Letters to the Editor for July 21

Where are they now?

Monday’s news is unbelievable! Trump and Putin together attacking the U.S. Justice department and all the U.S. intelligence agencies. The leaders of the Republican party used to stand up for containment, for U.S. intelligence agencies, for strong military force and for NATO. Where are they now?

Christine Knowles

Hood River


It’s time for a big change in our country’s leadership. I urge my fellow readers to learn about and vote in November for Jamie McLeod-Skinner to be our next U.S. representative here in U.S. House District 2.

Jamie has made a lifelong commitment to public service with a strong belief in people over politics. She’s working on the ground to meet our most important needs. For example, her top priority issue is a livable wage, and she has focused on global warming as “the biggest threat to our environment.”

Jamie is a native of eastern and southern Oregon and will bring a real knowledge of our issues and values to Congress. She has the experience, knowledge and common sense to solve the grave issues currently facing our district, state and country. She also exhibits the absolute integrity that Washington is so lacking at the present time.

This is about the future of the CD2 district, our state and our country.

Vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner this November.

Linda Densmore

Hood River


Joel Madsen is part of a citizen group chosen to select Hood River’s next city manager? Hood River taxes pay the city manager’s salary! It is ridiculous having a Washington resident help pick Hood River’s city manager! Joel Madsen is the Director of Mid-Columbia Housing. The city recently sold five acres of Hood River city park land to Mid-Columbia Housing Authority for $1. When asked about public lands, Joel responded, “The lowest hanging fruit is land in public ownership.”

Joel Madsen is not a resident of Hood River City, Hood River County or even a resident of Oregon State and should not be on a committee helping select our next city manager.

Jim Klaas

Hood River


Four blown summits in a row: First, Kim Jong Un, then the G7, next NATO, and last, the secret meeting with Putin. People in the news are using the word “treason,” a crowd forming in protest at the White House before the president even arrives back from Helsinki and charges by the FBI seeking an indictment against Maria Butina, a Russian woman who is alleged to have worked with a political party and its leadership to establish a back channel connection to representatives of the Russian government.

The party is alleged to be the Republican Party, so who are the leaders who knew about this? Could it be the speaker, maybe McConnell, possibly our attorney general, who was a senator and worked on the Trump campaign? Possibly Nunes, who went out of his way to destroy the house inquiry? And no word yet from our Greg Walden, a Trump sycophant — isn’t this outrageous enough to rate a comment, Greg? The NRA, it’s being alleged, has worked with Trump and the Russian government to get Trump elected. There are also rumors, so far, of many millions of dollars flowing from Russia to the U.S. to help Trump.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks


Strikingly absent from our discussion of immigration is any mention of the conditions that immigrants are fleeing and the causes of those conditions. Those conditions are largely the product of our foreign policy that placed promoting our short-term business interests and selling arms above human life.

If we want to discuss legality, then we should include in that discussion the illegal wars we conducted. If want to discuss responsibility, then that discussion should include our moral responsibility to help those we have harmed.

Ben Seagraves

White Salmon


It was with great concern that I observed the behavior of our United States president during his recent trip to Europe. He came across as first insulting and belittling long-time friends and allies and then appearing to roll over, to subserviently acquiesce to the leader of a government which, by all best reliable accounts, interfered in our last presidential election, as well as previously shooting down an unarmed civilian airliner killing all aboard.

Our president’s behavior leads this citizen, voter, taxpayer and veteran to wonder: Just who is it exactly that Donald J. Trump is working for?

Ole Helgerson



Watching the rolling dumpster fire that was Trump’s trip to Europe and the U.K. and his nauseating kiss-up performance with Vladimir Putin had me looking at exit strategies from American citizenship. But what drove me over the edge to checking for one-way flights to Uruguay is the unhinged reaction of, well, the entire intelligentsia of the U.S. Even Fox news.

Look, is DJT a racist buffoon and a cyberbully who has a tenuous relationship with the truth? YES. Does he love to cozy up to autocratic dictators, war mongers, gangsters and banksters? Again, YES.

But, did he collude with Russia? Show me the proof. I doubt it. He can’t even collude with his own wife.

If Vlad was able to “hack” our elections and subvert our democracy with Facebook posts and Tweets and bots, then we have a much more serious problem called a lack of critical thinking ability. If Americans are dumb enough to believe some Russian clickbait and suddenly run out and vote for DJT, then people we are getting the government we deserve.

Sadly, in my opinion, the real enemies of democracy in this country are the Democratic and Republican parties and the corporate-controlled news media. Partisan gerrymandering means that incumbents are unlikely to be seriously challenged. A huge range of voter suppression techniques (like voter crosscheck, photo ID requirements, limited access to polling places) have disenfranchised millions of Americans. Apparently, the DNC didn’t feel strongly enough about “our democracy” to run a fair primary. And then, the corporate media’s only interest is selling ads. If they gave one-half the amount of airtime to Bernie or any third party candidate that they gave to DJT, things might have been different. But “Feel the Bern” is not nearly as titillating as “Grab ‘em by the ...”

