Letters to the Editor for Nov. 1

Glass house advice

Wow, 62,979,636 fools!

Andrew Brayden, my mother told me if I could not say something good about a person, I should not say anything (Our Readers Write, Oct. 28). So in your case, I will say nothing!

I would suggest you read about the Clinton involvement in Nigeria and Haiti.

Another good read is the Uranium One deal Clinton and the Obama administration was involved in!

So please remember, if you live in a glass house do not throw stones!

Jerry Petricko

Hood River

Weakening America

With Trump’s Republican party making massive changes to our government, it’s hard to keep up. In any case, Rep. Greg Walden has voted every time to dismantle or weaken our nation’s environmental protections. With his help, the House passed:

H.R. 3219, a funding bill that includes $1.6 billion to pay for a 70-mile expansion of Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that would slice through a national wildlife refuge and other sensitive lands and wildlife habitat.

H.J. Res. 38, a resolution to permanently revoke the Stream Protection Rule designed to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of surface coal mining and toxic runoff in waterways. Trump signed the resolution into law in February.

H.J. Res. 44, to permanently revoke the land-use planning rule for the Bureau of Land Management, which guides the use and conservation of wildlife and millions of acres of federal public lands. This action not only revokes a federal rule but also prohibits issuance of any substantially similar rule in the future. With passage of the resolution, the public lost opportunities to have a say in the management of these important public lands. Trump signed it into law in March.

H.J. Res. 69, which permanently revokes the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges rule that was intended to help conserve native carnivores — including bears, wolves and their young — on millions of acres of national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Trump signed it into law in April.

H.R. 218, which would authorize a land transfer between Alaska and the federal government to build a road through a wilderness area in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge that would damage world-class wildlife habitat and undermine environmental laws. The construction of the road would also require the filling-in of nearby wetlands. This legislation awaits consideration by the Senate.

H.R. 23, which would severely weaken and override Endangered Species Act protections for salmon and other endangered fish in California’s Bay-Delta estuary, threaten life-giving water deliveries to wildlife refuges, effectively repeal the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, preempt state conservation laws, and weaken permitting requirements for new dams in the west.

Tracie Hornung


Ship friendship

It’s been two-plus weeks since we lost four soldiers in Niger. Apparently, there were more, some wounded, some flown back to Germany for treatment. There were also soldiers from Niger who lost their lives. No one knows how many were on the other side, although reports have them using heavy weapons. Given that Niger doesn’t have much of a manufacturing base, who supplied those weapons and made money on killing? After more than two weeks, we still don’t know what our troops were doing there. Do you believe that we sent soldiers to Niger with no goal? What was that goal? What are we trying to accomplish?

Meanwhile on the Golan Heights, the Israelis have built a supply area and hospital just across the border in Syria. Anyone wounded in the Syrian civil war is welcomed for medical treatment, be it a child or a combatant from any side. Combatants are searched for weapons, but not ID, as all are welcome to medical care, food and water. A quiet place for women to nurse babies was set up, and a play area for small children, and the area has gone from shelling and bombing to acceptance of help and aid. A Louisiana Christian group named “Friend Ships Unlimited” has sent doctors and other help. Is this a template for outreach to others in need? If we had sent food, water, clothing and medicines to Niger, along with medical personnel, would we have been attacked? Probably not, if all factions are given access to a peaceful place and care. Is it easier on our treasury to send food, water and medicine than M1 Abrams and other military equipment? It’s probably easier on the local populations.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Empathy over anger

I have two teenage boys who are potentially capable of disobeying a forest sign and even starting a fire in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot imagine the emotions I would be experiencing had they started the fire which created so much pain and loss for so many.

If I were the father of the boys in question, I would do everything in my power to physically and mentally protect them from what will no doubt be a very difficult period in their lives. In the privacy of our home, I would provide some serious parenting while preparing them for what lies ahead.

Many on social media, and as well as some local readers, seem to have already formed their own lynch mobs and hanging juries. I am afraid the anger and need for retribution directed toward these young men goes far beyond their stupidity and bad luck. It is hard to imagine directing so much fury and resentment toward young people who I suspect did not purposely set out to destroy property or damage anyone’s livelihood.

