Letters to the Editor for Dec. 17

I wonder

I wonder what the reaction would be if all federal employees, especially House and Senate members, were stripped of their publicly funded (72 percent) heath care benefits and had to buy coverage in the for-profit market like the rest of us?

I wonder if we would see a different rhetoric from Washington if all federal pensions were switched, lock, stock and barrel, to Social Security only? Would the shrill cries to privatize Social Security, gut or repeal the ACA, slash Medicare and Medicaid be so loud? I doubt it very much. Maybe it is time for all Americans to demand these changes.

Gary Fields

Hood River

‘Epitomize caring spirit’

A group of men from the Public Works Department are my new heroes. A simple “thank you” is not enough, but I don’t know what else to say.

One of the guys who drives the truck that plowed my road last week tried to back plow my driveway for me; too much snow and a steep driveway kept me from getting up the driveway. A few minutes later, I was once again at a standstill at the end of my street, unable to make the turn to proceed to my destination. Again, the man driving the truck with the plow was there to help me on my way. He had seen my frustration and went out of his way to help me.

A little later, I was waiting for a friend to come pick me up to go to lunch, when the driver of the truck with the plow parked his pickup in front of my house. Then a second pickup drove up, and a third pickup drove up, and then a fourth pickup parked in front of my house. From those four trucks came four men with shovels in hand and in no time, they had cleared my driveway for me. The gratitude I felt is immeasurable. I am sure they were tired from working that morning and had other places to go, but they took the time to help someone they did not know. I don’t know their names or anything about them, but they certainly epitomize the caring spirit of the people of Hood River.

Thanks again to the Hood River Public Works crew!

Beverly Carpenter

Hood River

Support SB3542

Wednesday’s editorial/letter page was terrific. Rick McBee’s letter highlighting the urgent need to improve oral health care in America, especially in view of our aging population, was great, and I join him in urging Congressman Greg Walden to ensure that more dental care benefits are added to our health care reforms.

On a separate issue of great importance to me, I was glad to read Yureli Cuevas’ brave, heartfelt and inspiring letter about her DACA status, along with Peggy Dills Kelter’s powerful column on making cultural and humanistic changes in how we view immigration. I’m grateful that so many voices are being heard in our region on this issue.

Yesterday I wrote to Senators Wyden and Merkley to urge their support of Senate Bill 3542 (and to Congressman Walden to urge his sponsorship of a counterpart House bill).

S. 3542, authored by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, will protect DACA provisions (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), thus ensuring that valued community members like Yureli can safely continue their studies and employment, pursue careers and increasingly contribute to our society.

Please let your elected representatives know you want their help in advancing this important, bipartisan effort.

Tina Castañares

Hood River

A funny thing happened …

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the forum. Just like you, the storm stopped me. Weather reports gave me the notion that this “stopped thing” could become a universal hindrance, could mean a nationwide nuisance challenge, could extend for an indeterminate amount of time, and that even trucks might soon be halted in their highways everywhere. Hadn’t my 13-foot tall (four-inch blossomed) Camellia (already dangerously forced to bloom in the middle of December), been forced by the snow’s weight to bow further to 6 feet? So, although my Chicken Little weather updates did not portend a falling sky at Christmas, any visions of dancing sugarplums were stopped in their tiny tracks by televised scenes of streets and roads of icy white bordered by a few 18-wheelers alongside every now and then (no engines running) and the TV transportation guys assessing, “Everything is still dicey.”

Could not this sort of unusual weather lead to empty cupboard shelves, where even a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box might have inhabited a short time ago? I mean if it were going to be this sudden and we couldn’t get to our local grocery stores!

And this is where the funny thing threatened to turn sour. For after careful thought and adding-machine assisted planning, quickly while the trucks were sure to carry, Prime Pantry deposited my personal Sherman House Emergency Planning Department order at our door in boxes of a size that any possible Elf City Building Department engineer could have easily determined that these boxes could provide a couple of elf-sized condominium buildings. Yes, pantry had stuffed them with enough air-filled plastic that I imagined my hubby could stomp/pop on them and go laughing for a long time. On the other hand, they took up so much space that the air stuffed boxes of cheese and cans, bottles and boxes, appeared to be of a monstrous size, and although it’s turned out well, Erma Bombeck (remember her?) could’ve had a blast.

Donna Gray-Davis

Hood River

No respect

Mayor Paul Blackburn should be let go from his position. Towards the end of the meeting at the city council Nov. 28, the mayor was bashing President-elect Donald J. Trump. After he did, the five more council members did too. Is that what a mayor of a city should act like? Our mayor should step down. There were young children at the meeting too. If they watch our mayor act like he’s on MTV or a reality channel, then they don’t learn respect! Fire the mayor and find one who takes stake in both sides of an issue.

In a story of the housing problems we have here, there were a couple of sentences about the sanctuary city. There were only four of us who opposed it because no one knew about it. That is underhanded work by the mayor and city council.

John C. Dorsey

Hood River

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