Letters to the editor, March 14 edition

Health Media promotes ‘Kick Butts Day’

The students at Hood River Middle School, Wy ‘east Middle School and Hood River Valley High School will be doing various activities to raise awareness for Kick Butts Day. This is a national event to promote people to stop smoking and vaping. Students in the Health Media Clubs created posters to put up in the hallways to inform their peers about what you could find in vapor or cigarettes. Ask your kids what they think about smoking and vaping today.

Haley Hughes

Hood River

Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death? Smoking leads to disease, disability, and harms nearly every organ. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Three out of four high school students who started smoking will continue the addiction as adults! Six hundred and fifty Oregonians die from secondhand smoke exposure each year. Kick Butts Day is March 21!

Kianaroxy Noria

Hood River

Have you ever stopped and thought about why you are smoking? There are bad things in the cigarette, for example nicotine, rat poison, bug killer and much more. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths! On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. So stop smoking.

Natalie Chairez

Hood River

Support HR Robotics

Good news we can all rally around — we have many groups of kids, parents, and teachers/mentors in a variety of very active and successful robotics programs in Hood River County.

Some of our teams have won state competitions and are now headed to world competitions in Houston. They may be one of only a couple teams in the entire state of Oregon to proceed to this level of competition. And yes — that takes money. I encourage you to watch for donation cans at the coffee shops and elsewhere, and there are GoFundMe accounts and tax-deductible forms you can send in with a check.

Awesome groups of kids of all ages, along with parents/mentors/teachers putting in incredible amounts of time — let’s rally around and support them!

Rich Truax

Hood River

Planning idea

The City of Hood River is placing all their bets on making “Hood River Homes Affordable Again,” reducing buildable lot sizes and up zoning existing neighbors — making the city more dense.

One solution to lowering the price for building in Hood River would be to return the outsourced building department’s plan reviews from a firm in Corvallis back to Hood River and let the county oversee it. We could keep the permit fees here locally, which could add to the local payroll — and drop the price of building all in one swoop!

Jim Reed

Hood River

Tax plan thanks

I was just sitting down and preparing my taxes when I realized I hadn’t thanked Congressman Walden for his support of the recent tax plan passed at the federal level. The reactions to this tax plan didn’t make it sound positive or beneficial to all Americans.

Congresswoman Pelosi even said that $1,000 going back to families was just crumbs. Me personally, that $1,000 can help pay the additional taxes the Democrat-controlled Oregon Congress just passed. With Gov. Brown leading the way, we will be paying a higher cost of living to stay in this beautiful state.

The biggest percentage of tax reductions next year will go to those earning between $20,000 and $50,000 a year. That’s according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. An Eastern Oregon family earning the median income of approximately $50,000 a year will pay about $1,300 less next year. Over the next eight years, that’s a savings of $10,400 for that family.

Thank you, Greg, for looking out for the Oregonians who love this state and choose to stay despite the increases placed upon us from our state leadership.

Ken Ebi

Hood River

Back the RFS

The debate surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has intensified and become much more complex recently. The efforts of a handful of oil refineries to portray the RFS as an unfair law to their bottom lines has attracted political opportunists like Sen. Ted Cruz to fight on their side. In times like these, when the opposition ramps up considerably, we must reflect on how lucky we are to have great biofuel champions in industry, congress and the White House and encourage them to keep up the fight.

An eastern coast oil refiner’s downfall was the perfect opportunity for oil lobbyists and Sen. Cruz to exploit. Sen. Cruz has campaigned for months to reform the RIN system and has held the confirmation of Bill Northey to his U.S. Department of Agriculture position hostage until he got what he wanted. He argued on behalf of the oil industry, who only want to see the RFS weakened and their control of the pump strengthened.

If their plans ever came into fruition, it would come at the cost of farmers’ already seeing declining incomes and hard-working employees at over 200 biorefineries across the country.

Thankfully, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have been there every step of the way to combat these attacks. At a biofuels meeting in the White House last week, they represented farmers and biorefinery workers everywhere in defending the RFS and seeing that Northey was finally confirmed to his USDA position, where he’ll join the Iowan Senators’ fight to promote American biofuels.

With more biofuel meetings with President Trump on the horizon, it’s now more critical than ever that our leaders in congress know that this is exactly the kind of farm-friendly, pro-biofuels work we wished of them when we cast our vote for President Trump.

Kraig Hoene

Lebanon, Ore.

Local elections?

Last week, I wrote about corporate lobbyists and wealthy individuals who are using their wealth, power and influence to tilt legislation in their favor by threatening the political futures of all who oppose them.

Their actions are literally in violation of anti-racketeering laws.

Their protected “speech” is metaphorically the equivalent of surrounding the public square with loud-speakers to dominate the civil discourse and pointing guns at the heads of our representatives in government.

