Letters to the Editor for October 6

Attempted understanding

Based on my own experiences at college and private school similar to Brett Kavanaugh’s, I have no doubt that the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford are true. I also have no doubt that he may actually not remember these events. Or that, as a now-grown adult having two daughters, the stakes of conceding are much higher than a supreme court seat.

These are written as thoughts of attempted understanding, not affirmation.

Tracy Rushing

White Salmon

Keep Helfrich

Jeff Helfrich has a long track record of honorable service to our country, to our state and our local community. It is clear, based on his record and his recent comments in the Portland Tribune, that he is the voice of fiscal responsibility we very much need in Salem. He has both said and demonstrated that he can and will work with ALL legislators to solve issues in a manner that respects the dollars we taxpayers are obligated to pay. A truly nonpartisan approach to budgeting in Oregon is sorely needed, and Jeff is a champion for better behavior and results.

His opponent in the race for House Dist. 52 appears also to be a concerned and decent person with the interests of the elderly and education of youth uppermost in her mind. However, she has no idea how to pay for those concerns other than new taxes, including a sales tax on groceries, or, for that matter, a gross receipts tax on business. This last item was soundly rejected by the voters in this district and statewide but would surely be resurrected if the Democrat party is able to achieve a supermajority in Salem.

Don’t let that happen; vote for Jeff Helfrich.

David Buoy


Not a prime park

I have a lot of respect for Susan Crowley. She has helped this community in numerous, positive ways.

I have to differ with her, however, on Morrison Park. I go to the park at least four times a week, sometimes to play disc golf, sometimes just to eat lunch. (I work on Wasco Loop.) I know the park very, very well. Not a lot of other people do, at least in my experience, since no one’s ever there when I am.

The park contains some beautiful old oak trees. They are stunning. Yet, the park also contains poison oak, scotch broom, blackberries and an amazing amount of litter. Plus, it is loud. I-84 is just yards away. It doesn’t feel like a park. Before the latest court decision was handed down, I used to feel compassion for the low-income residents that might one day live there. It was nice to know that it might be an option.

I’m so sorry they must now look elsewhere.

At some point, we need to decide which of our lands are worth saving for parks. And, gosh, I support that! But we also need to look at land for housing. I haven’t seen many people actually enjoying Morrison Park, (probably because of the noise and weeds). I really hope Hood River can focus on preserving the best parts of its beauty. Preserve parks! But Morrison Park falls so very, very short.

Louise Kimball Johnston


For Walden

I am writing in support of Greg Walden.

Through his legislative efforts, eastern Oregon is receiving help on many different levels, including relief from bureaucratic red-tape that prevents sound forest management; funding that assists in recovery from the Substation Fire; positive steps forward in fighting the opioid crisis; Ray Baum’s Act (getting broadband to rural communities); brownfields re-authorization (resources to re-develop old industrial sites); support for veteran’s programs; Klamath Basin Drought Relief; and funding for critical mental health programs.

Greg Walden is working very hard for the communities in Eastern Oregon because he is from Eastern Oregon and understands the challenges we face here.

Nancy Rencken


Walden and Russia

H Res 600, Vote #600, 11/2/17; H Res 442, Committee On Financial Services, Vote FC-72, 7/25/17; H Res 446, Committee on the Judiciary, Vote 18, 7/26/17; House Budget Committee, Committee Vote, 7/19/17; House Appropriations Committee, Committee Vote, 7/13/17; Appropriations Committee, Committee Vote, 7/13/17; H Res 375, Vote #290, 6/7/17;H Res 374, Vote #288, 6/7/17; House Rules Committee, Committee Vote, 5/16/17; H Res 323, Vote #259, 5/17/17; H Res 235, Homeland Security Committee, Committee Vote, 4/5/17; HR 1343, Vote #215, 4/4/17; H Res 233, Vote #203, 3/29/17; Committee On The Judiciary, Vote 4, 3/29/17; H Res 184, Committee On The Judiciary, Vote 2, 3/29/17; H Res 229, Vote #197, 3/28/17; H Res 156, Vote #115, 3/1/17; H Res 111, Committee On The Judiciary, Vote 17, 2/28/17; H Res 123, Vote #93, 2/15/17; H Res 116, Vote #90, 2/14/17; HR 33, Vote #26, 1/10/17.

Those are the votes of Rep. Greg Walden during 2017 to stop, undermine, and/or defund the investigation of Russian interference in our 2016 elections.

Why would our Congressman, who was supposed to be working on behalf of his constituents here in Congressional District 2, be spending all that time and effort on a subject that would not in ANY WAY benefit his constituents? (Actually, I can’t think of any way in which we constituents or any Americans would be served by NOT learning about a foreign political adversary attacking us.)

Mr. Walden clearly had something on his mind, and it wasn’t us constituents. In what way was he threatened by the growing interest in Russian interference? Was Russian money flowing to Republican campaigns through the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, of which Mr. Walden was the Chair? Uh oh.

I’d like to hear some explaining on this. Would you?

Bonnie New

Hood River

Housing is critical

Everyone in our community deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that Hood River County is the most expensive county in the state for renters. A minimum wage worker (earning $10.75 an hour in 2018) would need to work an average of 61 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. To afford the same apartment and not work overtime every week, a renter would need to earn $17.33 an hour. That’s nearly $3 more than Oregon’s minimum wage will be in 2022. It’s clear that something needs to change.

