Letters to the Editor for Feb. 11

We need immigrants

Did you know that Greg Walden grew up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles? Every fall, there are over 2,000 people employed to harvest the fruit off orchards in the Hood River Valley. After the harvest, fruit packing, canning, and shipping employs in excess of 1,700 people each year.

Who is going to pick, can and ship this fruit? NW farmers say they can’t hire enough people to pick their fruit or work in packing houses. These are real concerns coming from people who voted for you. Your Second congressional district, the sixth largest in the country, is asking you to support the people, the economy of Hood River, and our immigrant workers, by supporting realistic immigration legislation, such as the nonpartisan Bridge Act in the House. In addition, opposing legislation that is being introduced to reduce legal immigration, which would create an adverse effect on the economy in the NW, crippling an industry that is a large majority of your district. We need immigrants.

Carolyn Welty

Hood River

Fake news!

The Barnum and Baily Circus has NOT closed down — they just relocated to The White House.

John Stevens

Hood River

No self-serve

I thought we voted on self-service gas. Now we are to get it crammed down our throats whether we want it or not? Many of us do not want to pump our own gas. It does not make gas less expensive. Check Washington.

Myrna Holmes

Mt. Hood

Walden, ‘representative’?

An Open Letter to Greg Walden:

“Everything You Need to Know about Democracy, You (Should Have) Learned in Fifth Grade.”

Having tried multiple times to reach you by email, letter, and phone regarding issues that concern me, I would have liked to have attended your “town hall” meeting Monday. Unfortunately, like most of your town halls, it was scheduled when I was at work.

While you were holding that meeting, I was teaching — preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s future. Part of the day was spent teaching kids that actions speak louder than words, that bullying is wrong, and that those who don’t stand up to bullies are part of the problem, not the solution. In science, students learned that we are stewards of the planet and that it’s our responsibility to care for Earth’s limited resources. In social studies, lessons are focused on the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances that are supposed to ensure that no one branch becomes too powerful. The Constitution was written to prevent overreach by its leaders — a principle that was very important to our forefathers and to you as well, at least before the recent change in administration. My colleagues and I teach students that the word “representative” comes from the word “represent” and that the job of representatives is to do just that — represent the concerns of their constituents. It’s so much more than just showing up at ribbon-cuttings and Rotary meetings and town halls that working people cannot attend.

Like many teachers, I want to help my students develop a strong voice and a backbone and a firm moral compass — attributes that seem to be lacking in many of our congressmen and elected officials who took an oath to uphold the Constitution and its principles. Please know, Mr. Walden, that as teachers we are doing our utmost to ensure that today’s learners are well prepared to be tomorrow’s intelligent and informed voters.

Anne Gehrig

Hood River

Alternative Walden

As one of “several thousand” who sat in on Rep. Greg Walden’s telephone town hall on Monday, Feb. 6, several glaring inconsistencies came forth.

On the refugee ban, Walden said that it was “handled poorly,” but went on to declare that Obama did “the same thing.” No, Greg: a lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated.

On the sale of public land, Greg is in favor, citing two rare and tiny land sales in LaPine and Prineville as justification. He voted for the sale of 3.3 million acres.

When asked about the erosion of Medicare benefits, Greg went off on a tangent about fluorocarbon propellants, epi-pens, and doughnut holes, but never answered the gentleman’s question, which was, “What is your plan to curtail rising costs and eroded benefits?”

Moving right along, when asked why he voted to repeal the ACA 60 times, Greg corrected the caller, “65 times,” but he did not answer the question. When pressed on whether a viable replacement would be in place before the repeal, Greg’s response was, “You cannot repeal and replace in the same piece of legislation.” He also said that the replacement would, a) eliminate the individual mandate; b) not discriminate against pre-existing conditions; c) allow young people to stay on their parents’ plan; and d) cost less. When asked how the replacement would be paid for, Greg ignored the question three times. When asked how he would protect the environment, Greg admitted he enjoyed clean water and clean air. He then went down a rabbit hole to a glass company in Portland, sewage in the Willamette River, wildfire clean up, and his intent to ask Scott Pruitt about it.

