Letters to the Editor for May 1

NRA irony

At the upcoming NRA convention in Dallas, Texas, guns will be barred during Vice President Mike Pence appearance to protect his safety!

So why does the NRA want guns everywhere when it comes to kids? The NRA and Trump want more guns in schools and even have teachers be armed.

So, it’s not safe for the vice president to have guns around him, but when it comes to schools and children, there should be guns all over? Go figure!

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

Support Local Option

Mark your calendars for the May 15 election! This election will determine if our community will continue to support the Local Option Levy 14-61. Continuing this levy will NOT increase your taxes. It is merely a renewal of the existing levy that has been approved by Hood River County voters since 2004. This levy is separate from the construction bond that we passed, which cannot be used for things like a teacher’s salary and sports.

As the board members of the May Street PTO, we encourage you to please vote “YES!”

The May Street PTO raises an average of $60,000 a year to support teacher grants and extracurricular activities for our school, including Artist-in-Residence for all grade levels, art supplies for the entire school, the fifth Grade SECRETS ecology program, over $2,500 in the past three years to support the music program, Oregon Battle of the Book supplies, library books, LEGO robotic supplies, the fourth grade Gorge Confluence Project, increased funding for P.E. supplies, and fieldtrips, as well as $6,000 per year in teacher requested grants.

We are proud of the work we do to support our school and teachers with the already limited funds that are currently budgeted and available. We cannot imagine our schools or teachers operating on even more limited funds.

If the local option levy doesn’t pass, we stand to lose 35 teacher and staff positions. Losing teachers will result in higher classroom numbers. Large classroom numbers decreases a teacher’s ability to reach each child. This in turn trickles down into our community and impacts us ALL.

Our current school leaders have shown us consistent fiscal responsibility and tremendous vision for the future. We trust them to make sound decisions to support our local students, teachers and community.

As a community, let’s continue to take care of our teachers, our students and our community by voting YES!

May Street Elementary PTO Board: Nicole Faaborg, Sara Marsden, Jessica Russo, Molly Fauth, Kristi Bunting and Christa Giordano

McBride for chair

Rich and Kate McBride are two of the most committed public citizens of Hood River County, and they combine the ability to get along with everyone with the strength to take principled stands on important issues. I have known them both for many years.

Rich began as a member of the port budget committee, then ran for port commissioner and served as chair. He then got involved in county issues and was elected to the county commission.

I will vote for Rich McBride as chair of the Hood River County Commission.

Christine Knowles

Hood River

Walden’s quiet

I appreciated Guy Tauscher’s letter of April 28 that highlighted some of the free publicity Greg Walden has been getting lately in the press.

As our elected representative, it is important to know what Walden is doing. But not just through press releases from his office.

Walden has had other opportunities to provide the voting public with information on his positions. However, he did not provide a submission to the Oregon League of Women Voters Guide for this election, nor did he respond to a recent survey on environmental issues run by Envirogorge, just to mention two. Did he not have staff who could craft answers, or is he just showing disdain for any challenge to his incumbency?

The Hood River News should indeed cover the legislative actions of our representative, but through investigative journalism not press releases.

I do applaud the Hood River News for urging Walden to hold a Town Hall here before May 1. While that probably won’t happen, soon the News will be able to inform the public on the two candidates representing the main parties.

Hopefully they can also cover some debates between the candidates before we make our final decision in November.

Leanne Hogie

Hood River

Put Oates to work

Congratulations to the League of Women Voters for providing a public opportunity for people to gain perspective on current political platforms. It was a “sweet” event, timely and well attended.

Unfortunately, Rich McBride, current board member for Hood River County Commission, left us with a “bitter” moment in his closing statement, saying to his competition, Mike Oates, “Let’s not elect another orchardist.” Agriculture is the backbone of our valley and to say such a snide comment was rude. To slam current members he served with in Bob Benton and Ron Rivers, who are also orchardists, makes me think. Rich is part of the problem of the $1.6 million deficit currently on the books.

Hood River County deserves better and a new perspective is in order.

Elect Mike Oates, Hood River County Commission Chair, for a fair and stable perspective of our county. Mike is willing to fact-find and get to work.

Barb Hosford

Hood River

Skewed data

In response to Steve Nybroten (Our Readers Write, April 28):

Data is a wonderful thing! It can be used to support, defend, attack or even to deceive!

In this case, Mr. Nybroten used the pick and choose method to deceive readers into believing London has a higher murder rate than New York City.

The fact is London indeed had a higher murder rate than New York City in February and March of 2018, which “could” be interpreted as a blip, statistically speaking.

What Mr. Nybroten failed to mention was that those two months were the only two months in the past 10 years, or 120 months of data collecting and comparison, that London had initiated more murder investigations than New York City. Hardly a trend!

Secondly, the assault weapons ban of 1994 actually did have a positive effect on reducing the number of mass shootings, which was its intent, not overall gun crime.

In the 10 years prior to the assault weapons ban, 1984 to 1994, we endured 19 mass shootings, resulting in 155 deaths.

The 10 years after the ban took place, 1994 to 2004, we endured 12 mass shootings resulting in 89 deaths.

Then after the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, from 2004 to 2014, we endured 34 mass shooting resulting in 302 deaths. The trend of more mass shoots has increased since 2014!

