Letters to the Editor for June 27

Got kids books?

A few years ago, the Hood River community donated hundreds of gently uses kids’ books to the Warm Springs Library. Now there is a similar need at the Umatilla tribe in Pendleton. Over the next several weeks, I will be collecting books up to about middle school level and delivering them.

If you are cleaning out the kids’ bookshelves, please give me a call at 541-806-4131. I will be glad to pick them up (the books, not the kids).

Marg Guth

Hood River

Pyro inhumanity

For humans, there are pros and cons on the issue of fireworks, but to domesticated and wildlife animals, there are only cons.

Fireworks terrify many animals — dogs, horses, raccoons, coyotes, cats.

For many, the consequence is death from injuries inflicted during their frenzied reactions to the noise.

The only purpose for private and public fireworks is entertainment. When fun is at the expense of death, pain and suffering of many animals, compassionate humanity dictates that use of fireworks should be moderated or eliminated altogether.

Bill Mellow

Hood River

Proud of Walden

In May, a television news report discussed the Opioid crisis in Oregon. The report stated Oregon had a 5.1 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending April 3, according to the CDC.

So earlier this week, I got Congressman Greg Walden’s weekly update and I was encouraged by his efforts to fight this crisis. Rather than just ushering forth one bill that changes one issue, Greg has shepherded the effort in trying to attack this problem from all angles. For those of you who don’t get Greg’s update, the House of Representatives just passed 25 bills to try and stop the crisis, each one combating a different aspect of the epidemic. The opioid crisis has hurt Oregon badly, so I am happy to see Greg working on it.

I also appreciate that he is making connections with his constituents. From visiting with the Honor Flight of American military veterans who went to Washington, D.C., to meeting with small business brewers in Oregon, it seems as though he stays very busy to make sure he is always available to his constituents.

He is doing a good job and I am proud that he is representing me.

Kenneth Ebi

Hood River

STR dilemmas

As for John Roberts saying, “existing regulations actually do work ...” (STR hearing to continue Aug. 20 — June 20 edition): Nine out of 10 STRs outside the city are illegal!

No health permits. They haven’t paid taxes owed and they run it any way they want because nobody follows up on complaints. How many STRs have run without STR permits for years? The county has no idea.

Next comes lawsuits, where taxpayers bail the county out because they don’t enforce their rules and have no idea how to divvy up the 100-permit cap to 140 STR owners.

If you’re a property investor who hears that Hood River is hot, should you get an STR in the county or in the city, with a residency requirement and 95 percent compliance?

If you made promises to regulate STRs but don’t want to do anything about them, then the county’s existing regulations actually do work.

Patricia Kubala


Emperor’s New Clothes

Rep. Greg Walden and his allies are pedaling fast to try to rehab his woeful reputation on healthcare in this election season.

Walden’s office is issuing communiqués lauding “accomplishments” like reauthorizing (not creating, just reauthorizing) the Childhood Cancer Registry. A local physician recently noted this small action was “like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic after placing extra icebergs out front of the ship.”

Walden has allies giving him healthcare awards that have an “emperor’s new clothes” quality about them. Bill Davis reported with excitement in his June 9 letter to the editor that Walden had recently been awarded the “2018 Champion of Health Care Innovation Award,” but Mr. Davis neglected to point out that the award was created and bestowed on Walden by a pharma-backed organization called ALSIC, the same industry bringing us high (and rising) drug prices.

The most generous sector among Mr. Walden’s 2018 cycle donors is the healthcare sector, at $843,710 (so far), and the largest contributor within that sector is the pharmaceutical industry, at $367,700 (so far). (Source: www.votesmart.org.) For his part, Mr. Walden has remained a dependable ally for Big Pharma, consistently resisting initiatives designed to rein in run-away drug prices — e.g., international reference pricing, consolidating the government’s purchasing power to negotiate drug prices and allowing the feds to negotiate on behalf of state agencies.

Mr. Walden and his allies would very much like us to forget Walden’s disastrous record on healthcare, including his AHCA proposal, which would have stripped 23 million Americans, including 100,000 of Walden’s district constituents, of their health insurance; caused many to lose maternity, addiction and prescription drug coverage; scrapped protections for pre-existing conditions; and drastically curtailed premium supports and Medicaid payments.

Only a loud, national, public uprising defeated Walden’s heartless healthcare proposal. It’s rather hard to forget, and shame on us if we do.

Bonnie New

Hood River

Words matter

Much of what I have done in my career is counsel people that they are missing the mark for their health, and that I advise them to change their behavior. Essentially, what I have done is tell them to stop sinning against their body (“sin” literally means to “miss the mark”) and to repent in regard to their health (“repent” means to “change your mind and actions”).

Of course, I did not use such language, which would have been easily misunderstood. But I write these words now to make a point. When I advise people to stop using tobacco, it does not mean I have a phobia of tobacco users, or that I hate them.

When we toss around labels like “... phobic” (which means an irrational terror or fear of something) or conclude that those who disagree with us hate us, it leads to a breakdown of a well-functioning culture and society. Words matter, and if we choose to use a word, it is worth knowing its meaning.

Paul Armerding

Hood River

Preserve open space

In response to the district director of Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation’s question, “Where should the next parks be located?” I would resoundingly ask for a park on the westside of Hood River. This is the area that will be heavily impacted by high density housing as outlined in the Westside Area Concept Plan.

Currently, we have a problem with kids having to play in narrow alley like streets. We have nowhere to build community and need a place to grow community gardens and shelter areas for community meetings. I watch the developers arrive with their machinery and huge pipes to drain off natural wetlands and marvel at the shortsightedness of planners who tell us we must do this in order to build affordable housing.

At least consider some sweetener by adding a park and acknowledging that quality of life includes neighborhood interaction and a space for kids and families to enjoy our community. The livability of westside Hood River will be severely compromised if we don’t have some open space preserved.

Sharon Nelson-Deighan

Hood River

‘Get onboard or get left out’

To those who wrote about Trump:

Our country is great, not because we have special people, not because we have more resources and not because we have been around for the longest time, as we are one of the younger nations. The ONLY reason we are the lone superpower is because of our laws, which provide liberty, peace and prosperity. These very laws are based, according to the Declaration, on God and the Bible. Our founding fathers made sure the laws would be so based and even wrote about this in their own personal letters as well as the Federalist Papers. All states credit their existence to God. This is not up for debate, but is simply factual. The whole reason for our success as a nation is determined on how close we follow the truth of how the laws are set by God for man to live in the world God created.

Whether or not Trump is acting on behalf of God is not of importance to this issue, but what is important is that he does what is commanded, then we continue to have peace, liberty and prosperity. Anyone who looks at the results of what Trump has done cannot argue with those results. He is making us richer, safer and more prosperous. This is why those who are against him are so upset.

There is an absolute truth in the laws and it should be now obvious to society. The closer we get to doing what is right, the better life gets here. The further we get from those set laws (set when the world was created) then the more pain, suffering and death there is. Just look at the results of the leftist angry actions. Driving people out of restaurants and movies, screaming, threats of molestation of their children, etc. What type of character is driving those actions?

Hate — which produces pain, suffering and death in some cases, certainly in their implied desires. Trump’s approval ratings are increasing. Get onboard or be left out.

GW Cliver

Hood River

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