Letters to the Editor for June 6

CAT service for elderly

For some, the service so far provided to elderly and disabled people by Columbia Area Transportation (CAT) buses will change, leaving some people eliminated from our local transportation services. If you or your family might be hurt by this, you might want to attend the CAT meeting on Friday, June 8 at 9 a.m. at the CAT office, 224 Wasco Loop, Hood River. You deserve to know how you will be affected by these proposed changes to services that are supposed to extend to all members of the community.

David Hupp

Hood River

Phase out fireworks

I wish to thank Brian Carlstrom for his letter published on May 30 and underscore his remarks about the sale and use of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day in the middle of the hot, dry summer. Let’s do the sensible thing and put an end to this practice that not only risks more catastrophic destruction by wildfires, but also terrifies both wild and domestic animals.

We can still enjoy fantastic fireworks displays put on by qualified, licensed pyrotechnicians. Otherwise, let’s begin the process of getting them out of the reach of everyone else, especially children who lack the judgement to use them safely. I propose that Hood River County pass an ordinance making the sale and possession of all fireworks illegal. We sure don’t need another Eagle Creek fire — or worse!

Paul Woolery

Hood River

No-cord Vlad

Golly, Cohen and Trump must be wondering about the wait. When his secret agents fail their mission, Putin likes to cheer them up with a friendly polonium parfait or a fresh borscht-scented Sarin spritz around the house. Lately, I hear he started offering exotic bungee jumping vacations off Moscow high-rises. Ha ha, but that Vlad, always the joker, keeps forgetting to bring the bungee cord ...

Jeff Zipfel


Taking of children

It took some genuine Republicans to end slavery, desegregate our schools and found the EPA. Today, they are blithely casting off whole paragraphs of our constitutional ideals in favor of avarice and racist cruelty.

Republican immigration policies, increasingly reminiscent of Nazi Germany more than our Founding Fathers, round up “others” by the thousands in what appears more an exercise in racist malice than border security.

The Trump/Sessions immigration policy is nauseatingly perverted. In order to punish the sin of parents seeking asylum in an effort to save their children’s lives, Republicans cheerlead the president’s policy of confiscation of those children.

The New York Times reported more than 700 children have been taken from parents between October and April, some as young as one year. In May, some immigration courts indicate a tenfold increase in cases involving child confiscation.

Technically, once children are taken from a parent, they are deemed unaccompanied minors, then processed separately from parents. John Kelly, White House chief of staff, callously stated, “Children will be sent to foster care or whatever.” The “whatever” is for-profit warehouses, often hundreds of miles from parents, or distant foster homes.

After legally requesting asylum, one woman’s blind 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son were taken. Another woman stated that she had no idea her child would be taken for seeking help. She doesn’t know where he is.

The ACLU reported documentation of warehoused child detainees, filing complaints about unsanitary conditions and guards punching and tasering children.

HHS, in admitting it cannot account for nearly 1,500 immigrant children previously in its custody, hardly inspires confidence they will perform with more conscience in the future.

Immigrants who are charged with improper entry — a misdemeanor for the first offense — are jailed and their children confiscated.

Let that sink in. Jailed and children confiscated for a misdemeanor.

Trump immigration policy is reprehensible and bodes poorly for us all.

Makes me wonder, whose children would they confiscate next?

Please call your representatives and demand that they speak up for the children. Republicans’ “family values” should be more than just talk.

Chris Connolly

White Salmon

Consolidate departments

Almost every person of adult age in Hood River has a stake in seeing the (City of) Hood River building department combine with the county building department. I have been a builder, community volunteer on many levels and a resident of Hood River for over 25 years and have been around for all the changes, good and not so good for our community. With all the challenges of renting, buying or just living in our wonderful part of the Pacific Northwest, what we need now is change at the city level in terms of how the building process moves into the future. The county has expressed interest in assuming the building department’s role in this.

Combining the offices is long overdue and will streamline the process of building in Hood River and, in the long run, I believe will save the city money. Also, it will help to make building more affordable for those that need it the most — teachers, police, service workers and anyone else trying to achieve the American dream. If you see me on the street, feel free to stop me and have a chat about what needs to change and why the time is now.

Bob Stewart

Hood River

Colored curious

While driving through the Gorge the other day viewing the new hiking/biking trail construction, a question occurred to me.

When the homeless move in and the crime and trash inevitably follow, where will the funding come from to patrol and clean up the ensuing mess?

Another tax or was this taken into consideration prior to the beginning of the project? Color me curious.

Alan Bailey

Hood River

Asking for stances

What are our needs from the legislature and how will either Jeff Helfrich or Anna Williams fulfill them? First on my list is how will you deal with PERS — it’s $22 billion in the hole — so what proposals do you have for filling that funding gap? I hope you’re both creative.

Second, healthcare that takes care of everyone.

Third, how will you help the homeless who consist of veterans, mentally ill, people pushed out of their homes and those who were bankrupted by medical costs?

Fourth, what will you do about critical infrastructure? Interstate 84 is a linear highway with almost no way off when accidents occur. Interstate 5 is even worse; we’re in need of bridges and mass transit, not just for ourselves but to keep commerce moving.

There are many more issues, but for me these are amongst the top. I’d also like to say I’ve never met Anna Williams and don’t know what she stands for or believes in. Jeff Helfrich, as I’ve mentioned, is a friend who’s served honorably in law enforcement for years and served on the Cascade Locks City Council. I’d like to hear answers to all these questions and others that are district rather than state centered. As an addendum, Rep. Helfrich just came through my neighborhood campaigning, so where are you and what do you stand for Ms. Williams?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Thanks, police

I would like to thank the Hood River Police Department for hosting a “Gun Take Back” day on June 2 for anyone who voluntarily wanted to turn in unwanted firearms or ammunition. In 2013, there were 33,636 deaths in the United States due to “injury by firearms.” Nearly 19 children a day die from or are treated for gunshot wounds in the U.S. A recent study concluded that nearly 1,300 children died as a result of a gun from 2012-2014 and nearly 6,000 were treated for gun-related injuries.

With the numbers of guns in the United States, parents should check to make sure their children are safe when their children visit other homes to play. Parents, when I was raising my kids, I worried about mean dogs. Todays’ parents should be checking about mean dogs and unsecured guns. According to the New York Times, in April 2018, four toddlers shot and killed themselves. All four of these deaths were preventable.

We are fortunate as a community to have a police department who is taking action to make our community safer and educate families about how to safely store firearms so deaths or injuries don’t occur. Please do what you can to prevent gun violence. We want to have a community where we feel safe, and so do our children.

Nancy Johanson Paul

Hood River

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