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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 28 edition

Tree planting penance

I think the perfect punishment for the boy and his friends who started the awful forest fire with firecrackers is to plant trees in the burn area.

Trees are available from our government or the forestry department. They come in waxed boxes and there are maybe 1,000 rooted trees per box. Maybe he should plant about 10 boxes.

Peggy Swyers

Hood River

Support soccer

Did you realize Hood River is a soccer town? Yes, more people in this county play soccer than any other sport. From 3-year-olds to 50-plus, soccer is happening year around. Men and women, girls and boys. Multiracial and multigender ... a sport for all that brings all sorts together.

Portland has been past known as Soccer City, USA (2016 ranked second by the Oregonian). The Portland Timbers won the MLS national title two years ago and are currently battling for top seeding into the playoffs this year. The Portland Thorns women’s team won the NWSL championship this year!

And let’s not forget the history of women soccer champions coming from University of Portland, winning NCAA championships in 2002 and 2005, producing big names in women soccer like Milbrett, MacMillan, Rapino and Sinclair.

And although our USMNT missed the world cup qualification this year, the women have consistently produced excellent global results.

Our HRVHS girls’ soccer team is having another record-breaking season this year, and just won their conference title. Let’s “be the change” for women’s equality and support girls soccer.

Don Marble

Hood River

Help needed

Just a comment about all the “Help Wanted” posted signs in store fronts all over Hood River. Seems like I have never seen so many in our town. Why are there so many jobs open and not being filled this time of year? I think this is worth taking some time to consider reasons why. I have my thoughts. Expensive housing prices and lack of affordable long-term rentals are surely a big problem. How can people work the jobs in town if they can’t afford to live in town year around?

Are we becoming a victim of our own success? Is the city doing enough to address these issues? Time will tell. I hope to see this situation improve ASAP. I do not own property in the area but have been living/renting/and working here in town for over 20 years now. I have never seen so many folks desperate to find affordable housing and so few people taking the “Help Wanted” jobs. Sad situation here in Hood River paradise.

Elizabeth Anderson

Hood River

What others?

First question. Can you get rich by taking from others?

Second question. What others?

David Warnock

Hood River

Give us time

In a time of “icky” politics, it is especially disheartening to have distrust for those involved in politics at the municipal level.

I know many of these local politicians — I see them around town on a regular basis and I rightfully expect them to have accountability to their constituents.

It feels personal when some of these politicians (and community members) question the reason their constituents question them. In regards to the Westside Area Concept Plan (WACP), I answer their question for the masses, “Where have you been?” with regards to locals wanting “late” input into the proposed development. Where have we been? We’ve been working. We’ve been raising children. We’ve been caring for aging parents, and volunteering in our children’s classrooms. We’ve been raising money for our local PTOs, and participating in and organizing projects for local non-profits. We’ve been supporting our friends who have undergone loss. We’ve been busy supporting our friends’ ventures.

We have been eating at our local restaurants and shopping in our local businesses to help ensure success of these places we hold so dear. We have been and will continue to be active members of this community.

Hood River is extremely special. It’s been special for generations (I am fifth generation). It wasn’t made special in 1980-something. It wasn’t a “hickville” town or full of “hayseeds” before it was discovered how well the wind can carry a sail through the Columbia. This town has been full of active and caring community members for generations. We are intelligent humans with incredible instincts. We’ve been able suss out the fact that this WACP feels really shady. Please be patient with your constituents and allow us time to assess this project now that the concept has been brought to light. Please remember that we ARE active members in this community. We are NOT negligently uninvolved. We ARE busy holding up our responsibilities, and hope that our elected officials, and those that advise them, are doing the same. This plan is anything but transparent and forthcoming; please give us time to grasp and understand the magnitude of this project.

Katie Haynie

Hood River

World laughing

Watching the Trump administration do its “work” is like watching the dumpster fire of the century. Their villainy is rivaled only by their incompetence. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny. It is utterly clear that Trump and the GOP don’t actually care about the people’s wellbeing — why else would they dismantle the ACA, undermine the EPA, and harm so many other programs that were set up to help or protect us? One of Trump’s early battle cries was that the world is laughing at America. They were not, but sadly, they are now.

If you voted for Trump, then you were a fool. If you still support him, then you are criminally stupid and therefore unfit to handle the responsibilities of a democracy.

Next time, don’t be so easily fooled by fake Russian Facebook videos, fake Fox News and perhaps stay home — you’ve done enough to harm your great country.

Andrew Bryden

Hood River

Facts are facts

“Facts are facts. They aren’t colored by emotion or bias. They are indisputable. There is no alternative to a fact. Facts explain things. What they are, how they happened. Facts are not interpretations. Once facts are established, opinions can be formed. And while opinions matter, they don’t change the facts.” — CNN. The West Side Area Concept Plan (WACP) immediately came to mind after reading this. Our city council and planning department are working toward approving a plan based on opinions, alternative facts and inaccurate information. Fact: We have an approved population growth plan in place that meets projected growth at 2 percent YOY without zoning changes. Fact: The population growth projection has recently been reduced from 2 percent to 1.4 percent. This new population growth projection requires 800 new residences rather than the 1800 proposed in the WACP. Fact: Increased density does not solve for affordable housing, which is what the plan claims to accomplish.

Imagine 1,800 new homes and 2,500 cars added on top of our currently woefully overburdened infrastructure. At that point ALL Hood River homes would become affordable. The desirability to live here will vanish. Hood River will become an overcrowded, unsafe, underfunded civic mess. Increasing density will exacerbate the infrastructure deficiencies we already have.

I fear this plan will follow the same pattern we’ve seen recently (i.e. Morrison Park) where our representatives go through the motions of “hearing” public opinion. They appear to “listen” to public opinion only because it is a requirement of the process. They seem unaffected by public opinion and, it seems, they proceed with decisions based upon a predetermined decision based on preconceived notions, opinions, alternative facts or unseen incentives. Why would our representatives, who moved here or remain here likely for same reasons the rest of us do, push to approve a plan that will irreversibly point this wonderful place in such an ill-conceived, unnecessary and detrimental direction? I gotta ask: Who wins here? Developers? Contractors?

Perceived political legacy? I realize these may be harsh words and tough questions. But aren’t we obligated to ask them?

Peter Talmage

Hood River

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