Letters to the Editor for October 6, 2012

Johnson is most-qualified

Mark Johnson has served this area well for two legislative sessions. Residents in Lolo Pass know Mark is acutely aware of recent flooding and repair issues they faced. Mark worked with Sen. Chuck Thomsen to rescue our Government Camp rest area. Mark has demonstrated that we can count on him when our community has needs that cannot be resolved at the local level.

In Salem, Mark has shown deft leadership and a commitment to bipartisan solutions for the most important issues facing Oregon. Mark is one of Oregon’s most respected leaders in education planning and policy. As the Republican co-chair of the House Higher Education Committee he went to the governor to find ways to enact bipartisan reforms that are good for Oregon.

Mark is on the Hood River School Board, where the graduation rate of high school seniors is an impressive 82 percent, especially considering 44 percent are ESL students.

He didn’t go to Salem to just talk — he solved problems. Balancing the budget without tax hikes is one of Mark’s best achievements. New companies and job creators in our district know they will find intelligent support from Mark Johnson. His background as a businessman is key to good economic policy in these difficult times. Mark understands and supports the economic engines of House District 52: agriculture and tourism.

Looking forward, we see two more years of significant challenges. The ever-rising cost of PERS is one such issue. Mark chose not to join PERS when he was elected in 2010 so he would be free from conflicts of interest. Good reform decisions about containing PERS liabilities are essential to Oregon’s economic future.

The other candidate talks only about a $50 campaign pledge. Is this what is really on everyone’s mind this election? What about all the other, really important issues?

This election I’m voting for Mark Johnson. He is the most qualified and has a track record I can be proud of. He has shown he will legislate for everyone in the district in a bipartisan manner. Please join me in voting for Mark Johnson.

Rick and Jiyeon Applegate

David Buoy

Bob Reeves

Keith Richardson

RJ Smith

Greg Estes

Brightwood, Ore.

Kudos to Port of HR

The Port of Hood River deserves considerable credit for the open and inclusive way it has conducted the public process on the Nichols Basin cable park proposal. Michael McElwee and the Port staff have taken great pains to make a wealth of timely information on both sides of the issue available on the port website. Much of the material for discussion during the recent public proceedings before the port has come from this archive, or has been stimulated by it.

This is truly the way a public conversation should be held: with open access to critical information, so that the most informed decisions can be ultimately reached by the officials responsible. Thanks are due to all who are working hard to make this possible.

Susan Garrett Crowley

Hood River

Vote for Johnson

Mark Johnson made an impact in Salem! As a freshman legislator Mark has been a quick study in learning to be effective within the system.

He was instrumental in working with the governor and reaching across the aisle to exert his influence in passing the historic educational reform package of 14 bills — the first meaningful educational legislation in a long time! He and other members of the House worked to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes.

Mark was appointed co-chair of the House Education Committee, a very significant appointment for a freshman legislator. He also sits on the House Agriculture Committee, which is certainly important to fruit growers in our area.

Mark has been an exceptional first-term legislator; we need to keep the quality representation he provides. Vote Mark!

Fred Duckwall

Hood River

Think for yourself

I would like to thank two people whose letters in Saturday’s (Sept. 29) Hood River News helped bring to the fore issues that have been buried in the partisan wrangling of this campaign season.

First to Tracy Hornung for reminding us that Obamacare is appropriately named The Affordable Care Act. In a country as great as ours, health care should be a right and not a privilege. With the increasing costs of health services and insurance that is not the case.

Mitt Romney obviously felt this way when he was a governor. Now that “the other side” has embraced the issue, he has to vow to repeal the Act by claiming that what is good for a state is not good on a national scale. Of course, the fact that he is supported by large corporations who will have to offer coverage to their employees cements his opposition.

My other kudos go to Guy Tauscher for reminding us Christians of our true values. How is it that the party of conservative Christians is the same party that campaigns on a platform of reducing entitlements? What did Jesus consider more important than caring for the poor and the disenfranchised?

Finally, I heard a rehashing on the radio yesterday of President Obama’s supposed infringement on religious freedom by demanding Roman Catholic institutions cover contraception in their employee health plans. The truth is that he wants to prevent the Church from denying their employees (as opposed to their parishioners) the right to choose which medications they purchase.

Please think for yourself. Don’t let any party think for you.

Tom Hart

Hood River

English for sheriff

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

English most qualified

Years ago, Sheriff Joe Wampler allowed me the privilege of serving the citizens of Hood River County as a reserve deputy. Joe always treated me with respect, and I found him available and very dedicated to his job. As Joe is retiring soon, I thank him for his service and wish him well in his retirement.

But his departure leaves the citizens of the county with an important decision. While I have no animosities toward the other candidate, Matt English is my choice. I first met Matt when we were both in the hiring process for deputy. The county selected Matt over me, and I still feel it was the best decision.

In 11 years as a reserve deputy, I worked with Matt on countless occasions. He was available to help me in my decision making, and always proved to be a great sounding board. Matt seemed to be at least one thought ahead when I approached him for advice, and I always left a conversation feeling smarter because of it.

Matt impresses me as an incredibly intelligent individual. When I observed him with others in the law enforcement community, he was usually the leader in the conversation, while still listening to others’ ideas. He always treated people with respect, whether it was me, a fellow officer, a suspect or a victim.

But what impresses me the most is how much Matt enjoys his job. As the leader of our sheriff’s office, that is important to me. The office of sheriff means much more than wanting to be the boss. You have to have the safety of your community in mind.

Matt treats his current job as a calling, and I wouldn’t expect him to treat the office of sheriff any less. This November, choose Matt English as your next sheriff.

Nate Larson

Hood River

Vote for Baldwin

In the year 2000 my brother, Bob Merten, urged the voters of this county to vote for me in a contested election for the Oregon Supreme Court. They did, and I won Hood River County.

Now, another contested race for the Oregon Supreme Court is on the November ballot. I personally know both candidates, and I am voting for Judge Richard Baldwin. He has been a circuit court trial judge for 11 years. He knows the law, treats all persons (including jurors) with dignity and, most importantly, is fair and impartial.

The legal profession of this state overwhelming supports Judge Baldwin over his business lawyer opponent. Twelve judges on the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals have endorsed Judge Baldwin; none have endorsed his opponent. Forty-six circuit court judges from around the state have endorsed Judge Baldwin; only 13 have endorsed his opponent.

In a recent statewide poll of the 14,488 Oregon lawyers, conducted by the Oregon State Bar Association to determine who they wanted for the position on the Supreme Court, Judge Baldwin received 68 percent of the vote and his opponent received only 32 percent.

I know Judge Baldwin. He is an excellent judge, a devoted family man and does the right thing. Please vote for him.

Charles Merten

North Plains, Ore.

Re-elect Johnson

I am a Democrat who will proudly vote for Mark Johnson. When recently asked by a pollster if there was anything that would change my vote, the answer was an unequivocal “No.” Mark has impressed me with his bipartisan approach to the issues, competence and common sense. Many more praiseworthy adjectives can be applied to Mark.

We in House District 52 are fortunate to have someone of Mark’s integrity and grit to represent us. He is a committed public servant, which is evident by his eight years on the Hood River County School Board which, of course, led his appointment as co-chair of the House Higher Education Committee, which is no small feat for his first term.

Also, I’m sure it did not go unnoticed by many that Mark’s campaign received financial support from Gov. Kitzhaber — party politics set aside for the betterment of Oregon. What a concept!

Please join me in electing Mark to a second term so that he may continue his exemplary work to help not only individuals, families and businesses in HD 52, but all Oregonians.

Sharon Swyers

Hood River

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