Letters to the Editor for Feb. 1

Reason for success

The article in the Hood River News about the Women’s March on Jan. 21 was wonderful. However, a major player was not fully recognized: Regina Rafelson. Regina’s planning, advertising and footwork were the foundation of the event. No wonder so many showed up! Thank you, Regina, for all that you did — you deserve the credit for making it a success!

Kate Dougherty

Hood River

Time’s up

Businesses and homeowners, please shovel your sidewalks. Kids (and other walking/running folks) cannot get to and from school safely and are forced to walk in the street.

Maybe you’re thinking it’s slushy and almost melted. Please don’t assume all children walking to school have shoes that keep their feet dry.

Kudos to those of you who spent much time shoveling to keep pathways clear. It was like having another part time job!

Samantha Irwin

Hood River

Inclusion vs. sanctuary

RE: “Inclusive City Resolution, No. 2017-02,” as recently signed by Mayor Blackburn and passed by the Hood River City Council on Jan. 3.

This is a fascinating document and I would hope that the Hood River News would print it, in its entirety, for the community at large to read and review.

It should be noted that the words “inclusive city” are used in place of “sanctuary city.” By using the term, “sanctuary city,” I suppose, is the concern of losing federal funding for the various infrastructure projects either in progress or planned? Kind of like an unruly teenager, who does not want to clean their room, but stills wants their allowance.

This document addresses “direct threats on planned changes to immigration, environmental and civil rights.” Additionally, attacks on “women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, religious freedom, climate change” and lastly “hate crimes and hate speech.”

I am surprised in that I always thought Hood River and surrounding community is a pretty decent place to live. Never realized so many “rights” are being diminished or potentially taken away in the City of Hood River.

Phillip Lane


Editor’s Note: See A5 to read the document.

Walden represents

I have been reading letters to the editor in recent editions of the Hood River News that have been extremely critical of Greg Walden. The people writing these letters seem to be implying that Greg is not supporting their views on certain issues, and therefore is not representing his constituency. Below are a few facts I found interesting.

Greg represents Oregon’s Second Congressional District, which includes 18 counties and part of a 19th county. The district, the seventh largest in America, has an area of 69,491 square miles (roughly two-thirds of the state) and has a population of 770,403 people. Greg won the Nov. 8 election with a margin of 72 to 28 percent over his Democratic opponent, Jim Crary. (Hood River County is 533 square miles and has 22,675 people, which makes it a very small part of the total district.)

Hood River County was the only blue county in the Second District in the presidential election. In the congressional race, Walden won by only five votes (5,289-5,284) in Hood River County. This obviously makes it apparent that many people in Hood River County are not politically aligned with the majority of the district.

Greg is a Republican and supports the Republican agenda, which voters knew going into the election. Seventy-two percent of his constituents, who voted, apparently agreed with that agenda.

I believe that Greg endeavors are representing the views of the majority of his constituency, and I’m proud to have Greg Walden representing Oregon’s Second Congressional District.

Bob Level

Hood River

Equal treatment

How can David Ryan complain to the county about a permitted use in his neighborhood when the county continues to allow him to operate a non-permitted industrial junkyard on EFU land in my backyard? He has the nerve to further complain about being treated unequally in the past, but the county hasn’t made him move his trucking, truck storage and junk collection to where it belongs, down on the port. How about some equal treatment for the neighborhood out here!

Tim Annala

Oak Grove

Save Rebuild-it Center

Some 10 years ago, we wanted to build a chicken coop on the cheap. The Rebuild-it Center was our goldmine. Not only did we find a cool door, but we also bought a sturdy four-pane window and all the hardware. A few years later we built a shed, and again we found the perfect door and a lovely, brand new cabinet. We always try and make it our first stop when we gear up for the next project. It’s like a flea market for do-it-yourselfers!

It really is satisfying to repurpose and we are grateful that folks donate their items vs. tossing them in the landfill. Let’s rally behind this resourceful nonprofit and waive off the danger of them closing. Get on in there and buy something soon. Just sayin’.

Jill Guenther

Hood River

Huge disaster

I am reading reports that Trump’s ban on people entering from some Muslim majority countries is already taking effect, with people being turned away when they land at U.S. airports. Do whatever you can to do the right thing and help reverse this ban.

This is one of those moments in history where we, each of us individually, will be able to look back and say, yes ... I with all of my power did what was right. I stood up for human rights. Historically, when considering the Jews or the Japanese, marginalizing people because of who they were has led to huge disasters. I feel very strongly that this decision will be looked upon as a huge disaster in the future. This does not make America safer!

We become safer as a country by doing more self reflection on activities such as drone strikes or if invading other countries truly leads to long term peace. I argue that they do not.

Avery Hoyt

White Salmon, Wash.

Tao of Success

The practice of Taoism teaches observation without judgment. This suggests we merely observe another’s values and actions without attaching an opinion.

Our culture functions in the opposite manner. Most are quick to formulate strong, biased opinions on everything and everyone. We view those with more status or things than us as undeserving. Their wealth or position in life exists because of good fortune like being born into wealth, or family connections in business. Those with lower socioeconomic rank are often seen as lazy and without ambition. They are merely waiting for the government or someone else to fix their problems.

Every graduation class at Harvard Medical School has a highest and lowest ranked student. Are we so sure the highest ranked student achieved that status because of a large family donation? Was the lowest ranked student lazy and ungrateful, merely there because of a free scholarship to meet some quota?

Human nature creates a world which includes both underachievers and overachievers. Are we to judge every person based on our own expectations of them? Should we guilt or will someone else toward their own betterment?

Many believe that parenting, socioeconomic issues, and God-given ability have no impact on one’s station in life. That is achieved solely on hard work. Others believe those issues are crucial for one’s ability to succeed at any level.

Those from the “hard work” camp seem challenged to find empathy for those less fortunate. However, people living close to the poverty level have been guilted and judged for years without success. It seems tougher love is on its way and will push compassion further away. I do not wish that for anyone.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Keep Morrison Park

We would hate to see the city re-zone and destroy Morrison Park, one of Hood River’s oldest parks. The proposed zone change would convert the green space into a 100-plus unit housing development.

While we fully support affordable housing, we are dismayed to see the city pursue it at the cost of public parks and open space. Like many, we are daily users of this park. Living nearby, we witness people frequenting the park in all weather conditions to walk their dogs, explore with their kids, play disc golf, and enjoy some time in nature.

There is no other park in that part of town (the skatepark is for specialized use) and it is important for promoting public health, opportunities for physical activity, and social engagement outdoors, especially for people who are disinclined or unable to make it across town or to the waterfront. Its close proximity to the river makes it a prime candidate as a trail hub. With the right vision and planning, instead of a rush to development, the city has an opportunity to do something really special with the park that could have far-reaching benefits.

The proposed development would also impact traffic and safety in a concerning way. There is already a problem with long waits and backups at the intersection from 20th to turn on to Cascade, and cars speeding along 20th to and from Cascade. It’s not sustainable or smart to increase this traffic in a zone right next to Rotary Park, where children are meant to play.

The city needs to consider other options for development instead of the park. Get informed by visiting hoodriverparks.com, and come to the Feb. 21 Planning Commission meeting and speak in support of Morrison Park and against the zone change. We should think really carefully before taking an action that can’t be undone. Let’s not lose this gem of a park to a hasty development.

Matt Marion and Victoria Williams

Hood River

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