Letters to the Editor for Feb. 6

Cost of business

Susan Froehlich’s Feb. 3 letter “Local Sticker” brings up an important local issue, but acknowledges only a tiny portion of our economic problems. Our local, state, and federal budgets do not support our needs. Other states manage non-native commerce much differently, but Oregon voters don’t like those options.

Florida has no income tax, but a huge tourist trade. Your car rental bill there has a rental rate from Avis, a sales tax, a daily fee for the state, and an airport daily rate. This brings a $199 rental closer to $300 for a week.

Imagine if we had even one of those fees associated with restaurant purchases and/or hotel and car rentals. What about a one percent sales tax?

Just one penny collected for every dollar of gas, McDonald’s hamburger, stay at a hotel, and paddleboard rental. Think of the hundreds of millions of other people’s money available to replace the Hood River Bridge and pay for a new school. Think of all the cookies you won’t have to bake and sell, school fundraisers you won’t have to attend begging for $2 and $3 at a time.

I don’t think any of these things will happen. We seem to want to band-aid things with levees every few years and Rice Krispy treats (delicious as they are). Look at the uproar created by the city-based two or three cents gas tax. You pay one way or the other. Why shouldn’t someone else pay?

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘Good Karma’

Good karma is the belief that if you do something good it will come back to you — and vice versa. It’s also a neat thrift shop on the corner near the bowling alley. I stop in occasionally to see what I can find — always leaving there with something, and today it was feelings, both bad and good.

As I was browsing through discarded treasures, I overheard the owner, Brent, making small talk with a group of ladies who clearly had a great time and were cackling over who got the better deal amongst them. There was no decisive winner as each made an argument in their favor. Brent walked them to their car and after they left I caught him standing outside looking a little down. I asked him if everything was okay, and hesitantly, he told me that a few days ago, while the register was unattended, someone opened it and stole $2,000 in cash that he was about to use to pay his mortgage.

I felt very bad for his situation and did my best to reassure him that there are good people out there. I reminded him about the name of his store and my belief that his good karma will bring something back.

Our conversation was cut short as a man swung the door open, presenting a pretty nice looking piece of cutlery, and said, “How much?” Brent’s reply of, “How about a buck?”was met with an approving smile. I told him I didn’t need anything, then pulled out my wallet and handed him a twenty. He was a little red faced and tried to humbly refuse, but after explaining that I wanted to help, he graciously accepted. He thanked me so sincerely that it resonated with me that something as small as twenty bucks — as bad as I could use it — meant that much to him at the moment.

Please take some time to stop by and help lift Brent up like I know Hood River can. I guarantee you will leave with some good karma.

John Stewart

Hood River

What if?

After many years, Middle Fork Irrigation District raised its rates. Dick and I are fine with that — we appreciate the water very much.

But suppose we were NOT fine with it. What if we went to their office in Odell at night, broke in and stationed ourselves inside armed with semi-automatics? What if we refused to come out until the irrigation rates went back down again? What would happen then? I’ll tell you what would happen:

We would be arrested and taken to jail so fast we’d get pneumonia from the breeze on the trip down to Hood River. We’d be charged with all sorts of crimes, including breaking and entering, because we would have broken the law.

We do not understand why those renegades down in Burns have gotten away with those same crimes. Of course, Middle Fork Irrigation District is not a government office, but the principle is exactly the same. Bundy’s gang should be rounded up and charged — every single one of them. And by the way, Bundy, Sr. should have to pay his $1,000,000 back grazing fees, plus late charges. This continued stand-off is making our beloved state of Oregon look lawless and making the FBI look silly and ineffective.

Wendy and Dick Best


Dare to say ‘no’

Have you received your survey call from Nestlé yet?

As longtime citizens of Cascade Locks (formerly PRO Nestlé), my husband and I are against the privatization of water.

I received a call from a 503 area code and a kid named Jeremiah from a research group. Asked if I was for or against Nestlé and a water bottling plant in Hood River County, I told him I am against water privatization period!

Other concerned citizens are sharing their survey experience and questions asked of them, i.e., are you NOT afraid of a huge lawsuit by Nestlé? Do you agree with Hood River “controlling Cascade Locks’ destiny?” These questions are obviously slanted and using the intimidating scare tactics that we’ve already seen.

My husband and I have changed our stance against Nestlé because we no longer trust the process. We have a local citizen in a position of power who has admitted to receiving a stipend (agreed upon amount of payments for a certain service) — in this case he was a Port Commissioner who received a stipend from Nestlé. He is now our Port president who negotiates the sale of property to Nestlé, while his wife is on City Council and is one of the “deciders” on this issue.

This is how Nestlé operates. If they can’t buy their way into a small, desperate town, they will SUE them out of it, as in the case of Maine, sued five times and counting, because “Maine has interfered with Nestlé’s RIGHT to grow their market shares.”

Yes, they will sue — Nestlé is a mega international, billion dollar per year corporation, whose CEO is quoted as saying, “Water is NOT a human right. It should be considered a food stuff and therefore have a price.“ It is not considered a human right to them, but they have the RIGHT to our country’s water to GROW their corporation. They are already the largest food and beverage corporation in the world!

Please, dare to say NO to Nestlé!

Bob and Kathy Tittle

Cascade Locks

Support bill

HB 1574, the Healthy Climate Bill, is before the Oregon legislature this short session, and creates a practical and doable path to achieving the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals established by the State in 2007.

The centerpiece is a “cap and invest” strategy which puts an actual dollar value on carbon emissions and allows emitters to decide for themselves how to best meet their efficiency goals. Proceeds from that price on carbon would be directed to projects that reduce GHG emissions in low-income and disadvantaged communities — including those in rural Oregon.

Adopting this strategy will allow us to join our west coast carbon-price neighbors (CA, BC), as well as nine northeastern states and most of the rest of Canada, in a strong coalition that is already paying handsome economic and environmental dividends. These, and 37 other participating countries, are providing both robust working models and growing markets for clean energy technologies.

Our state legislators need to hear from us on this, and quickly, as the legislative session ends March 6.

Call or email Sen. Chuck Thomsen (503-986-1726, sen.chuckthom-sen@state.or.us) and Rep. Mark Johnson (503-986-1452, rep.mark-johnson@state.or.us) now and urge their support of HB 1574, the Healthy Climate Bill.

Business-as-usual emitters will be working them hard to protect short-term corporate financial interests, so it is essential they hear the voice of their actual constituents clearly.

Bonnie New

Hood River

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