Letters to the Editor, April 28

French lessons

Whether or not President Trump perceived that his relationship with President Macron of France permitted the public brushing of dandruff from the Statesman’s shoulder, two things should not be missed with respect to the latter’s recent visit to our nation’s capital.

First, President Macron brought with him for planting at the White House a sapling from a forest not far from Paris. This June will be the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood, in which the U.S. Marine Brigade, by its commitment to all that western globalism has since come to value, while losing in a few days more men than the entire Marine Corps had lost in all of its previous history, saved Paris.

Second, the day following his brush with the temporary insecurity in our White House, President Macron ascended the steps of Congress and preached “America” to “Americans” so effectively, so honestly, so courageously that not only did BOTH sides of the aisle applaud repeatedly, but also stood repeatedly as if suddenly exhilarated by the reminder of who we were, who we are, and who we should be.


Robert White

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

‘Plus and minus’

Being that I have never met either one of candidates running for County Commissioner Chair, I am using the “plus and minus” system of what I have heard and read about the candidates.

I have read about Mike Oates in the Voters Pamphlet and the newspaper, and have talked with folks who know him from the boards, commissions and foundation he has been on in Hood River County.

I have read about Rich McBride in the newspaper, but not talked with anyone who knows him. I have lived here for 75 years and know folks in the city and county.

Using the “plus an minus” system, I will be voting for Mike Oates for County Commissioner Chair.

Jerry Petricko

Hood River

Walden headlines

Geesh! Three pro-Greg Walden articles printed in this newspaper in the last three weeks. Must be an election coming up!

Article 1: “Walden touts ‘great wins’ for Oregon” (04-04-18), in which Walden boasts about all the federal spending he voted for. When questioned why he voted for a 2,332 page omnibus spending bill which increases the deficit by $300 billion, he blamed the Democrats. This huge increase in deficit spending, combined with the corporate tax cut Walden voted for last year, will balloon the deficit to $800 billion in 2018! A better tagline: “Walden, hypocrite as fiscal conservative, votes to spend our money like drunken sailor.” (Shhhh, here’s a secret — over the last 40 years, under Democratic presidents, our deficits go down.)

Article 2: Walden comments on Facebook, etc. (April 4). Walden questions Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, about not protecting users data. No mention of Russia or Cambridge Analytica, which we now know used Facebook to distribute fake ads and articles which helped Trump get elected.

Why didn’t Walden talk about Russia interfering in our elections, the biggest security threat to our democracy since World War II? The article ends with Walden asking, “Do we need government regulation to help police Facebook?” More government, that’s a rich irony for a Republican! How about, “Walden sends ‘friend’ request to Putin, ‘likes’ RT (Russia Today)”?

Article 3: “Walden Gains ... commitment on BPA Privatization” (April 21), in which Walden “grills” energy Secretary Rick Perry about the Trump proposal to sell off the BPA. Walden is quoted as saying that privatization would “harm my constituents, drive up electricity costs and hurt consumers across the region.” A more precise tagline: “Walden undermines Republican motto, government bad, inexplicably admits cheaper electricity through government-run agency.”

Here’s some taglines for future articles: “Walden raises $3.5 million for campaign, mostly from PAC’s and corporations — If money talks, who is Greg listening to?” Or, “Walden helps kill net neutrality, Netflix cost set to double.” Or, “Walden drops Health Care, we’re still waiting on your Better Way, Greg!”

In printing articles from Walden without any real investigative reporting, our Democracy really, really suffers.

Guy Tauscher

Hood River

Guns and hope

“All handguns, semi-automatic and pump action, non-rimfire guns” are illegal in Great Britain. Not counting terrorist activities this month, London’s murder rate became greater than New York City’s murder rate.

Lock up your kitchen knives because they’re next …

For those who naively think that eliminating guns is the answer, I would like to make a couple of points to consider. The Second Amendment is a right, equally as all the other rights under our Constitution. What I believe is missing when those rights are taught: those rights (all of them) also come with individual, personal responsibility. Folks are mad at the NRA; why? Is it because they are successful at educating and instilling some of that responsibility?

