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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 22

‘Makes sense’

With a White House minus Trump and Pence, America would be burdened with an oval office occupant who covers up misdeeds by erasing emails. We would also have to endure a “lust is a must” skirt chasing former president who faced impeachment proceedings. Do we really want him as “First Laddy?”

It makes good sense to vote for Trump and Pence.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Free speech stolen

Once again I find I have to write in letting you know that another two of our Trump signs were stolen last weekend. We filed police reports again. As this is becoming more of a problem to the community, we have decided to offer a $300 reward to the first person who comes forward with any information leading to the arrest and conviction of anybody caught stealing or vandalizing our Trump signs. If you have any information on any suspect(s), please contact the Hood River Police Department.

The part that we find amusing about our Trump signs being repeatedly stolen is that we purchase them directly from the Trump organization. This is one of our ways of donating money to Donald Trump. So, by stealing Trump signs, you in effect are causing us all to donate even more money to Donald Trump’s campaign. So, in a way, we need to thank you for stealing our signs. On the other hand, it disappoints and angers us that you are trying to interfere with our First Amendment rights.

If you continue stealing or vandalizing our Trump signs, not only will Trump continue to get more money, the odds are that sooner or later you will get caught. In which event, not only will Trump have received more money, most likely a neighbor or somebody walking past in the dark will have an extra $300 and all you will have is a rap sheet. You may find it fun now, but in the end, is it really worth getting a criminal record for stealing political yard signs? By the way, we just ordered another 10 Trump signs, so if need be, we will have plenty more chances to have somebody turn you in.

In this wonderful country, we have the right to free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. It’s sad that some people try and stop others expressing those rights. If only these people would live in another country where there is no free speech, maybe they would come home and appreciate how valuable free speech is.

Gavin and Nichapat Behr

Hood River

Shameful

This letter is a response to the opinion shared by Lawrence Jones published on Oct. 8. While I am very sympathetic to the issue of rezoning the area nearby the Morrison Park, I am not in agreement with the choice of words used by Jones in his attempt to describe the area (ghetto). First, I feel it is important to clarify that when referring to “affordable housing” what we are referring to is housing deemed affordable to those with a median household income as rated by a recognized Housing Affordability Index. That means, based on data from the latest census, median household income (in 2014 dollars), 2010-2014 is $56,417. The median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2010-2014 in Hood River County is $309,500. Now, on the wording used to describe the area, I have to be honest, it is appalling. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word was first used in 1611 to describe a quarter in a city, chiefly in Italy, to which the Jews were restricted.

Another OED definition shows the word later acquired a broader meaning: “A quarter of a city, especially thickly populated slum area, inhabited by a minority group or groups, usually as a result of economic or social pressures; an area, etc., occupied by an isolated group; an isolated or segregated group, community, or area.”

Jones’ intent was to use it in a very pejorative sense to characterize the area by painting on the reader’s minds an environment where members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure. So, Mr. Jones, zoning or rezoning passions or not, using the word ghetto when describing a chunk of the city’s population with a word that belies that social complexity is shameful.

Maria E. Castro

Hood River

Need housing

I am writing today to call for an increase in affordable housing in Hood River. The Morrison parcel, which currently hosts a disc golf course, is a great option for affordable housing development and should be returned to its original R-3 zoning.

As a social worker in the Gorge for the last seven years, I have seen how the lack of affordable housing impacts women and children who are seeking safe housing in order to live free from abuse. I have seen how the lack of affordable housing affects elderly adults who are medically vulnerable, as well as the family members who care for these elders. I have seen how lack of affordable housing affects locally-owned businesses as they struggle to retain good employees because they are priced out of the housing market.

The people who need affordable housing are our neighbors, ourselves, our friends. We owe it to our community to invest in affordable housing development in Hood River. Let’s keep Hood River an awesome place to live, work, and play. Let’s build affordable housing on the Morrison parcel, and work together to find a new spot for the disc golf course.

