Voices

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ANOTHER VOICE: Why residents win with STR regulations

On March 21, the Hood River Planning Commission came out in overwhelming support of regulations on short term vacation rentals (STRs). After carefully studying housing data and hearing substantial public testimony, six out of seven commissioners heartily endorsed “The Portland Plan,” designed to preserve the livability of Hood River and help retain our limited housing for residents.

Cider guys’ open letter to the Columbia Gorge community

Sometimes bad things happen, and rather than pull you into despair, they lift you up. That is how we feel about getting called by Full Sail’s lawyer and told to change our name. The situation could have broken us were it not for you, the Gorge community — our family.

ANOTHER VOICE: Saving our snowpack requires fossil-free economic engines

Few have forgotten the anguish of stunted crops and terror of devastating forest fires last year because of the meager snowpack that yielded paltry irrigation water and tinder-dry soils. The snowpack was far below normal last year, not for lack of precipitation (which was normal), but because of how unusually warm it was. Much more of the mountain precipitation fell as rain rather than snow.

ANOTHER VOICE: Courage: The ability to do something that you know is difficult

I admit it, I watched the Oscars Sunday night. I’d only seen two of the Best Picture nominees and couldn’t care less about who won for Best Costume Editing in an Animated Short. I tuned in because, not unlike a presidential primary debate, it can be wonderful theater to watch out-of-touch blowhards trying to “trend” with their “passion” for the crisis du jour.

ANOTHER VOICE: Defense Dept. ‘leans forward’ on climate change and security

If you Google “arcane bureaucratic tool,” the Department of Defense Directive (DODD) should be high on the results list. That said, these little-known directives can be very influential in how the Pentagon conducts its day-to-day business. However, Robert Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, recently signed out a DODD that may just be the most meaningful climate-related document that Defense has released.

Another Voice: Rep. Mark Johnson looks to February session

On Feb. 1, the 2016 February session will officially begin. You may recall that annual sessions were approved by the voters in 2010 and the even-year sessions were limited to 35 days and intended to give the legislature an opportunity to make needed budget adjustments and to consider “minor” policy needs. Each legislator is limited to introducing just two bills, with just a little more than one week to pass your bills out of committee.

Thoughts on Grief: ‘There’s still my joy’; rare Christmas song inspires

The holidays are so hard for those who have lost a loved one. Whether it was one week ago or five decades ago, the brightness of the season, the emphasis on joy and family, can tap the vein of grief that we are feeling, making us teary, sad, low in energy, and finding it hard to get through.

ANOTHER VOICE: With heart overflowing: In memory of Colorado Officer Garrett Swasey

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Counties’ Safe and Secure Counties symposium in Colorado Springs, in El Paso County, Colo. I had the privilege and honor to attend the memorial service for Garrett Swasey, the officer killed in the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting.

Be thankful for these safe cooking recommendations from the state Fire Marshal

With Thanksgiving upon us, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is reminding Oregonians to keep fire safety front and center when cooking and preparing holiday meals.

Another Voice: Land use planning can reduce wildfire threat and costs

The 2015 fire season was worse than any on record and summertime temperatures are steadily escalating. Increasing the average summer temperature by just one degree Fahrenheit results in an increase of 420 wildfires in the State annually, according to estimates by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

ANOTHER VOICE: A new park needs a community’s shared vision

The City of Hood River is expected to grow by 4,500 people in the next 20 years. As the city grows we need to carefully plan for our future so that Hood River becomes a stronger, healthier, and more vibrant community, not just a bigger one. Public parks have a pivotal role in enhancing quality of life. We need to provide for the future livability of Hood River by investing in parkland now.

Another Voice: Walden announces support for ‘Families in Mental Crisis’ Act

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) this week announced that he supports a major mental health reform bill moving through the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tease photo

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: New legislation gives support and certainty to victims of violence

Recent tragedies cause us again to reflect on the topic of violence in our society.

Another Voice: Proposed Water Protection Measure: It’s not just about Nestlé

In Hood River County, it is impossible to separate water from our local economy or our identity. It is critical for our farms and orchards, as well many other businesses we depend on. With the drought this summer, many families learned firsthand about water conservation.

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