Transportation to Cider Fest
I am writing to urge the organizers of the Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest to consider two things:
1. Adding transportation, free or otherwise, to the event.
2. Allowing designated drivers (DDs) into the event for free.
Cider Fest is held about seven miles outside of Hood River, where many locals and tourists will be traveling from.
Because of this and the fact that we have limited taxi and designated driver (DD) options in the area, I think it would be beneficial to consider adding a shuttle service to and from the event.
As it stands now, DDs can either drop their friends off and drive back into town, turn around to come get them later, or pay to enter the event. Other beer and cider festivals around the state and country show their appreciation for DDs by letting them into events for free and setting up perks to encourage them to attend. We should do the same, especially considering our limited transportation options. These people are not just helping their friends, they are helping our community.
Sure, events like these are meant for people to sample and savor and chat about cider. However, sometimes people end up tipsy or drunk. At a long event, it is easy to think you are fine, but it can take an hour for alcohol to set in. This can also be the case if you don’t drink often or if you forget to eat or eat too late or don’t eat enough and the alcohol hits you harder and faster than normal.
Allowing DDs into the festival for free and providing a shuttle could help cut down any potential for someone to get in a car and drive when they should not. It could also help bring more tourists to the event who may not know how to get to the festival or may not want to go because they are visiting as a couple and one partner would have to be the DD.
Right now, the website for Cider Fest yells in all caps, “FREE PARKING.” What if we made that “FREE SHUTTLE”?
Melissa Haskin
Hood River
Editor’s note: Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest is April 20, noon to 7 p.m. Visit for more information.
Back to center
A recent Will Bloch Op-ED extolled the virtues of the New Democratic Coalition as a place for moderate Democrats to send their money and votes.
Translation: Support the status quo.
The political “center” is so far to the right that “moderate” Republicans are extinct and replaced by moderate Democrats. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s notorious Citizens United, decision-making corporations equal to individuals and money equivalent to speech, our congressional representatives are now shamelessly for sale.
Bloch employed spin phrases like, “Donations ... uncontaminated by left-wing zealotry … dark money” and “political insurgency (think Bernie Sanders).” The zealot dark monies this Republican alludes to are the grassroots contributions to Democrats that are actually uncontaminated by corporate dirty money.
“Status quo” accomplishments where moderate Democrats sided with Republicans include: For-profit prisons and harsher prison sentences, slackened regulation of pharmaceutical and banking industries, lackadaisical support of clean water and air standards, bloated military budget for never-ending, for-profit wars, dramatic cuts to education, assaults on affordable health care, degraded voting rights, systematic racism, and the unaddressed leviathan of issues, climate change.
These “left-wing insurgencies” Bloch characterizes as radical are advancing the notion that democracy should not be for sale. By refusing dark money, our Democrats can humanely and intelligently address issues of importance to our survival as a democracy and a civilization.
The Repubs, with moderate Dems, are vandalizing our government through privatization and in some cases outright fraud, i.e. Republican Rick Scott’s involvement in Medicare fraud. Repubs’ are also facilitating extreme looting of our natural resources, come climate hell and high floodwaters.
Moderate Dems manipulated the last presidential primary to a status-quo candidate, resulting in the disastrous election of a belligerent, ego-driven, adolescent corporate crime boss who doesn’t give a damn about we the people or the future of our children.
We need progressives to be aggressive in their efforts to undo the damage of the status quo. We need them to work for us.
In fact, we need those “progressive zealots” with untainted grassroots money to steer the center back to center that we might have a future where we can all do better.
Chris Connolly
White Salmon
CPR reminder
For all EMS and public responders who try to revive a person who has suffered cardio pulmonary arrest, and sometimes feel they have failed: A word of encouragement and perspective.
It’s a sobering thought that at some distant point in the future, we’ll realize that we were doing BLS/ACLS (CPR) all wrong in 2019. But this new paradigm must needs come from retrospective analysis of myriad failures along the way.
So for each person between now and then who perishes, despite our best efforts to save them, take a deep breath and realize that from the experience will come some good. For inasmuch as the recorder did a good job recording exactly what happened and when, the significance of accurately recording the events during c/p arrest may transcend the situation at hand, regardless of the outcome, and that should offer some consolation.
J. F. DaLuz
Hood River
Is Walden with us?
Our Congressman, Greg Walden has recently voted against his party to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which improves gun safety laws and for this we applaud him. In light of his A+ status with the NRA, this is a big deal.
However, his vote yesterday (with his party) against net neutrality clearly shows he is not really “Working for Us” but rather he is working for the largest and wealthiest corporations in our country. Only 1 percent, out of millions of comments on this issue submitted by Americans, were opposed to net neutrality. The internet is our leveler; it allows all people in our country, regardless of ability to pay, equal access to information. It should be treated as a utility company, not a cable company. Utilities don’t differentiate between consumers. Power is delivered the same to all. Cable companies have various options for people and those with more means will be able to have superior services.
