Letters to the editor for June 9

Christian haters

An Islam mosque was built in Hinton, Okla., last year and it was its grand opening day, but they couldn’t get in the building because somebody wrapped bacon around the handles of each door that entered the building. The FBI Homeland security, state and local police were all called in to investigate because it was called a hate crime. Our former DOJ made a law that said anything said or was done against a Muslim or Islam is a hate crime (that is Sharia Law).

Our church sign has a reader board and in the last 12 months we have had it changed nine times to read ugly, and sometimes vulgar things. Our letters have been broken or taken. We have spent over $450 in new letters alone. This last time was Friday, May 19. This is what was written on the sign: “God Loves the Sinner But Hates Their Sins.” They changed the sign to read (a vulgarity). They called my God a bitch and told Him what He could do. I have called the authorities before and this was their reply: “Do you have a cover that locks up the letters so they can’t take them?” They implied that it was our fault they were doing this because we didn’t lock up our board. A teacher from the high school organized a picket (in 2016) with the students on a Sunday.

Now someone had to come on church property (trespassing), break up and take letters (theft and vandalism) change it to ridicule our God and that is not a hate crime? Answer just one question: when if ever or what has to be done, short of killing a Christian, for it to be called a hate crime against a Christian?

Pastor Michael Harrington

Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church

Hood River

Brownspace, best?

Speculators and developers are pressuring our city councilors, and other good people, to pour cement over Morrison Park and any other vulnerable Greenspace within the city.

Honor the two courageous Councilors Susan Johnson and Peter Cornelison, who recently voted to find a Betterspace to give people homes.

Jeanine Wehr Jones

Hood River

Minimized intelligence

We have a large number of military personnel engaging in a variety of different activities in the Middle East. To carry out their operations, they rely on intelligence that is the combined effort of the U.S. and Israeli intelligence gathering services. Part of the tacit agreement between these agencies is that shared classified information will be kept secret. This means we have to make sure information shared with us doesn’t fall into the hands of Israel’s enemies (Syria, Russia, Hamas, etc.). To do this, the U.S. President needs to be able to not blurt out secret information to impress his visiting Russian buddies.

Doing so diminishes the information the Israeli’s are willing to share with us, and leaves our troops operating partially blind, making their dangerous job even more so. This is yet another reason why having a stupid president simply does not work.

Ben Seagraves

White Salmon, Wash.

Yes to our earth

West-wafting wind:

we do our best,

yes to our earth,

is yes to us.

Ted James

Hood River

Parks needed

I have been trying to follow the Westside Concept Plan and the only immediately executable portion I see is the density increase.

Parks and rec, nor the schools, have the budget to fully carry out what is drawn in here. For parks and rec, we pay a mere $0.34 per $1,000 of assessed value of our homes in taxes, while places like Bend and Tualitin pay closer to $1.50. Our general fund is slim and we cannot afford to maintain what we have.

I have heard others say (and maybe you have too) that funding will not be proactively generated for schools and parks; rather, it comes about only when the need is desperately shown. This citizen’s perspective is that schools are at capacity (and beyond) and parks falling to disrepair (Children’s Park/Aquatic Center) or not being developed (Westside Community Park/ bike lanes/ trails) and even closing (Morrison Park). With our current population, aren’t we there already? What will these problems look like after the existing lots are up zoned to allow for a significant increase in density?

My daughter told me the other day she had a terrible dream that all of a sudden, we lived in the middle of a big city and had nowhere for her to ride her bike and play. Please don’t let her nightmare become a reality.

Make parks and schools a priority.

Read up on the plan and get the facts because it will impact all of Hood River. Come to the June 12 city council meeting to voice your thoughts.

Sandy Bielen

Hood River

Wake up, Hood River!

On June 28, 14 people are going to make a decision that will seriously harm our town.

The Westside Area Concept Plan is an unpublicized rezoning proposal for a huge section of Hood River land. It would allow commercial and high density residential development in the 450 acres bounded by Rand and Frankton (to the east and west) and Cascade and Belmont (to the north and south).

This rezoning will almost DOUBLE the population of Hood River.

Currently, there is no infrastructure funding plan in place. Where will the children go to school? What will happen to the hospital? Where are the parks? What about parking? Traffic? Fire department? Not to mention water.

