Letters to the Editor for August 8

Climate change


In response to the cartoon depicting two Americas in the Aug. 4 issue, I’d like to identify myself as someone living in a third America where the only headline is “Climate Change.” Anyone else out there? Hello?

Graham Bergh

Hood River

107 and voting

We’re settling in for another string of days of temperatures over 100 degrees here in Hood River. In Oregon and other Western states, forests and cropland are on fire; entire cities are being consumed in flames; ag producers are suffering from drought; salmon are endangered by warming rivers; and the frail, elderly and chronically ill are at increased risk for mortality.

This is climate change. We know it. Scientists know it. Most politicians know it. And yet it is being ignored in federal policy as if it doesn’t matter, as if our futures and our children’s futures are not on the line, as if our economy and national security are not threatened.

Our Senators Merkley and Wyden are consistent in advocating and voting for action on climate change. Congressman Greg Walden is a different story. Walden does not deny climate change. Incomprehensibly, he acknowledges climate change, but refuses to do anything about it.

In 2011, Walden voted against H.R. 910, an amendment that stated simply (and only) that “Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.” Since that time, there have been 40 roll call votes in Congress on legislation related to climate change. Walden has voted AGAINST taking action on climate change 39 of those 40 votes.

And he is generously supported by industries that are not only climate polluters, but actively work against climate solutions.

We need to get rid of legislators that refuse to act on climate change.

It’s here, it’s hurting us now, and it will only get worse. We MUST act.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner is clear on her willingness to fight climate change, and to help Oregon create jobs in a clean energy economy to boot. We can and MUST do better than Walden.

Bonnie New

Hood River

McLeod-Skinner is engaged

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Jamie McLeod-Skinner several times at public events in the Gorge in the past year. Each time, she has seriously engaged, listening and asking questions in addition to talking about her positions and qualifications to be a U.S. Representative. Sometimes our conversations have ended in agreement and sometimes we don’t agree. But I have always walked away feeling that I have been heard and my concerns and views have been respected.

I have wanted to have the chance to see my current representative in person, but he hasn’t held a single public event in Hood River or Wasco county. Walden prefers spending his time with big donors at a secret location outside of the district.

I don’t expect that my representative will always agree with me. I do expect that they will be willing to face their constituents, listen to and engage with our concerns, and be answerable to us for their actions.

That’s the most fundamental qualification to be a representative. That’s what Jamie McLeod-Skinner does.

MariRuth Petzing

Hood River

STR rules needed

We live on a dead-end street in the county. We have a neighbor that has chosen for years now to rent his houses on a short-term basis. This has caused increased traffic on our road and created safety issues for us as a small community. We have children, animals, families and elders using our road to walk and connect. The increased traffic on this narrow, chip sealed road is double or triple what it used to be. When we went to the county to find out if these residences were licensed, the county couldn’t tell us if they were or not. Clearly, the county is not on top of this issue or looking out for the majority of its residents. The county should charge an adequate fee and use fines on STRs to cover the expenses of regulation and enforcement. The county needs to limit the number of these homes to its own rules. I also believe that asking a person if they are a resident for 31 days is inadequate. It encourages people from out of state to buy more homes in our valley, making the problem for real residents worse.

Yes, STRs do benefit a few, but the greater impact on the county does not benefit the majority of the counties’ residents. STRs diminish the rental housing in the county that is so desperately needed right now. It seems to me that our business community needs good workers and how many turn away when there is no place to rent? I know the county has many problems, but the way STRs are being handled just makes it all worse. I hope the county can see the problem for what it is, just as the city did, and make strong, enforceable rules that benefit our community and not outside investors.

Pamela Newman

Victor Roberge

Hood River

Walden works hard for all

“We owe our loyalty to each other and to our children’s children, not to party politics.” — DaShanne Stokes.

It seems that Greg Walden could find a cure for cancer and yet some unreasonable partisans would still oppose him, putting partisan politics ahead of making positive accomplishments. None of these accomplishments are being recognized by some angry partisans, who, by the way, are nothing but the loud minority. They oppose everything Greg Walden does, grasping at straws to put a California Democrat, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, in office. Her agenda is to transform Oregon’s Second District into a clone of Portland. Is this what we want?

The majority of citizens in our community know better and are standing by Greg Walden, who has consistently fought for the constituents of the Second District. Whether it was passing legislation to fix forest management in our state, stop the opioid crisis or working to get the Hammond’s pardoned, Greg is here for the people of the Second District of Oregon. These are not partisan issues. He understands our way of life and is truly a representative of rural Oregon.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner says that she likes to avoid buzzwords — so she won’t ever use the words socialized medicine when she tells you she supports it. She is hiding behind this façade of appearing moderate while actually pushing an extremely liberal agenda. The people of the Second District deserve much better. This liberal agenda has nothing to do with improving the lives of Oregonians. Our local guy, Greg Walden, is working hard for us and definitely deserves our support again in November.

Kristine Wilhelm

Hood River

McLeod-Skinner listens

I have become increasingly frustrated with our congressman’s lack of responsiveness to us, his constituents, over many years, but more so over the past nearly two years. His letters are form letters and do not answer my questions. His staff members, upon answering my phone calls, always reply they haven’t “discussed that” with him, no matter the subject. He seems to avoid direct contact with us and his staff can never tell us his schedule.

