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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 11, 2012

See ‘Of Mice and Men’

Another terrific play at the CAST Theatre warrants another letter to the editor. I’m always sorry when I have to miss one (as I did with the Spelling Bee musical last month) but grateful when my schedule permits an evening at the Columbia Center for the Arts.

This time, thank you to Linda Dallman for bringing Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” to life in Hood River. The play has another weekend to run and it deserves a full house each time.

Everything about it was good, and I want to give special acclaim to the principals, Greg Gilbertson as Lenny and Tom Butler as George. For a play to bring tears speaks to its power and also its performances.

The relevancy and depth of the material would be great to discuss with friends and family members. Go see “Of Mice and Men”!

Tina Castañares

Odell

Trickle down?

I’ve been listening to the talking heads on Fox News and MSNBC debating the merits/demerits of “trickle-down economics” with no clear winner. So, I decided to perform a study to determine if such a thing exists and, if so, what are its merits.

After exhaustive research, admittedly unscientific and blatantly subjective, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

If trickle-down exists, the trickle must come from somewhere.

It must originate from the wealthy because they’re the only ones who have anything to trickle.

If it is trickling, it must be going somewhere, presumably into higher taxes or to the less rich in the form of more jobs and larger paychecks.

The economy does generate wealth, which circulates creating more wealth, raising all boats, as the saying goes.

Clearly, not enough of the money is circulating to sustain the economy, as most of our boats are in dry dock.

OK. So much for trickle-down. It looks like George H.W. Bush was right. Maybe I’m using the wrong model for my study.

Here’s another one — a “trickle-up” model may explain our economy better:

The less-rich who still have jobs save a little and spend the rest of their paychecks on stuff.

The profits made on the stuff go into new and better products to make our manufacturing economy stronger.

Scratch that. The profits rise due to outsourcing and other cost cutting, raising bonuses and other executive income.

Rather than reinvesting their profits, large corporations sit on them (about $3 trillion at last count) or invest abroad.

The Fed tries to make up the difference by lending Wall Street banks trillions at near zero interest which is also invested abroad.

The result is, all that wealth is being sucked out of our economy to be stuffed into offshore accounts courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers.

There. That’s much better.

Russ Hurlbert

Parkdale

Well-done play

“Of Mice and Men” is another extraordinary production from our local Plays for Non-Profits. Greg Gilbertson and Tom Butler bring depth and honesty to their roles as migrant workers in 30s-era California and Blaire Carroll’s entry is a show-stopper.

Don’t miss this Steinbeck classic filled with sensitive performances sure to bring tears and inspire kindness. We are so fortunate to have this kind of talent in Hood River. Bravo to Director Lynda Dallman and her cast and crew!

Betty Bezzerides

Hood River

Appalled

It was a sunny, windless morning and I took my dog down to our awesome waterfront for some ball tossing. Driving home again I see posters of our president with the Hitler moustache painted on — outside our post office!

To impeach him —okay, the right to demonstrate and freedom of speech we all have. But defacing our president, that I happen to believe in, is wrong.

To compare anyone to Hitler is so wrong it should be considered a crime. Ignorance is our biggest threat, and only ignorant people would use the worse creature ever to attack our president and his people.

This mistake by you ignorant people will only make me support our president more!

Heidi McLennon

Hood River

Logsdon is back as VSO

Les Logsdon is back as the veterans service officer for Hood River County and the area on both sides of the Columbia.

Les has been the veterans officer for Hood River and Wasco counties until ill health intervened and he had to relinquish the position.

Wasco County recently increased the duties of their VSO to a full-time position, which left the Hood River office open. Fortunately for us at the same time Les felt that his health had improved to where he could return to the office to help as a volunteer, but instead acquired his old job to serve Hood River County and the surrounding area. Sometimes you are lucky

It was definitely our lucky day that Les became available as he has the experience of having done the job before, but perhaps most important is his approach to people, as he cares and treats each individual interview with special concern.

The veterans office is there to assist all military personnel, active duty or veteran, their dependents, concerned family or friends. Les is available by appointment to assist you Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:30-4:30 p.m.