Reducing, eliminating firearms really is only a feel-good measure. When the assault weapons ban was previously in place, statistically we were not really any safer.

What needs to be addressed are some of the underlying causes and conditions that breed violence. Mental health screening, economic conditions in those places where violence is prevalent, much in some of our inner cities. Hand up rather than a hand-out? Improving our education so children and adults understand and accept personal responsibility, and finally, providing hope that one’s circumstances in life can change if one desires, but it does take work. Without personal hope, it is a dark place and it is dismal indeed.

Steve Nybroten

White Salmon

Neahring for Congress

I know Democratic candidates can connect with rural voters because I ran two strong races for state representative in north central Oregon as a “fair frugal farmer” in 2002-06. I am happy to see a palliative care physician, Dr. Jenni Neahring from Bend, running for Congress.

Dr. Neahring stopped by my farm near Culver recently and we had a good visit. She is passionate about expanding health care access, quality, and affordability. The Affordable Health Care Act might not be perfect, but it has helped families in Eastern Oregon as much as any part of our state.

The number of Americans without health care was almost cut in half from 2010 to 2016, 48 million to 28 million. States like Oregon that chose to expand Medicaid saw the percent of uninsured cut in half from 18 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in 2016.

Despite this, Greg Walden played a leading role gutting ACA and replacing it with “Trumpcare,” which will take away insurance from millions of Americans.

Dr. Jenni Neahring, on the other hand, wants to strengthen the Affordable Care Act that has improved the finances and health of so many rural Oregonians. She has my vote in the Democratic Primary!

Jim Gilbertson


Farmers for Oates

Many in the farm community in Hood River were pleased when Mike Oates decided to run for the position of County Commission Chairman. He well represents the orchardists and farmers in our valley. As a fourth-generation resident of Hood River, he is quite aware of both the great potential of our valley as well as the problems with everyday operations of the county.

This position would merely be a continuation of the many years and many committees of which he has been an active member. He has served on the school district budget committee and the school board, as well as the board for the Hood River County Library. Currently, Mike is a member of the Hood River Education Foundation Board.

As a member of our farming community, he has served on the board of the Hood River Grower Shipper Association and the Research Committee, as well as chairman of the Ag Water Quality Local Advisory Committee. Mike has also spent years as a member of the board for the Canned Pear Service, which helps promote canned pears.

All the aforementioned he has accomplished while raising his family and operating a family orchard. Our family has a Century Farm and very much appreciates the service he has already contributed to our valley and farming community. We trust and hope the county will join us in our support for Mike Oates for County Commission Chairman.

Geraldine and Mike Goe

Hood River

Oates has the experience

A new leader has emerged in the running for Hood River County Commission chair. Mike Oates would be my choice and should be your choice too. He would be a great asset for the residents of our county. Mike knows Hood River County as a life resident and longtime orchardist. He understands budgets, finance, land use planning and how government functions from many years of service on numerous boards and committees.

I have had the privilege to sit on some boards with Mike, and I have found him to be not only dedicated but a good listener and problem solver. Mike has served on the Hood River County Planning Commission, the Hood River County School Board, and school Financial Advisory Committee, and the Hood River County Library Board. He also currently serves on the Hood River County Education Foundation Board, Hood River Grower Shipper Association, the Ag Water Quality Advisory Committee, and the Canned Pear Service. His diverse and successful involvement in the county make Mike one of the most qualified candidates in decades. Please join me in voting for Mike Oates for chair of the Hood River County Commission.

Mike Schend

Hood River

White for District 2

Tim White is the Democrat’s best chance to unseat nine term incumbent Congressman Greg Walden in the Second District. Democrats continue to serve up candidates who do not appeal to the constituents in the district and who then get slaughtered in the general election. The last 20 years of Republican electoral landslides in this district are proof that this strategy is a loser.

