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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 5

Davis Trail

Re: the “Davis Trail?” Feb. 1 letter to the editor:

Carroll Davis was an amazing man and he does have a trail named after him!

As an educator for Hood River County School District, he taught biology and environmental sciences; he was the pioneer of designing and implementing lab classes, still existing today, within the Indian Creek waters that run along the Hood River Valley High School property, now referred to as the Indian Creek Trail.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s many students and Mr. Davis made that trail available by cutting brush, designing eco bridges, exercise stations while teaching “environmental activism” within the curriculum of his classes. He created pinnacles of education practices that changed young people’s lives forever.

The Hood River County School District dedicated the Indian Creek Trail section that starts on the campus of HRVHS to Carroll Davis; he was present to receive the honor. It is called the Carroll Davis Trail and there is a sign posted in his honor. The sign is located on the south side of the school on the north side of the track.

I truly honor him to this day and was proud to be his colleague and friend. He was an active member of Hood River County Wellness Team, helping to implement national levels of achievement promoting on-site health and wellness goals and activities for employees of Hood River County School District.

As Mr. Chuck Williams stated in his letter, “if you do posthumous ‘unsung Heroes of the Gorge,’ Carroll Davis deserves this honor!”

Here, here!

Barbara Hosford

Retired HRCSD teacher

Hood River

‘Lava Sale’ corrections

I appreciate your recent article about the Lava Timber Sale (“‘Lava Restoration’ forest thin draws heat,” Jan. 29) but I’d like to correct some items in it.

First, the entire 1,600 acres of thinning will be commercial logging. The 9 acres cited in the article will be log landings and infrastructure to enable logging the larger area.

Second, the project will construct 14.7 miles of “temporary roads”; that’s a lot! Multiple stream crossings and soil erosion will impact the forest until the Forest Service has money to remove the roads.

The forests in the area are more complex and diverse than the agency’s statements, in the story, imply. The preliminary assessment (PA) notes that 37 percent of the forests are over 80 years old, and four units have never been logged. Elimination of pests and fire danger is not identified as a main focus of the PA, as the article implies.

Russ Plaeger

Program director

Bark-Portland

Build venue elsewhere

Thank you for printing the Jan. 29 story about the proposed amphitheater in Dee. Had you not printed it we wouldn’t have known about the short window for public comments. It sounds like Mr. Taylor was trying to pull the wool over our eyes to get his approval before the public had ample time to respond.

I don’t need to add anything more about the concerns of this project due to my neighbors in the Dee area addressing them. I will, however, say that I am not against an amphitheater in the area; just have them build it in Hood River on the waterfront down by the Columbia River, not 12 miles out of town.

Ron Dunn

Hood River

Legal, but wrong

It’s unbelievable that the Dee Mill concert venue proposal would even be considered. It’s right up there with other bad ideas (although legal) for Hood River, including the casino, the cellphone tower, etc., that were successfully defeated through public voice.

Despite being “legally zoned” for this venue, the impact has clearly not been studied. Who’d thought years ago that a concert venue would ever replace the Dee Mill? I’m suspecting the laws or zones on the county books are antiquated and not in anticipation of this request. I’d hope this request wouldn’t simply fall under the technical “radar” and take advantage of that fact.

While I enjoy going to concerts, and don’t feel a “concert venue” in this area would be a bad idea, it’s simply the WRONG location in the Hood River area for the following reasons:

  1. Traffic/access/congestion: the Dee Hwy (281) is basically a one-lane, winding road. A venue off I-84 or even Highway 35 might be better. How would 5,000-plus cars converging on the little Dee Highway simultaneously work?

  2. Diversion of public law enforcement/fire is an issue. How will our already stretched sheriff’s department and fire services be able to respond in this area? It would likely divert all law enforcement to that area on the days of these events.

I’m personally a “land use” proponent (I feel you should have the right to do whatever you want on your land if you have the proper permit); I also feel there are other considerations in this case that must be taken into account. The results of not more carefully studying the financial, safety, and traffic issues could be disastrous.

Please urge the county to consider more time to take not only public comment, but to solicit impact from local agencies affected. There should NOT be a rush to approve this application simply on the basis that it is within the zoning laws.

Please submit your comments to Eric Walker at the Hood River Planning Department: eric.walker@co.hood-river.or.us.

Kristine Wilhelm

Hood River

DeeTour problems

DeeTour is a grand idea, but in the wrong place. It needs to be at the Port of Hood River, not at Dee.

If that soil at the old mill site is disturbed it is going to open up and run off into the river, that will pollute the water and kill fish.

We just got the fish runs going back up the East, Middle and West forks of the Hood River. You can only imagine what is in that soil.

I grew up about 2 miles from the old mill site and spent a lot of time there as a child; we had good friends who lived and worked there. My dad worked there when it was Oregon Lumber Co. and Hines until they closed down he was foreman of the carpenters.