I hope people can find a way to empathize with those responsible and their families while considering their response had the situation been reversed and it happened to you or someone you know. In the meantime, there are professional people whose job it is to consider the facts and determine the appropriate consequences.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Just go play ball

I believe most sports fans tune in to actually escape from rancorous reality by watching an exciting and rewarding football game. But they don’t tune in to see some players kneel and whine during our national them. This is not sportsmanship. It’s grievous grumbling political correctness that’s quite nauseating. Such behavior has no place in what should be “the wonderful world of spots” and don’t believe those kneelers when they imply that every apple in the law enforcement barrel is rotten to the core. That’s taking nonsense to a whole new level. The NFL owners should get a backbone and tell the players to stand up, throw their crying towns in the dryer, then go play ball.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Saddened and Outraged

So last Thursday, Oct. 19, the prosecuting attorney for Hood River County charged the Vancouver teen accused of causing the Eagle Creek fire with five misdemeanor charges, not a single felony. He may also do zero jail time and could possibly pay very little for his recklessness.

Surprisingly, no one else in that group was charged with a single crime, nothing. At minimum, isn’t driving a get-away car aiding and abetting? And what about any of them who stood there and videotaped the crime with cell phones? Couldn’t they be at least liable as accessory to the crimes? I am shocked, saddened and infuriated by the minimal charges. Under Oregon law, are the five misdemeanors the harshest penalties that the boy could be charged with? And if not, why not pursue to the fullest extent of the law everything he could be liable for? What about the others who were with him? How is it that none of them are liable for any involvement at a criminal level?

I was raised that there are consequences for your actions. We live about two miles from Archer Mountain. We were evacuated at 4:15 a.m. the morning of Sept. 5 and we had to have our old 32-year-old matriarch mare euthanized because of that boy’s careless, reckless and avoidable actions. His actions cost millions of dollars, literally affected thousands of people, displaced families and livestock, and threatened and killed wild animals, not to mention threatened and endangered plants in the very sensitive Columbia River Gorge, and has forever changed the Gorge’s landscape for literally generations to come. But hey, he was just a teenager and teenagers do dumb things, right?

Paul Smith

Washougal, Wash.

Billionaire bail-out

I received a generic response from Greg Walden regarding my concerns on the GOP’s proposed “tax reform.” It included a link to the GOP Tax Reform website. There are so many items to be concerned about with the GOP’s proposed tax reform, that the specifics need to be addressed one by one.

For this letter, I am going to focus on the supposed “Doubling of the Standard Deduction.” The GOP (and Walden) claim:

It nearly doubles the standard deduction so the first $12,000 earned by an individual and $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.

This is a misrepresentation. It doubles the standard deduction for 2016. The projected standard deduction for 2018 is actually $6,500 for singles and $13,000 for married couples filing a joint return. Mr. Walden also does not want to advertise that the GOP plan eliminates personal exemptions (which, by the way, the wealthiest Americans don’t benefit from anyway due to phase out provisions). The projected personal exemption for 2018 is $4,150. Therefore, with no “tax reform,” a single individual would have had a combined standard deduction and personal exemption of $10,650 and a married couple with no children would have had a combined standard deduction and personal exemptions of $21,300. People with children would be losing their personal exemptions for dependents. Therefore, it is quite likely that people with dependents would be paying more taxes, not less. The GOP does claim that their framework will increase the Child Tax Credit, but they do not provide specifics.

There are so many items to address regarding the GOP’s Tax Reform (which Mr. Walden appears to totally endorse) that they cannot be addressed in one letter. Please take the time to familiarize yourselves with the details that are being proposed. This is not a tax reform proposal that benefits those in the middle class as the GOP claims. This is a multi-millionaire/billionaire bail-out that will significantly increase the deficit.

Jessica Berty

Hood River

‘Fiddler’ shines


“Fiddler on the Roof.”

A fabulous, magnificent Broadway performance! Thank you so much, cast and crew for a very magical evening! Sensational.

Judy Shuman

Hood River

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