Letters to the Editor, April 11 edition

Get the Right News

In response to the Bill Davis letter “Fiction City” in the April 7 issue: I agree!

I get my news from Fox, Breitbart, and the voices that speak to me through my hip replacement!

Dick Swart

Hood River

Oates for chair

It is my pleasure to endorse Mike Oates for Hood River County Commission Chair. Mike is a hardworking, volunteering, driven individual. Not only has he served on many boards, helped with many community organizations and supported numerous community events, he also has worked with many community members on various budgets and policies.

Born and raised in Hood River, Mike knows the valley and wants to help those who live here. He listens to both sides of any argument or situation and then makes very informed decisions about how to find solutions. Mike works to make sure everyone in his community is heard, supported and informed about any situation. He does so in a bipartisan way. I hope that our county can make a good choice in electing someone who so strongly has the community interests at heart. Mike Oates is the man for this position and I encourage many Hood River citizens to vote with me to elect Mike Oates for County Commission Chair.

Sarah Fox

Odell

Vote Oates

Mike Oates is running for the County Commission Chair position on the May ballot. I urge you to vote for Mike. I had the pleasure of working with Mike on the initial Hood River County Library District Board. I witnessed a hard-working, dedicated, caring and thoughtful public servant with follow through. Never the first to speak, Mike provides a grounding presence on every issue that requires perspective. He does his research and brings that information to the table for consideration. I am confident these traits will carry forward to his next public position. Join me in voting for Mike Oates as County Commission Chair.

Sara Duckwall Snyder

Hood River

Farm Animals

Growing up, I never heard the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” mentioned once, but people seemed to value and respect everything God created, including the land and its people. Today, politicians regularly preach about the importance of these values, but I am running out of places to look where actions support their words.

Presidents Clinton and Obama designated nearly 2 million acres in Utah as Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, respectively, to protect the land from exploitation and guarantee access for recreation. Earlier this year, President Trump used his legal power to reduce the area by 85 percent because “Thar’s gold in them thar hills.” Actually, the New York Times says mineral deposits are more likely coal, uranium, and oil. What a great way to create jobs and boost the economy while simultaneously exposing those communities to toxic heavy metals and destroying their aquifers like mining companies have done in Canada.

Have an extramarital affair? No problem. All you need is a good pal with $150,000 lying around and a solid Non-Disclosure Agreement. Involved in nepotism, operating below ethics standards, improper use of legal authority, or obvious excessive spending while working for a conservative party adamant about eliminating government waste? No problem. Keep quiet while your boss tells everyone you are doing a great job and offer no reasonable explanation for any of your actions.

The infamous line in George Orwell’s Animal Farm goes, “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Thanks for stating the obvious and keeping your book short Mr. Orwell, but that seed was better left unplanted.

God help us all, but please try to keep the politicians out of it.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Credit clarified

Aurora del Val wishes to take the next logical step for any political activist — run for office. I see her claims about leading the water bottling initiative fight and must speak up.

In January of 2009, I initiated an organization called Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge (KNOG). I connected with the then Food and Water Watch (FWW) organizer who helped grow us with the addition of the Sierra Club, BARK and other groups. Utilizing lobbying, write-in campaigns, rallies and a lawsuit, we held Nestlé back for over six years.

In April of 2015, a group of Gorge residents connected, the result being The Local Water Alliance (LWA), the catalyst for the group being the next FWW organizer.

A local grass roots lawyer, Brent Foster, approached KNOG to run (and help finance) a ballot initiative within Hood River County. He took control of the LWA along with the FWW organizer. These two ran the LWA.

The office was situated in Hood River — excluding Cascade Locks. The neighborhood canvassing was done in the county — excluding Cascade Locks. The election was won, but not in one precinct — Cascade Locks. The fight continued until Gov. Kate Brown pulled the application in October of 2017.

Aurora del Val did not “step up,” nor was she an organizer. She was a selected spokesperson for the group. She was handed an agenda and a role to play. She did nothing to include the very town that needed most to be included. While I am thrilled that my decade-long fight was won, I dislike that one person is taking undue credit when the credit rightfully belongs to many, many other people who fought this.

