Letters to the Editor for March 4

Where’s Walden?

Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and some other prominent Republicans are finally acknowledging that the Trump administration is in disarray. And McCain and Graham are also joining an investigation into allegations Russian operatives were behind a series of election-related hacks to influence the 2016 election.

These are extreme allegations, yet I have not seen Rep. Greg Walden express any public comment about them. I hope I have simply missed it and that he is as concerned about this issue as I am. Maybe if Walden held a town hall in Hood River soon, as many of his constituents have so often requested, we would find out.

Tracie Hornung


Keep ACA coverage

Our representative Greg Walden and his fellow Republicans are about to announce their health care plan that will repeal and replace Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act or ACA). They’re promising it will provide more choices at lower cost. We’ll see some great marketing to sell their plan. But as everyone knows, the “devil is in the details.”

And for some of us, their plan seems “full of the devil.” Here are some headlines from articles that analyzed their plan: “Walden’s district reaped Obamacare benefits; now he’s seeking to repeal it,” and “Republican healthcare proposal would redirect money from the poor to the rich.”

And the Republican, “A Better Way” plan will be “snatching health care away from millions.”

Did you know that one in three of our family, friends and neighbors in our congressional district (ORD 2) depend on Obamacare for their health care and yes, ultimately their lives? In Hood River County, 7,256 citizens are covered mainly through the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). Seventy-five percent of people covered have either full time or part time jobs. They’re not free loaders! They’re not welfare queens! They are hardworking individuals making minimum wage, pumping our gas, checkers at grocery stores or wait staff at local restaurants.

We must insist that any changes Mr. Walden will make to Obamacare and Medicaid should maintain, not reverse, levels of health care coverage in Oregon. If you believe that people have a moral right to health care, pay close attention to the legislation Mr. Walden passes through his committee over the next few weeks and then decide ... WWJD.

Guy Tauscher

Hood River

Support HB 2131

In these divisive post-election days, all Gorge residents share a concern about the clear and present danger of oil train derailment, oil spills and explosions. House Bill 2131, a move in the right direction bringing Oregon in line with protections in Washington and California, has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Environment. Our representative Mark Johnson sits on this committee and must know that we support this bill and his efforts to see it passed.

Virginia Lindley Bock

Hood River

Time is now

I attended the City Planning Commission hearing on rezoning the five-acre city parcel on Wasco Street below Safeway. The debate centered on land for a park or building affordable housing. I was proud of my community that night and of our city council for taking concrete action for housing. The testimony was passionate and both sides remained courteous. People listened and I think everybody learned something. Of course, the community needs both parks and housing that those with lower paying jobs can afford.

Housing proponents made their case that the need far exceeds the supply. So not only are many workers forced to find housing in other communities, they also have long commutes that add another burden on already tight finances. If they have children, it becomes yet more difficult. Further, there is money through the Mid-Columbia housing authority to finance it. And we can see our new national administration will be reallocating that money at some point to make America great again. If we are a community that embraces the idea that we are all one, that we help each other, then we must act and act now.

The other alternatives to creating affordable housing are much farther out — years out. The location is a perfect rare property within walking distance to one of our two grocery stores. I also learned the pedestrian/bike trail between The Dalles and Portland, sections of which are being completed every year now, will be going from Westcliff Drive right by this property.

So why not dedicate a portion of this property to a linear park with this jewel of a trail through it and build that needed housing on the remainder?

Jeff Hunter

Hood River

Open letter

Dear Representative Walden, I understand why you, as a Republican legislator, want to pass legislation that President Obama would not sign. I do not understand why you are allowing our democracy and our status as a nation to dissolve because President Trump is distracted, disengaged and uninterested in governing. His many missteps are being watched eagerly by our enemies. It is known that he has deep ties with enemy nations that threaten our national security and our status as a sovereign nation. His taxes and finances, his erratic and negligent behavior, and his economic ties with enemy nations must be investigated. Vice President Pence is a staunch conservative. Republicans can advance their agenda without endangering the nation. I am begging you, as I am sure so many Americans are, to investigate President Trump’s foreign ties.

Examine his failure to govern and withdraw your support from an individual who was elected much to everyone’s surprise, and with the help of lies and propaganda from Russia, a country with perhaps the worst government in the world. Examine his persistent attacks on basic freedom of the press, his lying and distractions, and his negligent appointment of Bannon to a sensitive national security post, an appointment that he did not even know he was signing. Bannon has had no national security background and instead is a promulgator of hate propaganda and a self-stated anarchist whose goal is war and unrest.

Trump likewise has demonstrated a lack of a moral compass in, among other repugnant acts and statements, crassly pandering to criminals who would and are perpetrating hate crimes. Trump’s business reputation and, in fact, his boasts, show us his vaunted “business acumen” consists of behaving in an unstable way, making “deals” that are untenable and then going bankrupt, which he has told us he would pursue in his stewardship of the full faith and credit of our great nation. All are indications that there are and will be more and greater crimes and misdemeanors which disqualify him from his high office and threaten Americans.

Laurie Balmuth

Hood River

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