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Miguel was supporting a wife and five kids in southern Oregon prior to his recent arrest by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). His youngest daughter was just learning to walk. His small business was thriving. I met with him last week at the Northern Oregon Regional Correction Center …

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Last month, prior to the announced town hall in Hood River, we asked readers what they would ask U.S. Rep. Greg Walden if they were unable to attend the event. The questions dealt with a variety of concerns and ongoing issues.

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On behalf of the Forest Service employees in the Columbia River Gorge, we thank everyone who stepped up to help and support our employees and the national forests during this challenging time.

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I think my documentary is the epitome of what it means to be American. I mean, what’s more American then freedom of speech? That’s the foundation of our nation’s history.

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Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley unveiled a sweeping blueprint on Wednesday that he said will restore American democracy, outlining a series of proposals to take on voter suppression, gerrymandering, dark money and unequal representation in our democracy.

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In December, many groups and publications select their person of the year. We don’t have an official award like that here, but if we did, I’d nominate Stu Watson of Hood River. To explain why, I need to remind us about Cincinnatus, whom I first learned about in my long-ago high school Latin class.

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When I woke up on Dec.12, I knew that it was going to be an emotional day, honoring the memory of a ceremony around my mother’s passing. But I could never have predicted the events that happened just moments later that blended tragedy with miracles of kindness.

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Is the country better off because of the checks and balances newly in place? Or are we instead on the verge of an acrimonious and paralyzing gridlock, with disastrous consequences? Only time will tell. But we need no more time to recognize that our electoral and governing processes require urgent rethinking.

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Coming home to the west side of Hood River the other day, I passed a sign on May Street that I’ve seen many times: “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here," a good reminder to slow down and be mindful. But in truth, all the kids in this town are “our” kids, aren’t they? Or perhaps not.

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So the other day, when I had this truly brilliant idea that would not only reverse climate change, but also bring back the tan M&Ms, I had an equally BAD idea that it was unnecessary to write down the good idea because there was no way I was going to forget it.

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Teaching — especially Civics — is simply an impossible task to fulfill if we cannot afford our teachers the grace necessary to engage our children in these important and often uncomfortable topics.

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We’ve had an exciting beginning to a new school year in the Hood River County School District. So many “thank yous” are in order to so many committed HRCSD community members who meaningfully contribute to our vibrant learning community!

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Working hard should mean you can afford to live in your community and keep a roof over your head. In communities throughout Oregon —and particularly here in Hood River — rent and housing costs have gone up faster than wages and families in our community are struggling to make ends meet. The good news is that our community has come together to try provide safe and stable homes to our neighbors and families who need help.

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For the past three years, I have traveled the length of the Columbia to document the riverscapes and the tribes and First Nations feelings about the river and hopes for a new treaty that will honor their requests to restore the health of the river and salmon runs back to Canada. Many people have asked how they can get involved.

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For the past six months, I have been honored to serve as executive director of Service Employeees International Union (SEIU) Local 503, Oregon’s public employee and care provider union. On this Labor Day weekend, I’m reflecting on our incredible history, but I’m also worried about the future.

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I own a vacation home in Parkdale, permitted as a short term rental (STR). My wife and I lived there from 1998-2008. It is where our two sons first grew up. Since then, we have lived in our current home on the west side of Hood River County. My wife and I have worked in Hood River for 25 years. Our oldest boy just graduated Hood River Valley High School and our youngest is still in HRVHS.

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Graduation season has arrived. After many years of hard work, students are eager to pursue their future careers. For DACA students, however, the promise of a bright future fades away as their DACA protection phases out.

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We recently became aware of Weyerhaeuser’s plans to clearcut approximately 250 acres south of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail located east of Hood River. Many residents and visitors recreate on this trail to enjoy the scenic beauty and natural splendor the experience provides.

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Recent decisions and appeals related to land use planning in Hood River County reflect a dynamic tension between further growth and development, and restraints protecting the rural resource lands throughout the county. The issues include short term rental (STR) permits and the DeeTour concert and hotel applications.

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The Oregon legislature recently passed HB 4145, closing the “boyfriend loophole” and providing much-needed protection for victims of domestic violence. Representative Jeff Helfrich’s “Another Voice” article (April 7 Another Voice) tried to explain his “no” vote on the bill.

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In a recent National Geographic article about good and evil (January 2018), the steps leading up to genocide are discussed. How do these horrors happen? The Armenians in Turkey, Jews in Nazi Germany, Cambodians slaughtering Cambodians in the killing fields, Rwanda tribal massacres, and ISIS atrocities world-wide, to name a few, in which hundreds of thousands or millions of people have been systematically exterminated.

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I am a naturalized U.S. citizen, born and raised in Africa. After over a decade in Europe, intermingled with studies in the U.S., I immigrated to this country 30 years ago. I have been a researcher and educator for over three decades and am an elected commissioner in a local water district. My wife (originally from South America, also a naturalized citizen) and I vote regularly, conscious of having lived where voting was not free.

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