Letters to the Editor for Nov. 4

‘CAVE’ people

Looks to me like the Citizens Against Virtually Everything, or “C A V E” people, as I like to refer to them, have come out once again to stonewall and defeat yet another economic development in our town. This time it is the Nestlé water plant. We have seen this before, just another chapter in a long list of lost economic stimulus for our region.

The first one I remember was the tramway up to Ruckel Butte that the Port and the U.S. Forest Service just about built, had it not been for the same type of mind set. Then the world class destination ski resort at Mt. Hood Meadows and Cooper Spur — how about the Super Walmart or the Casino or the Cable Ski Park, just to name a few.

Just think of the jobs, the overall economic conditions, the tax revenue, as opposed to the ones now faced in our town, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. It doesn’t have to be, nor should it be!

I have noticed most of the opposition is not from around here. How much longer are we going to allow a small group to take away opportunities for our children, our grandchildren, our seniors and ourselves before we say enough is enough and it is time to join in the American dream or go back to our caves.

In my view, it’s not about water, we have a lot! I believe that if Nestlé was purposing to bring one of their world class chocolate factories to our town, these same C A V E people would be opposing it as well! Wanna bet?

Marvin Hansen Jr.

Cascade Locks

CL needs Nestlé

After reviewing the comments made by those who do not support Nestlé both in Cascade Locks and the City of Hood River, I feel compelled to make some observations. First of all, the water is not an issue, it is here in Cascade Locks, has absolutely no effect on the City of Hood River nor Portland, and we are not giving away the water rights.

It is my belief that most of those who oppose Nestlé oppose the corporation.

The tax base from Nestlé alone would allow us to employ an additional deputy, which the City of Hood River has many, and perhaps an additional EMT, which the City of Hood River has many. Myself, being on the committee to restore our fire department a few years ago, I can say with the extensive knowledge and good reasoning of Devon Wells, we were able to come to the conclusion that we need to keep our department functional, as the City of Hood River and surrounding communities would not necessarily be able to help us in an emergency. And I can say that we have had several since we were able to put the department back to a functioning operation. It is still a struggle, having the support of the tax base of Nestlé would be tantamount in providing additional services to our community.

A certain college instructor informed me that a marijuana shop and sailing events were all we needed until we could find other resources. Marijuana, really!

Those of us who are consistent volunteers in the community are seldom heard as we are busy doing instead of causing unnecessary havoc in the community.

To my knowledge, the Nestlé bashers do nothing in the way of volunteering in Cascade Locks. We here deserve the services and safety that the City of Hood River enjoys. We are deserve what the city of Hood River already has, we do not deserve any less!

Martha la Mont

Cascade Locks

Railroad roulette

The Gorge is threated by an onslaught of dirty fossil fuel transport proposals: two coal-by-rail projects and 15 oil-by-rail projects. If all these proposals are approved, they could add over 100 more trains travelling through the Gorge per week. Each project, however, has to run the gauntlet of an environmental review process where we, the public, get to provide input.

Washington State is soliciting public comments on two projects with deadlines fast approaching. Thursday, Nov. 5 is the deadline to comment on a proposal to expand Shell Oil’s refinery in Anacortes, Wash. (equal to six more oil trains per day). Monday, Nov. 30 is the deadline to comment on two oil terminals proposed for Grey’s Harbor (equals two more oil trains per day). Another comment period, on the Tesoro-Savage terminal in Vancouver, the biggest oil by rail proposal in the USA, will start Nov. 24.

Recently, I joined seven other Gorge activists from Oregon and Washington to testify in Aberdeen, Wash., against the two Greys Harbor oil projects that would double the number of oil trains through the Gorge daily. Every new oil project that increases oil train traffic through the Gorge is another roll of the roulette wheel, upping the changes for a catastrophic accident.

Here are two nightmare scenarios:

  1. An oil train explosion and subsequent fire, that when combined with high Gorge winds, could spread a wildfire to both sides of the Gorge and burn downwind for miles.

  2. An oil spill near one of the Columbia River dams that would pollute the fish ladders, rendering them unusable to migrating fish and devastating the salmon runs in addition to fouling the turbine blades within the dam.

The alarming safety record of oil trains means an explosive oil train derailment is a question of when, not if. Less dramatic but equally concerning is the air pollution, health risk and traffic delays oil trains would bring to communities along the rail line in the Columbia River Gorge and elsewhere.

To educate yourself and make a public comment, please visit www.gorgefriends.org or www.standuptooil.org or visit the Washington Department of Ecology website.

Peter Cornelison

Hood River

Editor’s note: Cornelison works for Friends of the Columbia Gorge and is on Hood River City Council, one of seven local governments that have passed resolutions expressing opposition to oil train shipments.

Accountable GOPs

In the last Republican debate, it was … show and tell … the D.C. Cartel and the left wing media Super Pack. Ever try to move a contended donkey and elephant from their ever-opulent confines? That assignment was given to Trump, Carson, Cruz and Rubio. It seems they came through like champions. How dare these darn conservatives try to make the nation’s capital accountable?

Bill Davis

Hood River

‘Safety’ say

Mark Reynold’s is interested in an explanation as to why State Rep. Mark Johnson voted against a universal background check law in the State of Oregon (Oct. 31, “Asking Explanation”).

