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Letters to the Editor for June 25

‘Respected Senators’

I have respected and admired most just two of Oregon’s Senators. The first was Mark Hatfield. He answered every letter I wrote to him. This was back when only the USPS delivered letters back and forth from Oregon to Washington, D.C. We did not always agree on a position but he always accepted my view and explained his. The second senator is Jeff Merkley. He also has answered my every letter and digital message. I honor his repeated effort to stop the armchair filibusters and make the Senate more functional in this day of such wide divisions in our politics.

He has gotten the message through that the senate is vital part of our democracy, not a one man dictatorship. Now, no one senator can sit in his/her office and stop the flow of needed work of the senate on any bill they don’t like.

Senator Jeff Merkley is working for Oregonians and all regular citizens of this country to insure people come first before plutocrats and corporations. To vote him out of office to be replaced by a bought and paid for corporatist would be transitivity for Oregon and this country. Our federal government is dysfunctional enough, as is, without removing someone who is actively making a difference in rectifying this condition.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Hands tied

Ben Parsons thinks it is unlikely a person with a car is unlikely to kill, I seem to remember two little girls accidently killed by a car in a matter of a split second, a mentally ill person could certainly kill mass people. As for auto weapons, you have a police whose hands are tied by budget restraints, criminals laughing at gun free zones, a president releasing Muslim terrorists who vow to strike again and you want me to feel safe with a system not willing to spend money on mental health, police with their hands tied and a president giving terrorists a do-over. Yeah, I don’t think so.

Jim Burdick

Parkdale

Society’s decay

I too share Steve Kaplan’s lament about today’s society and thank him for sharing his thoughts. (Hood River News Letter to the Editor 6-21-14).

As a Christian, my mind went immediately to Scripture where answers to all of life’s issues can be found. God’s gift to Solomon was wisdom (2 Chronicles 1:12), and Solomon taught his sons the timely wisdom that this generation needs to learn. The truth we need is to live life “under the sun,” says Solomon, which comes through God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Proverbs 1:7; Mark 6:2-3). I also read what the Apostle Paul said to a first century church in the country of Galatia (Galatians 5:16 -24). In this passage, Paul laments about sin, the cause of all societal decline. And since God’s word is eternal, it is interesting to note the parallels to our day.

“So I (Paul) say, ‘Walk in God’s Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16-19). But ... those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (vs. 24).

Since sin has been with mankind since the fall of Adam and Eve, there are no perfect people, and therefore, no “magic bullet.” Our nation must lament sin and return to the Lord Jesus in faith. The biblical answer to our culture’s decay is more of God’s presence, not less. Providentially, there is a direct relationship between a nation’s moral decline and the abandonment of a nation’s spiritual roots. I pray we see the light before it’s too late.

Tom Yates

Hood River

Please change parking lot size

“Talk Trolley” humors me. Re, reviewing the past 10 years of Hood River’s “moving peoples” studies; it may be a “time-out” time to sit back and analyze those studies. E.g.: Year 2003 was the finale of a 10 year elongated County planners transportation study that included: 1st, bicycle trails throughout the County through timbered areas, over horse trails, along roadways, etc.; 2nd, Mt Hood Railroad with its needs for grant monies for ties; and 3rd, honorable mention went to Columbia Area Transit (CAT), Hood River’s primary (?) ‘people’ mover.

Year 2006 witnessed a “parking problem” study conducted by an Engineering firm with a Mr. Williams as our “guiding light”. I participated as a stake-holder. At its conclusion, was a recommendation for a two-story parking garage boarding the Mt. Hood Railroad’s property.

Year 2014 — C.A.T. will soon be driving the “Golden Spike” in Hood River’s first public ‘Park-and-Ride’ facility, built on a 20,000 sq. ft. lot with 44 stalls for cars, plus a bicycle park and lock shed.

This, “Our readers write” column, mentions three different transportation issues. However, whether it is year 2003, 2006, 2014, or “Talk Trolley”, when politics enters, wisdom exits.

As a CAT board member, sitting in my “comfee” chair , to go , or not to go ,with-the-flow, that is the “question”. I kind of feel like that little boy who asked this little girl for a kiss; when she said “yes”, he said, “Now that I got it, what am I supposed to do with it?” Please bring your ideas and questions to our Board meetings; 2nd Wednesday of each month, at your district’s office at 224 Wasco Loop, 1/4 mile east of Walmart, next to I-84.

OR Write to: Alan Winans, c/o Columbia Area Transit, P.O. Box 1147, Hood River, OR 97031.

Alan Winans

Hood River

Oil train politics

I really liked Arthur Babtiz’s speech in the ‘Another Voice’ column of the Hood River News, 6-21-14. I read it several times and I was also in attendance at the Riverside Church when he recited it to a group of about fifty people. I talked with him after that forum that was held by the Friends of the Gorge and the Gorge Climate Action Network, and I profoundly agree that this ought to not be a political partisan issue.

But if we were to make it a political issue, Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who said he would track oil train safety until reforms are chaptered in law, was quoted by Oregonian’s Rob Davis as saying, “The Senate is going to bird-dog this. This is not something that’s just going to be debated for a few weeks.”

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio also said in a statement, it too printed in an article by Rob Davis, “Congress needs to exert oversight and make sure action is taken to protect the American public.” Both these people of higher authority made these statements back in February of this year. Mayor Babitz believes he was wrong to assume some higher authority is addressing our concerns over increased oil shipments of Bakken crude, but look out, there’s no need to worry, because Wyden and DeFazio are all over it. Are they really?

We absolutely should not make it about politics. It would be ideal if environmental and population safeties were not compromised for jobs, money or anything else. We can minimize the repercussions from doing business, but that takes getting answers from BNSF, the Federal Railroad Administration, and any other entity that works with transporting hazardous material by rail, and then pushing for preventative actions to be taken in order to keep us safe.

Kevin Herman

White Salmon, WA

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