Letters to the Editor for November 14

Loved ‘Addams’

I had the good fortune of attending the final performance of The Addams Family. Ms. Harry and Mr. Kenealy have taken the fall musical to heights never witnessed before at HRVHS! Congratulations to all the seniors — the spell cast upon you by these two professionals will serve you well in your miserable adult lives! And for you, Ms. Harry, your clever intricacies keep us on our toes; keep up the ghoulish work, we love it! It’s no wonder you were awarded that prestigious Tony.

Greg Shepherd

Hood River

Sacrifices honored

On the centennial of the Armistice of World War I, members of the Columbia Gorge community came together at the Stonehenge Memorial to remember the sacrifices of so many men and women who voluntarily set aside their personal liberties to answer our nation’s call to arms and go to a foreign land and defend those who could not defend themselves from bitter oppression. We also paused to remember the sacrifices and hardships endured by those families and communities that supported their efforts on the home front.

On behalf of the Stonehenge Memorial Community Committee, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who planned this special event over the past two years and to those who endured the crisp winter morning to gather 100 years later on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month. Thank you!

Gavin McILvenna

Hood River

Affordable?

I ask myself, what is affordable housing and how can it be realized?

I was raised by a single mother and an older sister. Three of us lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment. I shared a bedroom with my mother until I was 12 years old. That was considered affordable housing in the ‘60s.

I went to trade school instead of college. I purchased my first home at the age of 26. The house cost $66,000 and the down payment ($6,000) represented one month’s salary. That was considered affordable.

A few years of sweat equity and I sold it for $30,000 profit. My second home cost $150,000; more sweat equity, $50,00 profit. A third home cost $300,000 to build and 20 years later (lots of sweat equity) is worth $600,000. I have a six-figure income and I drive a seven-year-old car that was purchased used. That’s how I can afford to live in a nice Hood River home … now that I am in my middle age.

Today in Hood River, if a young couple has college loan debt and drive newer cars/adventure vans, there is no way they can purchase a home in Hood River. Two people making $40,000 per year would mean a yearly income of $80,000 or $6,666 per month. They would need 4.5 month’s salary as a down payment on a $300,000 home. Traditional economic wisdom will tell you to buy a home that costs no more than three years of salary — that would be $240,000 for our young couple. There is currently one home listed in Hood River under the price of $300,000.

However, there are 34 homes listed in The Dalles under $300,000. If I was that young couple interested in affording a home, I would downsize my expenses, eat at home, stop drinking $7 craft beers and buy a house in The Dalles. Learn how to make home improvements and, in a few years, sell the house for a profit. Heck, if enough people do this, maybe The Dalles would be the cool place to live instead of the overcrowded and too expensive Hood.

Laird Davis

Hood River

Thanks, Hood River News

We owe a debt of gratitude, we who live in this community and appreciate its cohesiveness. We owe a debt of gratitude to Chelsea Marr, Kirby Neumann-Rea and the entire staff of The Hood River News.

In a time where the quick-fix of online infotainment is our literary drug of choice, when long-form journalism is being eviscerated by funding gaps from advertising’s shift to flashing online images, the Hood River News has a serious challenge: To survive.

The Hood River News is not perfect. They make mistakes, sure. But I can’t imagine what it’s like to try to manage the deadlines and logistics of a large newspaper when you have the funding and staff of a tiny one. I can’t imagine what it’s like to fight this good fight, to be in the trenches saving our community’s cohesiveness and providing rich reporting while also dealing with the normal challenges and deadlines of print journalism — challenges that are only more difficult in these times.

Somehow, not by magic but by seriously hard work and daily toil, the staff of the Hood River News manages to continue to provide us with the single most important informational resource in our community: Our local newspaper.

Imagine what this community would be without it.

We, every one of us, owe a debt of gratitude to the staff for fighting this good fight and helping make our community what it is.

Thank you, Hood River News.