Eliminating net neutrality makes the internet much more big business friendly and it is one more way for large corporations to insinuate themselves into our lives and control us in what we buy, and what information and commentary we see. We are already at their mercy so often in our lives without even realizing it and losing the democracy of a free and open internet gives them even more advantage and is unsettling at best, dangerous at worst.
One has to wonder if Greg Walden actually thinks this is the right thing to do, or whether he is so pressured by his party that breaking ranks more than occasionally is just too much to bear. Our government is selling us out so often now. We need a Congressional Representative who will stand up for us.
Too often, that is not Mr. Walden.
Susan Bellinson
Hood River
President unbecoming
As a leader in my household, I choose to lead by example. I strive to be honest, respectful and nurturing, even in challenging situations. I make mistakes, but I never dismiss my poor behavior by saying, “You cannot expect me to follow The Ten Commandments” (or any reasonable code of human decency).
Each time I face a challenge in my household, I have options. I can call my son a loser, hit him, or Tweet about him. I can also have a mature discussion and come to a resolution. If I choose to hit my son, I do not expect my wife to say, “He knows what is right and what to do. He is no Jesus, so I cannot expect him to do the right thing.”
POTUS has lowered the bar considerably with respect to behavior in just a few years. The inappropriate manner in which he speaks about deceased war hero Senator McCain models a behavior which says public shaming is normal and acceptable. His multiple affairs and speaking about grabbing women by the p$@&^% models a behavior which allows other men to believe that is normal as well. Calling impoverished countries “S@#$%holes” does not seem very becoming either. “I could go on,” as the saying goes…
The president’s modeling seems to exist in our own community. Some want to simply brush off every inappropriate behavior as human frailty under this new low bar. We used to live in a world in which we were taught to do the right thing. Now we just let “good intentions” guide us regardless of the hammer used in the process.
If it makes people feel better to focus on any attempt at good intentions, by all means, support our president. Just do not allow the low bar he has created help you rationalize his often inhumane and unbecoming behavior.
Steve Kaplan
Hood River
Running for port
I filed first to run for Port Commissioner in the last election. David Merriweather filed later. After wishing David well, I decided to stay in the race to watch, listen, and learn.
I have learned that to serve in a public office, you need to know and balance what is important to the people you represent, what the job is you’re being “hired” to do and what the public entity you are working for is legally able to do. The past two years, I have dedicated myself to learning all I can by attending meetings, researching and having discussions with port business owners, staff, current and previous commissioners, and as many people in the Hood River Valley community as possible.
This endeavor has reinforced my opinion that a public servant should not have a personal or single-track agenda to push. Rather, a public servant should be open to every conversation and be willing to look outside-the-box to solve a range of issues for the good of the community.
I’m a business woman, which includes managing my husband’s practice (at the port). I have previous experience in nearly every area of real estate; selling, property management, land development, mortgage, escrow and title. The port’s many land and real estate holdings moving forward need to be thoughtfully managed and developed.
I pride myself on open communication and transparency and feel that my skill sets and core values bring a distinctive perspective to the port. I feel truly blessed to be raising our two children in the most wonderful valley where my husband grew up. Our family loves the water and spends much time recreating at the port doing various activities depending on the wind. We enjoy camping, skiing, biking and the outdoors and try to give back through volunteering. I’m happy to connect with anyone that would like to have a conversation. You can contact me at or find out more about me at
I humbly ask for your confidence and vote. Thank you.
Kristi Chapman
Hood River
The older I get, the grayer I get — not just in physical appearance, but also in my opinions. It’s not that I haven’t accumulated a lot of experiences and resultant points of view. It’s just that the most daunting problems we face have no simple, straightforward solutions. And I’m cursed with the inability to see most opposing arguments as black and white, bad and good, immoral versus moral.
Take immigration. Isn’t it possible that we have too many non-citizens entering our country illegally AND we have too many legitimate asylum seekers being unfairly denied safe sanctuary? Isn’t our government obligated to provide safety for our existing citizens AND to provide refuge for those “others” who are in danger?
When it comes to international trade, isn’t it possible that U.S. corporations have been the ongoing victims of intellectual property theft by certain foreign entities (so that encouraging ongoing open cooperation with them in matters of trade ignores that injustice) AND that free trade still offers the best hope for fair economic growth, not just for the U.S. but worldwide?
What about global climate change? A majority of scientists have concluded that humans are contributing significantly to global warming. Is it possible that the urgent pleas for immediate and dramatic action are a necessary step in elevating the priority AND that a more deliberate examination of costs and likely unintended consequences are both reasonable positions to take?
It’s a cliché to say that we need “both / and” rather than “either / or” in order to reach workable resolutions for the challenging issues raised here. But I’m OK with this cliché. We need greater humility and more listening to the other side in order to formulate effective strategies. And I would offer that it starts with us, with citizens who do not hold elected positions, to begin the dialog and to then insist that our elected officials do likewise.
Doug Roof
Hood River

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