Letters to the editor for June 28

Answer oil questions

The statistical risk of analysis of the Bakken Oil Trains by Mayor Babitz in your June 21, 2014, edition was excellent but it left out the essential element of damage. As I understand it, the debris radius calculated from the other Bakken Oil Train explosions is slightly over a mile. This means that depending on whether the explosion occurs on the Hood River side of the Columbia River or on the Washington side, residents of Hood River can expect to have pieces of oil rail cars rain down on them in the business district at a minimum, or from the business district up on the Heights at a maximum.

Debris radius damage is entirely different from the damage which will be caused by the blast radius which is the damage from the shock wave which emanates out from the explosion. Although that radius has not been officially determined from the previous explosions, it will probably be at least three miles or as many as five miles or more. In Jamestown, Virginia, all windows in the town were blown out for miles. In the Canadian town, the entire town center was leveled and how far the blast radius went has not been publicized.

At least on the Washington side of the Columbia River, the several fire chiefs have determined that there is no meaningful response which the several fire departments can render other than to facilitate evacuation. To be prepared for such an eventuality, there should be detailed evacuation plans for every community along the Columbia River of which the populace is well informed. How many of these communities actually have such plans, and if so, have the residents been informed? Have the escape routes been marked? These are serious questions which must be answered before there is an incident, not after.

Lance S. Stryker

Hood River

Whither our energy?

Just wondering … how much energy is burned providing for the servers that support things like Google, Facebook, YouTube, our computer systems overall including our own in-home computers? Or, of the energy consumed by other technologies such as MRI and X-ray machines and all the technologies that we are so affectionate of? Could we go back 30 or 40 years when those things were not around so much and do without? Were we not in a place where energy is of such abundance, would we be willing to burn some coal in order to have those gadgets?

On the global scale, where energy is not quite as abundant in other lands, it seems entirely appropriate for us to leave the coal in Wyoming and keep it away from others, in order that they have not the chance of developing the lifestyles we take for granted. For they know not the harm they would perpetrate on the planet for the sake of having sufficient, affordable energy. So let them buy it from somewhere else, if they can - and they will be thankful they have we the intelligent ones to look out for their better interest … one would think.

Marty Miller


Wehby for Congress

I just watched Jeff Merkley’s latest TV advertisement. In it he states that Monica Wehby is the candidate of choice for the Republican Party because she will support their platform in every way. As usual, Merkley could not be farther wrong. Wehby has said over and over again that she disagrees with numerous aspects of “Washington Insider” politics. Including the policies of the GOP and most importantly the policies of the Democrats. Wehby was not the GOP establishment’s choice to run against Merkley. Jason Conger was. She surprised the established GOP insiders with a very strong victory. The GOP supports her now because she is a far better candidate for Oregon’s Senate than Merkley.

Merkley is the most liberal and farthest “Left” Senator in Washington. He has not missed a step in supporting Barack Obama’s systematic destruction of America, from ObamaCare to our current disastrous treatment of illegal criminal aliens. From Obama’s surrender in Iraq which led to today’s pogroms, to our massive national debt, Merkley has supported the Obama agenda from “top to bottom”. For this reason alone he needs to be replaced.

But the really important thing to remember is that Merkley’s lies about Wehby illustrate the most pressing reason why the man needs to get fired. It is more important to this man to get re-elected by any means necessary than it is to comport himself with the honor and dignity that his position dictates. This is true of Democrats in general, but Merkley is the “standard bearer” for the new Democrat/Communist/Socialist Party. We need to retire him. When the choice is between Merkley or Wehby, I say vote Wehby!

Cliff Mansfield


Pipeline, not trains

If people don’t want the oil trains in the gorge then they should allow a safe pipeline. That works for coal also (slurry).

Paul Nevin

Hood River

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