So YES. It seems the assault weapons ban was effective in reducing the number of mass shootings. You claimed, “We were not really any safer, when the assault weapons ban was in place.” The data does not support your assumption.

I do support your suggestion that mental health screening, education and personal responsibility in regards to gun ownership need to be at the forefront. This is something that the NRA used to support and indeed stands for.

Unfortunately, people like Ted Nugent, an NRA board member and convicted poacher who publicly held up an AR-15 and said, “Hey Obama, come and suck on this,” and claimed survivors of the Parkland massacre “have no soul,” are now the face of the new NRA!

Peter Dallman

Hood River

Representando a todos

Rich McBride necesita su voto para Presidente de la Comisión del Condado. Rich quiere que Hood River sea una comunidad aún más fuerte.

Él se preocupa tanto por los trabajadores así como también por los dueños de la tierra. El condado de Hood River necesita su liderazgo para unirnos. Rich ama Hood River y quiere ayudar a hacerlo un lugar aún mejor. Espero que lo apoyen con su voto. Él escucha todas las voces y trabajará duro para todos.

Kate McBride

Hood River

Vote for Oates

Fourth generation, life-long Hood River Valley resident Mike Oates is running for County Commission Chair. He deserves our votes. Mike’s deeply-rooted attachment to our county and his life experiences as banker, agriculturist and public servant have well prepared him for this job.

His service in many volunteer positions include sports referee, Hood River County Planning Commission, School District Budget committee, School District Board and Financial Advisory committee, Hood River County Library board, Hood River Education Foundation board, Hood River Grower Shipper (HRGS) Association board, HRGS Research Committee and chair of the Agriculture Water Quality Local Advisor Committee.

Sixteen years of service on our school district’s budget and participation in the successful reorganization of our library is exactly the experience required to meet the difficult task of balancing Hood River County’s budget without sacrificing important services.

Mike has well prepared himself to be County Commission Chair. He has a long history of successful and dedicated community leadership. Hood River County residents should accept his offer to serve us.

Chuck Haynie

Hood River

No reply from Helfrich

Here’s a quick story, for whatever it might be worth. I’ve become very interested in a certain policy issue at the state level, so I emailed a question to both Jeff Helfrich and to Anna Williams, the two people who will be running in the fall to fill Mark Johnson’s old House seat in Salem.

I asked them what their position was on this issue. Anna Williams responded the same day, and she not only told me her position, she also explained some things that had happened in her life to make her feel that way.

And Jeff Helfrich? So far, after one week, an initial email, a follow-up email, and a phone call to his office, no reply. You can decide for yourself if this matters or not.

Mike Hendricks

Hood River

Vote Oates

A varied background makes for an informed chair of the Hood River County Commission. I have been impressed with the resume of Mike Oates. Having been a member of the Hood River County Planning Commission gives him an idea of the various planning issues of today. The same may be said for financial experience having served on the budget committee for the school district, being a board member for eight years, and then serving on the school district Financial Advisory Board.

The library closure was devastating. I truly appreciate the work he did on the newly formed Library District Board to facilitate the opening. It was a difficult task to set all the policies and hire a director.

Others have covered his long-time work in the field of agriculture.

On the side of humor, he has often written man sketches for the Lions Follies and has appeared in the performances of the yearly fundraising production. It’s a time consuming activity.

My thoughts are that he has volunteered his time in many respects of our community, making him well rounded to take on the position of Chair of Hood River County Commission.

Jean Harmon

Hood River

A barge full

It’s our “I’m going to tell on you nation.” Sigh. Too many brilliant and talented civic-minded Americans who offer their services are being swept into oblivion by the oversensitive left. You might say the Grim Sweepers are the P.C. Weepers. Not to mention the tear-eyed snowflakes and the Cry Baby News Faker, who get straight A’s these days in very reckless political correctness. They’re the Boo Hoo in What’s New.

Sorry, Mark Johnson … but large as a barge, thanks for a job well done.

Bill Davis

Hood River


Wow! What an amazing group of Republican candidate choices we have!

Upon entering the Columbia Center For the Arts April 24, I was first struck by the eyes of Mike Oates, reflecting the wisdom likened to that of Abraham Lincoln.

Both Mike and his father were born here in Hood River. Now that’s what I call a well-laid foundation for a County’s Board of Commissioners Chairperson!

Bidding Mike farewell, I turn around to the smiling face of ol’ time farmer senator Chuck Thomsen whose grandpa was the Republican Party’s Chairman in 1959, campaigning for Mark Hatfield, thus making him well grounded in the needs and interest of Hood River County also.

Next, just two steps away and heads above all, I meet our State Representative Jeff Helfrich, who, in a short period of time, has accomplished an amazing sponsorship of 25 passed bills!

Therefore, both Senator Thomsen and Representative Jeff Helfrich must be sent back to Salem to continue being the voice for the needs and interest of Hood River County.

Then, to continue the greatness that we, as Hood River County residents have grown accustomed to for the past many years under the leadership of Ron Rivers, we must support Mike Oates to be our next Hood River County’s board chair!

Alan Winans

Hood River

Editor’s Note: Chuck Thomsen and Jeff Helfrich are running as Republicans for the partisan Legislature positions. The County Commission seats are all non-partisan.

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