Rod Krehbiel

Hood River

Keep rule

Hood River is and always has had a strong, vibrant economy rooted in agriculture and forestry, with a strong family values base and local residents at the forefront. The county, with its weak residency requirement of a 30-day occupancy, has been allowing more outside short term rental investors to proliferate. Sadly, this diminishes the strength of these traditional values within our community.

It is time for the Hood River County Board of Commissioners to accept proposed language by the planning commission to use “domicile” as the basis for its residency definition. This will benefit the residents of Hood River County — not outside interests.

Pat Hartford

Hood River


Ever notice during a presidential press conference that a Trump fun-pun aimed at the painstream media is never acknowledged? Ever wonder why? Well, they have been programmed to deflect anything that might be giggle-worthy.

Or one could put it this way: Like Sandal-ized Roman soldiers, the painstream media will hold up levity blocking shields which enables them to stay angry, bitter, wrath-filled, hostile, agitated and humiliated.

Like Stan Freberg sang years ago, “Wipe off that smile and weep awhile.”

Bill Davis

Hood River

Vote McLeod-Skinner

When our farmers and ranchers have a hopeful future, we all benefit from a healthy economy. But action must happen now to minimize the impact of global warming. Rural communities like ours depend on agricultural and natural resources for our economic well-being and can be especially vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

The droughts, storms, fires and heat waves we are having now are only the beginning. We have already wasted opportunities to minimize global warming effects on the environment. Unfortunately, Mr. Walden’s voting record for the past 20 years has shown little concern for this — the biggest threat to life as we know it.

The League of Conservation Voters gives Mr. Walden a 9 percent score for 2017 and a 9 percent lifetime score for his 20 years. He votes for actions benefitting corporations over actions that would protect our air and water from pollution and reduce the amounts of methane and carbon into the atmosphere. You can read more about his record at scorecard.lcv.org/moc/greg-p-walden.

A vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner is a vote for a hopeful sustainable future for farmers, ranchers and real people who actually live and work in Congressional District 2. You can read about Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s stand on the environment and global warming on her website, at jamiefororegon.com/values/protect-the-environment.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner works hard to meet and listen to people in all walks of life in our District 2. She represents the concerns of people — not just corporations and understands how global warming threatens our way of life. Your vote this November for Jamie McLeod-Skinner is crucial for finally taking action in Congress.

Diane R. Bungum

The Dalles

Family values?

I am sickened by the policy of separating immigrant children from their families. This hideous campaign by the Trump administration reminds me of the rounding up of the Japanese in World War II and the actions of Hitler’s Germany. This is hatred. This is racism. This trauma to kids and families will last a lifetime. Shame on the Trump administration, Republican Party and ANY of our elected officials who don’t speak out against this!

“Representative” Greg Walden recently laid the blame for the current separation policy on previous presidential administrations.

Although quick to defer blame, Walden once again shows he does not have the decency, sense of outrage or guts to condemn the separation policy, demand that it be remedied or stand up to for what is right.

Mr. Walden seems to have been bought and sold by the ideology of the Republican Party, a party that seems to have become the party of the rich, of big money and international corporate interests. A party that supports prisons for profits. Money and greed are killing humanity.

Any government official who is not morally outraged by the act of separating families is not qualified for the job. It is time we forget party lines.


To register to vote, update your address and, if you have shied away from voting in the past, to verify your voting status, go to sos.oregon.gov to make sure you are still in the system.

I have heard Jamie McLeod-Skinner speak a few times now. She said, “Members of Congress swear an oath: To protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Loyalty to our country must supersede loyalty to party politics.” Makes sense to me!

Chris DeBruler

Hood River

Need to use supertanker

We need to use the 747 Supertanker to fight our wildfires. Please, please, please use it.

I think it is unfair to put all the blame for the devastation of the Eagle Creek fire, near Cascade Locks in 2017, on the 15-year-old Vancouver boy who started it.

What he did was absolutely illegal and wrong, but he did not purposely do it.

It was an accident. It seems to me that the Forest Service and other government officials are as much, if not more, to blame for their refusal to use the 747 Supertanker and other large planes to put it out quickly.

Some years back, a wing fell off a larger plane fighting a fire and crashed, killing the crew. The decision was made not to use any plane with a capacity of more than 5,000 gallons.

The supertanker carries 20,000 gallons. It is the best firefighting tool in the world, but it does no good if it is not used.

The Chetco Bar Fire in 2017 burned 190,000 acres in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness area near Brookings, destroyed lots of valuable timber and put tons of carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere.

It is time to hold our government officials responsible for their bad decisions.

Bob Mattila

Brush Prairie

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