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Letters to the Editor for April 11

‘Net Neutrality’

I had my letter about Greg Walden’s stand on net neutrality in draft form ready to type up and submit. After reading Joshua Dawson’s letter of April 4, 2015, I must add a second paragraph to my letter. But first my initial thoughts. Greg Walden is again pandering to corporate America rather than acting on behalf of his District 2 constituents, all Oregonians and American citizens.

His latest attack on people, and even small businesses, is his efforts to stop new FCC rules guaranteeing equal access to all internet users, meaning there is not favoritism given to any one user for any reason. The net is to remain neutral. There can be no slowing of delivery or failure to deliver any message or deny access to a site. Before the 2014 elections, Walden was bought by AT&T, Verison, Comcast and Time Warner Cable with almost $57,000 in campaign donations. Now, Walden, after all as a surrogate employee of those internet providers, is earning his pay by trying to stop the implementation of the new FCC designation of how these businesses are categorized. Why does Walden consistently put corporate profit before people?

Now some comments on Mr. Dawson’s letter. The FCC did not take over the internet, period.

The only attempted power grab was by the four providers above and their ilk and Walden is stand up for them, not freedom. After all, he must earn his pay. Yes, the internet has been around for a good long time but Verison, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T nor any other internet provider invented it. They did not patent it. But they have profited by it and handsomely.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Not ‘Smarter’

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test (SBAC) is too long. It will take a student approximately 10-15 hours, spread over seven days, to complete the test.

An adult would be tired and weary of testing going into the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th day of testing. How will an 8 year old feel and perform? How about an already perpetually tired 17 year old?

Standardized tests have their place. The Common Core Curriculum has its strengths. What I am personally opposed to is the length and validity of this particular test. This test has not been proven to test what your student has been taught or what your student has learned. From all I have read, this test is still in the research phase and any student that takes it is a research subject. The scores that they will receive will be part of their school record whether or not they are a fair reflection of their actual knowledge. If this doesn’t seem fair, then you might consider opting your student out of the test.

I know that parents worry how opting out of SBAC might affect their children, so this is important to understand: private school students are not required to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment and will not have a SBAC score on their record. Schools and universities will find a way to assess them, perhaps by looking at their transcripts — and they can do that for public school students who opt-out, too.

The Hood River School District is required by law to administer the test, but it is your legal right to opt your student out of it. I have already opted my students out of this test. There are several opt-out forms available on the Web. I encourage you to do your own research about this topic and seriously consider what is best for your family and your student’s future.

Peg Bogard

Hood River

Springtime reminder

Spring is in the air and gardeners in Hood River will soon start working in their yards. If that work includes digging, NW Natural reminds you to first call 811 — the Utility Notification Center — to locate underground gas and other utility lines.

This is a free service and it’s not only a smart thing to do to help prevent damage, it’s the law. Once you call, a technician will visit the property within two business days to locate your gas and utility lines.

If a gas line has been accidentally damaged, remember to: Smell. Go. Let us know. If you smell rotten eggs or hear a hissing sound, immediately leave the area on foot and then call 911 and NW Natural’s 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Be safe this spring and be sure to call before you dig.

Tonya Brumley

NW Natural Community

Affairs Manager

The Dalles

Visit ‘Clink!’

I had a fun, interesting time recently at the Hood River County History Museum. I attended the program called “Clink!” It included a traveling exhibit describing the wine industry in Oregon.

Fascinating! I had no idea what a rich history it was. There were several local, award-winning wineries sharing their best wines and an excellent presentation on wine growing as a hobby by Helmut Riedl.

The museum is a real credit to our community — beautiful building, informative exhibits, and outstanding volunteers. Hats off to the county and all those who have made this possible!

If you haven’t gone recently, the “Clink!” program is an excellent introduction. The last one is April 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. ($10-15 donation), and it is your last opportunity to see the traveling exhibit.

You can learn more about the museum by googling “hood river museum, about us.”

