Letters to the Editor for July 11

Flag of hate

Wednesday was a day of celebration for family, country, and our veterans, but it was tarnished by an experience I had at the Hood River Lion’s 4th of July parade.

As we left our house on Third Street to go line up I saw a vehicle carrying a large Confederate flag.

I immediately tried to figure out how to get this flag out of the parade. After being bounced around to different Lions volunteers I found the lead organizer. After some back and forth. He responded saying that he would make sure the vehicle didn’t pass onto Tucker with the flag displayed.

Unfortunately, while we were watching the parade finish in front of the middle school, the “float” came by still carrying the Confederate flag.

The Confederate flag is a symbol of a dark time in American history.

Our veterans did not fight and lose their lives in the support of slavery or the Confederacy. Shouldn’t the Lions warn the businesses, community groups, police and fire, and state representatives/senators that they are participating in a parade that has these symbols in it?

Would they knowingly walk alongside these symbols? What if someone showed up with a flag with a swastika on it? Would they be allowed to be a part of the parade?

So my question to the Lions Club of Hood River is: Are you going to continue to allow symbols of hatred, racism, and slavery to be a part of the Hood River 4th of July parade and your future events?

There are many great programs that the Lions organize and support. Don’t let racism hide amongst these honorable efforts. Make a stand, be clear that these are not the values of the Lions Club and will not be tolerated by the Lions organization.

Trevor Gregson

Hood River

Confederate flag questions

Yesterday while in town running errands I happened to see two trucks flying the Stars and Stripes along with the Confederate flag.

My immediate reaction was the desire to ask these four young men “what is your point of flying this flag?” Is it your desire to show your preference to white supremacy?

From what I saw you have nothing in your life that reigns supreme over anybody! Your actions only re-enforce your bigotry and disdain for your fellow man.

Is it because you have been given the constitutional right to do so? I too have those same rights in questioning your motivation!

Is it because the views and hatred the person you call the president has emboldened you to show your disdain for diversity? I am fairly certain my words will fall on deaf ears as you probably don’t read a newspaper let alone a history text!

Is it because you are a southern loyalist and you want to show your ties to the south? I doubt you have ever been to any southern state let alone understand the history of the Confederacy.

I will conclude that it is only your ignorance and lack of tolerance of others that has given you these views. I would like a response to my inquiries but doubt that you have the spine to identify yourselves let alone the intellect to carry on an intelligent discussion.

Marty Johnson

Hood River

‘Impeach now’

In case you live off-the-grid and have masochistically decided to tune in and get a sense of the state of the Union, here’s where we are at:

“Findings by the intelligence community that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win were ‘accurate and on point,’ according to an unclassified report and accompanying statement by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released Tuesday.”

That was reported by none other than Fox News, bastion of truth to the right wing. Such is the transparency of the reality facing us: Russia interfered with our election specifically to hurt Hilary Clinton and — unless you ask the Republican members of the bipartisan committee — to help Donald Trump.

Now it appears Donald Trump wants to have closed door meetings with Vladimir Putin with no aides present. Will this be permitted? It remains to be seen.

The latest as of writing this letter is that Donald Trump has once again mocked Senator McCain — who is fighting cancer — and George H.W Bush — who is grieving the loss of his wife. These are Republican heroes, and though I have disagreed with their policy positions at times, it is appalling to me that the modern Republican Party would sooner defend Donald Trump.

Impeach now.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Reunite families

I am urging Congressman Greg Walden to demand accountability from the agencies responsible for family reunification and to support the Keep The Families Together Act (HR6137).

There are thousands of immigrant children who have been separated from their families and so far we have heard of few concrete plans for reuniting them with their families. DHS and HHS claim they have reunited 500 children, a drop in the bucket, but there is no proof of even that.

As a psychotherapist I know that the personal lifelong emotional toll of this kind of separation on children is huge and we are at fault.

I ask Walden to take responsibility for this egregious abuse by our government and see the fix through until every last child is reunited with his/her family. Have mercy on the children regardless of who butters your political bread.

Susan Lannak

Hood River

Immigrant impacts In recent weeks we’ve all heard immigrants referred to as bringing drugs, as an infestation and worse, Immigrants have been trying to reach our country only to have their children yanked from their arms, be separated and now due to the ineptness of the administration, unable to be reunited. Here’s a short list for you of some who have had a huge impact on our country, the world and ourselves. They all made it here.

