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Letters to the Editor for March 5

See ‘Shrew’

This weekend and next weekend, actors at Hood River Valley High School are performing Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” Many people choose not to watch Shakespeare out of fear of not understanding, but this performance is very entertaining and easy to understand. At times the action on stage is slapstick comedy and older children will enjoy it as much as their parents. Check it out Friday or Saturday at 7 p.m.

Theresa North

Hood River

Must see

“Taming of the Shrew” at HRVHS — this is a must see play. Shakespeare presented in a stunning play. Come and support the students at HRVHS. The students are amazing. The play is very well presented. The set and the costumes are professionally done and created by artistic people. Thank you Rachel Harry for all the positive support and guidance you give all these students, and to each of us! Show details: Friday March 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m.

Ann Zuehlke

Hood River

‘Awesome job’

I wanted the community to know that the Hood River Valley High School is doing “Taming of the Shrew.” The kids have done an awesome job and a lot of hard work! The show is hilarious and very enjoyable. Ms. Harry has let the kids take the lead in lighting, building of the set, and even some adlib. Please come and support our local high school theater group.

You can purchase tickets at the door. Adults are $8 and seniors and students are $5. Please come and have fun.

Amiee Cannon

Cascade Locks

Girls vs. boys

It was great to read about our local wrestlers doing so well at the state championships (“HRV wrestlers find the podium at state champs,” March 2), but one thing about the article struck a very wrong note. See if you can spot it.

One wrestler took first place, and for the third year in a row. Another wrestler took third place. So, which wrestler do you think was shown in the first photo, mentioned earlier in the sub-heading, and mentioned first in the story itself? The boy, of course! The girl, who earned higher honors, was shown in the second photo and wasn’t even mentioned until the story’s fourth paragraph.

Turning the page, I saw that this same thing happened again at the end of the story. A different boy, who finished fourth, had his photo shown before that of a different girl, who finished third. The boy was mentioned first in the photo’s caption, too.

Please, friends, I’m not trying to lessen the praise for these outstanding male athletes. They absolutely deserve their kudos, and I tip my cap to them. I simply want to point out that, when female athletes achieve higher, they deserve the higher praise. Sending the message that girls’ achievements aren’t as valued as boys’ achievements also sends the message that girls aren’t as valued as boys. Do we really want to send that message?

Some may argue that the boys deserve more praise because they had to wrestle more opponents and had harder competition than the girls, but consider this: The girls wrestled anyone put up against them, and tennis experts know that Serena Williams couldn’t beat any of the top 200-300 male professionals. But does that make Serena any less the great champion she is? Of course not.

Mike Hendricks

Hood River

‘Mistake’

Eliminating or restricting short term vacation rentals would be a big economic mistake.

Retailers like me rely on the sales of folks staying in short term rentals, hotels, and motels. They are here for weddings, reunions, skiing, sports, etc. They are coming here year round. OLCC profits are distributed by sales and population to each city and county in Oregon. It may not seem like a lot of money, but the City of Hood River and Hood River County received $15,000 in OLCC profits for January 2016 alone. Please don’t discount the importance of short term rentals on our tourism based economy.

Mark Freeman

Hood River Liquor

Protect forest

The Polallie Cooper Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project proposed by the Forest Service has generated growing opposition from environmental groups and concerned individuals near and far. Many who know and treasure this area of Oregon are speaking up to defend it not only against logging in the Crystal Springs watershed, but also against road building and logging in a huge section of the route 35 corridor. Log along the wild and scenic East Fork? Log in the proposed Tamanawas Falls Wilderness? What sacrilege.

Comments appear from advocates who are far more knowledgeable than I about fire science and plantation stand thinning and 25 percent canopy cover. But it’s not rocket science to recognize that “gaps should not exceed five acres,” means clear-cutting. What are we thinking of?!

For 27 years I’ve taken family members/friends/hiking groups from all over the world into the Polallie Cooper area to hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, and dogsled. I’ve listened to their enthusiasm and — yes, reverence — for the natural world around them, followed by the inevitable question: “How do you keep this beautiful place so pristine and free of exploitation?”

I am far from being alone in these experiences and questions. All of us who value the natural world must answer to our consciences and to the community when considering, “What do we do to prevent exploitation, and to maintain the integrity of such gifts?” We can start by contacting District Ranger Tervo, Senators Wyden or Merkley, or Congressman Blumenauer. Silence is not an option.

I can reluctantly support fuel reduction efforts near homes and other buildings, beginning with the elimination of ladder fuels by homeowners. But beyond that, “fuels reduction” is a euphemism for rape of the forests — we’ve all seen it with our own eyes. And the Forest Service itself! Between dragging its feet with the Congressionally-mandated land swap, and now proposing this arrogant logging project, the Forest Service is certainly demonstrating what a shabby steward it is of the lands entrusted to it.

Polallie Cooper Hazardous Fuels Reduction is an irresponsible proposal that calls for all of us to speak out.