Katelin Stuart

Cascade Locks

Replace Helfrich

If “appointed” State Representative Jeff Helfrich’s explanation of why he voted against Oregon House Bill 4145, the “Boyfriend Bill,” does anything, it should cause District 52 voters to see to it that he never becomes an “elected” state representative, a position he currently holds only because of the resignation of Mark Johnson.

Listening to the debate in the Oregon House, Mr. Helfrich horrifically failed, by any stretch of the imagination, to understand the simple intent of House Bill 4145, the “Boyfriend Bill.” That being to: 1) modify definitions relating to relationship status and 2) prohibit firearms possession by persons convicted of stalking.

Why is such a bill needed? Because 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and, of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers. House Bill 4145 simply closes an unfortunate loophole and provides threatened women a means of legal protection, something Mr. Helfrich must have incorrectly thought was not needed.

Our District, 52, has two very strong, qualified and articulate women running for the representative position — Anna Williams and Aurora del Val. I imagine their take on violence against women and House Bill 4145 will be quite different. I urge you to listen to them.

Gary Young

Hood River

Ogden for BOLI

Oregon voters should pay close attention to the May Primary Election for Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. A very important choice will be made in this non-partisan race. I hope voters will support Lou Ogden. Lou has been mayor of the City of Tualatin for the last 24 years. His balanced and fair leadership has brought business and industrial development providing thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars of investment by the private sector. He wants to lead BOLI as the driver for skills training and apprenticeship programs that will put employees into living-wage jobs and provide high school graduates an alternative to college. Lou is an insurance broker, farmer, husband and father. He has the vision, experience and proven record of leadership necessary for the job.

Gary Wilhelms

Portland

A call for hope

Here is a sample of what some folk across the Herring Pond are thinking. This letter came from a good friend in England:

“Your cry of pain is so heartfelt. I fear that every now and then complacent Democracies find a Trump or a Brexit sneaking up on them. What is truly unreal is that so many sane, ordinary people are taken in by the falsehoods and nonsense spouted by Trump and peddled by Brexitiers. Even now our government is in a state of denial that the policies being pursued are going to wreck our economy for decades. Our so-called free trade ‘friend’ (a certain Donald J. Trump) is showing that the faith in him initially relied on by Brexit promoters is dangerously misplaced. On a European front, our potential nemesis, the ever-charming Putin, has clearly decided that Great Britain is now Weak Britain, and that he can pretty much do what he wants to settle old scores with impunity. A vacuum of commonsense and consistency in the shambles that purports to be the White House isn’t helping when a clever and ever more powerful Russian Bear is coming out of its lair and looking for mischief. And don’t think the Chinese are fooled by the nonsense in our two countries ... their new dictator is truly powerful and Mr. Trump may find that picking a trade war with them is probably the stupidest thing he has done since ‘taking’ office. I use the word ‘taking‘ deliberately, as it seems that he didn’t win it in the conventional sense ... Facebook skewed and trashed him into the White House!

“Hey ho ... maybe from the crash and burn period a fresh sense of proper political conduct, practical rules on guns, filters and checks on media bullying will prevail — one has to hope!”

Wendy Best

Parkdale

‘I’m with Anna’

When I first met Anna Williams, she shared with me her recipe for a good life: “Find a place you really love,” said Anna, “and then do everything in your power to make it better.”

As we worked together over the next several years, I saw just how much horsepower Anna brings to that philosophy. Anna’s candidacy for Oregon’s House District 52 is one more way Anna aims to serve our community, and boy, are we lucky she’s wired this way.

Anna is smart, competent and compassionate. She’s super-engaged and experienced in working professionally with veterans, seniors, students, trauma survivors, health care, public safety, tourism, housing and more. She knows just how to rally people together, and she takes to heart the importance of truly considering perspectives different from her own, and is able to synthesize the wisdom of different ideas. Anna’s eyes are open to see those who sit on the margins of our community and our society, and she is all about giving everyone a seat at the table, believing that we are truly better together.

Let’s send Anna to Salem to bring all this capacity and heart to the Oregon House of Representatives. Join me in voting for Anna Williams in the May Democratic Primary!

Mark Thomas

Hood River



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