Letters to the Editor for June 2

Jerusalem reality

A total of 191 nations name their own capital; one is denied that right. Why?

President Harry Truman (Democrat) voted for partition, establishing an Arab state and a Jewish state on May 14, 1948. Armies of five Arab nations attacked the Jews who were outnumbered and ill-equipped; 800,000 Jews were ethnically cleansed from their homes in Arab lands, resettled in Israel with no outside help.

Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, noting that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. On June 5, 2017, the Senate in a 90-0 vote reaffirmed the act of 1995.

Donald Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem on May 22, 2017. Clinton, Bush and Obama all promised to move our embassy.

President Trump kept his promise and our embassy opened on May 14, 2018, exactly 70 years late.

Herb Glatter

Hood River

To owners of attacking dog

To the couple with the mid-size white dog riding up Post Canyon just above the two new stream trail bridges from the lower parking area (Memorial Day at 3:45 p.m.) — you need to leave your aggressive dog at home.

Your dog attacked, without any provocation, my black and white dog and we are now incurring vet bills as a result. I yelled to you asking if your dog was always that aggressive but you rudely rode away, which leads me to believe the answer is yes.

Be prepared to be responsible for your actions the next time I encounter you on the trail, or better yet, man up, be a responsible dog owner and contact me.

Greg Shepherd

Hood River

Abuse by ICE

Memorial Day weekend there were two themes, one the memorializing of those lost to war defending our freedom, the other the stripping of children from their mother’s arms as they sought to emigrate from their home countries to the U.S.

Separating children as young as 1 from their mothers is emotional torture, pure and simple. According to the Washington Post, 1,475 were lost track of last year out of approximately 7,000. Some are reported to be working in fields or human trafficking.

Our Attorney Jeff Sessions says he’s just following the law. There’s no such law in the U.S., but there was one in Germany in the 1940s. Some of these children were reportedly abused by ICE agents, stepping on children’s heads and worse.

But losing track of someone else’s children when you strip them from their mother’s arms is not what should be expected from agents of the U.S. government, who we pay for through taxes.

The president says it’s the Democrats’ fault for not fixing the immigration laws. I’d like to point out that laws are passed by the legislative branch, which has been controlled for approximately six years by the party in power. They’re called Republicans.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Earth to leaders

I love NASA. My years spent at the Johnson Space Center in Texas and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland are among the most enjoyable and rewarding of my working life. The astonishing science and engineering breakthroughs produced by NASA have improved our lives in innumerable ways. But the NASA story must also include its political component.

Along with people around the world glued to their TV sets on July 20, 1969, I marveled at the very thought of men, American men, standing on the surface of the Moon. I wasn’t asking why. I just lived the moment.

Contemplation came later as it sunk in that the only reason for the mission was to show the world that we were smarter and better than the Russians. Justifying the cost came later as we heard stories of making the moon a launching depot for deep space travel and even mining its mineral riches. I was amused by the image of ore haulers bringing millions of tons of ore to earth to replace the dwindling supplies being extracted around the clock, and turning the moon into a rest stop for travelers on their way to Titan.

The story now turns to Mars. Robotic probes have given us about as much evidence as we need to realize that people on Mars are not going to be happy campers. Neither would they provide better evidence of Mars’ readiness to receive living visitors. A 2015 cost estimate for the Mars project was $1.5 trillion and we know what usually happens to cost estimates.

What would justify spending that kind of cash to make one or two expeditions to Mars? Perhaps we are looking for a lifeboat for a failing earth (guess who would be on the lifeboat). I have a more practical solution. Let’s elect leaders who are capable of seeing beyond their wallets, understanding the stakes, and investing in resuscitating the home we have.

Russ Hurlbert


Clothes call

Around a decade ago, my wife and I started using a comic response to questions like “Do you windsurf?” Tired of the “in-crowd” mentality and feeling that we needed to justify living here if we didn’t do sports the right way, we started saying “No, we just pay the extra taxes.”

Years later, it seems much the same. In his apology to Betty Osborne, Rob Kovacich stated, “The description of the rider’s clothing led me to believe the person was from Portland,” and that people who live in the Gorge don’t ride in spandex unless “we’re trying to be ironically funny.”

I guess we will continue to pay the extra taxes. A decade of volunteering, starting businesses and non-profits, raising a family and I still don’t fit in my community because I don’t sport the right way. I wear spandex/lycra when I ride, not to be ironically funny, but because it’s comfortable. Apparently, I’m from Portland.

Why are we holding onto this separatist mentality? The mere choice of different riding clothes labels someone as an outsider?

More importantly, why are we automatically blaming a Portland visitor for this fault? Rob states, “Had one of us been there, we would have stopped that rider and told him he was no longer welcome.”

I have been both faulted and at fault on a bicycle. Gorge residents are not so perfect that we only wear the right clothing and are never in the wrong. And “one of us” should not presume to refuse access to our Portland visitors — especially when they are at least as gracious as we locals are. It was more than likely a local who was at fault, but whether it was or not doesn’t matter. It is everyone’s responsibility to make our community safe and welcoming to both locals and outsiders, especially when so many sport-minded locals were recently outsiders ourselves.

Apologizing is a wonderful and mature practice. But apologizing by avoiding any guilt and blaming Portlanders who wear the wrong clothing distances both our visitor friends and members of our own community.

John Metta

Hood River

E-bikes’ benefit

I just found out that the state parks of Oregon are holding hearings on whether to allow electric bikes on state park trails including the local Twin Tunnel trail.

As a senior citizen who can no longer use many of the bike trails in Oregon due to my stamina and health issues, I was looking forward to getting back on these trails utilizing the new electric bikes like the ones I was introduced to by Jodi Gates at the Big Winds store in Hood River.

These e-bikes are easy to use and would give seniors like me an opportunity to enjoy the trails like the Twin Tunnel route that I can no longer navigate on a traditional bike. These e-bikes allow me to go up the strenuous hills with ease and they are programmed to go no faster than my 21-speed (which I no longer use except on level pavement). It would be a shame to limit these trails to traditional bikes only! A lot of seniors with physical hindrances would never get to enjoy these wonderful trails. Keep these trails open to e-bikes!

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

Take care

Yesterday was raining and a little chilly. It was still a beautiful day. This is a great spring and summer is coming on fast.

We have a very serious problem in the United States with opioids and drugs in general.

The children will be out of school soon and they are vulnerable. Everyone is vulnerable, from childhood all the way to folks in senior living facilities.

The problem shows no real signs of abating. Deaths, physical harm and mental debilitation are still occurring at a horrendous rate.

What to do?

Keep the kids busy this summer playing ball, going for walks, going to the library, going to the market, doing chores, playing Frisbee, going swimming, hiking, visiting museums, go back to the library and repeat all summer long.

It’s hard, I know.

We all have different levels of income and it’s not easy all the time. It can be done, however, and it can be done well. Walking, talking, visiting, keeping an eye out.

These things are good for the children, adults and seniors as well. They’re good for everybody.

We need each other. So many people have been hurt and we need to stop it. We can do it and we will do it. All together.

I wish you a happy week and weekend, a wonderful summer time and a bright fall and winter this year. All good things to you and yours.

Alfred Brock

Wayne, Mich.

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