I don’t speak for any politician, nor would I presume to know why Rep. Mark Johnson votes the way he does on any issue. I can, however, say with complete surety that the whimsical ways with which laws are passed give absolute credence to why Americans are fed up with politicians. Show me the statistics that give a strong relationship between the private sales of firearms and shootings in Oregon or Washington. I think you’ll find the strongest relationship is between the already illegally obtained firearm and the criminal element. Where are the statistics that show otherwise? I’m glad Mr. Reynolds is concerned about “safety,” even if he cares not about the people’s right to privacy when it relates to the private transfer of a firearm. Oh well, the law is passed on both sides of the Columbia, and what’s done is done, but in the end, criminals are going to overlook background checks, for if they were concerned about them to begin with, they would’ve gone to a gun store and bought the gun for cheaper than they could on the street. That’s the funny thing about crooks — they break the law.

Kevin Herman

White Salmon, Wash.

Pro water measure

I am grateful for the enormous amount of work people are putting into the effort to keep Nestlé and others who want our water out of Hood River County. This summer Governor Brown added Hood River County to the list of Oregon counties in a formal drought. The effects of less snow pack and hotter temperatures are already being felt. We need take a proactive stance and protect our water supply for our local uses, agriculture, our fish and locally made products. Using our water to let people who do not live here drink out of disposable plastic bottles with a fancy label does not make sense even if it did result in a few low-paying jobs.

David Michalek

Hood River

Shed Hastert Rule

Credit outgoing House Speaker John Boehner with shoveling out at least a part of the barn.

By raising the debt ceiling and passing a budget, he has likely avoided a credit default and government shutdown until 2017. He was able to do so only by ignoring the so-called “Hastert Rule” — the rule that the Speaker would only allow votes on legislation supported by a majority of House Republicans.

Coupled with the rightward shift of the Republican Party, the Hastert Rule has made Congress largely ungovernable. Rather than working to pass needed bipartisan legislation, the House is consumed with endless Benghazi hearings and a parade of meaningless show votes on repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Instead of being the place where all the people’s voices are heard, the Hastert Rule has made it a place where they are silenced by a radical minority. Who are the real “Republicans” and who are the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only)? Those who allow votes on bipartisan legislation supported by the majority of Americans or those who use the Hastert Rule to block any legislation that doesn’t meet their narrow ideology?

It seems fitting that the Hastert Rule is named after a former Speaker now pleading guilty to paying millions to silence a former student. I pray that Paul Ryan, Greg Walden and the rest of the Republican leadership will move beyond the Hastert Rule and once again begin to do the people’s business.

Rick Davis

The Dalles

Water source

As I write this letter, there is a typical Cascade Locks deluge coming down as it does for eight months out of the year. I also know that the basin above Cascade Locks is filling up from its average 120 inches of rainfall.

This basin is the source for Oxbow Springs, not snow melt like with the Hood River.

Cascade Locks water sources are completely separate from the rest of the county, even though the conspiracy theorists are telling you something different.

So when people are trying to shut down a revenue generating project for Cascade Locks, it just feels like a personal attack. The water that Nestlé will take is less than a drop in the bucket when it comes to the water the county uses. Oxbow water leaves its source and runs out of the county in a matter of minutes, so why are people so upset? No one here is taking water from farmers. In addition, it’s ODFWs job to raise healthy fish, and they approve the project. Cascade Locks continues to struggle with a crumbling infrastructure, asbestos water pipes that leak as much water as Nestlé will use, an electrical system that needs to be renovated, a city hall that probably should be condemned and a struggling K-5 school that we hope we can hang on to.

The proponents of the anti-water bill say they are pro-family while they are everything but! Families need full time jobs with benefits, something that is rare in Cascade Locks. Families need a local school, which we could lose altogether as more families leave the area. So when people approach you about signing a petition for water manufacturing in Cascade Locks, remember Nestlé as a company will prevail no matter what happens here in Hood River County, but with the passing of this ballot measure, there will be yet another nail in Cascade Locks’ coffin, and again this feels like one more attack on our community’s future.

Debora Lorang

Cascade Locks

Look beyond ‘no’

If you have been here a while (going on 35 years for me), you know a little about the back-story of Cascade Locks. It has for as long as I have lived here had the worst entrenched poverty in the county. There have been a number of ideas, mostly bad or far-fetched, to remedy this situation. The proposed Warm Springs Casino was the idea that preceded Nestlé’s proposed water bottling plant. I opposed the casino not because I questioned the tribe or Cascade Locks’ right to build one, but because of the financing by foreign investors and the overly optimistic assumption that there is an unlimited demand for gambling. I thought the Warm Springs Tribe and the town were going to get taken. I’m opposed to the Nestlé plant for similar reasons, though I don’t care a wit what happens to Nestlé. The plant’s construction is premised on unlimited demand for very pure water in very plastic bottles. I think this bad idea may have reached it apogee also. That being said, I can’t really support an initiative to ban the construction of a bottling plant in Cascade locks. What I would like to see is that energy harnessed and redirected towards better economic development in Cascade Locks. It’s not enough to keep saying no — we need to help build something better.

Ben Seagraves

Hood River

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GorgeGoddess 2 years, 11 months ago

I see Martha La Mont has forgotten the 6 months work I did to assist in transferring and setting up the food bank with FISH. Well, until she edged me out.


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