Here is why I believe this project should not be allowed:

The roads leading into the old mill site will not handle the traffic. There is no way there will not be gridlock and traffic backed up for miles.

It will be a burden on sheriff and fire departments and folks who live on Dee Flat.

Noise.

I feel that it will cost the taxpayers of Oregon and Hood River County thousands of dollars if this project is allowed.

Jerry Petricko

Odell

Forgetting Baghdad

“Out of sight and out of mind” seems to be our current attitude toward Iraq, and this proves yet again that conditions in foreign lands impinge on the American national mentality only when U.S. troops are in these places and in harm’s way.

Nouri al-Maliki, the present headman in Baghdad, presides in despotic splendor over a Shiite Muslim dictatorship that uses mass hangings as a normal tool of governance. Truly, about the only difference here between al-Maliki’s practices and those of the late Saddam Hussein lies in sectarian affiliation. Saddam was a Sunni. Al-Maliki is Shiite.

One justification for our 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq was to change it into a beacon of democracy for the entire Middle East. Former President George W. Bush and his neo-conservative advisers painted a very glittering picture of a free and prosperous land along the Tigris-Euphrates that would rapidly banish the baleful heritage of Saddam’s tenure to the history books.

This was a worthy goal. Many thousands of American service personnel risked their lives in its pursuit. Mr. Bush did not hesitate to laud Al-Maliki as a really great guy, and someone who would rule Iraq in an honorable and decent manner.

He was truly “our man in Baghdad.” Our favored Iraqi ruler had to demonstrate at least a modicum of decency while U.S. troops were still around.

Iraq in A.D. 2014 is just about as far from being a fountainhead of democratic decency as it is possible for any political entity to be. Al-Maliki’s minions delight in carrying out hangings of dozens of prisoners at a time under the rubric of “fighting terrorism.”

Any idea that contemporary Baghdad demonstrates humane and enlightened values is a terrible joke. Instead, it is a grim citadel of Shiite Muslim bigotry and ferocity.

One strains to hear so much as a single peep of protest about these events from our huge Baghdad embassy complex. Washington, D.C., faces no home-front repercussions over Al-Maliki’s practices because our own very forgetful public just wants to forget the Iraq conflict.

This is very unfortunate. Americans sacrificed a great deal in Iraq so that it could have a much brighter and happier existence.

Today’s mass hangings and continuous sectarian violence are the exact opposite of the visionary scenario painted by President Bush when he sent our troops into Iraq in March of 2003.

Frank Goheen

Camas, Wash.

Too much for Dee

I was disturbed by the editorial commentary regarding DeeTour in the Feb. 1 edition of the Hood River News, most particularly the dismissive deadline set by the county planning agency.

Also, one writer equates the traffic generated by a concert venue with over 3,000 parking spaces to the traffic generated when the sawmill at Dee was in full operation. Do a little checking and you’ll learn that Dee once was a company town with maximum residency of 250. Not mill workers, mind you, persons.

I have lived on Tucker Road just north of the bridge for almost 40 years. During that time, members of my family have been victims of rear-end collisions on four occasions. In each case, the party at fault was a local resident.

Currently, the Dee Highway is very busy accommodating skiers, Lost Lake visitors, fruit harvest workers and produce, bicyclists, memorial running events, log trucks, school buses, fishermen, campers, hikers, the county fair, commuters and farm equipment. Between Tucker Bridge and Windmaster Corner, curves are numerous and often blind. In many places, the shoulder is non-existent.

The “new” junction at the Odell grade has been the site of numerous accidents since its construction.

Attendees to a concert venue will be overwhelmingly young, most driving the narrow two-lane highway for the first time. Statistically, young drivers are more accident-prone. All will be driving to the event within a very short time period — in the few hours before the event begins. All will leave the venue within an even shorter time period.

It is safe to assume many of these drivers will be under the influence of “refreshment” before, during, and after the event. Three thousand cars.

Between the noise — the East Fork acts as a megaphone for residents on both banks — and the increased traffic, this project merits serious examination by the county, affected residents, Fish & Wildlife, Environmental Protection, law enforcement and ODOT.

At its zenith of operations, Dee Mill employed a fraction of the people who will be using the road and creating waste and pollution at the site.

Regena Rafelson

Hood River

Starve poor, feed rich

On Feb. 3, Greg Walden voted to cut $8 billion from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding. If you are out of work because of the recession, that banking fraud that took your home and your livelihood or any other reason and need help to feed your family, then too bad for you.

This is a man claiming to be for the people of his district. What a disgusting state of representation. Cut $8 billion for food assistance and refuse to eliminate $22 billion in giveaways to the oil industry; that he can do.

When are we going to get rid of this obstructionist corporatist from office?

Gary Fields

Hood River

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