  1. Albert Einstein, Germany, physicist
  2. Sergey Brin from Russia, one of the co-founders of Google
  3. Madeleine Albright from Czechoslovakia, America’s first female Secretary of State, you might enjoy her new book
  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria, weightlifter, actor, California Governor
  5. Irving Berlin, Russia, wrote “White Christmas”, “God Bless America”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” in total about 100 popular songs
  6. Arianna Huffington, Greece, co-founder, Huffington Post
  7. Andrew Carnegie, Scotland, Carnegie steel, gave his fortune to schools and libraries
  8. I.M. Pei, China, architect, you might know the pyramid entry at the Louvre.
  9. John Muir, Scotland, naturalist and preservationist
  10. Levi Strauss, Bavaria, you might be wearing Levi’s

There are many more who could be included from all over the globe, of many ethnicities and colors. Here’s an 11th who didn’t make it to our shores,

  1. Anne Frank, Germany and the Netherlands, Ann’s father Otto applied twice to come to the U.S., was never given papers, the Franks went into hiding in The Netherlands, Otto was the only survivor of the family, he published his daughter’s book which became famous world-wide, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, well worth reading today.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Acting like a doorstop

Why is Rep. Greg Walden silent when we so need him to stand up and protect us from Trump’s dangerous actions on the world stage? Trump’s actions and rhetoric put our country’s economic and national security at risk, and Walden’s continued silence contributes to the danger.

Trump has reduced American engagement in the world by canceling or withdrawing from agreements and treaties, and acts consistently to alienate our allies and elevate our adversaries. In recent weeks he has:

n placed tariffs on our most important economic partners, starting trade wars

n called Canada a security risk, and Prime Minister Trudeau “dishonest and weak”

n called for reinstating Russia to the G7, despite Putin’s ongoing attacks on our democratic institutions

n lifted sanctions placed on the Chinese telecom ZTE for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran (this despite the fact the Pentagon has urged U.S. retail stores not to sell ZTE phones because they pose an espionage risk).

We need Walden to break his silence, and speak out on our behalf. There are many ways in which he can and should act constructively to rein in Trump’s damaging actions:

  1. Exercise the power given to Congress by the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) to oversee tariffs
  2. Push for bipartisan legislation like S. 2566 and S. 2538 which further specify Congressional oversight on tariffs, and
  3. Pass legislation to keep the sanctions on ZTE in place.

He needs to step forward and lead. This is no time to act like a doorstop.

Mike Collins

Hood River

Walden’s avoidance

In case anyone missed it, Oregon District 2 Representative Greg Walden is telling everyone near and far that he is the champion making a difference in the opioid crisis. However, if Greg Walden and the current administration have their way, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be destroyed and 134,500 constituents in Oregon District 2 will be at risk of losing their health care. How will that affect the opioid crisis?

According to his latest installment of information about how he was involved in “historic action to stem the tide of the nationwide opioid crisis and save lives” he says was a result of 10 years of bipartisan work. However, I agree with Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Walden’s Democratic challenger this November, that Greg Walden is using the opioid crisis as a safe campaign platform instead of discussing the current issues of immigration reform and the healthcare crisis.

So the questions are; Where is Walden and who does he work for? He quit holding Town Hall meetings so there is no opportunity for a public forum. Calling his office gets dismal responses from staff, “I don’t have access to his schedule” or “I haven’t spoken with him on that issue.” His many corporate donors include pharmaceutical companies which includes opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Where’s Walden? Soon to be looking for another job because Jamie McLeod Skinner will be our champion. Jamie is already out in the district listening to our voices, engaged and advocating for our families and communities, not for special interests. Jamie McLeod Skinner, our rural champion, will work for us.

Beverly Sherrill

The Dalles

Congrats to Walden I want to congratulate Congressman Greg Walden for yet another successful accomplishment with results here and now for seniors. The Alliance for Patient Access (AFPA) has given him, quite deservedly, the 2018 Champion of Medicare Access Award commemorating Greg’s accomplishment in outstanding service to older Americans. See also: medicareAccessChampion.org/walden

Bill Davis

Hood River

Painful system

It pains me (no pun intended) that in the U.S.A., the first thing you think of when you get hurt or need to go to the hospital is ... can I afford it, how much will it cost or maybe I’ll just put it off because I can’t afford the hospital. What a shame in this big rich powerful country of ours the leading cause of bankruptcy is hospital bills.

It seems most of the hospitals in the Gorge are “non-profit,” as in they don’t make any money, they are in the game to help us.

I find it interesting that Mid- Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) in The Dalles just opened a brand spanking new “Wellness Center” on the waterfront that the Naito boys from Portland just built. It’s really nice, but I’m curious how the MCMC can afford the most expensive real estate in Hood River for this Wellness Center?

It’s my understanding that the highest paid person in Wasco county is the CEO of MCMC ($675,000). And I do know that one night at MCMC last December cost me over $12,000. That’s one night. Someone is making some serious scratch here. Not for profit, yeah right.

Now (Providence) here in Hood River are not much better as they have a retired CEO of Providence who receives and ungodly amount as a golden parachute. He must have done a real good job is all I gotta say! How about that Gucci face-lift the building got a few years ago to the tune of $12 million and all the nice artwork.

In the countries of Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, Holland ... no one goes bankrupt with hospital bills, but here in the good ol’ U.S., 643,000 people a year go bankrupt.

This legalized extortion must stop, the medical mafia has had their way with us for far too long.

Stephen J. Curley

Hood River

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