Lawrence Jones

Hood River

For Wilhelm

Kris Wilhelm is running for school district position 1, Westside Hood River and Cascade Locks. She stands for kids, teachers, parents and makes sound financial decisions not only in her personal life and business but also by investing wisely for her children’s future. Kris has a science background which I believe lends to analyzing facts before making decisions. She would be a great asset for all of our children.

Debra King

Hood River

For Reitz

Throwing your hat into the public service ring should always be commended. The payouts are time away from your family, dealing with divisive issues in the community and most often no pay for your efforts.

So let’s always remember to thank all of our public servants/ volunteers ... a community cannot exist without them!

A friend and consistent community volunteer, Chrissy Reitz, is throwing her hat (probably a Pistil) into the ring yet again ... this time for the Position 1 School Board seat. Always with a smile on her face, Chrissy has been a part of many local groups that make our little world a better place. A co-founder and committee member of the Gorge Kids Triathlon, Providence Child Center Foundation Board Member, Westside Elementary School PTO member and vice president and school site council member, Hood River Warming Shelter volunteer, SMART reader, Waterfront Park Adopt-a-plot committee member and New Parent Services of Hood River County advisory board member. We are pretty sure Chrissy doesn’t want a real job (a former nurse before having kids and spending all of her free time volunteering) but is dedicated to working hard at making our community a better place. Isn’t that the kind of person we want making the tough decisions on our School Board?

Chrissy likes hugs, good jokes, talking, making friends, kids, wine and throws a mean corn-hole bag. Feel free to approach her if you hear her laugh (cackle) out on the streets. She’s a good egg and will be getting our vote.

Matt and Dawn Rankin

Hood River

Reitz is right

Chris Reitz is running for Hood River County School Board Position 1. Chris has been an asset to Hood River County since relocating here with her family in 2002. She has given countless hours to volunteer service in our schools and the greater community. Her resume includes Gorge Kids Triathalon co-founder, Westside Elementary PTO vice-president, Hood River Warming Shelter volunteer, SMART reading volunteer, Waterfront Park Adopt-a-Plot committee member, Westside Elementary Site Council member, New Parent Services Advisory Board member, and Providence Child Center Foundation Board member. This past winter, it was not unusual to find Chris volunteering in her child’s classroom at Westside Elementary after awakening at 4 a.m. for the morning shift at the warming shelter. She is truly an inspiration in her commitment to supporting and improving life in the Gorge for our children and those in need.

Chris is a critical thinker. She approaches problems and challenges with an open mind, considering all angles and solutions before making decisions that affect herself and others. She’s an active listener, open to considering opinions and ideas that may be very different from her own. Our schools will continue to thrive only when parents, students, and the greater community feel their voices are heard, nd that every individual can be an integral part of the system. As a member of the Board, Chris hopes to improve communication with the public, increasing awareness of School Board issues throughout the district to facilitate each community member’s role in shaping the future of our schools.

Without a doubt, Chris will make an excellent addition to the Board.

Please join me in supporting Chris Reitz for Hood River School Board in the May election.

Laurel Roof

Hood River

Hood River Mt.

On Wednesday, my poem about the logging of Hood River Mountain was included in the Letters to the Editor. The original title was “Hood River Mountain Elegy.” It was changed to “Mountain Elegy” for the paper.

I want people to know Hood River Mountain is the place I was talking about. It was one of my favorite hiking trails and now it has been logged. This hike was so beautiful, and so close to town. It will be missed by many people who used to hike there.

Venka Payne

Hood River

Human trafficking bill needed

It is shocking that any form of slavery still exists, especially in our country. Senators should be working together to pass a bill that allows survivors of trafficking to make their own reproductive health care decisions. This is not a platform for personal politics. These women and girls should be treated fairly and have the best opportunity to get their lives back on track. They have already been victims; they should not be used as ploys in someone’s ideological agenda.

Pamela Larsen

Hood River



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