Letters to the Editor for Jan. 9

Effective governing

A recent letter suggested we have a new breed (of politician) in the U.S.

These people seem to masquerade as sensible, mature adults who happen to belong to the GOP at election time.

Some Americans, including private citizens and politicians, operate under the narrow paradigm that every idea generated or implemented by a member of their party turns everything to gold. At the same time, anything even remotely associated with the other major party is worthless and destroys our great nation.

I expect that every government representative at the local, state, and national level has enough class, intelligence, and maturity to engage in a meaningful conversation about the current and future needs of our country and its people. It seems senseless to elect anyone of any party who is 100 percent convinced they have all the answers to every problem and opposing views are by definition wrong.

I hardly think feet stomping, clenched fists, gritted teeth, and government shutdowns are effective ways to move forward. Why anyone would want their representatives to behave in this manner is beyond me.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Celebrate music

Our “Community of Music” is about to be celebrated on Friday, Jan. 22 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, Jan. 24 (2 p.m.) and it promises to inspire! The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association (CGOA) will present two concerts at Wy’east Middle School’s beautiful Performing Arts Center in Odell. They will spotlight local talent from diverse cultures and styles, at the same time honoring musical improvisation.

The Jazz Collective Big Band will share the stage Friday with Joel Kabokov and Europatopia’s klezmer band, and on Sunday the Jazz Collective will be joined by the local ensembles Jamba Marimba (African and other music) and Los Temerosos (Mexican mariachi and banda styles).

All of it is joyous and spontaneous stuff — and all of it emanating from our own “Community of Music.” Take your kids, parents, grandkids, great-aunt and favorite uncle and have a ball, speaking the universal language of music with your neighbors!

CGOA is our community’s nonprofit vocal, orchestral and ensemble musical organization and is making these free concerts available to all (though donations will be appreciated).

Tina Castañares

Hood River

Bags needed

In response to Maria Kollas’ letter about the Earth Bags program at Rosauers ... Thank you for the recognition of this innovative little program that a group of fourth and fifth graders from May Street School came up with — the May Street Rockin’ Robo Dragons. The program depends on customers who donate their extra bags that are just sitting around at home. Right now the bins are almost empty. So, if you have an extra bag or two, please consider donating it to the Earth Bags program by simply dropping them off in the bins at Rosauers. Thank you, Hood River.

AJ Kitt

Hood River

Students express health concerns

Editor’s Note: Here are selected letters written by members of the Health Media Clubs at Wy’east Middle School and Hood River Middle School:

Marijuana affects us by making it hard for us to breathe, varying levels of paralysis, confusion and anxiety. It also causes hallucinations and loss of coordination. It can also cause lung and brain damage. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the U.S. It’s a mixture of green, brown or gray flowers or leaves that have been dried or shredded from a hemp plant. It is smoked in rolled marijuana or in a pipe or bong. It may be smoked in a hollowed-out cigar called a blunt.

Jihan Ziada

Alcohol is an ingredient that is found in beer, wine and liquor. Not all drinking is harmful to people. Some short-term effects of drinking are blurry vision, slurred speech and confusion. Some long-term effects of drinking alcohol are nerve damage, cancer and depression.

Neilly Kendall

Smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, cyanide and ammonia — many of which are known carcinogens. The majority of tobacco users smoke cigarettes, inhaling the smoke into their lungs. Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States.

Laura Magaña

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