Would you agree that lobbyists from outside of Oregon have the right to inject piles of cash and media into an Oregon election to slander our candidates? Or, would our campaigns be more representative of the intrinsic values of Oregonians if the candidates engaged in campaign advertising and debate supported by resources generated from the stake holders within our state?

I believe that election campaign laws should limit contributing to individuals who reside within the jurisdiction related to the contest (e.g. city, county, school district, state, congressional district, etc.). I’ve heard politicians claim that all elections are local.

Let’s keep them that way. By the way, a constitutional amendment clarifying that the right of free speech is limited to actual human beings, as was clearly the intent, would clear out a lot of the rubbish defacing the political landscape.

Russ Hurlbert

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Skewed views

A reader wrote of George Washington that “he shows his complete understanding of how to live free in a free society.”

According to Wikipedia, many presidents owned slaves. Washington owned 317, and many others did also — at least 18 presidents did, including Thomas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence, who owned over 600, at least one of which he was sleeping with and produced offspring. Do you think they considered themselves free? Did Sally Hemmings, a slave, even have the right to consent with Jefferson? You can look and see that many of our presidents owned slaves almost until the civil war.

I’d also ask the contributor: Do you think the Native Americans just handed over their land, or might the Second Amendment have something do with the maintenance of the structure of slavery and the theft of native land?

To call anyone free in a system that promoted slavery is to me a skewed view of what freedom is and should be. We still suffer for what occurred as our nation formed and grew. Let’s at least admit to what happened in a historical context.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

On gun control:

Step up

In response to Mr. Donald Rose, who stated that “hammers and knives” can also be used for evil purposes (Our Readers Write, March 21), I’d like to point out the extreme unlikelihood that a perpetrator could kill (not injure — kill) 17 people with a hammer or knife in just a few bloody moments. Whether the event is in Portland, Las Vegas, Florida, or Maryland, guns, not hammers and knives, are the common denominator. And more frequently, the guns used are designed to shoot many, many rounds in a shockingly short timeframe. To me, it feels like the time to step up and stop this came with the Sandy Hook shooting of very small children who could not demonstrate and demand change. I say to the brave students who refuse to be silenced, you go! Good for you! I salute you!

Georgia Donnelly

Hood River

‘People kill people’

This is in response to Donald’s Rose letter (March 21).

Although I understand the fear and concern with regard to his Second Amendment right, I think he is being manipulated and mislead by NRA scare tactics. Nobody is going to take his guns away — most people just want reasonable gun controls.

Guns don’t have an innate ability to fire — someone has to do so — therefore, we need to control who gets to use them (in the same way we control who and when can drive a car).

It is utterly unreasonable to compare AR-15 to hammers and knives. It would be very difficult for a 19-year-old to walk into a school and kill 17 and injure another 17 with a hammer. They are just not the same. Hammers are used for good purposes; assault rifles are used for … assault.

Gun control makes sense (as demonstrated by statistics and pure data of gun control in Australia ... and the rest of the world).

Arming teachers and other personnel in schools obviously doesn’t work.

Stoneman Douglas High School had an officer present at that school. Could you please elaborate how a trained art teacher after a short gun control course would be more effective than a trained officer with years of experience?

You claim “law-abiding people expose themselves to the mercy of murders by not being armed … having more guns in schools IS a valid solution.” Following your reasoning, why don’t we arm every single student?

You write, “In the case of the murder of 17 people in Florida, there were some important factors: 1. The murderer was Nikolas Cruz. 2. Law enforcement failed at many levels.” Exactly to the point. Only law-abiding citizens, after criminal checks and passing a test, should be able to get guns. People like Cruz (young age, mental history, abuse, domestic violence, multiple 911 calls, disturbing messages on Facebook, etc.) should not. Law enforcement failed ONLY because they couldn’t do anything — there are no laws prohibiting Cruz from purchasing, owning, using his guns.

And this is exactly what demonstrating students want, because the only solution is, let’s call it, “people control.”

Monica Brink

Hood River

Adults fail

Donald Rose, if as you say in your March 31 letter, “law abiding people expose themselves to the mercy of murders by not being armed” and “more guns in schools IS a solution,” then why stop with just “arming teachers and other personnel in schools who want to do so”?

Why not take your solution all the way and arm the students too? That way any crazed school shooter will know that he will be outgunned by 25-30 armed students, not just the possibility of a teacher or two armed with a side arm that is expected to take on a shooter with an automatic weapon. For that matter, let’s arm the students with AR-15 rifles so they aren’t outgunned. That way they will already be trained in military firearms, so they can go straight into the military when they graduate and require less training.

Of course, I am being facetious. I have asked several current and former educators that I know and I was one a teacher myself, none of them or me think your solution of arming teachers and other school personnel is the right one. Also no one is manipulating and misleading the students.

They are simply expressing the only solution that makes any sense and are sadly having to do so because we, their supposed adult leaders, have failed to do so for so many years.

Darrell Roberts

Parkdale



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