Anna K. Williams

Hood River

Needs solution

Since the Fourth of July, 59 tenants at the Hood River Marina have been subject to intermittent power outages. Imagine the same in your home. We have attended port meetings and expressed our concerns as tenants. Yet the problem remains as we approach freezing temperatures.

The power is tripped randomly, intermittently wreaking havoc on each boat’s electrical systems and we are now faced with possible insurance claims if sub-zero temperatures arrive before the problem is fixed. I realize this is not a big story but would like some media coverage to help us pressure the port for a rapid solution using appropriate marine electricians.

Leah Lapierre

Hood River

For 97

The Rockford Grange supports a Yes vote on Measure 97 because this corporate tax increase will only positively impact rural communities by increasing funding for public education, particularly in small school districts where we desperately need investments in our students.

Measure 97 is a tax increase on only the largest corporations operating in Oregon and 82 percent of revenue generated from M97 will come from corporations headquartered out-of-state, such as Comcast, Wells Fargo and Monsanto. The measure only affects c-corporations that have in-state sales of over $25 million annually, so other types of companies, small businesses and consumers will not be affected.

A simple Google search on the Oregon Department of Agriculture August 2016 Facts and Figures Report shows that local orchardists and neighboring wheat farmers out east will not be negatively affected by Measure 97.

According to the ODA, last year alone, Oregon wheat farmers had in-state sales amounting to only $5 million. What about apples and pears grown in Oregon by local orchardists? Of the $157 million sold in 2015, over 80 percent was exported, leaving a maximum of $32 million sold in Oregon. All that fruit would have to be sold by one very large c-corporation to be affected by Measure 97.

The No campaign wants to scare you into believing our family farmers will be negatively impacted and that the cost of food and medical care will increase. But Oregon has the lowest corporate tax rate in the country. The corporations affected by this measure charge the same price for their products and services in every state, regardless of the state corporate tax rate. They will not be raising the price of goods and services to the Oregon consumer as the corporate backed campaign has been telling voters.

Small businesses and tax-payers like you and me pay our taxes to support our community. Big corporations should also contribute to students, families and seniors since that investment will ultimately pay for itself by building a better workforce, healthier citizens and equitable opportunities for our communities.

Moria Reynolds

Hood River

Support Crary

It is now time for Representative Greg Walden to retire.

Representative Walden has lost his moral compass and his sense of loyalty to the United States in his continued endorsement of Donald Trump. Walden believes that despite Trump’s predatory behavior with women, his racist attitudes toward immigrants and his unsteady temperament, he (Trump) is suited to lead our nation.

Walden has failed to grasp the damage that Trump’s candidacy has already done to many, but also to young students as their teachers struggle to present and discuss the current election.

“I think if you repeat some stuff that Trump says, you could get sent down to the principal’s office. Maybe even expelled,” said one 12-year-old student in a recent New York Times article.

Winning at all costs, even with a mad-man at the helm, defies all logic.

It’s obvious that Walden has been in Congress way too long if he can actually endorse a man like Trump, who is wholly unfit to lead our nation. There is an alternative on the ballot. Support Jim Crary.

Bill Lennox

The Dalles

For Johnson

Just so you know where my political leanings are, I am a big Bernie Sanders supporter. I think he would have made an exceptional president. I am also a supporter of Mark Johnson as our State Representative and here’s why:

Johnson has worked to get big money out of politics and I have witnessed this firsthand. During the February session, 37 out of the 60 legislators signed onto a bill asking for campaign finance reform. Amazingly, the Democratic Speaker of the House did not want to hold a vote even though the bill had broad support. I spoke with Johnson during the session and he continually advocated for a vote on the house floor, helping to make sure my voice and the voice of others was heard.

Our country and our planet will obviously have many challenges in the future, and we will need a lot of smart people to face these challenges. Education is the key to all of this and Johnson has always been huge proponent of education from kindergarten to college.

Our environmental policy needs to include alternative energy, especially as we continue to see the effect of climate change across the world. Johnson has supported increasing renewable energy options in Oregon by voting to remove the use of coal for electricity by 2020. This not only benefits our environment, but also helps to create job opportunities.

