Support Master Gardeners

The food and beverage tax and operating levy that the County is proposing for the May 2019 ballot is vital to the continuation of the Master Gardener Program in the Gorge.

One of the huge benefits to our community are the plant clinics staffed and researched by the Master Gardeners. Maybe you have seen their table at the farmers’ markets, the Saturday Markets, at various festivals and last year at Ace Hardware.

The Master Gardeners answer a myriad of gardening questions from the public, such as identifying that pesky insect, diagnosing the disease affecting your roses and informing you how to manage that pest or cure that disease. Want to grow better vegetables or design that perennial bed with drought tolerant plants? The Master Gardeners can help.

Plant clinics are not only located in the community, they also are staffed at the OSU Extension Office on Experiment Station Drive in Hood River twice a week, Monday 1-4 p.m., and Thursday all day.

Here, the Master Gardeners research in-depth plant problems, diseases, pest control, and I.D. plants with the support of OSU. They receive samples of insects and diseased plants and take phone calls. The Master Gardener plant clinics service both sides of the Columbia River from Cascade locks and Stevenson to Lyle and Mosier.

Please support the May tax proposals so that Master Gardeners can continue offering research-based advice and education on gardening.

Sandy Montag,

Master Gardener

White Salmon

Unnecessary disease

Thirty-five cases of measles in Vancouver with another 11 suspected, at least one in Wood Village, and someone who passed through OMSI was contagious.

When I was young, my parents made sure I got all the inoculations deemed necessary by my physician. This included measles, which is the most contagious of all diseases.

Unfortunately, there are parents who are willing to put everyone else in danger of getting these easily controllable diseases by not getting inoculations for their own children. Of the 35 known cases in Vancouver, the vast majority were not inoculated.

Unfortunately, you can be contagious and show no signs. Parents can take their children to places where others congregate, all unknowing of the potential danger. Measles is a serious disease; it can lead to complications up to and including death.

What’s the difference between an enemy country sending a biological weapon into one of our cities and someone with an infected child taking them to a market, OMSI, a movie theater or school?

The result is the same. The difference is intent. Please don’t subject your child to unnecessary diseases, and please don’t do it to the rest of us who have no idea of what might be happening.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

‘Poorly conceived plan’

I don’t know why Michael Stroud is so “puzzled” that many residents leave their new waste bins out on the street (Our Readers Write, Jan. 26).

For years, people had one garbage can and a couple of small blue recycling totes. After the city adopted the new system, all residents were issued three huge roller bins — green, blue, and black.

They are much larger than my old garbage can, and now I have three.

I don’t have room for them in my garage, so one goes in the garage, one is outside, and I leave the third up on the street. My neighbor leaves all three of hers lined up on the street, as do many others throughout the city.

I agree that they are an eyesore — and they tip over in the wind more easily than traditional cans.

When the city announced the new proposed system, many residents attended the city council meeting to hear about it, including myself.

After the presentation, the mayor refused to allow residents to make comments on the plan. Then he held a vote that night, even though the agenda called it a “work session.”

It was a poorly conceived plan in many ways, and it is unfortunate that it was rushed through without allowing public comment or a chance to work out the bugs. Oh — and our garbage rates increased because of it.

Jay Sherrerd

Hood River

‘Costly way to govern’

After the recent partial government shutdown, it should be clear that holding federal workers and contractors hostage because Congress and the president can’t reach a budget agreement is a cruel and costly way to govern. One of the chief responsibilities of Congress is to pass a budget.

Congress needs to do the work it was elected to do and should be held accountable when it doesn’t.

There is no reason Congress can’t pass a budget by the close of the fiscal year. When they don’t, Congress and the White House should be the ones working without pay.

Legislation should be passed to allow the government to continue to operate under an automatic short-term (60 day) Continuing Resolution before moving to a shutdown that keeps people and departments from doing their jobs. Pay should stop for Congress and the White House until there is an approved budget.

A limited-term Continuing Resolution would keep the power of the purse with Congress, while a loss of pay motivates them to do their job. I doubt that we would see future shutdowns if legislative changes were made to hold the Congress and president accountable.

At the same time, Congress should pass legislation authorizing automatic increases in the debt ceiling for expenditures Congress has already approved. Threatening the nation’s credit rating by refusing to pay its past debts is another form of political theater we can do without.

Richard Davis

The Dalles

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