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Regarding Measure 97: I encourage everyone to read the actual measure, either online or in the voters' guide, to see what it actually says. The voters' guide also has extensive comments on both sides of the issue - read those as well and take into consideration who is saying what about it. Maybe talk to someone you know and trust who has spent some time studying the issue. Then make up your mind. Do not rely simply on the TV ads and other sound-bites as your only source of information.
RE Tracy's letter, "Beware" - I know what it is to lose a pet in a tragic and sudden way, and my sympathies are with you. However, IMO it is the responsibility of the owners of pets that tend to run and range wide and far to keep them on a leash, particularly in crowded or obviously unsafe areas. It is well documented by continued reports of people being injured or killed falling from canyon, waterfall, or cliff edges, or being killed while walking across railroad bridges or playing on the tracks - among a few examples - that posting signs and even building so-called insurmountable fences is not going to keep everyone safe. And when you see parents encouraging their kids to ignore the warning signs, as I have, one knows things are not going to change much any time soon.
I am interested in hearing actual proposed solutions to the problem instead of NIMBY complaints - that is, what are the acceptable alternatives for oil transport? Oil is not a product that can be extracted, refined, and used all within a local area. As long as the world economy remains substantially dependent on petroleum, the transport of huge quantities over long distances is a given. No form of transport is fail safe.
I agree that a no vote on 14-55 is not necessarily a yes to Nestle, or to any other water bottling facility. The measure is so narrowly written that it obviously is addressing this one case - it is solely about bottling, labeling and reselling as water. If a national brewery or soda company were to want to move into the county, yet another measure would have to be passed if the people want it blocked. Although I tend to agree that management of water and other natural resources should be thought about in a larger context, meaning some county, regional or even statewide control over local decisions, this particular measure is not written to accomplish everything its proponents claim it will. And in the case of water, it would be the people downstream who have the greater concerns over what goes on upstream; not the areas upstream or who get their water from another source entirely.
I agree. It is not as if the hike is all at once, and most jobs I see posted already are near or at the proposed final level, in part because an employee paid the required minimum wage cannot afford to live in the Hood River Valley. It makes no sense to express concern and hold meetings about the lack of affordable housing and access to food on the one hand, but vote against paying people a living wage on the other.
RE: Areas of Concern - I do not know why UCC does not arm their security guards, if that is true. However, from Think Progress (and confirmed at other news sources): The conservative site Breitbart and others assert that guns were banned at UCC. This is not true. The student code of conduct bans guns "without written authorization." Under Oregon law, the university could not ban people with a valid concealed carry license from bringing their weapons on campus. (They could ban gun from various buildings and facilities.) Conservative writer Dana Loesch, who initially claimed the campus was a "gun free zone," updated her article to clarify that individuals with concealed carry permits were allowed to bring guns on campus.
There was, in fact, someone on campus with a concealed carry weapon at the time of the massacre. A local reporter explained to CNN that it was legal for him to have such a weapon on campus."
If you have random people on campus with a gun, how are you going to know which ones are the good guys and which is a person with a grudge to settle? People who are able to get into a situation where they can accomplish a mass shooting do not run in acting crazy waving their gun, they fit into the crowd until they are ready to start.
RE Limit Your Exposure - I appreciate the concern reflected in this letter for the health of children. However, there are a few assumptions being made here that may or may not be correct. One, that organic growing practices are inherently safe or eliminate the need for spraying orchards; some organic applications are actually more toxic than conventional, and their application is not as heavily monitored or restricted as conventional fertilizers and pesticides. And some organic fruits and vegetables actually require a huge variety of inputs to succeed as a large crop. Secondly, regardless of whether the orchard is conventional or organic, the assumption that what you were seeing being sprayed is toxic. Thirdly, that orchardists are oblivious to their surrounding community; chemical applicators are required to be educated on the effects on people and take that into account before applying. People who move into ag areas usually are given notice that these kinds of practices are going on and it is their choice to live near them and their responsibility to take appropriate actions to protect themselves when something is being done that might affect them. Around here, when the time comes to make a chemical application to a grove, one cannot wait around until there are no people around, because there are other considerations like wind speed, humidity levels, temperature, and impending rain, and the optimum combination of favorable factors can be a very limited window.
And for your own safety, wear a helmet. According to BikePortland.org, Oregon law requires anyone 16 years old or younger to wear a bike helmet; riders must also wear helmets while riding a bike on a highway or "on premises open to the public. I regularly see adults riding bicycles on Dee Highway and on Hwy 35 without a helmet. And even taking a leisurely ride around town has its hazards that could be devastating if your head is not protected and you go over.
RE: lawn chairs at outdoor events - perhaps the request should be that those who need a regular height chair seat themselves to the back and to the far sides, so their seating is not obstructing any more other attendees than necessary. The issue comes when regular lawn chairs are set up right in the middle and toward the front, and the venue is crowded enough that the room behind those chairs is needed to accommodate.
To Rick Hoff - It is great that you and your wife love coming here to HR for extended stays, and that you support local businesses when you are here. But as affordable housing gradually disappears (actually, seems to be virtually nonexistent in the immediate local area), local businesses find it harder and harder to find and keep employees. So, keep in mind that prices may go up (so we can pay our employees enough that they can live here), or that service will be slower or our business will be open fewer hours than you are used to (because we do not have the staff to maintain the level of service we would want to give). As a local business owner we of course appreciate the tourist business that comes our way, yet we depend on year round residents' business to make it worth staying open.
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