This is the first time I have ever written a letter of support for a candidate, so why now? I’ve spent time with Johnson. He took the time to talk with me, even though we had never met before. And the truth is I have always been an independent voter — I try to choose the person I think is best for the job regardless of their party affiliation. So this Bernie fan is voting for Mark Johnson because I believe he will most closely represent my values in Salem. I would hope you should do the same.

Bob Oldfather

Hood River

Happy Halloween

Halloween is once again almost upon us. I am pleased to see more families are decorating for Halloween this year, for I believe it is unfortunately a disappearing art from my childhood, much like many of yours. It’s a lot of work for one day, but it’s worth knowing how much other folks enjoy seeing it done. It’s hard for me sometimes to keep it up every year and to the extent that I try to go every year to make it look better than before.

But what keeps me going is the wonderful compliments from my neighbors, friends and family who love to walk by our house and see what is added by the week as we get closer to Halloween, and the excitement of our trick or treating visitors as they are invited to touch the authentic coffin we have on the path to our door, or the many sights we have to offer, and just the overall fun of sharing this wonderful holiday with our future generations.

We had a wonderful turnout last year when I was told we would not get many visitors; I’m hoping this year you who visited us last year can make it to our new location on Avalon Way. The coffin is back and the graveyard is even better looking this year! As always I am all for the downtown business trick or treating, but I encourage you to keep us in the neighborhood in mind as well to help keep the tradition going. Our decorations are every age friendly with no jumping props or loud noises. I have a 5-year-old myself and so we keep it friendly and awesomely creepy at the same time.

So come on down to Avalon Way and check out the Bemis family cemetery, grab some treats and touch a real live coffin. Have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

Just look for the crazy amount of orange lights and you’ll find us.

The Bemis Family

Hood River

Reynolds skeptic

Skepticism is the appropriate attitude for citizens to bring to any election year, and this year especially so.

When I hear candidates for office talk of transparency and honesty while implying their opponent lacks both, I am skeptical. More than that, I am suspicious and find it prudent to investigate further.

So it is with Mark Reynolds. While touting his own “transparency” at every candidate forum I have attended, it turns out that he filed a false Statement of Economic Interest Form. This is a requirement for every candidate.

It carries with it a legal and moral obligation to file a complete and accurate statement the first time.

Mark Reynolds failed to do so.

A complaint was made to the Ethics Commission because it was known that he had a rental property. Turns out, he has two rental income properties.

Is it okay for him to own two rental properties? Sure it is, but it’s his obligation to disclose that fact when offering himself for public office. Hardly an inadvertent omission.

His other income source is listed as salary from Hood River County School District. That’s another falsehood.

Reynolds himself claims he is a retired teacher. He has been collecting a PERS pension since July 2015.

That’s okay too, but why try to hide that fact?

Why isn’t he being truthful? Oregon’s campaign finance and ethic laws are built on transparency.

Obviously, Reynolds has trouble being transparent about his personal life and assets.

Given his failure to disclose, it is logical to assume he would continue this behavior in future. Remember, an election in HD 52 carries a two-year term, but a character flaw is forever.

Why would the voters of HD 52 want to take a chance on an unknown candidate who can’t come clean about his record? Stick with someone we have known and respected for the last six years ... vote for Mark Johnson.

David Buoy

Brightwood

Editor’s note: Mark Reynolds responded, “I’ve been working to amend the SEI and it’s been corrected. Any oversight was due to dealing with the requirements of filing as a first-time candidate. There was no attempt to hide information. In the coming weeks, I look forward to focusing on the issues that are important to voters in House District 52.” Reynolds also drew a school district salary through August 2015.

Set down stones

I fail to understand these demeaning letters directed towards our “home grown” United States Congressman Greg Walden.

Greg has served our “One Nation Under God” with allegiance and honor, upholding and defending the Constitution of our United States, which gives him the right to support whom he recognizes as the presidential candidate that will best rebuild and strengthen the foundation of our America.