When the city council member from Bend, Barb Campbell, asked about the dwindling infrastructure budget for Crook and Deschutes counties, Greg argued with her, insisting that the budget she quoted was incorrect and that it was actually larger by a multiple of 10.

Eastern Oregon, calling Greg. Can you hear us?

Regena Rafelson

Hood River

Walden should lead

Hood River’s very own Greg Walden has become one of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C.

Will he use his influence to protect the interests of Oregon’s District 2?

Walden’s policy on immigration reform: “Return to country of origination and wait.”

Walden’s policy on Obama Care: “Access to coverage.”

Walden’s policy on environmental protections: “Government overreach.”

In District 2, that means thousands of hard-working families would be separated and traumatized at huge emotional and economic impact.

In District 2, that means thousands of people will be priced out of health insurance altogether. Access to Risk Pools is what those with pre-existing conditions get.

In District 2, that means BLM lands are sold off to the highest bidder, limiting public access. The gutted Environmental Protection Agency will be unable to provide resources for the safeguard of our children, who are significantly more vulnerable to toxic exposures in the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The interests of Oregon’s District 2 do not include breaking up families and deporting workers; rather, a path to citizenship and recognition that taxes are indeed paid and the contributions of our immigrant neighbors are valued.

The interests of Oregon’s District 2 are not the same as the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, which seek to make huge profits on the backs of sick and injured constituents — instead, a transition to “Medicare for All” that recognizes Quality Health Care Delivery is different than “access.”

The interests of Oregon’s District 2 include the protection of our national parks, forests and monuments and the accelerated transition from fossil fuels to solar and wind.

It is time, Greg Walden, to become an actual leader. A powerful man unbeholden to the Republican party and their special interests.

Michael Byrne


Lend voice

Some Medicare benefits will be lost to seniors if the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare, is repealed.

What many voters may not have realized, given the lack of clarity over this issue, is that the ACA now provides tens of millions of Medicare patients with free preventive services. Not only does the ACA provide free services such as flu shots, cancer screenings and diabetes testing, but it has slowly been closing the “doughnut hole,” or missing coverage, for prescription drugs. This has actually saved Medicare beneficiaries 20.8 billion dollars.

Multitudes of our seniors struggle to absorb rising costs on a fixed income, and for them the loss of these ACA benefits through their Medicare will hurt. Yet Republican lawmakers are already working to take these benefits away and are well on the road to accomplishing a repeal. In spite of a promise to replace it with something “better,” they have no replacement bill. Instead they are using a few thin talking points such as savings accounts to deflect concern. They have, however, promised that Medicare itself will be next up on the chopping block so it would seem unrealistic at this point to sit by and simply hope for the best.

Repeal is coming unless an outcry from voters stops it. Your voice matters. If you feel the ACA should not be repealed, either at all or until there is an actual bill that is complete and ready for a vote, one that puts the needs of taxpayers over corporate profits, then let your legislators know now: House Rep. Greg Walden (R), 202-225-6730; Sen. Ron Wyden (D), 503-326-7525; Sen Jeff Merkley (D), 503-326-3386.

Sandra Holden Montag

White Salmon, Wash.

Delivering in the Hood

It’s been a privilege to deliver the Hood River Newspaper for the past 10 months to many residents of Hood River. I’m sorry if I got in your way out there on the streets at times. I did my best to safely reach your blue Hood River News boxes in the great many weather and traffic conditions we undergo each season.

It’s time for me to move on. I just wanted to say thank you and God bless you.

Mike Teems, Jr.

The Dalles

News and information from our partners


Comments are subject to moderator review and may not appear immediately on the site. A user's first several comments must be manually approved by a moderator.

Please read our commenting policy before posting.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment


Information from the News and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)