The Odell Lions Club would like to thank the many community members who contacted us regarding cold storage for our fall apple and pear fundraiser. We received many unique and interesting ideas, but in the end, orchardist Aron Asai’s generous offer of a location in the Odell area will be a welcome temporary home.
The staff at Diamond Fruit will truly be missed as they went out of their way to help novices sort, pack and store fruit that represents the best of this valley’s produce. Staying late and opening on weekends exemplified their community spirit for over 42 years.
Now the work begins and we welcome energetic community members who like the smell of fresh apples and pears. Bending, lifting, sorting and packing are all part of your reward as a Lion and in helping the youth of our valley.
With all the talk in the news media, you would think that Congress hasn’t been doing anything since the start of the year. That just simply isn’t the case, at least in the House of Representatives.
A quick internet search will show just how productive the House of Representatives has been this year. The House has already passed over 300 pieces of legislation since the start of the year, according to www.congress.gov.
The House has passed major VA reform, a pay raise for our men and women in uniform, and bipartisan bills that will help stop human trafficking. These are just a few examples of work that is being done in the House that has received virtually zero coverage in the news.
President Trump just signed into law a bill to reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration, which started in Congressman Walden’s Energy and Commerce Committee and received unanimous support in the House and Senate. Top officials at the FDA said this new law will “benefit patients and affirm our nation’s standing as a global leader in biomedical innovation.” Newsworthy work, wouldn’t you say?
The House has also passed important bills for residents right here in Hood River. Our own Greg Walden and Congressman Blumenauer’s plan to protect the water source around Mount Hood and promote jobs in the area passed the House this year with just one member of Congress voting “no.”
Unfortunately, it seems that folks in the media would rather pay attention to fights and partisanship in Washington rather than the work that is getting done. Perhaps we should start paying attention to the bipartisan work that Congress is doing and why it matters to Oregonians and people across the United States.
GOP statement falls short
I appreciated the letter of Tom Yates, chair of the Hood River County Republican Central Committee, and the call of the Oregon Republican Party “unequivocally condemning white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all groups that perpetrate hate-filled violence.”
However, I believe the statement falls short of the mark by not officially rebuking President Trump by name and disavowing his leadership, which has emboldened hostile groups and falls far short of our cherished American values of inclusion, welcoming and equality.
Further, it would be helpful if Republicans also brought to task — by name — elected officials who “by the silence or passiveness of public leadership” acquiesce to rhetoric and goals hate groups. That list I believe would include our Republican Rep. Greg Walden, whose unwavering support of President Trump and the administration has been both disturbing and disheartening.
In spite of it all, I do welcome the statement and encourage Tom Yates and the Republican Party to take the next step by naming names and returning the party to those Oregon values eloquently voiced by Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield.
Comment on cuts
The draft federal budget recently released by the House Appropriations Committee, if approved, will reduce or terminate many services that the middle class and local governments depend upon.
They include entirely defunding Obamacare, Employment Service Grants, Economic Development Grants, the Climate Change program and the Striving Readers program, among others.
Severe funding cuts will be inflicted on the Wage and Hour Division (which includes assistance to agricultural employers and their employees), $10 million; the Dislocated Workers National Reserve, $91 million; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, $21 million; and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, $219 million (which, by the way, is described as a “lower priority” or “unnecessary” program).
If this concerns you, call your Rep. Greg Walden at 202-225-6730 or fax 202-225-5774 and let him know what you think.
It is generally acknowledged by those who know, that the best people are the ones who read letters to the editor.
Still not satisfied with their absurd accomplishments thus far … the Politically Correct somehow feel compelled to rewrite American history by tearing down remarkable statues that truthfully reflect our ever-important past … good and bad. Come on, PC conspirators, leave authenticity alone. Instead … why not try rewriting works of fiction? Like making sure the Lone Ranger trades in his white stallion for a horse of a different color. But in getting back to tearing down America’s statues … you better not close in on Lady Liberty. Leave her standing … or answer to me… an unadorable deplorable.
Fight white supremacy
Rep. Greg Walden needs to draw a clear line between himself and Donald Trump’s white supremacy, and to demonstrate his statement against racism by:
Co-sponsoring H.Con.Res 77, condemning hate groups and demanding the removal of white nationalists from the White House,
Demanding the removal of confederate statues from the Capitol, and
Supporting censure for Donald Trump.
We need our congressional leaders to make it clear that it is unacceptable that President Trump refuses to condemn white nationalism, and has chosen overt racists to advise him in the White House.
White supremacy and domestic violence are NOT the American dream nor is it the Oregon Way. White supremacy and Nazism must be called out at their sources loudly and clearly. Mr. Walden should do so NOW.
Need town hall
I’ve asked Mr. Walden when he will be holding a town hall here, but of course got no response. Many here are disappointed that he has not made time to visit during August recess, especially with the many pressing issues that are of concern to us here in the district.
I am especially anxious to hear more on what he is doing to improve our healthcare system. His actions over the last several months, starting with advancing the disastrous AHCA, demonstrated an alarming willingness to sell the needs of his constituents down the river in favor of tax breaks for the wealthy. Now that that and similar efforts in the Senate have failed, we are anxiously waiting to see what comes next.
The need for a bipartisan approach to building an equitable and affordable system of healthcare is great. However, the GOP budget resolution proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Diane Black shows only more bad news on the healthcare front. Cutting $4 trillion (yes, TRILLION) in vital support program such as Medicaid and Medicare over the next decade will be devastating to healthcare here in District 2, and many millions of other Americans. That this is to be accompanied by a fast track process to create tax breaks disproportionate benefiting the wealthy and large corporations is utterly detestable.
Mr. Walden, please do schedule a town hall here as soon as possible, and let us hear 1) where you stand on the current budget resolution related to healthcare, 2) what you are planning to do to stabilize the health insurance markets, and 3) whether you plan to participate in the bipartisan effort to fix our healthcare system.
This is no time for continued silence. It is your moral and civic duty to address health care justice for all.
Rev. John Boonstra