Additionally, he has now seemed to renege on having debates with his opponent. He is “too busy with government business,” but had time for an expensive fundraiser out of his district last week.

His congressional opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, on the other hand, not only specifically answers direct questions, but actually carefully listens to us eastern Oregonians. That is what we should expect and are entitled to from our representatives. Thoughtful discourse with a smart, experienced person without ties to industries we don’t have here, such as pharmaceuticals and internet providers, has been refreshing to me, and I look forward to a great real partnership with a new real representative.

Please get the word out, help get the vote out, and vote with me for Jamie McLeod-Skinner for District 2 Representative Nov. 6.

Sandra Haechrel

The Dalles

Good advice

Thank you for the recent “Women in Business” profile of Insitu CEO Esina Alic. Esina has a wealth of experience to offer other young women who want to pursue a career in science. I know from examples in my own family that this can be challenging. My daughter earned a Ph.D. in cell biology and is now a professor and cancer researcher in a field largely dominated by men. My granddaughter got her undergraduate degree in physics/math and has just completed her first year in mechanical engineering at Columbia University, as well as an internship at a startup engineering company in New York City. Both were engaged in sports at an early age; my daughter was a collegiate alpine ski racer and my granddaughter was an elite team soccer player.

I was interested to read that Esina was a competitive figure skater at national and international levels. Perhaps participation in competitive sports prepares young girls to be persistent in the face of the ups and downs they experience in participating in their sport and the many obstacles they will face in their scientific fields. I believe Esina best expresses the determination required for a woman to succeed in science when she states that, “I’ve been in a male-dominated field my whole life. I’ve never let that slow me down.” Good advice for young girls considering a career in science!

Leighton Hazlehurst

Hood River

Trolls and tampering

Aug. 5, 2018: The day that the sitting U.S. President announced to the entire world that his campaign did, in fact, conspire with the Russian government to steal the election from Hilary Clinton.

This combined with our intelligence agencies’ findings that voting apparatus in at least seven major states were tampered with, to say nothing of Russian troll farms utilizing social media to spread misinformation and disinformation, and we have pretty clear picture of how this treasonous mollusk came to call himself the president.

Will Congressional Republicans do anything rectify this situation?

Probably not.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Steps up

On Nov. 6, the people in Oregon Congressional District 2 will be choosing our next Representative to Congress for a two-year term. Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the Democratic Party contender, was recently in Joseph for their Chief Joseph day parade as was her opponent, Greg Walden. Jamie walked up to the open vehicle Greg Walden and his wife were riding in, shook his hand, and challenged him to three debates in the district. He agreed.

The following week, Jamie delivered a formal invitation to his office in Bend and as stated on her Facebook said, “Thank you for agreeing with my proposal to debate. I believe the voters of our district deserve to hear both of our views about the many important issues affecting their daily lives — including healthcare, education, public land management, and economic development.”

The debates are being offered by the American Association of University Women in Umatilla County on Aug. 31, Daily Courier newspaper and Rogue Indivisible in Jackson County on Oct. 7, and Central Oregon Community College in Deschutes County on Oct. 22.

When these debates were proposed, the McLeod-Skinner campaign agreed, but there has yet to be a response from Walden’s office and no comment on Jamie’s recent proposal.

Jamie is also proposing offering debates or joint town hall meetings in all 20 counties. Thank you, Jamie, for asking Walden personally and in a formal invitation to these debates. I have repeatedly asked Walden’s office about when there will be a local town hall meeting. I know many others who have done the same. The normal response, when asked about a town hall schedule, Walden’s staff says, “I don’t have access to his schedule.”

When choosing an elected official, we the people who are being represented need to know a candidates’ views on the issues of concern locally, nationally, and internationally. I am looking forward to hearing both candidates, even though I already know who I am voting for — the candidate who is working to restore openness, responsiveness, and accountability as an elected official — Jamie McLeod-Skinner. Yes, Jamie is the rural champion that will work for us and will get my vote.

Beverly Sherrill

The Dalles

Total fraud

Television has been alive with LeBron James’ new school in Akron. Built for at-risk children, it opened last week for 240 third and fourth graders, soon to be expanded to K-6. At-risk children there are falling farther and farther behind and the James Foundation decided to offer help to the Akron school board in answering this challenge. Remember, LeBron left school early to play ball, but obviously sees the value of education.

Let’s contrast that to what our president accomplished a couple of years ago with “Trump University.” Trump University was a total fraud. It was set up as a for-profit and it was supposed to teach through seminars the ability to sell real estate. Its real mission was to extract as much money as possible from those who foolishly signed up. Ronald Schnackenberg, a former salesman for Trump U., had this to say: “Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

Trump was sued and lost $25 million in a settlement of that fraud awarded by the court.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

'Black eye’

I and 34 other WAAAM (Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum) volunteers just returned from the world’s largest air show in Oshkosh, Wisc. We took three of the WAAAM World War II training gliders, the only ones still flying today, for a “Soar” and Tell. They were exposed to approximately 800,000 people. There is story there for you:

While handing out brochures and telling the WAAAM story, an attempt was made to hand a brochure to an individual at our booth. When she found out we were located in Oregon, she declined the brochure because we are located in Oregon and that makes us “far too liberal.”

It’s a shame that Portland, the Willamette Valley and the spillovers into Hood River attacking Greg Walden can give the whole state a black eye.

Russ Paddock

Hood River

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