Tim’s mettle and negotiating skills forged at Chrysler Corporation give him the gravitas none of the other Democratic candidates possess. The complexities and pressures of working for a major multinational company developed in Tim a practical, no-nonsense approach to problem solving. This experience is unique among all Democratic contenders.

Folks want a robust economy and an affordable healthcare system. They want decent schools, a clean environment, and a representative who works for them, not special interests.

These are not “Republican” or “Democrat” issues, just real problems faced by ordinary people every day.

Unlike our current incumbent, Tim is not a career politician — just a committed fighter who wants to protect our environment and enhance the lives of all constituents.

Rich Tuttle


Support Local Option

It’s rare not to be able to open our local paper and see signs of success at our local schools, school board, superintendent and school administrations, whether it’s surprise at the quality of music at May Street, excellent plays at our local high school, sports teams that excel, our grads named to “Dean’s lists,” events at the Hood River Middle School and Wy’east Middle School, and the excellence in reading at Cascade Locks, (thank you, Principal Amy).

Unfortunately, our state doesn’t maintain a meaningful rainy day fund for those times when the economy is contracting, and our legislature has for years turned its back on the PERS problem along with the PERS boards. To overcome these state problems and give our students choices, we’ve adopted our own funding formula of passing local options. It would be preferable for the state to properly fund our schools, but in lieu of that I’d like to encourage citizens to vote again for the Local Option. Let’s make sure our schools are improving and maintained as some of the best in the state.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Vote matters

Can Greg Walden (R-OR2) be replaced in November? Seven Democrats are vying to do just that.

Together, these candidates form a credible and diverse field. Each deserves appreciation for stepping up to the plate. Each is arguably attractive in her or his way. Michael Byrne is genuine and funny, a true-and-true son of the district. Eric Burnette is articulate and compelling. Raz Mason is a breath of fresh air with a calm and reasoned message of inclusiveness. Jim Crary is right on his call for campaign financing reform. Jennifer Neahring has the best, most nuanced command of health care issues. Jamie McLeod-Skinner is experienced in government and her family’s rural roots might make a difference. Tim White is in great command of data and comes across as a no-nonsense big-picture thinker.

Who among the seven would best serve in Congress, if elected? Who would be most representative of the District? Who could mount the strongest challenge to Walden?

I don’t yet know who will get my vote, in part because I would currently answer each of the above questions with a different name. But only one of the seven will be on the ballot this coming November. And who that is matters. Matters enough that I temporarily changed my registration from Non-affiliated to Democrat, to be able to cast a vote.

Eligible voters: Whoever your preferred candidate might be, please vote.

Democratic candidates: You have studied your fellow candidates. You have debated them. You share many of their values. You have highlighted how different you are from them. You know them better than most voters. For all that, you have one more important choice to make: (a) you can continue to compete in a crowded field until May 15; or (b) you may instead help guide voters by endorsing the candidate whom you think would best serve the District and the country.

Antonio Baptista

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

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kenearle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Steve Nybroten comments about the fact that London's murder rate is higher than New York is so representative of how out of touch with reality the “gun freedom activists” in America are and how they are holding the rest of us back from actually making progress on this dangerous issue. What Steve Nybroten fails to mention is that New York City is number 51 on the list of murder rates in America and that London is the highest rate and in fact mostly represents the murder rate of the entire country of Great Britain. To be honest I am not even sure what gun advocates, or second amendment enthusiasts or civil libertarian actually want or what their motive is for holding back sensible control? All I am asking for is a similar level of oversight and control that a drivers license requires, or a pilot requires to fly a plane, or a doctor requires to practice medicine, or a lawyer requires to represent individuals in a court of law. The government requires auto insurance for a good reason - why not have some sensible oversight of gun ownership? It is just fantasy, arrogance and ignorance that the 2nd amendment precludes any civil oversight or that any oversight will lead to a loss of constitutional rights for general civilian gun ownership in America. I am tired of the partisan mincing of words, we know we have too many guns. The highest murder rate in all of Great Britain barely makes our top 50 list, come on Steve get on board with modern reality and stop twisting facts for your own self serving antiqued ideology.


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