Letters to the Editor for Aug. 13

Helis, not dogs

This letter is in reference to the Hood River Valley Parks and Rec concerning the pet friendly dog park. One of the parks that is considered is Friendship Park on the corner of 18th and Taylor above the fire station. When the fire station was constructed in 1985, we were forced to move the heli pad for Life Flight to the location it now occupies on the west end of the park.

The reason for that move was that the old location was on the water tank north of the hospital. It was very restrictive for the flight path and landing zone for helicopters. The decision was made by the fire department and the city to put the helipad where it is now located. This area has a very unrestrictive flight path and landing zone for helicopters, this makes a prefect area since there is a large field and few houses in the flight path.

I was the construction manager for this project and I do believe that Friendship Park should be removed from the list of considered for a dog park. There should not be an influx of people or fencing installed on this park that would inhibit the flight path and landing zone for medical helicopters. There are at times when large Army helicopters use this landing pad.

We should not put people, homes and helicopters in harm’s way.

Bob Palmer

Hood River

Heads up, Dems

What are the Democrats so scared of?

Imagine that you are applying for your dream job. You review your education and work histories. You’re satisfied that you are eminently qualified for the position. You study your prospective employer’s history so you are ready to deal intelligently with any issues that may come up in the interview. You are ready. Bring it on. Then, you sit in the chair across the desk from the Head of HR and blow the whole thing by railing over the defects in the qualifications and characters of the other applicants.

This is what you might expect from people who aren’t sure of themselves and, perhaps, seek bad advice from their brothers-in-laws. But you, Democrat candidates, what would cause you to do such a thing? Are you so unsure of your and your party’s stellar records of achievement in behalf of the American people that you invest the campaign funds representing the hopes of those very Americans in TV trash talk?

Get with it Democratic Party candidates. Sure, point out the discrepancies in your opposition’s claims, but remind us over and over why you are running, what you have accomplished, and what you will continue to fight for in our behalf. Let the opposition self destruct.

Your wild shots at them will most likely end up in your own feet. FDR said it best, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Russ Hurlbert


Respect earned

Mr. Jensen’s Aug. 6 letter “Our fabric is respect” merely helps to strengthen my argument that our country is comprised of opposing groups whose sole purpose is disrupting the efforts of any opponent regardless of any positive benefits obtained by the process.

Time magazine has an excellent article this week called “How Kentucky Got it Right.” It explains how Democratic Governor Steven Beshear accepted the Affordable Care Act as a necessary thing given Kentucky has some of the nation’s worst health statistics. The governor opted out of the federal plan in favor of a state-run plan which he called Kynect.

In the red state of Kentucky where POTUS received only 38 percent of the vote, over 413,000 people signed up for Kynect as of October 1, 2013 and now have healthcare coverage. Ironically enough, resident polls consistently support Kynect while simultaneously disapproving of Obamacare. Again, Kynect IS Obamacare!

So it seems that if you facilitate something good for someone such as provide them affordable health insurance, they will be grateful for the benefits. However, if you tell those same people the new benefit was provided or created in principle by someone they have been taught to dislike or flat-out disapprove of, it becomes a bad thing.

The 62 and 63 year old couple in the story now have free Medicaid and $1 prescriptions when they previously were unable to get either because of pre-existing conditions. I guess you can turn anything into a negative if you try hard enough.

When Kentucky Senator McConnell’s office was contacted to learn about his opposition to the ACA, the response was the senator wanted something “that actually lowered costs for patients.” Apparently free insurance and $1 prescriptions do not meet Senator McConnell’s criteria.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘Mt. Hood Bus Stop’?

There doesn’t seem to be a public process that addresses concerns of local residents about the proposed park-and-ride. So, I am voicing some concerns.

a. Number of diesel school buses e.g. 2 per hour maybe 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., 7 days plus 4-6 employee buses, idling maybe 10 minutes times 2 per hour. How’s the air for humans, dormant and spring budding fruit trees? Check the Internet on diesel exhaust affect.

b. Will the parking lot become public parking spaces for the businesses around there? Although at $50-$90 ticket Mt. Hood Meadows might lose revenue from spots not-Meadows-bound. Free parking will benefit local business but snowy conditions, no sidewalks, snowy/icy roads, 40 mph traffic, increased traffic, poor visibility means danger.

c. 40 mph doesn’t slow many people – now more car and people traffic.

d. Parking lot thefts increasing throughout the Gorge could be opportunity here.

e. Porta-potties becoming rest stops could be good business, more litter and traffic.

f. Is Corner Loop Road a private road owned/maintained by landowners? Why is the County saying buses can use it?

g. Did Meadows get the area based on ‘Commercial and professional service establishment…’ part of the Articles in that zone. Surfing the Internet I found hundreds of legal rulings saying businesses with structures / buildings had parking lots but I couldn’t find any place that said parking lots were establishments.

h. Possibly someone on duty early morning until after the last night skiing bus might mean a structure meeting zone rules.

i. Is there a plan for growth?

j. Humans leave garbage. Skunks and raccoons love garbage. Who’s responsible for clean up?

k. Current traffic patterns and speed zones for everything: plows - Highway 35, parking lot and Loop Road; vehicles to: pick up porta-potties, empty garbage cans (hopefully), chauffer employees, 2 buses per hour for skiers, school buses, customer’s cars, plus regular Parkdale traffic.

l. There are many articles for that zoned area. Are those being met?

I think we all deserve to have our questions answered in open discussions, before we become Mt. Hood Bus Stop.

Cherie Walter

Mt. Hood

Let Walmart expand

Recently, Walmart sent out requests for supporting expansion of their Hood River store.

Tunnel vision, narrow-mindedness and refusal to change is too often supported. The consistent, full parking lot at the Hood River Walmart seems a fair indication of the need the town has for the store.

The contention to support local stores is a fair rationalization. However, competition is what is needed for towns to thrive (and for consumers to get affordable merchandise). Hood River has become a town for the tourist. That may be an asset, but we need to remember that the average people who provide services are most in need of affordable groceries, clothing and housing.

I sincerely hope the City Council will consider Walmart’s request (added revenue, contributions and jobs).

Sigrid Scully

Hood River

Protect with PIN

A clerk at a local retailer tells me they have “a new computer system.” The subject came up with the use of my debit card for a $45 purchase required no pin number or signature! Yes, that’s correct: just like getting my $1 coffee at the drive-up! How about this scenario: You leave your card on the counter somewhere and it’s picked up before it’s missed. Minutes later, down to the store it’s taken . . . and used without my security! Even with protection, a lost card hassle is endless. Just who does this new system benefit? Oh, yeah, if the lines move faster, fewer employees needed.

LaRayne Kayfes

Hood River

Vote yes on 14-52

Cascade Locks needs a paramedic.

If you or your family has an injury, an illness, stroke, heart attack, you cannot wait 30 minutes for one to arrive, you need the training of a paramedic immediately.

Vote yes on 14-52.

Nancy Ann Renault

Cascade Locks

Revved up

Rumor has it the Washington Redskins might change their team name to “the Engines” (4-6- or 8 cylinder). I say this about that: It better not happen or automobile mechanics across this nation will not only be offended … they’ll be incensed!

Bill Davis

Hood River

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