Letters to the Editor for Aug. 9

Health centers serve

This week (Aug. 10-16) is National Health Center Week, and the Gorge should be proud to have its own community health center — with sites in Hood River and The Dalles, serving members of Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Skamania and Klickitat Counties. Like other federally-supported health centers, One Community Health (formerly known as La Clinica del Cariño) makes the costs of care affordable, with the quality of care as good as any one finds in private practices – and studies prove it.

One Community Health is helping to transform health care delivery by working with each patient as a whole person and helping that person to achieve their health goals. You get treated with dignity and respect by a team of highly trained, caring professionals focused on preventing costly illness and disease before they happen. That means better health, fewer hospital ER visits, and consumers, taxpayers, and governments save money.

A fundamental characteristic of all 1,200 plus Health Centers around the country is that they are rooted in their local communities. Each Center has a community board whose members volunteer their time and energy.

Another unique trait is that at least half the board members must be patients of the Center, so the patient voice is not only heard, but is also at the governance table.

Please support your local health center, visit our website www.onecommunityhealth.org, send us any questions (through rsynder@onecommunity-health.org) and learn for yourself why health centers are such a good prescription for our nation’s health.

John Jessup, RN

Chair, Board of Directors,

One Community Health

and 10 fellow Board members

Dave Edwards, CEO,

One Community Health

MH lot an ill fit

This letter concerns the “proposed” (I’m hoping it’s not settled) Park and Ride gravel lot at Mt. Hood Corner Loop which would accommodate 249 cars.

Supposedly there is a “need” by employees of Mt. Hood Meadows and for skiers during peak winter days. Why can’t Mt. Hood Meadows use existing parking spaces that might otherwise be vacant during the winter? Port side Hood River is not busy during snowy months; that would be a perfect park and ride location. Season ticket holders at Mt. Hood Meadows have raised complaints of no parking at the 2,750 spaces available at the three lots near the ski runs. If you multiply those parking spaces by the number of people per car, that’s a lot of people on the mountain already. Does Mt. Hood Meadows limit the number of season passes they sell? Perhaps they should. How much more human traffic can this mountain take? It seems a vicious circle.

More parking needed, then more ski runs will be needed. Unfortunately the north side of Mt. Hood has taken a real hit from the Gnarl Ridge/Blue Grass forest fires and the more recent Dollar Lake Fire. The mountain needs to store snow in its freezer, so that we residents have water throughout the summer for irrigating. Plus the glaciers are receding. Mt. Hood Meadows has already taken public real estate on Mt. Hood, logged away natural forest and there again, we’ve lost our natural based winter to summer storage of precious snow and water. I think this issue is more than just the Park and Ride. I think we need to consider just how much more abuse Mt. Hood must suffer.

Water will become more precious than gold. It is not to be taken for granted. The algae contamination in Lake Erie, which supplies water to Toledo, Ohio, is in the news for polluting drinking water. I will always speak up for Mt. Hood. My wonderful aunt Dottie Duckwall Appelgren once laughed, in her older years, saying she was a shadow of her former self. I can only compare her comment to Mt. Hood.

Ricki Duckwall

Mt. Hood

Lot fills ‘dire’ need

Mt. Hood Meadows provides winter recreation opportunities to a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts. As peak day demand has grown, parking has become a limiting factor prompting us to investigate appropriate locations for a park and ride lot along Hwy 35 north of the resort. We found three available lots in the community of Mt Hood zoned commercial, made application for a park and ride facility with Hood River County and received a permit June 23, 2014.

Recently we were informed of seemingly contradictory wording in the Hood River County zoning code that might be interpreted as requiring the County to mail notice to all property owners within 250-feet of the property which is subject to the application. Subsequently, we requested the county to rescind its decision on our original application. We then submitted a new application; requesting that the County process it as a formal land use decision with notice being given to adjacent land owners for comment.

The new submission includes a revised design that retains most of the trees on the site and reduces the maximum capacity from 250 cars to 179.

We are working hard to meet the requirements of the Hood River County code while addressing the concerns of neighboring property and business owners.

There is dire need for remote shuttling to Mt. Hood from lower elevation park and ride facilities to accommodate the growing number of winter outdoor enthusiasts. Our guests, employees and constituents have expressed concerns about congestion and safety during peak travel times on Mt. Hood. This proposed Mt. Hood parking lot is rather unique as Meadows will bear the cost to provide a mountain-wide improvement that others will benefit from. The project is designed to:

  • Enhance the shuttle experience for those desiring or needing this valuable service.
  • Reduce traffic congestion on highway 35 to allow for safer and convenient passage, particularly on snowy days, removing less experienced drivers or unprepared vehicles from negotiating snowpacked roads.
  • Reduce pressure on all Sno-Parks, such as Teacup Nordic Center, where current overflow parking tends to land.
  • Adhere to Meadows’ Core Value of ‘Sustainability’ and play our part to reduce emissions; consistent with the State of Oregon goal to reduce overall emissions by 10 percent by 2020.

We appreciate this opportunity to clarify the great need and benefits of this proposal.

Dave Tragethon

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

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