Sending many thanks, and kudos, to the Pine Street USPS mail carriers. You have greeted me with smiles and good wishes throughout the past few weeks’ weather challenges — and one day you delivered the mail twice. Love your spirit!
A few days ago, Congressman Greg Walden voted in support of a bill that removes the requirement that potential budget considerations be considered when any federal land is conveyed to the state for ownership and management.
Essentially this would make it possible for the federal government to give away 100 percent of its public lands and say it had no value at all. Why would one vote for such a fiscally irresponsible act? The bill makes it easier to convey lands to the state, but if the state lacks the resources to manage that land, it may potentially sell that land to private developers. I can’t imagine Teddy Roosevelt ever supporting that and I don’t understand why Walden would.
If you enjoy being able to hunt, fish, hike, camp, or just view your national forests, BLM, wildlife refuges, and don’t want them potentially sold for development without a discussion of their value, please express your disappointment in Congressman Walden‘s vote.
I was going to write to complain about the manner in which the city has snowplowed my Hood River street, but then I realized the snow and ice has filled in all the potholes I had complained to them about before and I decided to be grateful instead.
Be careful out there!
Right and wrong
Dear Dr. Don Rose (Our Readers Write, Jan. 11):
Let’s be candid for a moment. Very few of us earned the right to be where we are; it’s something we inherited. We were fortunate. People who were born to less fortunate circumstances have come here to improve their odds for survival and well-being. They have done exactly the same thing that the people we have inherited this country from did.
Every sound economic study from the last 20 years tells us that we benefit enormously from the presence of immigrants here. In fact, our economy would come to a grinding halt in their absence. Ask your orchardist neighbor if you doubt this. That’s not a moral stance — it’s math. But I can kind of tell that you’re not really a math and science kind of guy.
So let’s examine the moral issue of using the labor of others to improve our well-being while depriving them of basic human rights, of holding others in servitude. This cannot be right, and laws that enforce a system cannot be right. This should be clear to all but the willfully blind. Giving sanctuary is an acknowledgement that Hood River understands the basic difference between right and wrong.
White Salmon, Wash.
The majority of Oregonians voted against Mr. Trump, so we do care about the potential for conflict of interest. As our representative, please keep the interests of your constituent’s forefront in your mind and demand that Mr. Trump release his tax and business information to clearly demonstrate that there are no conflicts that will compromise his ability to serve the interests of the nation.
Remember, the RNC and the Trump campaign ignored the Pacific Northwest — and Oregon in particular — during the campaign. He removed his paid representatives from the region because he knew we are insignificant in national elections.
It is up to you as our congressional representative to ensure the interests and needs of our state are addressed in Washington. If Mr. Trump has conflicts of interests in the Far East or Central and South America, it could have a devastating impact on Oregon.
I’ve lived in snow country my whole life. I’ve lived through my share of storms and blizzards. I’ve even worked as a snow removal specialist at a Colorado ski resort. I have to say — the road crews for the City of Hood River and Hood River County have done an outstanding job this winter!
Until you’ve actually done this type of work in freezing cold conditions, it’s hard to appreciate how hard and exhausting the work can be.
Thank you very much to the city and county workers who have gone above and beyond to make Hood River safe.
To those who are feeling that the sky has fell since the election, I would like to suggest a review of your American Government class, or the abridged from the interview with Congressman Walden in the Dec. 31, 2016, issue of the Hood River News. It takes 60 votes to get legislation through the Senate to avoid a filibuster (a rule Democrats wanted to get rid of). Republicans have only 52 votes. Which means legislation will have to be bi-partisan, or more finger-pointing from the Democrats. I am hopeful to see some more practical legislation come from D.C. now.
Good riddance “Obamacare.” Personally speaking, it has been a disaster for my family in terms of coverage price and bureaucratic headache. Any replacement cannot be any worse. I suspect I am not the only person who has had issues with poor resolution and results.
White Salmon, Wash.
I’m on Obamacare and I love it.
My husband and I are self-employed and since moving to Oregon 14 years ago, we have paid for our own health insurance. For us, health insurance before Obamacare was the bad old days. Pre-Obamacare, we paid more for health insurance than we did for food, car insurance and our utility bills put together. And we’re a healthy family.
My husband has a pre-existing condition — not a scary one — and one that costs less than $100 a year to treat. When we lived in California, we both paid the same for insurance. But in Oregon, insurance companies put anyone with pre-existing conditions — even minor ones — in a high-risk pool called Oregon Medical Insurance Pool with astronomical premiums. Pre-Obamacare, our premiums went up every year by 15-20 percent. To afford the premium, we had to shop for new insurance every year. As the years went by and premiums increased, in order to afford insurance at all, we had to choose plans that covered less and put more risk on us. We ended up with very expensive coverage that only kicked in in case of a catastrophic event — a $10,000 deductible before the insurance company paid anything.
When I hear politicians talk about how terrible Obamacare is, I think, “What planet are they on?” Not only do 20 million previously uninsured people now have health insurance, but millions more, like my family, have better and more affordable insurance. Like 85 percent of people on Obamacare, we get a subsidy to help pay our premiums. We pay a lot less now than we did five years ago. Also, Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover a range of services, particularly preventive services like mammograms and blood pressure screenings, that our old policies didn’t. Society benefits when people get the preventative care they need rather than showing up in emergency rooms with expensive, untreated conditions.
Now Rep. Walden and the Republican Congress want to repeal Obamacare. Before casting us back to the bad old days, I hope they think about the millions of families like mine for whom Obamacare really has meant affordable care. And peace of mind.