Letters to the Editor for May 16 edition

‘Best’ behavior?

Last week, Kelly Sadler, a special assistant to Donald Trump, made a remark about Senator John McCain’s opinion opposing the nomination of CIA director Gina Hospel did not matter because he (John McCain) “was dying anyway.”

To make such a statement about a Senator who served our country heroically and is battling cancer is just wrong! President Trump and his White House have reached a new low that should make every American, Republican, Democrat, Independent, stand up and say enough already. Whether you agree or disagree with Senator McCain, it is unconscionable and so below what we all should expect from this administration or any administration.

How ironic that Melania Trump’s new slogan is “Be Best.”

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

A warning

Most of us experience times when we can’t sleep. Several years ago, my doctor prescribed the generic for Ambien, which I used infrequently, but always with good results. In November I found myself not sleeping for several nights and took a small portion of one of the pills. I slept well and I woke refreshed. On the way to a hair appointment I stopped for coffee, and that is the last thing I remember for the next 30 hours.

What happened next is based on information from the police report. I bumped into a lady in front of me at the drive-through, then drove to my hair appointment, where are my hairdresser realized something was very wrong from my behavior. The police showed up and called an ambulance to transport me to the hospital, where a CT was performed to see if I had had a stroke. The results were negative. Bloodwork revealed nothing in my system. I did apparently tell the officer about the Ambien, and he issued a DUII citation. Friends took me home and put me to bed. I woke late the next day with absolutely no memory of what had occurred. The DUII resulted in several thousand dollars in attorney fees, medical bills, insurance rate increases, court costs, mandatory counseling and random drug test costs. The worst part was the mandatory Book and Release, where I had to go to NORCOR, get handcuffed, put in a holding cell, fingerprinted, and have mug shots taken. The legal system is set in stone when it comes to intoxicants.

Why am I revealing all this? Because since this happened to me, two more people in Hood River reported much the same effect from Ambien, including extended amnesia and bizarre behavior. Fortunately, their experiences did not involve driving. I am grateful I didn’t hurt anyone while I was acting on autopilot. I hope my tale might educate others about the possible side effects of this commonly used drug. Bottom line — if your doctor offers to prescribe a sleep aid for you, you might want to ask for something other than Ambien.

Marg Guth

Hood River

Use caution

Those of us who frequently use Washington 141 Alternate are aware of the dangers of driving it. It is a highway that should only be driven at the suggested speed limit and with focused attention. Its danger is compounded at the moment by sunken grade on the right side of the road’s southbound lane a quarter mile from the junction with Washington Highway 14. There is no shoulder in this portion and no guardrail.

It would take only a moments inattention to wind up over the cliff and in the river or if you over-corrected on the wrong side of the road. Traffic coming the opposite direction would have no room to avoid hitting you head on. If you do choose to drive on the alternate, I would advise pulling over before you get to this section to let speeding traffic pass you since it is functionally a one-lane road.

Be safe, have fun, and make sure that if your name winds up in the newspaper, it’s for a happy reason.

Ben Seagraves

White Salmon

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