Letters to the Editor for May 17

In Tree City

Curtis Homes assured the planning and zoning committee when they were going through the permitting process that they would be able to save many of the stately Ponderosa pines in their new development on May Street. In the past 48 hours, they have destroyed all the Ponderosa pines. Will the National Arbor Day Foundation now decertify Hood River’s six-year-old certification for not protecting the city’s trees?

Jim Reed

Hood River

Travesty of justice

I read the front page story on the May 13 edition of the News with much consternation! A man buys a million dollar insurance policy on his girlfriend’s life, then takes her out on a hike and pushes her to her death.

Now, eight years later, he is sentenced on “reduced charges”? Doesn’t that seem like first degree murder (premeditation)? Isn’t that a capital crime?

What am I missing here? It looks as though Hood River County is the perfect place to do in your wife or girlfriend. It’s as though the Keystone Cops investigated and then prosecuted the Steven Nichols case. Maybe I watch too much TV, but this seems to me a travesty of justice. A woman lost her life! Oh well.

Pennie Burns

Hood River

Sheppard for Schools

Benjamin Sheppard is currently running for Hood River County School Board Position 2, and you may be thinking, “Why should I vote for him? Why not re-elect the incumbent? Why change?”

But that’s what elections are about. Change. They’re not about where we are, but where we want to be. Benjamin is a close friend of mine and we have had many discussions over the years about politics and education.

Running for school board isn’t some lark for him. This is just one of the first challenges he wants to face to help make Hood River a better and more prosperous place for all of us.

And more importantly, if elected, he will act as a representative. He will be your voice on the board and take your issues with him.

Sometimes, representatives simply become politicians and look towards the next election, rather than the next board meeting where your voice needs to be heard.

I have total faith and trust in Benjamin Sheppard. I have seen him act with integrity in both his personal and professional life. I have seen him face life’s challenges head on. Vote for him on May 16 and let the Hood River County School Board know that a fighter is coming.

A fighter on your side.

Jason O. Carpenter

Hood River

Needed more info

In these heightened political times, I am writing to say I have felt a disconnect in making an educated vote in the May 16 election. There was no Voter’s Pamphlet (is this normal in Special Elections?) and I found no printed information on the candidates for library board, school board, Hood River Transportation District, Columbia Gorge Education Service District, and the Port Commissioner Position 3.

May I suggest more in depth coverage in your newspaper of political issues? Seems a great place for one to figure things out in these crazy times.

I seem to remember more local coverage in newspapers in the past. It also would be great to read coverage of city and school board meetings, and I know there are some great young journalists around town willing to cover this!

Chris DeBruler

Hood River

Editor’s Note: Hood River News published questionnaires in the April 29 and May 3 editions with candidates (most of whom responded) for the Parks and Recreation District, School Board, Transportation District and Port Commission, including Position 3.

Need driver’s license

My name is … my name is not important. I am an immigrant. I arrived when I was 14 years old. It’s been 33 years. I lived in Washington and have lived in Hood River for the last 24 years. More than half of my life, I have worked in many different types of work, picking different types of fruit, in packing houses, taking care of senior citizens and children, etc.

My dream was to give my family, especially my daughters, a better future. As an immigrant, I have had many experiences, very hurtful ones — discrimination, and now a lot of hurt and sadness. Not only for myself, but for many people who are living here undocumented and without a driver’s license.

I ask myself, why are we getting punished? We have paid our taxes. In this country, if you are undocumented, you don’t receive unemployment or other benefits. At least, this has been my experience. That has never been something I have been interested in receiving. I have always worked to survive in a good way. But right now, there are a lot of my brothers and sisters who are living in their homes as if it were a prison — whole families not leaving their homes because of fear.

Some Anglo friends who are fighting for justice and equality and have love and compassion for all who are vulnerable ask what they can do to help. You can do a lot! Call your state representative. You can be my voice. Unite with me to teach our youth love, equality, unity and compassion.

We are thankful to this country for the opportunity it gives us to become better. Some of us already pay and are willing to pay for insurance if we are given the right to drive. There are many things that are unfair, but you and I can make the difference, to make this an even better country.

We need the State of Oregon to return our right to have a driver’s license. We want to drive legally and obey the laws. Please be my voice. Unite with me and fight for this right.

Graciela Gomez

Hood River

Save our park

Former Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall said, “What we save now may be all we save.” Our national parks and public lands are under attack from developers. The story is exactly the same at the local level. It is short sighted to give away our public lands for development. Morrison Park plays a critical role in the future of Hood River. The Westside plan will almost double the current population of Hood River, but at a much higher density. The need for parks and open space is even more critical than ever before. The current housing study being used to justify developing Morrison Park also states we need more parks, not less.

It is time to put a stop to giving away our future. Developing Morrison Park will not cure cancer and it will not solve any housing issues. It will only kick the can down the road a few months and then we are right back where we started, just short one more park. Morison Park is a vital component of our future.

Jim Klaas

Hood River

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