Letter to the Editor for May 9, 2012

Community treasure

We are writing this letter to bring the readers’ attention to a local “community gem.” We, of Hood River County, have been lucky enough to have the care and dedicated service of Sally Isham, public health nurse for Hood River County. She’s worked for the county for 19 years, serving as a nurse, providing high-quality, efficient and timely care to many women, young adults and families, in promoting overall health, wellness and responsible reproductive health care.

During her time working for the residents of Hood River County, she has also served Klickitat County in the same capacity, and prior to this, worked as a registered nurse for the local Care Corner, and before that served in the Portland metropolitan area, and even Alaska, also providing women’s healthcare there.

Many of Sally’s patients are persons who would otherwise go untreated or underserved, and therefore, her gift to our communities is priceless.

Recently, Sally received a notable honor in receiving the Vivian Lee Clinician Award by the Region 10 Federal clinics as “Clinician of the Year,” for OR/WA/ID/AK 2011. We feel strongly that we too, should recognize the effort and dedication of this caring medical professional in our community.

Thank you, Sally, for your dedication every day. We treasure you!

Ingrid Flanders, Clara DeLeon, Jana Austin Jacobsen, Judi Baker, Sue Donnelly, Connie Hickman, Olivia Murillo, Lisa Lewellyn, Tracy Willett, Elizabeth Foster, Tina Castañares, Terry Rundell, Maria Czarnecki, Roberta Gleason and Kristin Dillon

Hood River

Vote for John Sewell

I have worked for John Sewell as a deputy district attorney for seven years, and in that time I have greatly benefited from his leadership and dedication to seeking justice for the citizens of Hood River County. Before I came to Hood River I had worked in other counties where the district attorney was more of an administrative figurehead who prosecuted a few, if any, token cases a year.

John Sewell is very different. He actually carries a full felony caseload in addition to the administrative functions of running an office and being available to law enforcement at all times, 24 hours a day.

John is also sensitive to the many nuances that are involved in attaining justice; that one size does not fit all. He knows the difference between those who are career criminals and others who deserve second chances in life through diversions, drug court or other therapeutic interventions. John is fair, experienced and tough when needed.

The citizens of Hood River County have been truly fortunate for so many years to have John as their district attorney and I urge you retain him as you consider your vote this month.

Carrie Rasmussen


Unsolved mystery

If English and Tiffany have been involved with the sheriff’s department all these years and have been involved solving all these crimes (as some people have written in the past weeks) one should go to Unsolved Mysteries on the internet, episode #528. Check it out. Vote for Holste.

Lee Curtis


Tiffany for sheriff

Why am I voting for Gerry Tiffany for sheriff? Gerry and his wife, Laura, have been our neighbors for about 18 years. As I read through the numerous letters to the editor supporting Gerry Tiffany one word was repeated quite a bit: Experience. A simple word repeated over and over again by Gerry’s supporters.

I thought about Gerry’s experiences not just with the sheriff’s department; but rather his life experiences that have made him the man he is today.

His experience in the Navy, serving his country, three tours in Vietnam. His experience of being a dad and dedicated husband has given him the emotional experience and gift of empathy. That is something you can’t get out of a book.

Gerry has all of the knowledge and qualifications to be our next sheriff but he brings something much more to our community. Gerry has “heart”; he truly cares about the community and our kids’ welfare.

I have to tell you that many times over the years I have wished that Gerry would run for sheriff. When he made the announcement that he was going to run, I felt a renewed sense of optimism for our future.

Gerry has not only our vote for sheriff but our trust and respect. Please join us in voting for Gerry Tiffany for Hood River County Sheriff.

Scot and Darlene Sullenger

Cascade Locks

Hire local

You have heard the adage: Shop local. What about hiring local? Did you know that nearly $170,000 is paid to two non-Gorge residents who work in the district attorney’s office? (You can request a copy of the budget by contacting the Hood River County Budget and Finance office.) In an area where community members are often looking for living-wage jobs, why isn’t the county hiring local?

The district attorney’s office has a vital role in our community. How does one know the pulse of the community they work in, if they do not live here? How can one determine what is best for the community, if they don’t have a stake in the outcome of a decision?

Since I moved here six years ago, only one deputy district attorney has lived in Hood River and she moved here after being hired. She has since taken a job in Portland and moved.

I want a district attorney who will look within our local area for qualified applicants. I want a district attorney who encourages his employees to live within the community they serve. I want to know that my tax dollars are helping the local economy, not Portland’s economy. I want public dollars staying here.

The current office has demonstrated its laissez-faire approach to hiring local. Brian Aaron is the candidate who will change that.

