Letters to the Editor, Sept. 29 edition

A survivor speaks

Shame on Senate Republicans and their hypocritical “religious” right enablers. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be raped during their lives. But it doesn’t take a study for me to know that five in five women know a survivor of sexual assault. In fact, unequivocally and categorically, I can state that 100 percent of the people I have met in my life have met a sexual assault survivor. I can unequivocally and categorically state that 100 percent of these folks were completely unaware because, prior to this letter, my attacker and I have held this secret for 42 years. Do I remember date and time? Heck no! But I vividly remember it was in the field behind the Tardiffs house during the summer I turned 7. Those who know me well know that I have a horrible memory for names and faces, but I have NEVER forgotten his name (first AND last) and face. Why didn’t I report? I was 7 freaking years old. I am NOT “mis-remembering.” I am NOT “mixed up.” It was NOT “mistaken identity.” And with apologies and respect to Anita Hill, I am NOT a “scorned (wo)man.” I am, however, stronger because I am a survivor.

Jeff Zipfel


Letters Policy

In every issue of the Hood River News, the “Our Readers Write” column is a vital part of the community forum.

We welcome letter to the editor submissions on any topic (though “thank you” letters, in most cases, will run on the Community page, so feel free to write them).

The basic elements of the letters policy is this: 350 words, maximum, and attach your name and hometown (for print) and daytime phone (not for print).

Anonymous or “name withheld by request” letters are never published.

Letters are subject to editing for length, and will be edited, or declined, based on content that is malicious or identifiably inaccurate.

Just about any point of view is welcome, and no distinctions, yea or nay, are made based on the opinion itself — just how the writer expresses it. Nothing is eliminated based on topic or point of view, although the News reserves the right to select from similar letters on a given topic for space reasons.

Yet we also make an effort to provide extra space in those times we have plenty of letters.

Hood River News reminds writers that shorter is better. Concise letters are not only better-read, they are more likely to be published because limited space is available.

Almost any point can be made in 350 words or fewer, so this is set as an upper level for length.

Power in reading

I always enjoy Peggy Dills Kelter’s submissions and the Sept. 12 item, “The magic of libraries,” stirred good memories. My mother was a strong supporter of the Waco-McLennan County library in my home town. She was a prolific reader who encouraged my brother and I to read also. We walked two blocks to the bookmobile every week to exchange books or extend checkout of our current reads. I read many of the “We Were There” series, history and the classics of Dickens, Dumas, Stevenson, etc. I still have a significant backlog of items to read.

This love of reading is shareable and I participate with many similarly motivated volunteers, including the Hood River News editor, to support the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) program. If you love reading and have an hour or so a week you can donate to Hood River kindergartners and first graders, please look into this valuable program. Most of the readers are women and they do an excellent job. But more men would also be welcome. So put your paper and coffee down and come out and join us as we encourage this vital skill. Thank you, Peggy, for the timely reminder!

Gary McFarlen

Hood River

Johnson for mayor

Is our current Hood River City mayor making the right decisions for our community? Do you think jamming more homes onto smaller lots makes Hood River more livable? I don’t, and I am not alone.

Everyone I’ve talked to agrees: We need a new direction in city leadership.

Let’s elect a mayor who is willing to listen to all of our citizens when they raise significant issues such as traffic patterns and lack of parking in the downtown area. Where is our green space going to be after we add another 7,000 people to the population? Where will our new schools be built when we need them? The rush to cram more people into our small town before these issues are addressed seems crazy. Let’s elect a mayor who is willing to solve these problems before we move forward with increasing our population density.

Please join me in electing Susan Johnson as our next Mayor for the City of Hood River.

Rick Larson

Hood River

No longer with Walden

In 2008, Senator McCain said of Senator Obama, “He’s a decent family man and citizen …” I believe Congressman Greg Walden too is “a decent family man and citizen.”

I’ve been acquainted with the congressman’s family since I first arrived in the Gorge. We’ve shared personal, supportive conversations when our vocational callings faded far into the background. In these moments, never was I disappointed with his honesty, his forthrightness or his personal acceptance of me and my decidedly more liberal leanings.

When first considering a run for Congress, it was as an independent, because his “moderate views” would not ensure a primary victory. When the incumbent officeholder resigned amidst scandal, he received the Republican primary nomination by appointment. In subsequent runs, given the votes of Democratic constituents, he seemed like the nominee of both parties.

In guarding against a conservative challenge, living through a national Republican defeat, the rise of the ultraconservative Tea Party and the election of Donald Trump, he has moved to the political right. I do not believe these are his natural moorings or, for that matter, Oregon’s — especially regarding healthcare, global warming, a woman’s right to choose or his unfortunate, unwavering support of the current president. Not for someone who esteems the ideals of that independent Bull Moose, Teddy Roosevelt.

As McCain said of Obama: “… I just happen to have disagreements with him on fundamental issues …” So too are the political differences I now have with Representative Walden.

In this election, there is a candidate who will embrace the courageous Oregon ethics and values of Tom McCall, Mark Hatfield and Wayne Morse, not to be encased by partisan divide and know that the best solutions are neither Democrat or Republican. That candidate is Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a Democrat.