But neither Greg nor I will “stoop” to “Donald Trump’s” level supporting his many disrespectful behaviors.

Now, let’s refer to a verse in mankind’s greatest “Book of Wisdom,” “God’s Holy Word,” in which states: ”Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Oops! Now Hillary, you have to put your “stones” down, too.

Hillary, after taking an “Oath of Office” to perform the duties of Secretary of State and to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, having access to “classified documents,” positions herself in an undisclosed area, emailing with a high powered phone, chooses to exchange emails of questionable content (now claiming that she can’t remember) to unbeknownst recipients — baffles me!

I don’t trust Hillary Clinton! Do you?

Alan Winans

Hood River

Preserve the precious

Last year our son Mark, showing his daughters just a tiny sound and glimpse of nature at Morrison Park whispered, “I hear a hummingbird. There it is!”

Needy, hardworking families who already live around Wasco Street deserve a “green space” to walk to. Mothers with baby carriages, kids who need space to exercise — these are the folks we see waiting for and boarding the school busses that stream through our neighborhood.

Please do not destroy their park land, acres full of historic old trees and wildlife. Give them some picnic tables and play equipment that encourage healthy family life.

Hood River, preserve the precious.

Jeanine Wehr Jones

Hood River



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valleycat1 1 year ago

Regarding Measure 97: I encourage everyone to read the actual measure, either online or in the voters' guide, to see what it actually says. The voters' guide also has extensive comments on both sides of the issue - read those as well and take into consideration who is saying what about it. Maybe talk to someone you know and trust who has spent some time studying the issue. Then make up your mind. Do not rely simply on the TV ads and other sound-bites as your only source of information.

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Doug_Marshall 1 year ago

WOW. Mark Reynolds claims that he fixed his false SEI filing and blamed it on him being a 3. His SEI filing does not state that he is a PERS recipient. This is an important fact for all of us voters especially since PERS is one of those hot button issues I would expect our legislature to work on in the next 2 years.

It took an Oregon Ethics Commission inquiry to get Mark Reynold's rental income correct and his SEI filing is still not right. I wouldn't be surprised if he hears from the Ethics Commission, again, to fix his income statement, as well. If filing out this form is too hard for Mr. Reynolds, I don't want him working on the state's PERS problem, fixing the broken education system, or any of the dozens of serious issues facing Oregon. Filing out a simple declaration form would be the easiest task he is going to have to figure out during the next couple of years. Mark Reynolds isn't the answer. I'm sticking with Mark Johnson...a proven leader who works in a bipartisan manner to support all of HD 52.novice as a first time candidate. This brings up a couple of issues:

  1. How many mistakes will he make figuring out how to work as our legislator if he can't successfully fill out a simple SEI form.

  2. His SEI filing is still not accurate. It shows him still on the payroll for Hood River School District which is patently false. He hasn't received a check from them in over a year.

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Doug_Marshall 1 year ago

This brings up a couple of issues: 1.  How many mistakes will he make figuring out how to work as our legislator if he can't successfully fill out a simple SEI form. 2.  His SEI filing is still not accurate.  It shows him still on the payroll for Hood River School District which is patently false.  He hasn't received a check from them in over a year.  3.  His SEI filing does not state that he is a PERS recipient.  This is an important fact for all of us voters especially since PERS is one of those hot button issues I would expect our legislature to work on in the next 2 years.

It took an Oregon Ethics Commission inquiry to get Mark Reynold's rental income correct and his SEI filing is still not right.  I wouldn't be surprised if he hears from the Ethics Commission, again, to fix his income statement, as well.  If filing out this form is too hard for Mr. Reynolds, I don't want him working on the state's PERS problem, fixing the broken education system, or any of the dozens of serious issues facing Oregon.  Filing out a simple declaration form would be the easiest task he is going to have to figure out during the next couple of years.  Mark Reynolds isn't the answer.  I'm sticking with Mark Johnson...a proven leader who works in a bipartisan manner to support all of HD 52. 

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