Letters to the Editor for September 5

Walden has traction

Greg Walden has not changed over his terms of service, but two of the 20 counties he represents have changed and become majority blue or Democrat counties, namely Hood River and now Wasco County. Both have active groups trying to reshape the image of Greg Walden based on the Indivisible manifesto.Walden represents conservative resource based communities and does vote a Republican party line, but that is also why he is reelected. To think that electing a replacement will somehow produce a non-partisan voice is naïve to the way Congress works. Do not believe that his opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, will be capable or allowed to vote anything less than the Democrat party line if elected.

The liberal agenda is quite different when it comes to natural resources as we experience every summer with the air is choked with smoke from fires in fuel laden forests that are suffering from 40-year-old, environmentally skewed management policy. After years of trying to get cooperation in Congress, Walden finally has traction on revising forest management policy and has been successful at getting enough cooperation to pass legislation. Electing McLeod-Skinner will only stop this momentum that also means jobs for Oregonians, and a safer forest–human interface.

Democratic Senators Wyden and Merkley have not been allied in this effort, choosing to abide by party lines, and McLeod-Skinner would have to too.

Betsy Hege

The Dalles

Work together

Our constitution was forged out of conflict. Our Founding Fathers had deep disagreements. Many still debate the meaning of some articles. The Constitution is not perfect, but many people from large parts of our planet are willing to die for the right to live in the U.S.A.

By many, we are viewed as the best the world has to offer. Compromise is not always bad. Sometimes a list of ingredients does not tell you much about the finished product.

In our country’s first administration, the vice president was the person that came in second in the election for president. Can you just think of the conflict of a Trump-Clinton or Clinton-Trump administration?

When I was in junior high school, mid ‘60s, a very volatile period in our history, my science teacher, using electrical wizardry, separated water into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, each in their own chamber, each a colorless, odorless gas. The teacher lit a kitchen match, burned it out, and put it in the oxygen chamber. The match was relit (oxygen is the supporter of flame). He then used the relit match to explode the chamber of hydrogen, then put out the match by dipping it in what was left of the water. It is hard to believe that the supporter of flame and an explosive gas mixed in the right proportions is used to fight fire. What an amazing world we live in. I believe ideas are much like elements when properly discussed and combined, the outcome can be unbelievable.

Be willing to listen to history. The sum can be greater than the parts. If hydrogen and oxygen can put out fires, Republicans and Democrats, by working together, can build a better U.S.A.

Michael Fifer

Hood River

Rethink stick

I want to comment on the “Love me, love my dog” opinion published on Aug. 29. I find carrying a “dog knocker” with the intention to use it as a weapon problematic. Many people use canes or hiking poles, and I suppose they might become weapons should they be attacked by a vicious dog or human. But walking a public trail with intent to cause injury or death to an overly friendly, excited dog is unfathomable.

We may be inclined to “get up in arms” regarding perceived threats or thoughtlessness. My husband and I walk Indian Creek daily with our dog. We grumble about bicyclers or runners showing little regard for dogs, children or slower striders, forgetting how lucky we are that the trails are open to everyone.

Tolerance and communication may be in order. Is it possible to watch our dogs or put them on a leash? Alert slower walkers if you are approaching them from behind, on a bike or running. If you see a barking dog, call out to ask if it is friendly. Carry some dog treats to throw or dog repellent spray, if you must. If you share off-leash time with your dog on the trail, let those nearby know it is friendly. For goodness sake, it you have a dog that has ever nipped, bitten, or shown signs of an aggressive personality, keep it leashed in all situations.

Lastly, for the sake of all, please reconsider hitting a dog with a stick. Do you want to explain to your neighbors or their children that you maimed or killed their beloved companion because it barked at you, dirtied your clothing or might have knocked you down?

If a dog was not aggressive before being hit, it may become so. If it is a vicious animal or has an aggressive owner, you may put yourself at greater risk of injury by making threatening overtures.

Please, please let’s consider that actions have consequences and give thought to an appropriate response.

Sandy Kirkland

Hood River

Yes vote needed

I urge Congressman Walden to vote yes on H.R. 6545, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

VAWA, initially passed in 1994, is set to expire Sept. 30 unless Congress passes a reauthorization bill. H.R. 6545 not only reauthorizes funding for VAWA’s existing programs, but establishes new policies to help abuse victims remain in stable housing, expand red-flag laws to block people accessing guns who have been convicted of dating abuse or stalking, and broaden protections against abuse for Native American women.

VAWA has gone through reauthorizations before, with bipartisan support.

But so far, not a single Republican has co-sponsored the current reauthorization bill.

I urge Walden to stand up for women and reauthorize VAWA.

Lara Dunn

Hood River

Walk the talk

U.S. Representative Greg Walden visited central Oregon recently, attending a barbecue honoring veterans at the Redmond VFW. But as the Oregonian reported earlier this year, his actions as an employer show how little he honors the men and women who have served our country.

Oregonian Cody Standiford enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks. During a tour in Iraq, an improvised explosive device cut short his military career and he went to work for Walden’s Congressional office in 2010, conducting outreach to other veterans for over two years. But when he took medical leave for two weeks to deal with chest pains, Walden cut his hours to half-time. Cody tried to get his hours back, even supplied a letter from his VA doctor saying he could resume full-time work. Walden refused.

Instead, he made a secret settlement to buy Cody’s silence, paying him $7,000 —taxpayer dollars — to dismiss the complaint and get Cody’s agreement to leave the job.

At the Redmond VFW, Walden spoke of “the men and women who’ve worn our nation’s uniform, who gave us our freedom and protect us today in far-off places and we need to show our respect and support for them.” He talks the talk. Why doesn’t he walk the walk?

Respect for our veterans means understanding their medical needs.

Supporting veterans means working with them to help them contribute their invaluable efforts to the best of their ability. Walden showed neither to Cody Standiford, so his words at the VFW ring hollow. That’s one reason he won’t get my vote in November.

Tom Kaser

Hood River



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