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Letters to the Editor for February 8, 2012

Walmart realities, Some have less money, will shop at Walmart, more...

Walmart realities

Many writers have expressed concerns about the grocery sales aspect of a possible expansion and its negative impact on the two existing stores. Some realities exist which will not change in spite of the ultimate decision about the store's fate.

My family shops in what most people consider the more expensive store in town. We are certainly not wealthy and do not like to waste our hard-earned money. We have made a personal choice to shop at this particular store because of the quality of the products and exceptional customer service.

In addition, it supports local growers and consistently carries their produce which the other store does not because of its purchasing practices. We make financial sacrifices in other areas to afford us the opportunity to shop there.

Many local families do not have the financial latitude to permit choices such as those mentioned above when they shop. We would all love to always purchase the best cuts of meat and buy the most expensive produce and ice cream, but it just is not possible.

In some ways I feel those fighting Walmart are being insensitive to the realities of the economy and struggles of many of our fellow townspeople. A lot of families are struggling to remain in their homes and feed their children. If shopping at Walmart allows them to live in our community and not uproot their families, I certainly cannot hold that against them.

I have read articles in reputable magazines like Outside and Time which report about the exceptional things Walmart does to lower fuel costs, reduce energy use, and even recycle used asphalt from old airport runways to improve our environment. They also contribute to many local communities' needs, including our own. These things are important, as well.

Maybe Walmart does not pay very well or treat its employees as kings and queens. A lot of other local businesses pay their employees similar wages and offer just as poor benefit packages. Please consider what each of you is fighting for not only for yourself, but for your fellow citizens, as well. Thanks for listening.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Some have

less money

For those folks who despise Walmart and choose not to go there, they probably have enough cash flow to shop anywhere but Walmart. Great! More power to them! No doubt they worked hard all their lives to be in this position.

But please remember there are Gorge residents out there who have also worked hard all their lives, yet have few greenbacks and less jingle in their pockets who need to shop Walmart just to survive in this anemic economy.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Will shop

at Walmart

There is nothing wrong with Walmart putting a grocery store behind their building. If it goes through and gets built, it will not be in competition with any of the stores they have now like Safeway, Rosauers, Clems, Mid Valley Market, the Dollar Store and Walgreens. They will not suffer if Walmart's grocery store goes through.

Hood River people can shop anyplace they want to get their groceries, and if they want to shop at the new grocery store behind Walmart, so what? Walmart is a great place to shop.

I'm looking forward to shopping at the new Walmart grocery store if they get it built - and they plan to build it, it works out and I think it will go in.

Pam Smiley

Hood River

Supports Aaron

I am writing a letter of support for my friend Brian Aaron who will be seeking the office of District Attorney, Hood River County.

Brian has been a friend whom I have through the years watched develop into a more pragmatic, deeply committed individual with the kind of maturity that has a way of making itself known. His probity, his intellectual curiosity, integrity and responsibilities are enhanced by an overall energy which seems to permeate his desire to not only show up, but get the job done.

I am certain among peers he is respected, from judges the same, and in the quaint village of Hood River acknowledged as a person with character and spleen. He embodies the best of what makes living in the Gorge so attractive. Not only are we blessed to have such a rich environmental backdrop, but also so many people who are talented, diverse in background, whose imprimatur on this community speaks volumes.

We need to ensure that all this continues by maintaining a quality system whereby those officials elected to office not only measure up, but are also capable of discerning what the public desires; indeed, expects from them. My friend Brian is such a person.

Alexander Newton

Hood River

No threat

The 'Level playing field' letter (Feb. 1) states "people will buy groceries out of town." To that I say, "What's new?" Many people from Hood River - even Parkdale - buy their groceries out of town now; mostly at Costco. The threat carries no weight.

And what about the fact that Walmart buys Hood River produce? Even you know that Hood River does not produce or sell everything.

Paul Nevin

Hood River

Aaron's strengths

We were happy to read of Brian Aaron's run for Hood River County District Attorney. Our professional interactions with Brian involved two separate legal matters. Though we were not clients, he spent quality time advising and counseling us while refusing compensation.

We found him to be an excellent attorney who demonstrated many strengths and capabilities worth mentioning here. He became knowledgeable about our situation, made practical recommendations, was efficient and prompt with his time while making himself available to us at all times.

We have seen his sensitivity, concern and dedication for the well-being of our community; especially in regard to the integrity and quality of our Hood River legal system.

He has demonstrated compassion and concern for others that manifests itself in active service. He is a people person; he understands, communicates and works well with others.

He comes from a place of experience and knowledge as he has worked in the Hood River legal system and actively sought for progress and justice. He is a real asset to our community and would serve our community well as district attorney.

Dick and Sue Charles

Hood River

Aaron is

family man

I first met Brian Aaron about five years ago when his father, Edward Aaron, and I became neighbors in Lincoln City, Ore. When Brian's father told me that Brian was running for district attorney I felt compelled to write a letter of support.

The reason I so strongly support Brian Aaron is because I have witnessed firsthand his character and his dedication to family.

Brian faithfully visits his 93-year-old father every other weekend here on the coast. They spend time together watching sports, going to the theater and dining with Edward's friends. Brian is always concerned with his father's well-being and communicates with me as well as other neighbors regularly toward that end.

Although I am unable to cast a vote in Hood River County, the voters of Hood River should know that Brian Aaron is a man of strong moral character who is dedicated to his family, and these are qualities that translate well into public service.

I strongly urge you to cast your vote for Brian Aaron for district attorney.

John Richard "Dick" Davis

Lincoln City

Get informed

Thanks, Rep. Greg Walden, for finally holding a town hall in a populated area: The Dalles. Last Saturday, over 100 people showed up at Cousins' Restaurant to voice their concerns over employment prospects and healthcare access, mainly. Were you listening?

At the town hall, you said that the recent wars in the Middle East cost taxpayers over $1 trillion. Before shutting down heating assistance for the elderly, or assistance for hungry kids, consider cutting the Pentagon's budget (currently, the largest in department history).

For the non-attending public, I'll reiterate what Bob Stone, owner of the Subaru dealership in The Dalles, had to say to us: Watch the film "The Inside Job." Get informed and speak out against corporate dollars' influence in Congress! We do not have to be held hostage to Walden and Wall Street in Oregon's vibrant District 2.

Corie Lahr

Hood River

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