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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 20

Lot benefits only Meadows

Re: Lot fills ‘dire’ need, Saturday, Aug. 9:

Dave Tragethon of Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort presents an entirely specious argument for the proposed Park n’ Ride in the small community of Mt. Hood, and I was offended by his ‘magnanimous’ offer of cooperation and compromise.

He is not “working hard to meet requirements addressing concerns of neighboring property owners.” If he were, he would reconsider altogether the location of this parking lot to a safer, less congested, more truly ‘commercial’ area.

He is not “Adhering to Meadows Core Value of ‘Sustainability’” (why all those capitals? Is he trying to emphasize his empathy?) of reducing missions. Think about it - this lot for 179 cars (obligingly reduced from 249 cars, but only because of public outcry) will INCREASE, by that number exactly, the number of cars coming from Portland and other areas. They will be bussed from Mt. Hood, yes, but still 179 more cars on the road, not 179 fewer cars. ‘Sustainability?’ I think not.

Lastly, he is not doing anyone any favors by generously offering to “bear the cost to provide a mountain-wide improvement that others will benefit from.” Nobody benefits except for Mt. Hood Meadows. Period.

Jude Russell

Parkdale

Mt. Hood

Johnson supports education

A newly graduated student, I’m entering the world of endless opportunity. Education is life, not just a preparation for it. It is a powerful weapon that could change the world.

I sat in classrooms for a good portion of my life. However, not one person paid any attention to the wise guy in the back of the classroom who asked, “When are we ever going to use this?” That, in fact, is a very good question. The education system sometimes lacks real-world application to information and skills learned in the classroom.

Mark Johnson, State Representative of District 52, values education as a driving force of change in our communities. He worked to expand access to Oregon universities, community college and workforce programs by devoting his time on the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

As an aspiring college student, I am grateful he has been working to facilitate the process by making programs accessible for students. Mark is a strong supporter of the CTE grant program and worked to keep higher education costs from rising.

I took many engineering courses throughout high school, and was given the opportunity to attend the annual “Wind Challenge” in The Dalles.

The challenge was to design and build a wind turbine that both produced mechanical power and a high energy voltage. This challenge combined the engineering concepts learned in the classroom with a small scale world project. Mark Johnson attended this challenge and showed strong support for educational, as well as professional development, of students.

Education plays such a huge role in his life; it is rare to find a candidate so dedicated.

Having the hands on experience can make the difference between the application, and the job.

Mark Johnson supports a better tomorrow through education, and funding a future for students across Oregon filled with success. It is good to know that issues of my generation are being represented in Salem. Mark will continue to advocate for a high quality educational with connections to creating solid workforce opportunities.

Moriah Shay

Brightwood

Questionable claims

This letter is in response to the misleading ad currently airing on Gorge radio stations regarding the expansion of Walmart.

First of all, the claim that there are not enough choices for buying groceries is ridiculous. In Hood River County alone, there are two major grocery stores, four smaller grocery stores, many convenience stores and several farmers’ markets. Second, although Walmart’s very good advertising convinces consumers that the stores always have the lowest prices, this is not true. Studies show that many items are the same price or more expensive. That doesn’t help people (like those in the ad) on a tight budget. Finally, shopping at Walmart is not shopping locally. The stores that we currently have do an excellent job of selling produce, meat, beer and wine, juice, soaps, and other items that come from our four local counties. Buying these items not only supports the farmers, ranchers, and producers in our region, it also keeps more of the money we spend from leaving our economy. For every dollar spent at Walmart, most of the money immediately leaves the area. A Walmart also employs fewer people and pays lower wages than smaller stores. All of this adds up to less money for things that our community needs.

There is so much information now available about the benefits to communities, particularly rural ones, on buying local. A lot of education occurred last time Walmart brought up the expansion issue.

None of the facts above have changed. Is Walmart simply hoping that we have forgotten?

Theresa North

Hood River

Oppose ‘big box’ groceries

Open Letter to the Hood River City Council:

Re: ads supporting Wal-Mart expansion; these ads imply we are forced to drive 90-plus miles roundtrip to buy affordable groceries. My question is how does one save money making this trip? Why would you want to when there are excellent grocery stores, farm stands and access to produce, fruit, meat and fish year round here in the gorge?

These “inexpensive” Wal-Mart products not only are not grown in the US, the USDA standards aren’t met regarding pesticide use. FACT, Mexico, South America and China use pesticides that have been banned in the US for 35 years. On the other hand, to keep it “green,” these countries recycle by using raw human waste for fertilizer. These crops are harvested by people for pennies a day, many of whom are small children that, in the US, would never be allowed in the field, much less to work.

Americans vilify Nike for cheap child labor, but when it comes to satisfying the American appetite, no one cares that a 5-year-old worked hours in the hot sun exposed to chemicals proven harmful, slept on the ground and was paid a few pesos.

I am fortunate to be born and raised here, living on my family’s orchard in this paradise of plenty. I live on a fixed income, on a budget. I buy locally grown products, I support local business and I support local farmers. I am adamantly OPPOSED to expanding a big box store that imports and sells products when we live in this valley where it is grown.

Peggy L. Packer

Parkdale

No on Cascade Locks fire vote

The Cascade Locks City Council tries to ignore citizens’ complaints, and have done so for years. Citizens show up for Council meetings, sign up to speak, and are allowed 3 minutes. All you have to say may take 5 minutes, but you cannot complete your speech or complaint. The only way they seem to solve their budget problems is to raise rates of the utilities. How about cutting back on spending? How about stopping hiring additional people?

They constantly harp about needing jobs, the school, housing, etc. etc. Yet, there is nothing here for the citizens, so why would someone choose to move here? Our infrastructure is in complete disarray and has been ignored for years until it is now an emergency situation. They believe that the end-all for our town is the emergency services.

Our town is almost bankrupt, or not far off, thanks to robbing from all sources for the fire department and for overspending. Most citizens have given up attending Council meetings because it is the same BS over and over. How about listening to some new ideas and following up on them? Just as the smallest so-called improvements were made to comply with the disability requirements, there is a huge chasm left for the disabled to be able to use City Hall.

However, they don’t have the monies to comply, but can spend on other non-essential items. We cannot continue to pour good monies after bad.

Nor will the citizens put up with paying more and more so spending can continue without consequences.

Vote NO in November for an additional rate raise on our electric bills and make the Council and City employees find a better solution.

Carol Taylor

Cascade Locks

No oil subsidies

Re: Oregon DSL denies Boardman Coal Terminal

Thank you Mary Abrams and Governor Kitzhaber for respecting the Yakamas, the Nez Perce, the Umatillas, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. At a meeting in Washougal last week, a representative of the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission said nothing has upset the tribes more than the proposed coal and oil shipments.

In 1983, Republican Gov. John Spellman of Washington said, as long as I am Governor, there will be no pipeline under Puget Sound. Now there still is none. Immoral nineteenth-century attitudes remain dominant in the coal and oil industry. Jobs for the few, profits for the fewer, and harm to all. Not only must the Boardman project be denied, so should Global Partners’ oil terminal expansion proposal in Clatskanie. Furthermore, public money should not be used to improve their rail lines and the docks. No more subsidies for dangerous oil.

Don Steinke

Vancouver, Wash.

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