Margo Earley

Mount Hood

STRs not problem

What a difference a year makes! On May 26, 2015, the City’s consultant, ECONorthwest, issued its “Hood River Housing Needs Analysis.” The Analysis — paid for with taxpayer dollars — recommended three separate strategies. STRs were only one of those (No. 2). The analysis’ concern with STRs was that newly constructed STRs “would consume Hood River’s surplus residential land.” To prevent that, there were four action steps recommended. None called for phasing out STRs or disallowing STRs closer than 250 feet. (Interestingly, the now-proposed STR legislation seeks to reduce density while the Analysis recommended increasing it!)

In the past year, Planning has ignored the other two strategies: increasing land use efficiency (by changing zoning classes to increase density) and developing affordable housing. For affordable housing, the analysis wisely calls for tax abatements, TIFs, reduced multifamily parking, and non-profit preferences on surplus properties. The analysis does not say that regulating STRs will help affordable housing.

If Planners really want to promote affordable housing, why are they not following their own consultant recommendations by proposing legislation implementing the affordable housing strategy?

Perhaps they and their supporters have found it easier to conflate affordable housing and vacation homes and demonize people who own them. Mr. Metta’s letter in the Feb. 24 News suggests this. He attacks the “wealthy” out of towners as the “bad guys” because they don’t live here. He say that vacation rental discussions are “fundamentally discussions on affordable housing,” that STRs are the reason that the lives of the “working poor” are being “squeezed out.”

Those xenophobic and irrational arguments are not a proper foundation for any legislation let alone comprehensive housing policy. The city needs to return to its own analysis to see that regulating or eliminating STRs will not help affordable housing but will hurt the community’s $75 million tourism business.

Ask yourself this: If we eliminated every single vacation home rental tomorrow, would we gain even one unit of affordable housing? Since vacation home values exceed $350,000, the obvious common sense answer is “no.”

Tom Kirkwood

Hood River and Cincinnati

Working for solutions

The recent letter from Erik Fernandez of Oregon Wild fails to adequately disclose the full story regarding my views on public lands in a sad attempt to manipulate public opinion.

First, from the get go I opposed the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and was one of the first to call on the occupiers to leave.

Second, for more than three years I worked closely with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the Warm Springs Tribes, Oregon Wild and other groups to help write the Mt. Hood Wilderness legislation to protect watersheds and set aside some of the most fragile and pristine areas on Mount Hood.

Third, this week, Rep. Blumenauer and I testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of our legislation to get the Cooper Spur/Government Camp land exchange completed. The original Mt. Hood legislation in March of 2009 told the agencies that Congress intended for that exchange, which protects the Crystal Springs watershed, to be completed within 16 months. Nearly 85 months later, it’s still not done. Sens. Merkley and Wyden are moving companion legislation in the Senate. Together we will get the USFS to comply, but should it really take two acts of Congress?

Erik’s letter would lead one to believe I was proposing giving away federal land to whoever wants it. He fails to mention that this was part of my work to try to find a comprehensive settlement to the water crisis in the Klamath Basin. One only has to look to Hood River County’s management of forest to see how communities can and provide active, local management of forest lands that produce healthy forests, jobs, and allow for active recreation including trails and more.

With more than half the USFS budget devoured every year by wildfires that destroy watersheds and habitat and leave our valleys choked with smoke, I think we need to look at better alternatives than just “lock-it-up-and-wait-for-it-to-burn,” and then do nothing afterward but wait for the ghostly, dead trees to fall to the ground. Our forests and our communities deserve better, and that’s why I will continue to work to find new solutions.

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden

Hood River

Get to the theater

A few years ago, when our older son told us he was joining the HRV football team, we were surprised. Ours was a family of artists and intellects, so where did this “jock” come from? But my husband and I made a solemn pact to go to every football game, no matter what. I am grateful for that unexpected change in our lives. By Homecoming, I was banging the bleachers and screaming my head off with the best of them! For the first time, I knew what it was to be a “fanatic.” I knew every player’s name and number, bored my coworkers with game highlights, and cried when they lost in overtime. These were my “boys” and I was fiercely loyal. I learned a lesson from that experience: don’t buy into the false choices society tries to foist on you. Too often we are tricked into believing fake fragmentations and buying them as truth. “Sports are for meat-heads,” “dancing is for girls.” We are all too familiar with this endless list of dichotomous thinking. Five years later, and this topic is on my mind again. This month, our younger son is acting in HRV’s current production of “Taming of the Shrew.” Now, stop and notice the divisive little nanobots already scuttling about in your brain! I offer this advice: Don’t believe everything you think! What a loss for me if I had lived my whole life without ever knowing the thrill of cheering on my boys! The truth is you can quote Rumi over breakfast AND holler death threats at the ref later that day. A discussion of hats from the Italian Renaissance can be as riveting as D-Lill’s latest three-pointer. Two hours of theater can be just as exciting as two feet of fresh powder. The moral of my tale? A thrilling evening of unforeseen happy memories just might be waiting for you too. The actors own their parts and spout Shakespeare like they’ve been speaking that way all their lives. Don’t miss this fantastic play! If you don’t think you’ll like it, that’s why you should go! GO EAGLES!

Jana Hannigan

Hood River



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