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Letters to the editor for March 14, 2012

Aaron for DA. why repeat mistakes? See 'skin of our Teeth' More...

Aaron for DA

Brian Aaron, a local attorney, has been my personal friend and family attorney for almost 20 years. He is a fair and honest man. He knows the law and pulls no punches.

Watching him in the courtroom makes you glad he is on your side. If Hood River gets the opportunity to hire him as District Attorney, they better grab their chance. He will get the job done, and do it right. It has been a privilege to know him.

Debbie Watson

The Dalles

What is downside?

On the campaign trail, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been throwing around the line, "You can't put a gun rack in a Volt," mocking the Chevrolet electric car. Really - attacking a fuel-efficient car?

The Republican Party has been rightly critical of President Barack Obama for failing to lead on energy production. But too many Republicans are guilty of failing the same leadership test, actively rejecting what has to be a pillar of a smart energy policy - conservation.

As global demand and speculation drive up the cost of gas, one of the best ways to save money at the pump is to take personal responsibility: Make sure your tires are properly inflated, drive efficiently and drive a fuel-efficient vehicle when possible.

Every drop of fuel that we conserve today - while we develop our own resources - is a drop of fuel that we don't need to buy from hostile dictatorships. Conservation's simply a sensible part of the package.

Plenty of Democrats have gone too far in demagoguing against big oil. But to every pundit or politico who wants to make hybrid car jokes, we have to ask: What's the downside to improved efficiency?

Charlie Christensen

Hood River

Poor stepchild

Poor stepchild Cascade Locks. It seems everything you want daddy won't let you have it.

Sean M. Palmieri

Hood River

'What a

good boy'

I liken the mayor's (Feb. 25) state of the city commentary to the Tom Thumb poem's "plum" conclusion.

Considering the many challenges and their outcomes, he has the right to brag on accomplishments.

But why did he agree with the discharge of our chief of police, who was free of public complaints? Was politics involved? I've been there.

The mayor's reference to agriculture as our roots tells me that he didn't live here prior to 1980 and windsurfing. The Dee Flat farmers could tell him how difficult it was to "grub out" those fir stumps.

The city hall renovation was an expenditure of foolishness and the police station belongs next to the fire station.

Transportation was the "plum" that I was seeking. It was mentioned in the form of "a great bike path," parking meters, and no "traffic" (?). It can be done, but not with politics.

Considering the time and monies expended over the past years for the three studies, our transportation issues should have been solved, but pride/politics was the "rusty" link:

1) 2003 - County's elongated transportation study involving several agencies and travel modes collimating with Mount Hood Railroad's $1,000,000 grant and the "foundation" for this multimillion dollar bicycle trail program. (Politics?) No Park and Ride program.

(I applaud the two newer council members for their wisdom in this matter.)

2) 2006 - City's $30,000 parking problem study ending in part with a proposed parking structure partly on Mount Hood Railroad property, while three of the four city-owned parking lots on State Street weren't included thanks to management failure. (Politics?)

3) 2011 - ODOT-IAMP four long years of presentations ends.

Back to my transportation interest (plum). Last spring I submitted to the city hall receptionist what was a "Park and Ride" plan from "A to Z." She promised to lay it on Bob Francis' desk. I did a follow-up call for discussion purpose. Again no reply. I regret that I did not keep a copy.

P.S. Praise the Lord for Mayor Babitz.

Alan Winans

Hood River

Cap those

open pipes

To continue to enjoy wild birds for their beauty and natural services, we must be thoughtful of them, as well. According to the National Audubon society, a very large hazard for wild birds is often present on our properties: open pipes.

Pipes, fence posts or markers from 1-12 inches in diameter are attractive to birds for nesting space. Vertical pipes, sometimes long forgotten by us who placed them, are impossible for birds to fly out of once they enter. They become trapped and perish.

This big hazard has simple solutions: removal, capping or screening. Caps and screens can be purchased, may be donated or created from cement.

Please take the time to look around, next time you are enjoying what this region has to offer, and make sure the birds can fly freely.

