Letters to the Editor for Feb. 4

E-fixated danger

Which matters most: your e-toys or your child?

People (usually women … sorry, ladies!) jog or walk by our house, traveling with traffic on the right (WRONG!) side of the road, clueless of what’s coming behind them — some wearing iPod earphones, one hand on the stroller, iPhone in the other, eyes fixed on the screen, TEXTING WITH THEIR THUMBS! It’s beyond ignorant and beats anything I’ve ever witnessed! Equally sad is seeing police drive by, even pulling out around them, without so much as a verbal caution against their behavior.

Do these people believe all drivers pay attention, are never distracted, that they will always be clearly seen and, somehow, safe? Strollers can wander if both hands aren’t pushing. What about unseen rocks or holes or out-of-control vehicles because this person is on the wrong side of the road, texting and iTuning? Is any thought given to the child?

Laws are in place regarding child car seats. Some kind of law should protect children in strollers.

Oregon statute pertaining to pedestrians, section 814.070, states (paraphrased): A pedestrian commits (an offense) if, on a two-way residential roadway without sidewalks or shoulders, he/she fails to travel “only on the left side of it.” Seems straightforward.

What about police stops, e-toys removed, citations issued for child endangerment and a ride home in a police car — then names and offenses published for all to see? Unlikely — but maybe people could be shamed into valuing their precious cargo more than their electronic lifestyles.

So to our police: If not already doing so, please, even if someone’s not texting and/or iTuning, tell them where they belong on our roads, and tell those attached to their e-toys to leave them at home and pay attention to their child.

We live on Post Canyon. Some dimwits think it’s a drag strip! But Post Canyon isn’t the only place we see stroller/child endangerment! If you don’t know the rules or won’t disconnect long enough for an outing, perhaps you should learn, go by yourself or stay home.

Betty Osborne

Hood River

Duck pond

While shopping in the supermarket, I noticed a 40-something dad wearing an Oregon sweatshirt going through some Quackish paraphernalia with his children. I stopped and said to him: “January is almost over … tell me … have you recovered from the National Championship game?” He replied: “Oh my gosh! Wasn’t that awful?” But then I reminded him in order to stay positive … simply recall … relive … and cherish Oregon’s resounding Rose Bowl victory! Suddenly he was grinning from ear to ear as he replied, “Hey! That’s easy! We were there and loved every moment!” It goes to show you … Ducks love talking to Ducks no matter what pond they’re in.

Bill Davis

Hood River


Beginning in the late 1400s, epidemic infections killed many millions of Native Americans.

Despite medical science’s elimination of diseases like polio and smallpox in the intervening centuries, many advantaged people have decided their children need not contribute to your country’s immunity protection, and when groups of them visit an amusement park, we get a measles epidemic.

Go figure.

Dr. Chuck Haynie

Hood River

Students take stand on Klamath

Hello, my name is Zoe Swisher. I am 16 years old and a junior at Hood River Valley High School. For my EA project I started a letter writing campaign to raise awareness of the current political and environmental problems in the Klamath River Basin. Within two days of presenting my project to the students of Hood River Valley High School, I was able to gather 114 signatures. I have also met with the Honorable Rep. Greg Walden and discussed my project with him, and I plan to meet with many more state representatives and senators. My goal is to raise as much awareness as I possibly can about this issue.

Through my campaign I am urging congress to take further actions into passing an agreement called the K.B.R.A (aka: the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement); this agreement allows the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River that pollute their environment and are the center of issues concerning water quality and quantity, and the social wellbeing of the surrounding communities. This agreement has been stalled for over five years, and the time for action is now.

This project is not only important to me, but also to the students of Hood River Valley High School as well. As future voters we want to see positive change in our state.

Zoe Swisher

Hood River

Punch Bowl answers

To answer Mr. Chenowith’s “Punchbowl Questions” (Jan 28 edition):

As was explained at a recent public forum: Western Rivers Conservancy is the current owner of the area around Punch Bowl falls. They are not interested in long-term ownership of the land, but they are interested in keeping it undeveloped. So they have generously offered to sell it to the County at approximately 50 percent of market value. The County will purchase and maintain the property ONLY if they can secure a grant to do so (i.e., the purchase will not come out of the County’s general fund). If this does not happen, the land will go to another entity that may not wish keep it open to the public.

In regards to the gate at Tucker Park: Closing county campgrounds during times of low demand (winter) makes fiscal sense. Campgrounds require staff to empty garbage cans and clean bathrooms.

In regards to the gate on Middle Mountain: The County Forester got approval from the Board of Commissioners at a public meeting to close that gate (and several others on county forest). This request was made because the roads are prone to damage from traffic during the winter months when they are wet/muddy. Fixing miles of damaged roads is expensive.

I suppose the county could retain their seasonal workers year-around and keep the campgrounds open, and rock and re-grade the roads, but that would require “a little increase in property tax.”

Mike Schrankel

Hood River

‘The Hollow Man’

The things I took away from Greg Walden’s Hood River town hall meeting tell the true picture of the man. First and foremost is he is a corporatist plutocrat. He tried to deny he is in the top 5 percent of the wealthiest Americans. His published net worth says otherwise. So he will never tax himself and his rich compatriots, only vote to make the wealthy tax breaks permanent. He was happy to tell those in attendance how proud he was to help pass a bill helping small businesses hire vets. My records show he voted against this very thing when it was proposed by Democrats.

Doesn’t that makes him a hypocrite? Oh, maybe, he is just a party politician. He spoke of his effort to insure people needing home health care where not left without it. I then asked him what he meant, in his letter to the editor, about his pledge “to continue working hard for policies that will improve access to health care.” His answer was, “I already did that.” Let’s see, he voted against the ACA and about 50 more times to repeal, gut, defund, weaken or destroy the ACA. He would take this all away from the millions of Americans that now have health insurance or lower premiums. His actions make his “pledge” pretty darn hollow. I think the man himself is pretty darn hollow.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Oppose SB 324

One of the first public hearings of the Oregon Legislature’s 2015 session was for Senate Bill 324, which extends the sunset for a low carbon fuel standards (LCFS) program set to expire Dec. 31.

The alleged purpose of LCFS is to reduce the “carbon intensity” of fossil fuels. Producers of biofuels will be given “carbon intensity credits” for their production of “renewable” energy products. Suppliers of gasoline and diesel will be forced to purchase these “carbon intensity credits” to “mitigate” their carbon dioxide emissions.

The Department of Environmental Quality estimates this will increase the price of gasoline by about 19 cents per gallon. Consumer user groups are estimating costs to be closer to $1 per gallon.

SB 324 requires no notification of the covert tax to be provided to consumers. Most Oregonians won’t realize that they are paying an extra $2 to $20 to fill up their gas tanks.

The LCFS is not really about saving the planet. Even the complete elimination of ALL Oregon greenhouse gas emissions would not result in a measurable difference in global emissions.

It’s not about social justice, either. Families living at or near poverty levels spend the highest percentage of their income for energy.

They will suffer the greatest harm by forcing artificial and unaffordable increases in energy prices upon them.

Oregonians concerned about this misguided policy should contact their state representatives and senators and urge them to oppose SB 324.

Sen. Doug Whitsett

Klamath Falls

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