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Letters to the Editor for March 22

Why have laws?

With the City of Hood River wanting sanctuary status and wanting the county to do the same, I ask you, why do we have laws then? Illegals want everything that a legal citizen deserves. In reality, the illegal person can receive more. Veterans and even some disabled people are behind illegals. It’s not that people are racist — they want everyone to be treated the same. Then when U.S. citizens don’t qualify, they start getting racist. Latino and Mexican people use their status by saying we do the jobs white people won’t. Illegals want to use all the government and state programs there are, but do it under false pretenses. This is a nation of laws and if we are going to have them, we all follow the laws. We might have different color skin but our blood is all the same!

I have a friend and her husband just became a U.S. citizen. They borrowed the money for filing fees. If a person does not want to borrow $675 to become a legal citizen, then something is wrong. Either the person is hiding something or just doesn’t want to spend the money! The illegals are not just working in the orchards as they claimed at the City Council meeting I attended. The Latinos are working in every kind of job in this nation.

I agree with our 45th president Donald J. Trump. Cut funds to sanctuary cities. If the illegals don’t want to assimilate and follow the laws of these United States along with the rest of us, then kick them out. Laws are made for all of us.

John Dorsey

Hood River

Be kind to bicyclists

Now that the snows have finally melted, there are more of us bicyclists and pedestrians enjoying the outdoors. Please share the road!

I live in Hood River, but choose to bike or walk to my job in Odell, and have nearly been knocked over by school buses, dump trucks, and zooming cars passing me way too closely. It’s scary! My route follows the narrow, mostly shoulder-less Tucker Road, which has no sidewalks, no bike lanes.

Oregon has a “safe distance” statute which defines this as “a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic.”

My bike and I are both old and slow, so I apologize for this inconvenience. I know we are all in a rush to get somewhere, so I am grateful to those of you who slow down, and wait those few seconds it takes until it is safe to pass me with wide berth. Thank you! There are sections where broken glass or other debris prevents my ability to safely pedal on the shoulder, so please understand that I do my best to ride as far right as possible.

Reducing my carbon footprint benefits this beautiful area we get to call home, and I appreciate you motorists who respect my choice. In fact, my very life depends on just such courtesy. Thank you.

Lynne Davidson

Odell

No repeal

Dear Fellow Constituents,

Regarding the bill going to the House Floor Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act: In my view, we all want medical help when we need it. We all want the same for our kids, our parents, our friends and community.

The repeal of a first step in what should be a non-partisan discussion of human rights seems hateful and backward. We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not give an opportunity for all to get medical or mental help when we need it.

Please contact your representatives, including Greg Walden and Mark Johnson, and urge them to continue the discussion regarding health care for all. This is what we, the majority of the people want, really. We cannot allow the repeal of a first step in the dialogue of modernizing American healthcare.

Thank you.

Chris DeBruler

Hood River

Question Walden

I remain deeply concerned about the president’s repeated allegations that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, robbing him of a popular vote victory.

While the president ordered a “major investigation” into these claims, his administration has let this issue fade in the last several weeks.

The slow pace of the investigation suggests they recognize there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Perhaps they hope we’ll move on and focus on other issues. There is, of course, much else to be concerned about. But what they should do first is admit they made a false claim and apologize for the damage it has already done. Allowing these irresponsible claims to linger sows distrust in our election system and sets the stage for a clampdown on voting rights for eligible Americans, creating a serious threat to our democracy.

Legislatures in many states are already considering laws to tighten voting regulations, despite the lack of evidence of in-person voter fraud. By contrast, Oregon has led the country in promoting access to the vote. Our automatic registration motor voter law and our vote by mail system are widely recognized both for their effectiveness in boosting voter participation, and for their integrity. We have rigorous security measures in place which effectively prevent fraud, but I worry that the administration’s zeal for restricting voting access will imperil Oregon’s election system.

I’m grateful that Oregon’s Senators Wyden and Merkely have taken strong stands on these issues. Congressman Greg Walden has not. Please join me in calling for our congressman to do the following on our behalf: 1) Speak out against the administration’s dangerous lies about rampant voter fraud. 2) Defend Oregon’s motor voter law and vote by mail systems. 3) Join Oregon’s senators in calling for a national vote by mail election system.

Lara Dunn

Hood River

Immigrants needed

I have not been attentive to the news these past few days, a practice I will consider continuing, due to medical treatment and surgery at OHSU. However, I am aware of ill-informed remarks regarding immigrants made by a Congressional representative. Remarks which do not bear repeating under any circumstances.

The reality is that my excellent care at OHSU could not have been accomplished without immigration. While I was writing this, Helena, from the Ukraine, came to clean my room and talked to me of foods of my Slovakian upbringing; Berly from Peru walked a mile with me in the dark hospital corridors last night. His two girls have been invited to play on the early age soccer teams for both the USA and Peru. He is dedicated to their sport but sees it second to their education and what they will give back. Brian, from Zimbabwe, whose vision of medical care brought him to the Pacific Northwest, removed my epidural. Junko, from Japan, came for education, married and found nursing — she was my night nurse. Alyssa, CNA, was brought from Mexico by her parents, and she hopes to enter medical school in the fall.

