Letters to the Editor for Aug. 4

Debates essential

Thank you, Hood River News, for running an article on Jamie McLeod-Skinner (July 28), the Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District.

Jamie won the primary over 11 opponents who have all enthusiastically endorsed her for her strong advocacy on rural issues, health care and the environment, especially water issues. The primary was covered in local newspapers, but since then Jamie has received virtually no coverage in the small town newspapers that cover communities in the district.

Jamie is running against Congressman Greg Walden, the former moderate Republican, who used to spend a great deal of time in our district. Now Walden is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the second most powerful committee in the House, responsible for the awful healthcare proposal that died for lack of support even from Republicans. Trade issues and environmental regulation all come through his committee. Our best glimpses of our Congressman are when he is standing mutely alongside the Speaker and the rest of the party leadership.

It seems that the political experts, both Democrats and Republicans, assume that Greg Walden is unbeatable. There is no outside money streaming into Oregon to support Jamie’s campaign. She isn’t endorsed by Emily’s List, the feminist fundraising group that supports women candidates. If there is to be any contest at all in the Second Congressional District, we have to join together in this vast district to make sure Jamie has a chance to make her voice heard.

Greg Walden must schedule a series of debates with Jamie McLeod-Skinner around the district so we can all learn more about both of their positions on important issues. Small community newspapers need to give space to this important race. Our local Congressman has become a creature of Washington. It’s up to all of us to make sure this year’s election is about who best can represent us.

Christine Knowles

Hood River

Vote McLeod-Skinner

As I was driving west on Interstate 84 from The Dalles, I saw a new billboard.

It shows our current congressman, Greg Walden, with the slogan, “Working for US!”

Mr. Walden received $4 million from pharmaceutical, broadcasting, fossil fuel and other lobbyists in 2018 alone. He worked to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to pass huge tax cuts for corporations. He passively stood by as programs that benefit children and families were defunded. He has been AWOL on issues of importance: Public education, climate change, job opportunities, healthy agriculture and infrastructure renewal.

If you are concerned about finding a house, paying off your student loan, whether to go to the doctor or not, how to make rent, or how to keep the family farm, then Mr. Walden is not working for you and is not listening to you. He is out of touch with what rural people in Congressional District 2 need and want. You can see his voting record for yourself at www.votesmart.org or www.opensecrets.org.

You have a choice in Congressional District 2 in this election. You can vote for Mr. Walden, who says he works for us … or you can vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who will work for us, and who promises to listen to what rural people in Oregon need and want, and bring that voice to Congress.

Jamie understands what it means to live, go to school and work in rural Oregon in these times. She attended high school in Oregon and earned her law degree at the University of Oregon. She developed policy as a city planner and was elected to the city council. She and her family live and work in rural Oregon. She is smart, capable, hardworking, and principled. She is prepared to meet the D.C. elite on our terms, not theirs. That’s why I’m voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner on November 6.

Check out her website at www.jamiefororegon.com to see the full story.

Mark Reynolds

Hood River

Make America civil

I was born in 1948. I will be 70 soon. I went to school in Pennsylvania, but have been in Oregon for over 50 years, with some time out for the U.S. Coast Guard. Some of my Coast Guard time was spent at Tongue Point, Astoria.

I would say I am fiscally conservative; however, I spent 35 years as a union shop steward and hold many liberal, social views.

In grade school, I was part of Duck and Cover drills. Really? Hide under your desk from an “A” bomb! That will work? The bomb never came! There were race riots, people burned down their own houses and neighborhoods (try to make sense out of that), there were assassinations, war protests and President Nixon quit.

I was on a Coast Guard ship when Nixon quit, and the enlisted guys were upset because local news covered Nixon, not baseball. We were at war and baseball seems more important to enlisted men? Of course, there was the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Spotted Owl, taking out power dams to save fish, not building power dams to save snail darters ... need I go on?

I may not be very well, formally educated, but I have seen some stuff. I have never seen the public so divided as we are now. We are yelling past each other with no middle ground, no intellectual discussion, and everyone is dug in. If you don’t start talking instead of yelling, everyone, even the innocent (if there are any) will be hurt.

Please people, take a deep breath. With all we have been through, we can find a way out of this political divide.

