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Letters to the Editor for May 13

No to NORCOR

I have voted “no” on the tax proposal for NORCOR for the following reasons. I do not want my tax dollars to support the wrong actions of housing ICE arrestees. I say “wrong” because it is fundamentally immoral to arrest people of color for alleged immigration violations and no other illegality. I say “people of color” because I have yet to see any undocumented Canadians arrested by ICE and housed at NORCOR. (Most estimates, including by Homeland Security, put illegally-working Canadians in the United States at around 80-90,000.)

If, as I have been told, NORCOR needs ICE funds to be financially viable, then NORCOR itself is too big for our four counties. Parts of it should be shuttered until and unless needed. If in the future NORCOR has citizen oversight and does not take in ICE arrestees, then I will reconsider my vote on the next tax request.

Lani Roberts

Hood River

Please vote

I am a passionate advocate for vulnerable children and families. I have a great interest in education, access to equal services, and the success of all the students from the Hood River County School District.

I have been living in Hood River for 12 years now, and I love this place. I am committed to continue supporting all students and ensure equitable access to curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

It is my priority to continue working with district administration in making sure our graduation rates increase for all students and the achievement gap for our Latino students decreases.

I’m proud to work on bringing our county’s Latino and Anglo communities together. We NEED more Latino involvement in governance and I’m your willing candidate.

I am asking for your support. If you haven’t yet voted and you’re open to this recommendation, would you please: Go to the first column of your ballot — it’s labeled “Hood River County School District — Director — Four Year Term;“ you’ll find my name listed, “Julia Garcia-Ramirez.” Fill in the oval to the left of my name.

Thanks very much. I look forward to giving a voice to all the students in our county.

Julia Garcia Ramirez

Hood River

Staggered

Starving schools

bloats jails,

society staggers.

Ted James

Hood River

Everitt for Port

What a great field of candidates we have to choose from for the upcoming local election. One that we know well and would recommend is John Everitt for Port Commissioner Position 2. His qualifications and experience have been expressed by others. We would just add that we know the other commissioners would enjoy working with John. Thanks to all the candidates for your efforts and interest.

Tom and Robin Merriam

Hood River

Everitt for Port

I have known John Everitt for over 15 years; he is a thoughtful, sincere and open-minded person who would be a great addition to our port commission. He has a long history of volunteering in our community including the planning commission, parks and recreation, and the port budget committee. During his tenure on the Hood River Planning Commission, he was a good listener, showed up prepared and was always open to considering both sides of any issue. He has a track record of working with others, building consensus and facilitating sensible solutions. I believe his experience coupled with his excellent interpersonal skills make him an ideal advocate for all port constituents. Please join me in casting a vote for John Everitt.

Ross Hoag

Hood River

The hoax is Big Oil’s

The hoax is perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry. With thousands of researchers from dozens of countries, a hoax is not possible. Nor would there be any motive to perpetrate a hoax.

With a small group, closely associated — such as the rich and powerful in industry — there is motive and capability.

If 97 percent of scientists say smoking causes cancer, would you believe them? Even after it was shown that smoking causes cancer, the tobacco industry tried to cast doubt by saying the conclusions were not unanimous. Fossil fuel industries are doing the same thing now: according to leaked internal documents, they actually used the tobacco industry as a model.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We are measurably increasing its percentage in the atmosphere. Any “reasonably intelligent person” can see that therefore we must be making the planet warmer. Right?

The scientist who discovered in the 1850s that CO2 is a greenhouse gas wondered if CO2 from the industrial revolution could affect the globe. He calculated that the amount being added was insignificant. But we have massively increased our output since then, and nobody has come up with a theory as to how we could possibly NOT be warming our planet.

The sun is monitored 24/7 by the Solar Heliographic Observatory (SOHO). We know immediately if there is a change in solar output, so we know for sure it isn’t the cause of current warming. Solar input was not “downplayed.“

Adding up all possible sources left some warming with no other explanation than human action. It is possible that ALL of the warming is due to us. There is no debate about whether we are causing warming, only how much is due to us and what to do about it.

“Climate change” is the result of warming. Most people aren’t mathematicians or physicists, and aren’t aware that changing the overall heat input of a liquid or gaseous system changes the whole pattern of circulation. That is what is meant by “climate change.” In some places, the heat is increasing faster than average, and some places can even get colder.

Adrian Fields

Hood River

Where’s Walden?

Addressing the letter submitted by Jon Laraway regarding Walden’s responsiveness: Laraway is a very nice man, and like many nice men, he views the world through the lens of his own moral compass. Because Laraway would not lie, he does not believe that Walden would.

This writer is quite certain that Greg Walden, while swilling down beer with his bromance Paul Ryan, said loudly, “That Jon Laraway is a loyal and worthy … “

Laraway asserts that constituents are unhappy with Walden because they did not like his responses, not that Walden failed to respond.