Sheri Thonstad

Hood River

Survey not complete

Like many others, I was shocked to read the May 2 Hood River News story (and colorful chart) stating that 45.6 percent of Hood River County males over age 18 are “binge drinkers.” Then I got thinking — and investigating.

That number is based on a telephone survey conducted over four years and on a total of 33 men. With a total of 8,219 such men in the 2010 federal census, that’s the same as surveying 1 out of every 1,000 each year.

Any statistician — anyone who studies public opinion for business or political purposes — will tell you that is not a sufficient number on which to base decisions with a population as small as that of Hood River County.

I would suggest that per capita purchase of alcohol would be a much better indicator; possibly with some reasonable adjustment for tourist purchases. Any such adjustment, in turn, would depend on the nature of the other area(s) being used for comparison.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

John Sewell for DA

I have lived in Hood River most of my life, and I recently retired as a police officer for the City of Hood River. I feel like I know a little bit about the local politics.

I have known John Sewell all of my career. As a police officer I have personally called him at all hours of the day, even when he was on vacation. John Sewell has always been there for local law enforcement.

I’m not sure why you would want to replace a great prosecutor for one that you hope turns into a good prosecutor.

I have looked to John for guidance on hundreds of cases over the years, and when it has come time to go to court, John has called me and asked for my opinion. Please join me in voting for John Sewell.

Aaron Jubitz

Mt. Hood/Parkdale

English is team player

I am proud to endorse Matt English for sheriff. He has so many different qualities to be a great sheriff and leader.

Matt has always been resourceful, financially responsible, committed and dedicated to providing the best service to the community and visitors of Hood River County. He is always there to give a hand or an ear for both the people he serves and his co-workers.

Matt believes in teamwork and throughout the years with this attitude, we have been able to continually move our office forward. I have always looked to Matt for assistance, guidance and inspiration and he has always been there to provide it.

In the 13 years that I have worked for the sheriff’s office, I know that you cannot do this job without support. I know that Matt has the full support of his family, friends and co-workers. I am proud to be Matt’s friend and would be honored to call him sheriff.

Michelle Renault

Husum, Wash.

English is go-to guy

I have had the opportunity to work with Matt English for over 10 years. In that time Matt has demonstrated a wealth of knowledge as well as great leadership abilities.

It has been my experience that the majority of deputies go to Matt with issues that need to be addressed, weather it is technical or legal. Matt will know or help find a solution to the problem at hand. He is the go-to guy for many in the department.

I believe that Matt will be an asset to the community and their law enforcement agency as the sheriff of Hood River County.

Noel Princehouse

The Dalles

English is true leader

I would like to give my full support and endorsement to Matt English as the new and true leader of the Hood River Sheriff’s Office.

I had the opportunity to work with Matt as he started as a patrol deputy for Hood River County. It was obvious from the day he started that he possessed the knowledge, skills — and most importantly — the compassion to give what is needed to the citizens of Hood River. Matt excelled as a patrol deputy and was quickly looked to for advice and guidance by many members of the sheriff’s office.

When Matt was promoted to detective, it was a loss for the patrol division but a huge gain for the victims of crime. Countless times I would see Matt’s car at work well past his shift knowing he had other personal plans. Matt’s approach is that of a team, and even on his days off he answers his phone to help in any way he can.

Matt’s determination to see things to the finish is a fresh and positive outlook for the sheriff’s office. He has shown though his work ethics, dedication to the citizens of Hood River and his co-workers, he is a true leader. I ask that you please support and elect Matt English as the sheriff of Hood River County.

Brian Rockett

Hood River

Tiffany is clear choice

After another long day of canvassing, in Parkdale, for Gerry Tiffany, I met a woman. She asked me, why I was working so hard for Gerry. I explained that he has been very supportive of my career and has taught me a lot about investigations. I told her that he represents the integrity and altruism that I believe in.

She described Gerry Tiffany to me in the strongest and most eloquent way. This woman told me she sees Gerry as the “shoulders” and the “strength” of the sheriff’s office. She said she has seen him in action and knows him to be the “foundation.” She believes him to be true and honest.

Moreover, she said she knows him to be the one who is the hardest working that will be there when the sun comes up and then when it comes up again. I said that is why I am working so hard to get Gerry Tiffany elected as our next sheriff of Hood River County and thank you.

Tiffany Hicks

Hood River

Vote for John Sewell

I have worked with John Sewell for almost 20 years and I have the utmost respect for him. John is available at all times of the day and night to assist law enforcement and encourages us to call if there are any questions regarding a case.