I recommend we all start trying civility. Don’t wait to receive it, start it, or it may never show up. Without civility, we are all wrong. Here we are in the U.S.A. and the rest of the world wants to come here. Let’s, one person at a time, try to make America better. Try to fix it, don’t destroy it.

Michael Fifer

Hood River

Wall is responsible

In the editorial, “No, Now” of Aug. 1, the editor ridicules President Trump and the building of a wall between the U.S. (and) Mexico. He claims that “a border wall is probably impossible to build, but moreover a fiscal and environmental sham and a morally irresponsible project to pursue or even pretend to pursue.” I disagree.

The United States of America is a sovereign nation and not only has the right, but the responsibility, to determine who can and who cannot enter a country. So a wall IS morally responsible.

Our current border with Mexico is very porous, allowing not only otherwise honest, hardworking people seeking a better life, but also terrorists, criminals of all types, drugs and humans trapped in bondage.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform of January 2017, 65 other countries have built security fences and other barriers to protect themselves from large-scale immigration and infiltration of terrorists. So as far as the cost, it probably pays for itself in six years if the project results in a 5 percent reduction in the annual cost of illegal immigration to American taxpayers.

The editor quoted Ronald Reagan saying, “Mr. President, tear down this whole ‘wall’ idea.” Reagan was referring to the Berlin Wall, which was built to keep good people from fleeing communism and enslavement for freedom. So this is not a morally equivalent example.

After Israel built a double-layered security style fence, similar to the San Diego fence, suicide attacks declined over 90 percent.

If people fully understand the seriousness of our condition, the wall WILL be built!

Donald Rose

Hood River

Not satisfied with answers

The recent article and Letters to the Editors about Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s visit to Hood River, that I attended, missed some important things which need to be addressed. The questions and answers that were at the end of her presentation brought up some very interesting issues.

One question was why wasn’t Senator Wyden endorsing Jamie? Her answer was that her staff was in discussions with his staff, but no endorsement yet. I guess Senator Wyden isn’t too excited about Jamie.

Jamie was then asked about the support she was receiving from the Oregon Democrat Party and the National Democrat Party. The answer she gave was that the Oregon Democrats were giving her some support. Then she described the support from the National Democrat Party as not much.

This is quite strange considering the race is a national race and we are supposed to see a “Blue Wave” for the election.

Jamie then said she wants to model her campaign after the successful campaign of the young lady in New York, Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When asked what Jamie admired the most about this New York candidate’s campaign, she said it was the strategy and message.

Her admiration of the Socialist Democrat’s message may demonstrate the lack of understanding Jamie has for the people in this congressional district. This is the same New York candidate that didn’t get an endorsement from former President Obama. I guess that’s the position you have when your campaign manager is from Eugene, Ore.

Overall, Jamie had many vague and generalized positions about issues.

She never mentioned an issue that was specific to Hood River County.

The only towns she mentioned were Burns and Klamath Falls. And her campaign manager had a very awkward moment of asking for donations from the crowd with lackluster response.

Congressman Walden is from here. He shares our values, and he has demonstrated his desire to help make life better in this district.

Kenneth Ebi

Hood River


Crash photo display was front and center at the Hood River County Fair.

County fair thanks

We want to thank the Hood River County Fair Board for bringing the Crash Car Display from Oregon Impact to the Hood River County Fair. The car has signage teaching people that substances such as alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, even prescribed drugs, can all impair driving. It also shows texting or talking on cell phones impair one’s ability to drive as well.

People who viewed the car stopped at the Hood River County Prevention Department booth for more information and were given resources on different substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and tobacco. The prevention department booth also shared information on bullying, staying safe on the internet and suicide prevention. Hundreds of kids stopped by to spin the wheel and were taught about the impact of alcohol and other substances on the developing brain, how to prevent and deal with bullies and other messages to keep youth safe and healthy.

Parents, grandparents and other guardians learned that having teen parties that serve alcohol is against the law and is dangerous for youth because alcohol, marijuana and tobacco are “gateway” drugs, which can lead to other more harmful substances.

This educational opportunity reached thousands of fair-goers across many different sectors of the Hood River community. The Hood River County Prevention Department is grateful for Oregon Impact, the Hood River County Fair Board, and all of the wonderful citizens of Hood River County.

Thanks for a great time at the Fair!

Belinda Ballah, director

Hood River County

Prevention Department

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