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Letters to the editor for Jan. 21

Shoveling Samaritan

I was shoveling my driveway on Jan. 11 when a car drove past my house a couple of times, then parked about half a block away.

A short time later, a young man got out of the car and walked over to me. Thinking that he might be having car problems, I asked him if he needed any help. “No,” he said, “I’m here to help you.” It was only then I noticed he had brought a snow shovel with him. This person I didn’t know stayed and helped me shovel snow until my driveway was cleared. He had been driving around helping others and asking nothing in return.

Thank you, John, for restoring my faith in humanity.

Julie Trantham

Hood River

Two-way street

The First Amendment is a two-way street. Readers are granted access to the Hood River News to express their personal views because of our legal right to Freedom of Speech.

This freedom is also granted to those who share opposing ideas.

I am grateful that the Hood River News acknowledges the many different points of view which exist in our community. The moment we stop listening to ideas which conflict with our own, we limit ourselves and our ability to learn and grow as people.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘No more fits’

“You get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit.” These were the words chanted over and over by a cute little toddler at the swimming pool last week. Great job to her parents!

But as I left the pool to drive home, I heard the “fits” on the radio, and I observed the “fits” in the headlines of the newspaper and the “fits” in 24/7 onslaught of TV news.

You get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit. I’ve said this to my kids.

But the question is, am I honoring what I’m preaching? Or am I enforcing “do as I say, not as I do?”

We have an Inauguration of a president on Friday. An opportunity to honor a tradition that evolved from a nation whose guidelines were set forth in a document called the Constitution; a document that fits in my pocket. Imagine! The only country in the history of the world that has survived over 200 years based on the principles in this document.

So whether you voted for the new leadership or not, this is the 45th Inauguration of a leader of our country. Use it as an opportunity to honor the day, our nation, and the process. And then use the next day and the next day and the next day to be a positive influence on your children and your families and your neighbors and your town ... No more “fits” please. Our children, the future leaders of our nation, are watching.

Lisa Evans

White Salmon, Wash.

Unsafe highways

I finished my errands in Hood River and got on the highway to Cascade Locks. As I started down the first hill, there were flares — a tractor trailer had jack knifed and ran off the road, and a half- mile further on the east bound side a car is against the jersey barrier.

As traffic picks up speed, trucks are passing everyone using the left hand lane. Four days ago during the first of this storm, I saw a double tanker carrying a hazmat load being passed on I-84 by other semis. Where are our state patrol? Why do we have hazmat loads moving during extreme storms along with other double tractor trailers?

Citizens deserve a safe highway. That’s not what we have currently.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Political work

I have students who voted for Comrade Trump, and I know very well they are much smarter than the man and way too smart to have fallen for much of what he had to say or represents. We almost all know he is totally unfit and more, dangerous in the role he will fill in a few days; some voted for him anyway. There is no doubt a few who were fooled by him, but not too many, unless I give them too much credit. (Those who think he is smarter than them are correct.)

The rest of us, including many with buyer’s remorse now forming, have that job we have talked about for years (and that his supporters, to their credit, were trying to implement with what they felt they had to choose from.

“Drain the swamp. End corporate control over our Congress. Throw the politicians out. End media control by the entrenched elites. Stop corruption and the enrichment of politicians though their ‘public service.’” All important to support, but we did not work for them or to tie them in with genuine agents of change like Bernie Sanders. Instead, I for one, live more like Nantucket than Muncie, and my “political work” became expressing the correct opinions that assure me and broadcast my comfortable identity. We have to forget “expressing ourselves,” and now we actually do the work to reverse this huge national stupidity we, every one of us, was party to. I suggest taking two hours a week, first with some already going group, then with a few people you meet or know who can work together. No excuses; talking about it (even smartly, with great elan), signing online petitions, or reading what agrees with you can be enough now. Mark Shields said put the flag out front; it is our flag, not anybody else’s. Get veterans and people who smile in the front row. Do not call anyone a “racist;” it ends discussion (and many who are currently backwards on this are really hugely decent people — I changed and so could they). There’s more, so, add some.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Democracy at risk

Today, I tried calling Rep. Greg Walden’s office, but they are not answering, and the voice mailbox is full! So, I’m writing a letter-to-the-editor instead.

Here’s my concern: President-elect Trump’s many conflicts of interest.

Passing control of his business interests to his children is not enough; he needs to completely divest and place his assets in a blind trust. If he does not, he will create credibility problems for his presidency. Are policy positions being taken on behalf of the American people? Or the financial interests of the Trump family?

We are depending on congressional Republicans, like Rep. Walden, to provide the checks and balances on Trump. If we blindly accept Trump’s words and actions, we put our Democracy at risk, and set precedent for future administrations from either party.

Tom Keffer

Hood River



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