As of Friday, October 2, 2015
Yes to Nestlé
Michelle Hollister wrongly states, or implies, that Cascade Locks is giving away water to Nestlé. Cascade Locks wants to sell water that we don’t use to Nestlé. Water is a resource, certainly, but it runs away if it is not used, unlike other natural resources.
She believes people let their lawns go brown because of scarcity of water and farmers use drip systems for the same reason. I believe it is because they don’t want to pay for more water than they need. It’s an economic and business decision.
Cascade Locks has an unused resource that can’t be saved up for another time. It runs downhill and adds to our already rising sea level.
I hope our Hood River County Commissioners recognize that just as they supported Cardinal Glass locating in Hood River Valley with year-round jobs, so we support Nestlé Company coming to Cascade Locks with year-round, family-wage jobs. It’s good for all of us.
Michelle Hollister writes about the need to protect our limited water supply. Moving about the county, particularly in the Hood River area, I’m amazed by the verdant orchards and fields, thousands of acres all irrigated. I was also amazed at the near Olympic sized pool for the county’s younger citizens in front of the middle school. Then there’s the eight county schools all with green lawns and playing fields. In Hood River and nearby there are five golf courses all green and beautiful. I won’t get into the brew pubs, one of which held the celebration of the filing of the “protect our limited water supply” petition Ms. Hollister lauds. Then there’s the juice bottlers, wineries and more. There’s a drought in Hood River County, really? Michelle, you don’t want Cascade Locks, one of the wettest places in Oregon to bottle its water. What hypocrisy.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Better Oregon campaign will kick off its signature drive to place an initiative measure on the Fall 2016 ballot. The measure will raise taxes on large, out-of-state corporations that generate more than $25 million dollars within the State of Oregon. This will compel corporations to pay their fair share to support Oregon’s schools and human services. Oregon’s current minimum income tax for corporations is just $150.
Oregon currently has the lowest corporate tax rate and the third-largest school class sizes in the nation. Oregon’s graduation rate is one of the lowest in the nation and the school year is one of the shortest.
In the past 10 years, Hood River County School District has reduced programs like art, music, library, and PE for 10 consecutive years, cutting dozens of staff and hundreds of hours of classroom instruction.
The Better Oregon campaign seeks to raise corporate income taxes to a 2.5 percent tax rate on earnings over $25 million dollars, generated within the state of Oregon, and only on the earnings over $25 million dollars. This measure will not increase taxes for workers, farmers, small businesses or local industries.
If we really do want a better Oregon, profitable companies doing business in Oregon need to pay their fair share to support the true costs of doing business.
Better Oregon volunteers, who are also your friends, family and neighbors, will be gathering signatures in the next months to qualify the Better Oregon initiative for the November 2016 ballot. I encourage you to find out more at ouroregon.org/priorities/a-better-oregon and to support our schools by adding your signature to the ballot initiative petition.
CASA needs volunteers
We are writing regarding our support for Columbia Gorge CASA and a request that community members volunteer to advocate for a child.
Columbia Gorge CASA serves Sherman, Wasco and Hood River Counties.
CASA trains and supports volunteers who advocate for children in our foster care system. Once trained, the volunteers become the court-appointed special advocate for a specific child or family of children. As your local Circuit Court Judges, we are all very appreciative of the impact Columbia Gorge CASA has on children in foster care in our counties. The advocates in all three of these counties regularly meet with the children, parents, agencies, and schools. CASA provides information to the courts about what is really going on with the particular child. CASAs provide the judges with further insight as to the current well-being of the children as well as the child’s needs and desires.
Columbia Gorge CASA is hoping to expand the program locally in Sherman, Wasco and Hood River Counties. Although Columbia Gorge Casa is currently serving about 60 percent of our dependency children, there are many more children who would benefit from having a CASA volunteer. The next CASA volunteer training begins on Oct. 27 with the application deadline ending Oct. 19. The training will be one night a week for six weeks and will take place in The Dalles.
Please contact CASA at www.gorgecasa.org or 541-386-1247 to volunteer.
John Olson, Karen Ostrye, Janet Stauffer and John Wolf
Circuit Court Judges,
Seventh Judicial District