It is recommended that an appointment be made to get assistance with a problem(s) or to get acquainted as scheduled appointments come first with “drop-bys” on a “when available” basis.

The veterans office is located on the main floor of the Hood River County Courthouse, 601 State St., Hood River (across the street from the Methodist church) and is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to register appointments and in a non-advisory capacity.

Nellie J. Hjaltalin

CDR SC USNR/Ret

Hood River

Jumping the gun

Threatened litigation is premature.

In response to the Hood River News article that the arguments with respect to the Naito Project are heating up, I do not believe that the arguments are even lukewarm.

The public process is just getting under way with respect to the use of the basin. The city approved an “on-land” project consistent with its zoning and conditional use guidelines. If it’s determined that the proposed commercial building, is partially below the high-water mark, Mr. Naito stated that the building site will be changed.

While there is some question as to exact high-water elevation, the city approved the project based on its on-land jurisdiction. Given Mr. Naito’s public statement that the commercial building will not be above or on the water, there is nothing to litigate, unless he reverses his position in the future.

Further, the opponents of the “project” are threatening litigation in the wrong forums. They are arguing that approval of the project violates the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. They are threatening litigation before the Land Use Board of Appeals and in Federal Court.

However, any activity that impacts the river requires permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Naito is required to apply to the Corps for any permits for proposed activities on the water, above the water, in the water or that affect the water.

The Corps has been delegated by Congress the responsibility to regulate activities that may impact wetlands and waters of the United States. The Corps is the agency responsible for ensuring that the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act are complied with and to require mitigation measures. The opponents cannot bypass the Corps and go directly to court.

If Mr. Naito fails to apply for the required permits or the Corps fails in its duty, opponents may then seek judicial redress. But, the public process has not progressed far enough to warrant judicial intervention. Emotions seem to be, in part, driving some of the issues, rather than objective reasoning. Please let us proceed in analyzing this project with appropriate reason and decorum.

Mary Ellen Barilotti

Hood River

Not so faraway

In an Aug. 1 front page story of the News, “Faraway fires fuel Gorge haze,” it was reported that according to the National Weather Service a thickening smoke layer above the ocean is joining with the natural cloud layer creating a significant accumulation of haze. Haze that we can see, sitting in our valleys, hiding our mountains traveled from the eastern coast of Russia to us.

Now with the smoke of forest fires contributing to that haze we can now smell and even feel the effects on our bodies. Are we really going to wait for the pollutants we can’t “see” from coal dust and coal emissions to fill our atmosphere, our valley, our homes, our lungs, before we change our stance on the transport of coal and burning of coal in China and other industrial countries? Before we say no to coal — period?

As the room fills with smoke will you look around to see if anyone else has noticed? What WILL it take? One earth, one sky.

Erika Rench

Hood River

Ulterior motive

Obama wants to restrict the rights of our military voters, yet refuses to support ID requirements to vote. Why? The military rarely votes Dimocrat. Illegal aliens, welfare types, dead bodies and repeat voters ALWAYS vote for Dimocrat. You figure it out.

Cliff Mansfield

Odell

Mural sadly needed

My husband and I recently celebrated 10 years of living in the Gorge. It is so beautiful and we love it! Many town beautification projects have occurred since we arrived, but one thing hasn’t changed; the worn blank backside of the old Diamond Fruit building.

Ten years ago I wrote a letter to the editor suggesting a mural be painted there, something that would be an attractive welcome to guests and locals alike as they exit the Interstate into downtown Hood River.

I recently saw artist Mark Nilsson at an event, who told me the building’s owner had once approached him about painting a collage of old fruit labels on the back of that building. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

It seems to me that with the Soroptimists, Elks, Lions, Rotary, Chamber, and the many generous art-hearted people of the Gorge, we could raise the funds to make it happen! Sign me up for the first donation.

Please, let’s not go another 10 years without making that dismal wall into a heart-mark of Hood River.

Nancy Sliwa

White Salmon, Wash.

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