There are local groups working to increase affordable housing in Hood River County and I commend their efforts. In addition, there are many solutions being considered at the state level, and I would like to be able to trust our elected officials to act in the best interest of our community when they vote.

Right now, I don’t think we have an elected leader we can trust. Chuck Thomsen voted against the minimum wage increase that passed in 2016, which has helped relieve some of the pressure on low-income families. He even tried to include a provision that would exclude agricultural workers from the increase, which would have left some of the most vulnerable people in our community behind.

Fortunately, this November we have a choice. Voters can send Thomsen back to block progress on critical issues like housing affordability, or they can elect Chrissy Reitz, a former nurse and school board member who understands how housing instability affects kids’ ability to learn. I’m personally going with the latter, and I encourage my fellow voters to join me.

Sarah Kellems

Hood River

Annual ‘Alive’

Yes please! May we have a Streets Alive event annually? I’ll sign myself up to volunteer. Kudos to all who made it happen. It was fantastic!

What a stark example on June street to have cars not parked in the roadway. I walk and drive June numerous times during the week. So many vehicles parked on the street, east of May Street school, makes driving and walking harrowing at times.

June Street residents, to keep the fantastic neighborhood walk and bike-able to and from shops, the school and parks, can we park in driveways a bit more?

Samantha Irwin

Hood River

Vote for McLeod-Skinner

Facts of the day:

Nearly half (46 percent) of Congressional District 2 residents live below or near the poverty level

Eighteen of 20 District 2 counties are below the state average ($28,822) in median per capita income. Ten out of 20 counties are more than 20 percent below the state average

In the past 18 months, Walden has spent the following at:

Five-star resorts and restaurants: Over $25,000 at the St. Regis Deer Park, Park City, Utah; over $53,000 at Brasada Ranch, golf resort in central Oregon; over $17,000 at Mastro’s, steakhouse in Washington DC.; over $11,000 at the Mandarin Oriental, hotel in Washington, D.C.; over $10,000 at Acqua, restaurant in Washington, D.C. (www.fec.gov).

Meanwhile, Jamie McLeod-Skinner has driven over 44,000 miles in her Jeep, sleeping in her tear-drop trailer, in order to meet and listen to Dist. 2 voters. She is the real deal, a person who actually shows up and answers questions, and will represent us well in Congress.

Please join me in voting for a real representative by Nov. 6, Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Nancy Haechrel

The Dalles

Vote yes on 102

A common refrain heard in this community is of the desperate need for affordable housing.

I urge all to vote yes on Measure 102 as a straightforward fix to Oregon law that will strengthen the ability of local non-profits, private organizations and our local governments to work together to solve the housing crisis here in Oregon.

The Oregon Legislature referred Measure 102 to the ballot with bipartisan support and at no cost to voters. Please consider supporting affordable housing by voting yes on Measure 102.

Most importantly, please vote in next month’s election. Your voice counts.

Lynne Davidson

Hood River

Vaccines for all

When looking at the long lifespans that humans are living out, we can give our thanks to vaccines. Vaccines have saved millions of lives, yet are increasingly the target of social criticism. As a global community, the anti-vaccine movement is one of the most pressing issues we are experiencing culturally. The risks that come from not vaccinating are staggering, and illnesses that once plagued children, such as polio, measles and whooping cough, are having the chance to rise again in frequency. To see these illnesses occur again with decreasing use of vaccines would put our entire society at risk.

The scientific community never backs anti-vaccine movements. There is no evidence to support such a mindset. However, with the prevalence of websites like Facebook, many sources of misinformed opinions are being shared as fact.

Consequently, more and more parents are choosing to not vaccinate their kids and citing it as a preference.

When an unvaccinated person interacts with other members of society, they could be unknowingly spreading infection or contracting it. For those who are ill and are unable to be vaccinated, this can mean life or death.

As a society, we need to put our trust in scientists and doctors before a stranger ranting on Facebook. Vaccines protect us all, but they especially protect the most vulnerable members of our society from disease.

Vaccines should be mandated to all healthy children, not allowing for personal choice. The culture has changed; the scientific censuses, however, has not.

Anna Bower

LaCrosse, Wisc.

Non-affiliated will decide election

You are politically independent. You are registered to vote in Oregon. Your voter registration should say “Non-affiliated.” Why?

Because there is a small party named “Independent Party of Oregon” or IPO; those affiliated with that party register as “Independent.”

Confusing? Yes.

To politically independent voters: When registering to vote, please double check that you register as “Non-affiliated.” Many already did: In Oregon’s Second Congressional District (OR2), 33 percent of registered voters are “Non-affiliated,” second only to Republicans (34 percent) and ahead of Democrats (26 percent).

To the leaders of IPO: Current times require political clarity, and correct terminology is essential. Please consider changing your name: Yours is a misnomer, and unnecessarily confusing.

To all OR2 voters: Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s platform transcends partisanship. She is the nominee of the Democratic Party. She is also endorsed by the IPO, over its own formal nominee. John Lamoreau (former local elected officer and former active Walden supporter) endorses her as an independent leader who will work across party lines for the benefit of our state and nation, in the footsteps of legendary Senators Mark Hatfield and Wayne Morse.

Non-affiliated voters like me will ultimately determine this election. I see Jamie as the clear choice for a return to civility, social justice and freedom of expression as the cornerstones of a caring, democratic, substantive America. She will be a breadth of (beyond-partisanship) fresh air in Congress.

Please join me in voting McLeod-Skinner.

Antonio Baptista


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