Letters to the Editor for Aug. 26

Ask the police

I am responding to Mr. Bob Williams’ letter concerning police officers (Our Readers Write, Aug. 16). There are several points that I have issue with.

First, policy manuals are not what define police authority for deadly force. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined deadly force response and all departments follow those guidelines.

Second, I am not sure why Mr. Williams thinks coming home safe as an officer is secondary to protecting and serving because both go hand in hand. If his son or daughter was an officer, would he hold the same opinion that coming home safe should be low on the list of daily activities?

Third, the 2016 FBI preliminary report on officer deaths states 66 officers were feloniously killed; however, only one by his own weapon (firearms were used in 62 of the 66 deaths).

Fourth, an officer is taught to fire only until the threat is stopped. That may take one round or many. An officer does not shoot people they have the drop on, they shoot because the person is a continuing deadly threat. Fifth, if the Hood River Police Department or the Hood River County Sheriff’s Department cut officer numbers in half, would he be willing to wait for a delayed response to a threat or attack on his family?

Are there times an officer shoots when they should not? Absolutely, and they should be judged for that. On the other hand, I personally know of officers who waited too long and suffered the terrible consequences of doing so. If Mr. Williams would like to feel the pressure officers are under, perhaps he could contact the Hood River Police Department or the Hood River County Sheriff’s Department and apply to be a reserve. It is an amazing thing to walk in someone else’s shoes. By the way, I spent 27 years in law enforcement.

David Phelps

Hood River

Johnson steadfast

I am writing to express the League of Oregon Cities’ appreciation for Representative Mark Johnson’s efforts during the 2017 legislative session to protect the existing and future drinking water supply for Oregon communities across the state. He showed considerable care and leadership as he worked to help advance legislation to protect public infrastructure investments and ensure certainty for communities as they work to plan for short-term and long-term drinking water supply needs.

Due to a court decision in 2013, a number of Oregon communities will have their existing drinking water supply, including water they have been relying on for up to 20 years, reduced despite growing populations and investments made to increase the capacity of water treatment and delivery systems. The City of Sandy was one of those communities at risk of having its water reduced significantly. Fortunately, as a result of the efforts of Rep. Johnson and several other legislators, the City of Sandy’s existing drinking water supply will continue to be available to the residents and businesses in that community. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the city of Hood River’s improved and expanded water distribution system, the legislation passed this session will not have the same result, meaning a reduced quantity of water available now and in the future.

Rep. Johnson was steadfast in his efforts to protect existing and future water supply for all Oregon communities, and in particular those he represents. Despite those efforts, however, legislative hurdles resulted in a partial fix that will significantly help some communities but leave others facing an uncertain water supply future. Oregon’s land use system requires cities to plan for 20 years of growth, including plans for required utility services such as water. Rep. Johnson recognized the importance of these planning requirements and worked diligently to ensure adequate drinking water for all Oregonians and to protect public taxpayer investments made in water-related infrastructure.

Mike McCauley

Executive director, retired

League of Oregon Cities


GOP statement

I am forwarding a statement from the Oregon Republican Party that the Hood River County Republican Central Committee endorses.

The Oregon Republican Party has issued the following statement from Chairman Bill Currier (of Wilsonville) unequivocally condemning white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all groups that perpetrate hate-filled violence:

Dear Oregonians:

The actions of white nationalists in Charlottesville demand the strongest forms of condemnation. We will not stand for displays of hate, racism, bigotry or violence in our country, and especially at home here in Oregon.

It is imperative that we all stand together in unison against the hate-filled agenda of white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis, and other groups that perpetuate violence instead of meaningful dialogue, and who seek to divide our nation. We cannot allow these organizations to feel enabled by the silence or passiveness of public leadership.

Our nation is stronger when we all come together to defend our values of equality, free speech and peaceful assembly. As such, we fully disavow the hate, racism, bigotry and violence of all supremacist movements and call upon our state and national leadership to do the same.

Tom Yates

Chair, Hood River County

Republican Central Committee

Hood River

The Lorax

Many readers have expressed great concern over the manner in which Hood River is being developed, particularly with respect to the ratio of structures versus open spaces and parks. I am not so sure we are headed in the direction of the Lorax. Every day I walk out of my home I see a great deal of trees within local and national forests.

Laws exist which determine what an individual can do with the land in question. As Mayor Blackburn pragmatically wrote not too long ago in the Hood River News, it is not IF this land will be developed, but HOW the process will unfold.

Perhaps a group of concerned citizens should consider forming a consortium to buy up plots of land like the Nature Conservancy does.

As owners they will have the same rights to the land afforded to the previous owners. It can be turned into a park or even left untouched.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

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