In this election, I will vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner and gladly welcome home Congressman Walden and his family, thank him for his years of service and encourage him to engage, once more, in his home community.

Gary Young

Hood River

Metta for council

As a teacher at Hood River Valley High School for almost 20 years, this is the first time I have felt the need to support a person for an elected position.

For the last 12 years, Jessica Metta has worked with me to grow the robotics and engineering CTE (career technical education) programs throughout the Gorge. With Jessica’s help, we have formed community partners with local businesses, run local FLL (First Lego League) and FTC (First Tech Challenge) tournaments and funded local teams to world competition. Jessica’s commitment to the future of our city, and our kids, is supported by her actions; and for that alone, she has my highest respect and endorsement for city council.

Jeff Blackman

Hood River

Williams for Senate

In rural parts of Oregon, many older adults don’t have a support system. They are often forced to choose between their independence and getting help with things like transportation, healthcare or housing. The Aging in the Gorge Alliance helps seniors live independently while providing the support they need. They work on housing, transportation, and healthy foods for older adults.

I’m so thankful to people like Anna Williams, one of the local leaders of the organization. She understood the need among older adults in our community and took action.

We need more leaders like Anna representing us in Salem, which is why I’m supporting her to be our next state representative.

Debby Chenoweth

Hood River

Deceptive advertising

Congressman Greg Walden is presenting himself on TV and mailers as a friend of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), claiming he “led the successful effort to fully fund CHIP.”

Not exactly. His actions on behalf of CHIP have been far from friendly.

He voted against funding CHIP from 2007-2015. Then, he and his committee held CHIP funding hostage in 2017 for months while bargaining for drastic cuts in Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

Over 120,000 low-income children and pregnant women in Oregon depend on CHIP for their medical care. When funding is interrupted or just threatened, service delivery also suffers. Walden’s claims about being a healthcare champion for these folks are deceptive and inaccurate.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner is a much better choice for assuring healthcare for the most vulnerable in our district. She has my vote.

Michael Collins

Hood River

No more voting for Walden

I have been a registered Democrat as well as a registered Republican. I am a middle-aged, middle-of-the-road gal who is tired of political bickering. Both parties are guilty of it and the result is inaction, or worse, action by one party to the detriment of the country as a whole. I’ve voted for Greg Walden in the past, but no more. He no longer represents us, just his corporate sponsors and the right wing of the Republican Party.

Given my disenchantment with Walden, I made it a point to seek out Jamie McLeod-Skinner to learn first-hand about her positions and values. I asked her about gun control, an issue that can polarize people. Her thoughtful answer was that guns are a part of our rural culture and they are not going to be taken away from responsible gun owners. She felt the issue was really gun safety, and mentioned several concrete actions our politicians could take to improve gun safety and reduce gun violence.

Jamie’s slogan is “people, not party.” She is eager to sit down with people of differing viewpoints and work to find solutions that are a win-win. Her bipartisan approach is why she has my support and vote.

Enough of the “I’m a winner, you’re a loser,” Trump “diplomacy.” Let’s get someone in Congress who will listen to our concerns and work cooperatively to address them.

Please join me in voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Congress.

Anne Saxby

Hood River

Done with Walden

As a Hood River resident, I’m a constituent of Greg Walden. Unfortunately, this means I have been abandoned and sold out by Greg Walden.

I take great offense for his failure to appear before a Hood River audience and have an open town hall. He hasn’t held an open town hall since early 2017. How can he represent his constituents when he fails to engage with them?

I take great offense to his attacks on healthcare. Hood River is a vibrant and diverse group of people, but with few large employers, many here are at risk of losing healthcare should ACA be repealed. Regardless of whether if you think ACA is great or terrible, it’s a solution that is holding together over 2,000 lives who are dependent on it for access to healthcare in Hood River County. I’m not ready to see over 2,000 of my neighbors lose healthcare because Mr. Walden doesn’t understand his constituents.

Furthermore, Walden’s plan would have decimated the healthcare sector, which is a significant source of employment in Hood River County. To remove both the jobs and the healthcare from so many people would have an incredible impact on the health of our county, both literally and figuratively.

From an OPB article dated April 27 (2017):

“(At the) April 13 (2017) town hall in The Dalles, Walden said, ‘We’re not going back to the days when (insurers) could underwrite you, say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll cover you.’ It will just be so expensive you can’t afford it. That is not a plan I’m going to support.”

Yet the next week, he voted for a bill that would have cut protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

We are done with Mr. Walden. And we’re done with his focus on corporate donors at the expense of local individuals who have voted for him.

This is why this November I will be voting for McLeod-Skinner.

Jason Glaspey

Hood River


We’ve reached a new low ith political activity in this county. On Sept. 26, two huge political signs were removed from our property facing Highway 35. This was not a casual occurrence. Someone had to come in with hefty equipment and muscle to remove the signs. How pathetic that political free speech is trampled like this.

Christie and Dick Reed

Hood River

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