Letters to the Editor for Sept. 15, 2012

Missing details

On Aug. 29, the Hood River News ran a column by Craig Danner, oddly entitled “A Clinic on Wilson Street: What’s That on My Nose?” on page B2.

I do not personally know Mr. Danner, but I have read most of his previous column submissions, which have dealt with his hectic life and adventures in parenting. There is a distinct, dry-sarcasm humor style to his writing, which he uses to make his points — and I, hopefully as my entertainment readers know, appreciate that. (Mr. Drake is an employee of the Hood River News.)

The “Clinic on Wilson Street” column did concern me, though, because Mr. Danner used his column space to promote a new self-run medical clinic in Hood River. He says that an office visit will cost $56, and that clients do not need to have medical insurance.

My main concern is that from the information presented in the Aug. 29 column, I cannot tell what medical qualifications Mr. Danner has. I’m hoping this is an oversight, and I think this is important to take into consideration when someone has a health concern.

Mr. Danner’s column describes his opinion of our country’s current health care condition, and I agree with him and believe health care needs an overhaul.

Think about this: when you are born, you need health care. When you are growing up, you need health care. When you’re in school, you need health care. When you go to work, you need health care. When you retire, you need health care. Wouldn’t it be nice to pay for reasonable coverage without worrying about what insurance policy you’re under this month?

Although I wish Mr. Danner well in his endeavor, I am disappointed that the News chose to present this column as submitted, which contained an important piece of information for the public, namely a new health clinic, to its readers without providing some important objective details that are needed when making health care decisions.

Jim Drake


Unfair ticketing

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, I drove to town to check my postal box. I decided to walk to Andrew’s Pizza for lunch, so I went and put one dollar additional in my parking meter.

When I returned there was still 10 minutes left on the meter, but I had a ticket on my window from Officer Phelps. The ticket said “Veh pkd Display for Sale.”

I went to City Hall and filed a petition, then I spoke to the new chief of police, who informed me there is an ordinance prohibiting having a for sale sign on any vehicle in town.

My friend Nate looked up the ordinance, and it clearly says it is prohibited to park a vehicle in town with the primary purpose of selling it. This was not my intention and I told both the clerk and police chief I was only in town for post and lunch. My appeal was denied, and I am waiting for a trial date.

I have recently talked to many of the Hood River shop owners and employees and have heard many horror stories of unfair treatment by Officer Phelps. Most shop owners believe that many people are afraid to park in town to shop because of Officer Phelps, and that the shops are losing valuable business and profit.

I am not concerned about the $20 cost of this ticket; I have already spent more than $20 of my time dealing with this ridiculous practice of the Hood River city.

I think it is time Officer Phelps and the chief of police actually read the city parking ordinances before they try to interpret them.

Robert MacFarland

Hood River

Editor’s note: the pertinent section of Municipal Code 10.36.03 (Parking for Certain Purposes Prohibited) reads this way: No operator shall park and no owner shall allow a vehicle to be parked upon a street for the principal purpose of: A. Displaying the vehicle for sale.

Too many assumptions

I have read the study submitted to the port commissioners by the Naito group.

  1. The study concludes that an 88-room hotel at 69 percent occupancy creates 387 jobs in Hood River.

  2. It assumes that the average family of four would spend $520 per day in excess of room cost — the estimated 69 percent occupancy implies that would be the case on the first and last day of their stay in HR.

  3. It assumes that every restaurant generates the same $300-plus of revenue per square foot, regardless of size, and that all restaurant revenues go to the workers, implying that there is no cost of food, or any other expense. Restaurants create more jobs if you don’t have to pay for anything but labor — right?

  4. The numbers on the cable park assume that with hotel occupancy of 100 percent in the summer “season,” coupled with the revenue per day per person, assumes that one half of the spending would be on the cable park — with very limited employment. But what about in the winter — what part of HR will “gear up” to enable visitors to spend their $520 per day?

  5. What liability will the port assume, and cost of specific liability insurance for amusement parks — especially if the port is the local “deep pockets” that lawyers can sue, as opposed to trying to find the foreign nationals who will own the park?

  6. Would not it be more important to have port staff work on completing a general plan, against which to evaluate proposed developments? Lacking a general plan condemns the port commissioners to operating inefficiently, and creates the poisonous we/they conflict over the waterway.

  7. Does the net present value of a stream of lease revenues ($7,000? per year) justify the legal and staff expenses currently incurred by the port of pursuing this development?

Shoddy assumptions, lack of local knowledge, intentionally deceptive form of the study, and misuse of analytical tools demeans everyone involved: the Naito group, the port commissioners and the citizens of Hood River.

Ted James

Hood River

Vote for English

I have known Matt for several years through his employment with Hood River County. During this time Matt has shown time and time again that he is a dedicated and hardworking employee. Not only while he is on-duty, but in his off-duty time, as well.

Matt has been involved in many different activities helping the sheriff’s office progress forward and because of this he has become a respected member of our organization and a go-to person.