John Metta

Hood River

Trump to blame

A far-right extremist Trump supporter has mailed at least 10 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats. A man shouted, “All Jews must die!” before opening fire at a Synagogue full of worshipers Saturday. These two related events occurred less than one month ago. Now, a retired Marine has shot up a bunch of college students — why, I don’t know.

Our midterm elections were the most bitter we’ve seen — ever. Trump has blamed the state of California for deadly wildfires due to “poor management.” It’s been poor management all right — of the climate change threat which gets more real with every historic fire and deadly hurricane. But it was Trump who threw the Paris accords out the window.

We have never seen America so polarized — not ever, even during the worst of the Vietnam protests. It’s incredibly dangerous. Journalists of both persuasions are fanning the fire, far right folks are asking for trouble, progressives are responding with interest: There have even been riots in peaceable Portland, of all places.

We blame the Trump-era for this divisiveness, but concede that both sides may be contributing to the root problems our country faces. The violence is getting worse.

There is, however, one important distinction between progressives and conservatives. Generally speaking, you don’t see progressives participating in physical violence or mass shootings. Of course, there are exceptions. Even a peaceable creature will turn and fight if provoked enough.

After Charlottesville and its nationwide equivalents, the conflict is beginning to have the appearance of “war” at this point. Here’s the difference between the two warring sides: The far right is heavily armed. It scares the dickens out of us.

Wendy and Richard Best

Parkdale

Generous community

Having lived many places throughout the west in my lifetime, I’ve come to know the character of each place, and “generosity” is the word I’d use to describe this abundant valley. It’s why I’ve stayed and will continue to, until my kids feel like I need to be near them. Food and feeding is where I tend to put my volunteer efforts, and that puts me in contact with food producers and retailers, who always find a way to say ‘yes.’

We are entering the season of giving thanks. Community Thanksgiving is getting ready to prepare food for 400 of us. Served in both Cascade Locks and in Hood River, it’s a chance to sit together family-style, enjoy the food that is prepared by local chefs and meet our neighbors.

All are welcome! Bring the whole family, come with friends, or come and meet your table-mates.

Romul is donating the turkeys again this year. Always saying ‘yes.’ Farm Stand will donate the onions, celery and fresh herbs for the dressing.

Rosauers, always ready to donate, is providing the potatoes and other ingredients that pull it all together. Lake Taco will bring their macaroni salad. Local farmers have grown the squash. Tofurky will provide vegan options, and Hood River Coffee and Ryan’s juices will be there too.

I give thanks for a true community who reaches out and cares for one another.

Come, join in, and give thanks for all we are provided with.

Beth Hartwell

Hood River

Keep Morrison

Congratulations, Paul! You won the election for mayor. However, you cannot ignore the 1,618 people who voted against you. In Hood River, that’s a large number.

One of the main reasons opposition opposed you is your plan to convert Morrison Park from a park that all 7,686 residents of Hood River can enjoy into a 50-80 unit housing development only 1-3 percent of residents access.

Both opponents and supporters are furious with Weyerhaeuser’s clearcut between Hood River and Mosier. Your plan for Morrison Park is far worse. Trees will regrow in the clear cut and, while regrowing, the entire community can still hike and bike through the area.

Not true if the trees in Morrison Park are cut down to build a towering housing development that limits access. Should we completely eliminate a park, and one that’s a gateway to the west side of Hood River?

In addition, do we need to compete with neighboring communities to provide housing? Do we need to eliminate a park and provide housing that neighboring communities are happy and very capable of providing? If you insist on competing with our neighbors for new residents, are there other options within Hood River? Isn’t our density and congestion an issue? Why add to the problem?

Finally, transportation between neighboring communities and Hood River is outstanding. Many of us moved from congested and ugly cities, where we regularly spent an hour commuting to and from work. For example, driving to and from The Dalles is 20 minutes. How many people regularly ride their regular or electric bicycle between The Dalles and Hood River? Even bicycling is a real option and the scenery is breathtaking.

Opponents and supporters must stand up against your crazy idea of converting Morrison Park into Blackburn Castle!

Jon Nigbor

Hood River



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