Brian Aaron is the man I will cast my vote for.

The reason why is one of the guests attending leveled serious and false accusations against Mr. Aaron. Mr. Aaron showed great poise, maturity and respectfully responded to his statement, and reminded others present that this is an election about choices and issues, not about personal attacks on candidates.

I along with others was personally disappointed by the guest’s comments. It was so refreshing to see a candidate take the “high road” and not get caught up in negative politics. This has been so prevalent in today’s elections.

Please vote, and join me in voting for Brian Aaron, a man of true integrity, honesty and character.

Carol Hoffman

Hood River

Re-elect John Sewell

I have known John Sewell both personally and professionally since 1986. Over these years we have both lived in the community and raised families here. I am a sergeant for the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office and I speak from years of experience working with John.

As our legal advisor John makes himself available to the law enforcement officers in this county 24 hours a day. When we have questions he is there for us with the answers.

Criminals are only held accountable when investigating officers build complete cases, with legally admissible evidence that will stick in court. John knows this, we know this, and we work together to build cases that will stand up in court.

I know John Sewell to be a devoted family man who is equally devoted to pursuing justice as our district attorney. John is committed to the citizens of Hood River County and he deserves our continued support.

Please join me in re-electing John Sewell as our district attorney.

Jesse Flem

Hood River

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