Letters to the Editor for Oct. 15

Preserve the park

On Oct. 17, the Hood River Planning Commission will be meeting to consider rezoning Morrison Park from Open Space to R-3, high density housing, with the purpose of turning the Morrison Park over to the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority to build as many as 100 more units of government-subsidized low income housing.

While the need for housing was an outcome of the 2015 City of Hood River Housing study, it also showed that the city already has enough land for housing without rezoning what little green space Hood River has.

In the study, there were several recommendations for Hood River to meet its housing needs: rezone R-1 and R-2 land to R-3, allow higher density building in each current zone, offer a variety of housing in each zone, and upgrade urban infrastructure of roads, water and sewer to allow growth in the UGA, but “the most significant way” the city could encourage development of housing was through eliminating barriers to residential development and provide infrastructure in a cost effective way. Permits and connection fees are one of the highest per unit building costs. City policies are a big part of the problem.

There currently is land to meet Hood River’s needs without rezoning Morrison Park. If the city council would follow the recommendations of their own study and implement policy changes, the private sector would develop affordable housing. Two of the key recommendations were to reduce development fees and up-zone existing residential areas. The city can do both without rezoning one of the city’s oldest parks to high density, low income housing.

Morrison Park is the first to be brought before the Planning Commission. It probably won’t be the last. Morrison Park “should be” part of a green belt that connects the west and east sides of Hood River through the waterfront trail system. Morrison Park “is” the perfect location for a future community center. Morrison Park “is” the ideal location for a hub connecting Hood River to the Historic Columbia River Trail.

As a resident of Hood River, this is your land and you should have a say.

Jim Klaas

Hood River

Trusts Johnson

As a longtime resident of Hood River County and a professional working for Clackamas County, I have a unique appreciation for the great work of Mark Johnson as our state representative. My personal political priorities have always been related to public safety and education.

I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to issues of public safety, first as a police officer with a strong focus on sexual assault cases and now coordinating Department of Justice funding for domestic violence services. I appreciate the value for related issues that Johnson has demonstrated with his support for public safety legislation. Johnson supported legislation that established confidentiality between victims of domestic violence sexual assault or stalking. He also supported legislation that extended the statute of limitations from six to 12 years for rape prosecutions. I have learned through training and experience that trauma affects people differently and it can lead to a delay in reporting these violent and very personal crimes; therefore, this legislation is imperative for the healing of victims and offender accountability.

Johnson also shares my priority of ensuring a strong public education system for our youth. He co-wrote the Oregon Promise that provides tuition waivers for qualified Oregon high school graduates to attend community college. In support of students meeting reading benchmarks by the third grade, Johnson supported the establishment of higher standards for teacher education programs, providing them the needed skills to help all students read well.

Finally, I appreciate Johnson’s ability to work cooperatively across party lines. This has been realized in a unique way this political season, since not only the Republican Party, but also the Independent Party has placed him on the ticket. In this time of political gridlock, we need trusted leaders to come together to work for the greater good of our communities. Johnson does that.

I trust Johnson to represent District 52, us in Hood River County and Clackamas County, the counties I call my home. Please join me in voting Mark Johnson for Oregon State Representative in November.

Tiffany Hicks

Hood River

Vote Trump, Walden

I find it strange how some people can talk only about the bad things Donald Trump has done, but completely forget the corrupt things Hillary Clinton has done — email scandal tops the list! All you need to do is Google things Clinton has done. I did.

I and many others are with Greg Walden in backing Trump! I believe the Republican Congressional members disavowing Trump are trying to deal a death blow to the Republican Party!

I am voting for Donald Trump and Greg Walden!

Jerry Petricko

Hood River

No on 97

Recently, the State of Oregon was claiming victory by settling the Oracle healthcare debacle for $100 million; $25 million of that settlement was to cover the state’s litigation costs. The suit was originally filed for $6 billion — some victory.

The Highway 20 realignment project west of Corvallis is a 5.5 miles stretch of road was to be completed in 2009 at a cost of $153 million. It is still not finished and is $220 million over budget.

The PERS problem still puts a huge financial drain on the state and that will not improve for years. Keep in mind that this was a program developed in Salem.

These are just a few examples of an out of control bureaucracy. Clearly, government accountability is nonexistent. Why should it be? They can just raise taxes when they screw up.

A vote in favor of Measure 97 is a vote to enable a government that feels no fiscal responsibility. Measure 97 revenue all goes into the General Fund and can be spent anyway politicians choose. Vote no on 97, hold Salem accountable!

Joe McCulloch

Hood River


Writers seem to have swayed my vote toward Donald Trump. I just need a little clarification to cement my decision.

This decision means I cannot support any woman’s healthcare choice if she is raped in a locker room miscommunication. The government will decide for them.

I will support all your sons and daughters being sent to the Middle East and Asia at the president’s whim to defeat all enemies at all cost. I will not value any life in these regions because it will not meet the needs of our new POTUS.

Once your child comes back with physical and mental alignments which will last a lifetime, I will not be able to support their need for treatment. I will expect them to be tough enough to endure anything for the cause. In addition, I do not want any of my taxes to pay for VA benefits necessary for healthcare or job retraining. What small amount of taxes I pay will go directly back into military spending for the next round.

Did I miss anything?

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Yes on 97

At first I thought Measure 97 was another attempt at a sales tax, but I looked closer and found that it isn’t. Oregon collects the lowest taxes in the nation from huge and multinational companies doing business here, and that’s before the giveaways that attract many businesses in the first place. Big companies keep the money they would have paid towards Oregon’s roads, bridges, schools, law enforcement, and other infrastructure required by employers of all sizes. No on 97 just means you will continue to pay the corporate share of state taxes, just as you pay Trump’s share of federal taxes.

Voting either way on 97 will not change the prices you pay for products and services, nor will it affect the number of jobs. Taxes on these companies’ products are already higher in 49 other states without raising their prices, and the companies already hire as few people as possible (robotics, artificial intelligence, outsourcing). Oregon is a bonus state where the taxpayers pay corporations’ share of taxes.

With a yes vote, our corporate citizens would be taxed closer to the way we the people are, and the way the same companies are in every other state. The increased billions of dollars raised would fund our infrastructure while conserving your tax dollars. Voting yes on 97 is a very conservative thing to do.

John Wood

Hood River

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Nukinwind 1 year, 9 months ago

With regards to Jim Klaas' letter to the editor,one thing that he doesn't mention is that he lives less than 100 yards from Morrison Park. 20 years ago he wasn't a big fan of the skatepark and while he may want to preserve the park he may also not want to have low income housing so close to his home.


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