Letters to the Editor for Sept. 20 edition

A fine example

Thank you, Peggy Dills Kelter, for sharing your thoughts and feelings on the DACA children (Cascade Observations column, Sept. 13). It’s wonderful to see so much compassion, generosity and affection in a person who is involved with young people. You are a fine example of who we would like to have in each classroom teaching the next generation. We need you, Peggy, and everyone like you to keep our nation from disintegrating.

Maria Kollas

Hood River


I’m filled with thanks this morning as I read the Hood River News (Sept. 13 edition).

To the firefighters and support people who are braving danger, smoke, sleeplessness and heartache close-up on behalf of us all. To Wendy Best’s fine op-ed piece reminding us of perspective and moderation in soaking up “the news.” To John Metta for an especially strong and important letter to the editor about racism in our own time and place. And to Abel Cruz Flores, for his latest column explaining the importance of DACA, the Dream Act, and by implication immigration reform overall.

We are a fortunate community indeed, in having members who educate and challenge us all.

Tina Castañares


New bridge needed

To the Port of Hood River,

I won’t be a fibber,

I desperately want you to build a new bridge.

For when disaster strikes

Bridge traffic really spikes;

Your coffers must be full.

Even when the fee is waived

And those of us with Breezeby think we have saved...

Oh, that’s weird, the signal just turned green.

No informational signs in sight

Or indications that both lanes are right, drivers are baffled and slow.

So let’s stop complaining

And pretending to be maintaining

When a new structure is what we need.

For the WA moms who drive to dance school carry a special window-breaking tool in case we plunge into the river (not kidding).

Should the initial impact we survive,

And escape with those who are alive,

We will fight cold and current to swim to the shore.

So to alleviate our fears

Especially on days of wind shear,

Please build us a new bridge.

I will, however, miss transporting the hitch hikers and the occasional biker when you add a pedestrian lane.

Many years of collecting tolls,

Especially after smoke, snow, falling rocks and poles, the money should be well saved.

So, to the planners at the port

Please be a sport

And begin building us a new bridge TODAY!

Lisa Evans

White Salmon, Wash.

Ready, set, went

“Cemetery Tales” got ready, got set, and we went.

Despite us folks living in a fire and ash laden county where Zone One (get ready), Zone Two (get set) and Zone Three (go!) was constantly on our minds, the production of “Cemetery Tales” was a welcome, educational and uplifting diversion.

It is a testament to our citizens and to the volunteers at the History Museum that the event stayed the course and was well attended.

There is a lesson here, somewhere. I think it has to do with our historical pioneer spirit and our continuing to go forth with that spirit, despite the hardships of the day. Thanks for getting me out of the house.

Mary Ellen Barilotti

Hood River

Blame is easy

We can relax. We know who, how and where the fire started.

Now we can debate their punishment. Otherwise, we would have to wonder how it was possible to burn our Gorge with a smoke bomb. Taking responsibility is hard. Blame is easy. Forest thinning is expensive.

Clear-cutting is profitable. It was those damn kids.

David Warnock

Hood River

Cause and effect

The facts in the Sept. 16 letter “Quiet Achievements” do not represent KATU news reports from the Sunday morning show or my own experiences. I take great exception to the statements surrounding the VA.

Mr. Davis’ letter states Congressman Walden made sure to increase the standard tax deduction as one of the 300 bills recently approved. I cannot find any internet source to confirm this, and KATU certainly does not either.

I have treated many veterans as a local healthcare provider. I find it disrespectful and an unreasonable inference to suggest this reform bill will mark the first time VA providers will “give their utmost attention” to a patient. My experience has been that veterans’ care has been compromised by lack of funding, which is directly related to Congressional decisions. I have witnessed no lack of concern for their needs.

Through incredible irony, the GOP persistently pushes to send young people around the world for reasons of national security. This creates more wounded veterans, a need for higher VA funding, and a backup for care within the VA system. Simultaneously, the GOP has created tax cuts for nearly everything not associated with national defense. In effect, this creates a need (wounded veterans) while failing to address the financial ramifications as well as the issues of social justice and post-war needs of veterans.

I think the “achievement” of creating so many wounded veterans should have been included in Mr. Davis’ letter in order to present a more inclusive and accurate picture for readers.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Walden’s downfall?

Greg Walden, as a strong supporter of Trumpcare, you’ve provided a transparent view into the soul of your legislating mind. You have worked determinedly to vilify and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. The ACA provides real, across the board access to primary care, dental care, mental health care, and lifesaving treatments. It provides a boost to people’s sense of wellbeing and quality of life. With the ACA, we are moving toward a day when all Americans have health insurance that covers them from the threat of preventable catastrophic long-term disability, disease, or premature death.

Trumpcare is projected to potentially redistribute $880 billion over the course of a decade and deny millions access to the miracle of modern medicine. The latest repeal plan deletes insurance coverage to 11 million low income adults immediately if it takes effect. Your plan removes tens of thousands of Americans from the lists of insured, in our own district, in year one. By eliminating subsidies for the healthcare exchange, another 10-20 million will be priced out of the market for healthcare. Not just the poor, but middle-sized families making $100k or less. The newly uninsured will face outcomes which could decimate their lives and livelihoods, while Trumpcare is doing nothing to curtail the costs of healthcare or healthcare insurance.

Most of the projected savings from all Trumpcare plans stems from not subsidizing the healthcare costs of the sick, poor, and elderly.

Without access to doctors and hospitals, these Americans will suffer more and die earlier. It looks like the death panels predicted during the run up to the vote for the ACA in 2009 have arrived. Yes, the death panel is here, and you’re on it. Not for long though. Enjoy your final term in Congress.

Steve King

Hood River

Never forget heroes

In reference to Pennie Burns’ letter about “Never Forget,” it has nothing to do with hatred, but to firefighters, this IS what it means.

Recently Hood River was under attack (by fire) and we all may remember this time with some sort of meaningful words.

On Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was under attack, and in the course of saving lives, 343 firefighters paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s for this reason all firefighters, every year, “Will Never Forget” the loss of so many of our brothers and sisters.

Jim Trammell

47-year fire service veteran

Hood River

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