With each immigrant I meet, I now ask, “What county are you from?” After hearing their stories, I always end by saying, “I’m glad you are here.”

We see the faces of these new arrivals, our own face. And we must incorporate their story into our own and make them our own. One people, many cultures, seeking unity that must be embraced if we are to be great again.

Gary Young

Hood River

Domestic Tranquility?

Over the past five months, our country has been shaken up. In my life, I have never witnessed so much division. People are making clear their opinions and values and identifying and organizing with others who share those opinions. More people are paying attention, getting involved and revitalizing active citizenship. This is good and a process we need to go through. Now the real work must begin.

In order to keep the unity that has thus far made a success of this great experiment we call America, we have to agree on the basic values that define us as a people. We are all Americans, black, white or in between, male, female or in between, urban, rural or in between, rich, poor in or in between. Unless we can understand and agree as a whole what makes us American, we have a very good chance of losing our representative democracy.

We will not agree on many things. But we must agree on the basics that our constitution lays out.

“... Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity …”

If we can just start conversations with an acknowledgement that we share those common values and that we must work together to uphold them, I think we can move forward as a nation.

Anne Medenbach

White Salmon, Wash.

This makes us safe?

Have drug cartels paid Donald Trump to propose a $1.3 billion dollar cut to the U.S. Coast Guard budget? It sure seems like something like that must be the reason for his proposal. It is either that or he has not a clue of what today’s Coast Guard does. Cutting the budget that much would result in opening U.S. coastal waters to virtually interdiction free drug smuggling. In addition to that, CG inspection of every hose connections for petroleum transfer from ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship would be reduced. Spills would happen frequently, polluting navigable waters and shorelines. How many people would die for lack of rescue because fuel for helicopters and boats would be in shorter supply? How about failed navigation aids in our navigable waters that ships rely on for safe passage? Is Trump completely out of his mind?

CDR Gary Fields, USCGR

Hood River

Drug education

Save the date and your child’s brain!

Is marijuana harmful to the developing brain? Yes, structural changes have been found in the brains of young marijuana users. With the continued permeation of drugs into popular culture, parents, teachers and law enforcement officers are constantly challenged to recognize the signs and dangers even when they are in plain view.

That’s why the Hood River County Prevention Department and other sponsors have scheduled two days of programs for young people and adults on April 12-13. The programs will provide tools, resources and training regarding substance abuse.

Law enforcement officer Sgt. Jermaine Galloway, who says, “You can’t stop what you don’t know,” is the nationally known speaker.

Presentations will be given at three schools, the Hood River County Administration Building and Riverside Community Church. Community members are welcome to come to the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center on April 12 for a two-hour program starting at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge. Further details can be found by contacting the Prevention Department at 541-386-2500.

As someone who has seen many senior-age people with dementia, I know how precious the brain is. It makes no sense to allow young people to ruin their brain with marijuana and other drugs. Please come to these programs and be part of the solution.

Tom Yates

Hood River

Fear reinforces gaps

No doubt some of you have figured out that I think I have figured everything out … I call it “The Great Continuum: Compassion, Fear and the Calculus of the Psyche.” I vaguely remember it was very important to determine what “x” approached as “y” approached “0” (or was that infinity?). I have come to believe this is the perfect metaphor for the human condition. We don’t spend much time thinking about “infinity” because it is quite literally impossible to imagine. We are finite beings who can only perceive difference … hotter or colder, darker or lighter, bigger or smaller. “Everything” and “nothing” is the absence of difference.

Everything we claim to know about infinity (God) is pure projection. We peer into infinity, like Narcissus, and see ourselves. It is no coincidence that the people who claim to act in accordance with “God’s will” are the same people who kill the most people. I agree with Stephen Jenkinson when he says, “Human beings are not born. They are made.”

As an infant, each of us had to discover the implications of being finite … that there was space between us. We learned from those around us, who and what to fear, and what to do about it. I believe we have two ways (directions) to respond to this vulnerability: compassion leads us to bridge the gaps between us, or fear leads us to reinforce those gaps by building walls. I believe happiness can only come from each other across bridges, and the more we try to fortify the space between us with power, money and control, the unhappier we become. On the left side of the continuum is the condition of compassion, unity and equality (all facets of the same thing … think Jesus, Buddha and Lao Tzu).

On the right side is fear, control, greed/ownership, authority and hierarchy —for some reason, we have more words to describe this side (all facets of the same thing … Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot).

You’ve gotta ask yourself two questions: “What do I approach as compassion approaches absolute?” Or conversely, “What do I approach as authority approaches absolute?”

Do ya feel blessed?

David Warnock

Hood River



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valleycat1 3 months ago

RE; Why Laws? There ARE laws. And illegal immigrants do not get in line before disabled vets, etc. for federal benefits. Here is an article for you from the National Immigration Law Center that might help your understanding of how this works: https://www.nilc.org/issues/economic-support/overview-immeligfedprograms/. There are some benefits, which benefit public health or address emergency situations, for which illegal immigrants (actually, the term is "non-qualified persons" because the restrictions do not apply only to those here illegally), and in states that have passed law affording more state-funded services to the undocumented or their families.

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