The emotional appeal is that Hood River needs affordable housing. Yet there is no guarantee that the housing built on the rezoned lots will be priced affordably. Or that they will be owner occupied.

Who will the new plan benefit? Not the citizens of Hood River, but the small handful of landowners, developers, and realtors who are closely connected to our city leadership. Let’s not let their shortsighted greed ruin this place.

If we want to grow in a sustainable manner, let’s stick to the plan that’s already in place. It allows for a 2 percent annual increase in population within the urban growth boundary.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Spread the word.
  2. Sign the petition to bring this to a citywide vote (www. change.org/p/do-not-allow-the-city-of-hood-river-to-rezone-the-westside).
  3. Speak up at the next city council meeting on Monday, June 12, 6 p.m., City Council Chambers, 211 Second Street, and make your voices heard.

Nancy Houfek Brown

Hood River

Change ‘College’

Bobbi Reisner, in her letter of May 27, expressed concern that if the Electoral College was eliminated, “We will never have a say in who will be our president.” Under the electoral college we, as individuals, definitely have no say in who will be our president. As few as 270 people can elect the president. In 2016, it took only 304 people to elect Trump, ranking his numbers 46 out of the last 58 presidential elections. California, (55), Texas (38), New York (29), and Florida (29) have a total of 151 electoral votes, so their electors have the lion’s share of votes for a president. Add the next seven highest state’s electoral votes and a total of 11 states can elect the president. Oregon has seven votes.

In the 2016 election, a different person won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. So how can the elimination of our current “non-direct voting” system rob anyone of his or her vote? If Congress cannot get rid of the electoral college, then enough states must set laws to have their state’s electoral votes go only to the person receiving the highest popular vote. Then we all can say our vote counted.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Costly error in judgement

President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. In listening to him, I kept wondering what drove this unjustifiable decision.

It is not possible that the U.S. President does not understand the fundamentally non-binding, voluntary nature of the agreement. Is it?

Could he not understand what it means for the world’s only superpower, the historically largest and currently second-largest carbon polluter, to withdraw from the agreement?

Does our president not realize that the agreement means hope for a sustainable planet, while opening outstanding economic opportunities for innovative and technology-savvy nations like the U.S.?

Could he not understand that failure to implement the agreement makes Americans more vulnerable to the pressures of forced migration of the world’s poorest people, and to the further global spreading of extreme ideologies and terrorism?

What a missed opportunity to lead, Mr. President! What a costly, unnecessary and embarrassing error of judgement.

But there is hope: I am inspired by all — individuals, groups, governments — who remain committed to advancing the science of climate change and to meeting or exceeding the Paris Agreement goals. I am particularly proud of the many American businesses, cities and states that plan to accelerate and augment their climate mitigation efforts in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, to compensate for the inexcusable federal void.

Together, we will succeed!

Antonio Baptista

Mount Hood-Parkdale

’Ride Your Age’

I have an interesting corollary to Kirby Neumann-Rea’s PYA (Park Your Age) — Editor’s Notebook, June 3 edition — ethos: mine is RYAD, or Ride Your Age in a Day.

As an inveterate bike rider, I started this eight years ago when I was 65. I decided to ride as many miles in a day as I was old — a satisfying and symbolic challenge relatively easily accomplished. As I rode, I reminisced about each decade: 10 miles/ 10 years old — inarguably the happiest year of my life — a happy tomboy, no worries, no impending angst of puberty to contend with, just innocent childhood. Twenty miles/ 20 years ... ahhh ... the malaise of young adulthood. Thirty miles/ 30 years — coming into my own with a promising career in art, plus marriage and a sweet child, but in the midst, divorce. Forty miles/ 40 years — happy remarriage and new life. Well, you get the idea; no need to relate the next two decades.

So this year, sometime before Jan. 29, 2018, I have to ride 73 miles (you can understand why I don’t try to ride precisely on my birthday). No biggie, but I’m kind of wondering what 80 RYAD is going to look like.

Meanwhile, riding my age sure makes the miles pass quickly and provides a long ride down memory lane.

Anybody else have a similar or different tradition for marking the years?

Jude Russell

Mt. Hood

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