Thanks for art
Many thanks to the artists, volunteers, businesses and others behind Art of the Community, the organization with the vision to bring more than a dozen new public art installations to Hood River.
As stated in their original Call for Artists, “public art enhances the visual landscape and character of the city. It turns ordinary spaces into community landmarks and promotes community dialogue and, most importantly, it is accessible to everyone.” I greatly appreciate the hard work and vision that went into this project. Each time I see one of the sculptures, I am filled with joy. Public art is one more way to express and preserve the unique character of the Gorge.
While I am appreciative of the fact that Mr. Steve Kaplan lives in a well appointed cave, his letter (Informed Caveman, July 26) does nothing to convince me that President Obama has the wherewithal to handle major issues currently facing this country.
It seems that after nearly six years as President of the United States, Mr. Obama would have a better handle on things. He did inherit some problems as stated in Mr. Kaplan’s letter, but Obama also campaigned on some issues, especially the problems facing the Veterans Administration and what was to become the Affordable Care Act. Obama has had plenty of time to do something about the VA situation and we all know the ACA is a continuing saga with intended and unintended consequences falling directly on the shoulders of middle class Americans, the group Obama continually states he is trying to protect and help.
I agree with Mr. Kaplan that automatically bombing opposing countries isn’t the answer to world problems, either. But, standing at a podium pointing fingers and making vague statements claiming there “will be consequences” at fund-raising events or in the Rose Garden at the White House as he is going out the door for his next golf game isn’t getting the job done.
My feeling is that President Obama would be well served to show true leadership by inviting leaders of Congress to the White House for serious discussions and negotiations to make the domestic changes necessary in this country. Stay as long as it takes to make things happen, not just invite people in for a tongue lashing. Similarly, Obama should sit down with world leaders to do the same.
I didn’t vote for Obama in either presidential election (no surprise here, eh?) primarily because he had no previous experience in any sort of leadership position. He was smart in using the slogan of “Hope and Change,” but his job still requires action and the ability to bring people together in creating a sound functioning governing body in this country.
Meadows lot can help
I find it amusing that Libby Rossknecht, owner of the Mt. Hood Guest House, states in a previous paper “This is quite the devastation,” Rossknecht said of the parking lot. “The loop they’re talking about routing traffic through is right in my backyard.”
That road was there prior to her purchase and was to access the adjoining properties from Cooper Spur and from Hwy 35. The addition of a parking lot is, in my opinion, long overdue. Currently Meadows employees park at the Mt Hood Town Hall, which, with a private school being in session there, causes over crowded parking. Employees are forced to walk across a dark highway, not the safest situation.
When the parking lots at Meadows are filled I must admit having the overflow and shuttle from the Mt Hood Country Store is an eyesore. Having a safe and clean parking area should be welcome. The possible addition of a shuttle service for vacation rentals should be welcomed. Use it as a benefit, no sno-park needed, less fuel spent, no reason to chain up. Get a hold of Meadows to talk with them about the possibilities of ski packages. Use this as a way to increase business.
On June 23, Hood River County Planning made a decision to allow Mt. Hood Meadows to remove the trees and build a 249 space gravel Park and Ride on the Corner Loop property across from the Town Hall and Country Store.
While I fully support public transportation, using the heart of Mt. Hood for a Park and Ride will:
- Create huge noise and traffic congestion problems,
- Eliminate the possibility that the Corner Loop will ever develop into a desirable mixed use business/residence district it was intended for, and
- Lower the quality of life and property values for affected property owners.
In the planning file that documents the application and decision process, the first question Meadows asked was if they could somehow do this under the existing zoning law as a Use Permitted Outright. This means they would not have to go through impact studies, or notice the local community. The planning department found a way; they are calling it a “commercial establishment.” It was kept very quiet until the 15 day period for a county appeal was exhausted.
The application states that they will build out the three lots in phases, but in my meeting with Steve Warila (of Meadows) on July 23, he stated that they have already changed that decision and will build it all out this summer. The trees will come down and lots of gravel and two port potties will go in. Even if you believe a parking lot is a “commercial establishment,” and the rules say you don’t have to consider local impacts, it is just the right thing to do. Because no one was noticed, a 21 day Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals is still active and will be submitted soon.
A site has been created at www.facebook.com/mhparkandride, where copies of the application, planning decision, and all pertinent documents will be posted, comments can be made, and updates will be provided.
(This updates the writer’s letter in the July 30 edition.)