Megan Perry

Hood River

See 'Skin of

Our Teeth'

Don't miss the opportunity to share in playwright Thornton Wilder's rich tapestry of mankind (and all other mammals) in his drama "By the Skin of Our Teeth."

You will experience an Ice Age in the Columbia Gorge with a bumbling mammoth and clumsy dinosaur, survive the Flood and find yourself in Hood River after World War II. It is a thought-provoking journey laced with humor that chronicles the human condition.

So, all you mammals out there, don't let the boat sail without being aboard. Come support Rachel Harry's HRVHS players at the Bowe Theater this coming Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, at 7 p.m. If you have never experienced Rachel Harry and her skilled young actors and special-effect specialists who deliver the play's message, come and feed your soul.

Bill Jackson

Parkdale

'No' to

cable park

A privately owned cable park is being proposed for the Nichols Boat Basin as part of a commercial development there. A cable park pulls wake-boarders or water-skiers at speeds up to 35 mph around a set course, similar to a ski lift but over water.

A rider purchases a ticket of about $40. The park can carry a maximum of seven riders at one time. For safety reasons the area has to be limited to this single use and entry to the area is blocked off for other users.

The present proposal will take up most of the Basin going as far north as slackwater beach where many of us access the water. Most of the basin is owned by the Port of Hood River and is submerged public land. The port will have to lease the surface water and anchor placements for the 35-foot towers to the private company operating the park.

There are also a number of required permits. The City Planning Commission will be reviewing this entire development and perhaps making a land use decision at its meeting Monday, March 19, at 5:30 at City Hall, Second and State streets.

If you enjoy this area now, as a kayaker, paddle-boarder, fisherman or naturalist and want it to continue to be available to the public, you need to let the city know by attending the meeting or by submitting written testimony.

Linda Maddox

Hood River

See 'Skin of Our Teeth'

Don't miss the opportunity to share in playwright Thornton Wilder's rich tapestry of mankind (and all other mammals) in his drama "By the Skin of Our Teeth."

You will experience an Ice Age in the Columbia Gorge with a bumbling mammoth and clumsy dinosaur, survive the Flood and find yourself in Hood River after World War II. It is a thought-provoking journey laced with humor that chronicles the human condition.

So, all you mammals out there, don't let the boat sail without being aboard. Come support Rachel Harry's HRVHS players at the Bowe Theater this coming Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, at 7 p.m. If you have never experienced Rachel Harry and her skilled young actors and special-effect specialists who deliver the play's message, come and feed your soul.

Bill Jackson

Parkdale

Why repeat mistakes?

History repeats itself and every time the lesson increases in cost.

In 1928 the Republican Party with its bright star for the presidential election, Herbert Hoover, the world-renowned humanitarian, proposed to eliminate poverty during his presidency. Imagine!

Today people in poverty are invisible to the major political parties and the private corporations that rule them. There's no talk of poverty, other than by a minority of democrats, and pathetically little action for the middle class.

The Hoover administration actually started programs of what became known as the New Deal. Hoover was one of the most intelligent and compassionate presidents this country has ever seen, but was hamstrung by political and economic ideologies he could see past.

His responses to the Great Depression were too timid. His approach was to subsidize and encourage the economic wealthy to invest in jobs. The programs didn't significantly get down to the people who needed them. Sound familiar?

FDR came on much more boldly and rather than working from top down, his administration took programs straight to the people who needed them.

The critical piece missing in those years as well as today is ecological. Men of industry and commerce behaved then, as they do now, as if there was no end to Earth resources and ability to absorb our abuses and pollution. Do they believe Earth is flat and endless?

When thousands of scientists and local people with no buffer from Nature, around the world say we're in a serious predicament, corporatists and politicians with no credentials to utter a word, rule the information channels. The latter includes corporate scientists, with perverted vested interests not to acknowledge global conditions.

Research coming out of UC Berkley is finding humans are hardwired to care for each other. Strife is usually promoted by leaders who have a vested power and profit interest. Turns out we are our brother's keeper. Something many have known all along.

We wouldn't know it by the actions of the current Republican Party and many in the Democratic Party. The libertarian party is thinking in some century past, with no relevance to today's conditions.

Keith Harding

Mount Hood

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