Wrong, Jon. Constituents are unhappy because Walden stood in front of thousands of people at town halls during the second week of April and lied. Here is a verbatim “promise” from one of the three formulaic e-mails received from Greg Walden: “I strongly support provisions that maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions, prohibit lifetime caps on insurance coverage and allow children to stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they are 26. I remain committed to working on efforts to reduce the cost of health care, increase transparency and put patients and their doctors in driver’s seat of their care” (email, March 28, 2017).

The only winners from Walden’s gleeful death sentence upon millions of people are the politicians in the GOP who voted to keep ACA provisions for themselves, and the wealthiest and healthiest in this country.

Glad your “Obama ulcers” are healing, Jon. They are an uncovered pre-existing condition on your pal’s plan.

Regena Rafelson

Hood River

Fear of protest

Bill Davis’ letter from May 6, in which he speculates that a wealthy Democratic donor is funding paid protestors, is a delusional and tragic assertion.

My family and I have participated in marches and rallies, from D.C. to Hood River since the November 2016 election because we are horrified by the regressive, fear-based, and hateful rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration and the minority of voters who elected him. We are afraid that the noble American experiment, the future of our planet, and our Christian values of mercy and justice are under siege. We and millions like us have never been paid a penny to do this, and we sometimes participate at great personal cost. Mr. Davis, you are tragically mistaken.

The tragedy I feel in your accusation is not only yours, but also mine, because I fear that we on the left perceive you Trump voters with what must be an equal measure of distortion and blindness to your authentic concern for the future of our country and our world. I confess that I’ve come to generalize and dismiss people like you as hateful, selfish and ultimately motivated by fear. I’ve come to see you as deceived by a demagogue who cares and knows nothing for the actual challenges of underinformed people who are manipulated to vote against their own interests while wealth and power continue to be consolidated amongst very few.

Surely, such a view is delusional and unhinged, as this caricature of you is not only unfair, it is not worthy of the dignity of human beings.

I trust that we ultimately want the same thing: conditions in which the people and places that we treasure are most free to flourish. A world where we all feel like we belong, have opportunity, and are safe. Isn’t this our common ground? Perhaps we only disagree on the means to realize it, or the names of the things that impede it.

Mr. Davis, I do not intend to humiliate or attack you. I feel humbled and saddened by what can only be a gross distortion of each other’s dignity, values and motivations. I welcome a chance to sit down together in search of regaining our common humanity.

Mark Thomas

Hood River

May is Mental Health Month

This is a time to become informed about a brain disorder that causes depression, manic episodes, hallucinations, poor impulse control, paranoia, obsessions and thoughts of suicide. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) gives these statistics: One in four adults in our country experiences mental illness; more than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had a mental disorder; roughly 46 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with mental illness, more than 21 percent of prisoners in jail have a mental health problem.

Many experiencing a severe mental illness do not seek help because of the stigma surrounding the disorder. They feel embarrassed, disgraced and confused. The public can help by educating ourselves about mental illness, recognizing the symptoms which often hit young adults in their early 20s and showing empathy and compassion for those affected. Proper medication and therapy can often control mental problems, offering hope for a productive, satisfied life. The support of family and friends is important for improvement. Wouldn’t it be sad to be shunned for something you can’t control?

States vary in access to mental disorder care. A 2013 study by Mental Health America ranked Washington near the bottom at 47th and Oregon was dead last. Researchers considered 13 elements for the ranking, from number of residents with mental illness to access to care.

Advocates pushing for mental health parity have succeeded in passing two federal laws requiring insurance companies to cover mental illness and substance abuse as they would physical illnesses. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act and in 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. However, NAMI estimates that 60 percent of Americans suffering from mental illness don’t receive the care they need.

The Dalles and Hood River NAMI support groups meet monthly. See local newspaper classifieds under Support Groups for time and place. Portland and Vancouver have more extensive NAMI groups. Local counties have mental health resources available and there is a suicide lifeline and mental health crisis line phone number— 800-273-8255 or 800-SUICIDE.

Mary Kapp

Underwood, Wash.

Bridge ‘band-aid’

So the Port of Hood River says they might “possibly” replace the Hood River Bridge.

How many years have they been saying this and now they want to increase the price of the toll to cross the bridge for continued “maintenance”?

Hasn’t this bridge toll generated enough revenue over the years for a new bridge from drivers and people that I know personally that cross the bridge that work here in Hood River? This is like a band-aid that is covering a wound that will not heal.

Ron Dunn

Dee

Attend festival Sunday

The Hood River Latino Network has put together an eyeopener of a program for this Sunday at the fairgrounds in Odell.

If you have wondered, with an open mind, what our Latino friends are struggling with, please take time to come and listen. You will go away changed and enlightened.

LaRayne Kayfes

Hood River



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