I have worked with John on a variety of cases, ranging from minor misdemeanors to narcotics investigations and sexual assault. John has always been patient and helpful to assist me in any possible way, ensuring that the investigation is handled justly and fairly.

John is honest, intelligent, and has integrity. He is passionate about his job and he cares deeply for the community. John treats both victims and suspects with respect and compassion, but he does hold people accountable for their actions, which is a very redeeming and necessary quality for a district attorney.

Because of John’s experience and diligence he helps to ensure the community is the safest place possible.

Above all, though, the quality that I most appreciate in John is how he stands up for what he believes in, even when it may not be what is popular at the time. This takes a strong person and John has proven himself in this regard, time and time again.

John is the most experienced, qualified and best candidate; join me in re-electing John Sewell for Hood River County District Attorney.

Rick Princehouse

Hood River

Holste cares

In the 15 years I have known Neal Holste, I have had the privilege of working and interacting with him in both personal and professional capacities. Because of that relationship, I can tell you that Neal is a man of incredible integrity, courage and vision.

I have watched him tirelessly serve the community of Hood River, sacrificing time and sweat equity to both resolve current issues and cast new vision for the future.

Neal is the kind of leader who’s not content to manage from above but places himself in the trenches alongside those he leads. He is a problem solver, a motivator and an encourager. He both models and promotes a tenacious pursuit of the goal, even in the face of significant obstacles.

One of my favorite things about Neal is his heart for kids. Neal has been actively investing in the lives of the youth of this community for many years, mentoring youth one-on-one and in group settings. Whether volunteering his time on the field as a football coach or in the classroom doing drug prevention education, Neal is an ardent advocate for the health and safety of our kids.

I am not sure if it came through the process of many years of public service in law enforcement, marriage or raising four active boys, but somewhere along the way Neal harnessed the art of putting others above himself. He is a leader that we can trust to put ego and personal agenda aside to do what’s right for the people.

Neal Holste cares — for people and for the future of our community. We deserve a man like him as the sheriff of Hood River County.

Rhonda Fischer


Nordbye listens

Peter Nordbye is running for State House District 52 Representative and has been mentioned in earlier letters to the editor for his attempt to do this with only assistance of funds contributed from individuals living in the district. This stance caused me to give Peter a second look because I, too, believe that big money is causing major problems with our political process.

I attended a meeting of his early supporters that he had organized. He ran the meeting so well and allowed for healthy exchange of ideas and captured all this in notes that he sent out later. I was very impressed with his organizational skills and follow-through.

He’s getting involved due, in part, to the frustration I believe we are all feeling when it comes to things getting done and hard decisions being made. Do I agree with everything he has said? Probably not; but I feel good about his decision process and he’s trying to develop a grass-roots effort and above all else, he listens.

Please consider supporting Peter Nordbye in this Primary Election (ballots need to be received by May 15) and again in the General Election this fall.

Dennis Ghelfi


Mistakes teach us

With this open letter I hope to address concerns of members of this community and explain the circumstances that occurred recently when I was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol while driving my motorcycle in Stevenson, Wash.

Operating a vehicle of any kind after consuming alcohol is wrong and dangerous. I not only placed myself in jeopardy but I could have regrettably injured another person. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Celebrating my birthday with a motorcycle ride and beers with friends is no excuse. I made this error and will be taking responsibility for my actions when I appear before a judge later this month. I am not above the law and should be held accountable for my actions just like everyone else.

There are many good people in this community — teachers, medical professionals, business owners and lawyers — who have made the same mistake. By no means am I attempting to diminish the seriousness of my actions, but I hope you understand that this does not automatically disqualify someone from their profession.

Mr. Sewell should understand, as well as anyone, that people make mistakes. It is what we learn from our mistakes that matters most.

Brian D. Aaron

Hood River

Aaron is gentleman

Having known Brian Aaron for over 20 years as nothing other than a true gentleman with a generous spirit, I was somewhat surprised when I saw the front-page caption “Sewell, Aaron trade barbs” (April 25). So I read with interest the entire account.

It seemed to me that Brian still came out the gentleman. On the other hand, by casting aspersions and refusing to shake hands, Mr. Sewell displayed a pettiness and immaturity unsuitable for public office.

As to the rude remark about “couch surfing,” Mr. Sewell clearly does not know, or does not want to know, that my friends, the Logsdons, have a completely finished basement capable of affording Mr. Aaron the privacy of his own quarters.

Please join my husband and me in our support of Brian Aaron for district attorney.

Donna and Louis Hukari

Hood River

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