The qualities that I most appreciate in Matt are his ability to acquire, retain, organize and recall information, his dedication in following projects through to the end, as well as his calm and professional attitude in stressful situations. Also, Matt is a natural leader, taking on and initiating projects and responsibilities in an effort to make our department more efficient and current with the times.

I believe that Matt has proven his dedication, reliability and desire to make this community a better place, so please join me in voting for Matt English for sheriff. He is the best choice for the continued improvement and forward movement of Hood River County.

Erica Stolhand

Hood River

Johnson is strong leader

As a small-business person in Welches, I met Mark Johnson when he first ran for election to the Oregon House of Representatives, District 52. I was immediately impressed with his knowledge, dedication and sincerity.

And it has impressed me even more that Mark and his office have stayed in regular touch with me — and with our small community — ever since. Mark and his office have frequently called to learn what is happening in the Mount Hood villages, to hear about any issues that might be important to the community and to ask what events and meetings he should plan to attend.

And whenever there has been an issue important to us or a gathering that could benefit from his attendance or an issue that called for his participation and leadership, Mark has always been there. Flooding, wildfires, restroom closures, community forums — Mark has been present and involved.

Oregon’s unemployment rate ticked up .2 percent last month, demonstrating that we are still not making good progress on the job creation front. Clearly Oregon and House District 52 continue to need legislators like Mark who understand the private sector and what is needed to create jobs and foster economic progress in Oregon.

Mark Johnson has demonstrated strong leadership skills in his first term. As a small-business owner, he understands the private sector.

Mark has been and continues to be a leader in our state on education policy reforms (as evidenced by the governor accepting his request to attend the Sandy High School dedication on Sept. 7). He has already demonstrated an ability to work across party lines to achieve results for our region and our state.

I am pleased that good neighbors and sincere folks in the Mount Hood villages have been willing to run for office. However, we are already extremely fortunate to have a strong, capable leader in Mark Johnson to represent our district in the Oregon House of Representatives. Please join me in voting for a second term for Mark.

Sandy Palmer

Wy’east Book Shoppe & Art Gallery


Keep public waters public

I use the Nichols Basin to take my dog Ajax for a swim and do paddling around 70 times a year and have been doing so for seven years. It is a unique body of water, with its north/south configuration and the fact that the water circulates, keeping it fresh throughout the year.

Watching the ever-increasing use of the basin by stand-up paddlers, with their kids and dogs, has been a pleasure to witness. This is Oregon; we do not sell our use of waterways to the highest (friggin) bidder. It is not what’s best for our community.

Do not allow an amusement park atmosphere on our waterfront; it would be a travesty. Keep public waters public!

Ed Fix

Hood River

Teach trust, not fear

As professional, certified behaviorists and trainers who train hundreds of dogs every year, we’d like to speak up about more effective and kind ways to help scared dogs through grooming procedures (“Pet care shops have canine-do attitude,” Sept. 5, page A10).

Dogs don’t know these procedures are for their own good, and many are understandably frightened of the strange equipment, restraint on a slippery table, intrusive handling by a stranger, loud driers, buzzing nail dremels and odd smells. Scolding, “buzzing” and intimidating the dog when it resists or jerks only add to its agitation.

These methods may appear to work when the dog stops resisting, but because they don’t teach the dog to feel comfortable and safe, at best the dog learns to “grin and bear” the highly stressful event.

Worse, many dogs learn to hate grooming. Their fear can escalate to phobia, they can become aggressive, and simple procedures the owner tries at home become impossible.

Since grooming needs to be done throughout the dog’s life, we feel it’s kinder to spend some time, over several grooming appointments, teaching the dog gradually and gently to feel comfortable through desensitization.

Desensitization is a highly effective scientific technique used by behaviorists and psychologists to treat fears of both animals and people. Done correctly, it teaches dogs to enjoy being groomed and relieves owners of the drama and dread of grooming day.

Come see us in the behavior and training department at Cascade Pet Camp, and we’ll be happy to show you how to do it!

Carmen Buitrago, M.S., ACAAB, CPDT

Jenni Lott, Ph.D., CPDT

Hood River

Campaign on your own time

Legally appointed, legally elected or not: Many can consider something that may not be illegal as immoral or unethical. Opinions will differ; disagreements occur, it is after all, an election year.

Yet, could the politicians in the Cascade Locks City Council please refrain from running for office or justifying their presence in the midst of our council meetings? This would include attempting to condescend or debate another member who might also be running for your position, as well as members who are running to keep their positions, and members who may yet be recalled.

Proclamations, thank-yous and recognitions magically abound during the election season. Volunteers, staff and outstanding citizens should not be recognized only while you are running for office. They need to be recognized for their accomplishments, not to pad your vote numbers.

If you feel the need to continue to convince citizens vote for you, I would humbly submit that it is too late. At this point, you are running on your record.

Katelin Stuart

Cascade Locks

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