Letters to the Editor for Nov. 21

Fire plan?

Does Hood River have a fire evacuation plan? If so, where is it? How do we find out about it? What happened in California could easily happen here.

Al Brown

Hood River

‘Elephant in the room’

We are witnessing again catastrophic fires in California. The Camp Fire, in the town of Paradise, has claimed over 75 lives with the toll climbing daily. News reports indicate about 1,000 people are missing. Many of these folks were unable to find paths to safety in the fast moving fire.

A year ago, the City of Hood River had the opportunity to participate in a USFS underwritten Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire, CPAW. However, Mayor Blackburn and his advisers determined that the fire advisory service was not a priority for Hood River. Bend, Ashland, Wasco County, among other communities, have already participated with CPAW (Headlands Economics).

If we were to find ourselves (and tourists) in the midst of a fast-moving, wind-driven, low-humidity fire on either the east or west flank of town, the flight to safety could be problematic. However, we don’t have the data or studies available to know with any degree of certainty what our risks would be. We can’t mitigate risks that are unknown.

A city official reported almost a year ago that there is an ongoing effort to upgrade and modernize building codes in Hood River. This could affect materials choices, sprinkler requirements, setback and building separation requirements, etc.

Obviously, building code upgrades are important elements in addressing vulnerability to fire. However, in a wildland fire scenario, a first priority is to ensure that all people in harm’s way are able to find an adequate path to safety.

In reviewing the west side transportation studies and traffic volumes, there does not appear to be estimated emergency traffic flows at critical intersections, on existing roadways or at freeway exit points. Logic would dictate that emergency traffic flow data would affect signage, signalization, alternatives like round-abouts, street widths, number of lanes at critical points, parking requirements, egress adequacy and perhaps emergency service planning.

It appears that wildland fire risk is an elephant in the room as Hood River plans for growth. I understand that there are many factors and pressures involved and that this issue has ramifications. However, wildland fire risk needs to be factored into our future plans.

Terry Egan

Hood River

Does not support

Listening to many Republicans, whether they are in congress or ordinary citizens, it amazes me how they can continue to support Trump.

They say the reason they support Trump is because they support his policies. They don’t condone his tweets that are misogynistic towards women, denigrate immigrants and news organizations and anyone who disagrees with him.

I could never condone a leader, whether they be Democrat, Republican or Independent, even if their policies reflected everything I believed in. As Americans, we should have a moral high ground that is more important than party policies.

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

‘Disappointed’

I saw the recent editorial written by Kirby Neumann-Rea in the Hood River News and am so very disappointed by how far the standards of journalism have slipped for our local newspaper.

Kirby, we get it. You don’t like Greg Walden, and you are using your position to throw mud at every chance. Please at least attempt to appear unbiased.

This editorial is Kirby’s unveiled attempt to place himself at the head of the resistance movement within the Second District of Oregon.

Fortunately, he represents the extremely vocal minority. You would never guess from his reporting that Greg is well liked within his district.

Just look at the numbers from the election: Despite over a million dollars spent against him, he won the election by 17 points. Greg is accurately and effectively representing the people of the Second District of Oregon, and I am proud that he continues to do so in spite of the liberal left trying to derail him at every turn.

Keep up the good work, Greg. Don’t listen to this deranged rhetoric.

Kenneth Ebi

Hood River

Election questions

The election is over, or is it? We’re still waiting on a recount in Oregon that will affect two candidates. Over the weekend, two positions were settled in Florida and it appears the same can be said about Georgia, where someone ran for governor while they were secretary of state. Talk about a conflict of interest. Of course, he won.

Florida has had disputed elections for years (hanging chads) and other problems. Kansas also had a secretary of state running for governor, another conflict. Some states removed voters if their names weren’t spelled the same on their voter rolls as on their ballots.

When county clerks are involved, how do we know they all have the same instructions/standards as to how to decide a person is allowed to vote? Will all county clerks judge the same?

How do you feel about gerrymandering? Shouldn’t districts be divided by impartial parties? Should polling places be plentiful and convenient? Should the country go to mail-in ballots like Oregon?

How long should our elections run?

Two years, as just happened; or should there be a limit, maybe four years? Should there be a limit on cash spent by candidates, or should PACs be allowed to spend dark money on a candidate, or even exist? Buehler and Brown both had huge amounts of money come into their campaigns.

Also, should lobbyists be allowed to make campaign contributions? Should elections for president be decided by the popular vote and not the electoral college? These are just a few of the issues. If you can’t depend on consistency, transparency and fairness, how can you have democratic elections?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks



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