City: Go yard

At this week’s city council planning session, I urge the council to pursue the West Cascade ODOT yard instead of Morrison Park for an affordable housing site.

To remove a natural forested area within one of our existing city parks would be a tragedy for all.

Jim Reed

Hood River

Both sides now

Hats off to Mike Kitts for sharing his “Believe in each other” story in a letter to the editor in the Jan. 5 Hood River News. His accidental connection with one who held some substantially different beliefs reminds me of a quote I read from the late syndicated columnist, William Raspberry: “The smartest people I know secretly believe both sides of the issue.”

Some of us might prefer a slight modification, something like, “The most reasonable people I know are able to see merit in both sides of the issue.”

Doug Roof

Hood River

Fleeting wallflowers

Hadrian’s Wall was built around 120 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was 80 miles long and was meant to keep the northern Scots, also known as Picts, from coming south into England. Hadrian’s biographer states that “the economic viability of construction and keeping guarded the wall … is dubious,” and that “Hadrian had built it to make a political point.”

The Great Wall of China was begun a few centuries before the birth of Christ to keep out northern barbarians. This wall has largely crumbled, with some sections restored and re-built merely to accommodate tourists.

Today, our president is refusing to allow our government to re-open until we budget for our own “great wall.” Hasn’t he read the history books? Walls in general have proved fleeting, ineffective and cruel.

Like Hadrian, Trump is trying to make a (very expensive) political statement.

We totally understand why America needs border security. Why doesn’t our government use some of those billions Trump is asking for to beef up personnel along the border, where the real problem exists? There are other methods besides a wall to keep our borders secure.

Trump is using the very real plight of government workers (who are not being paid these days) to try to force his wall into the budget. That budget, by the way, is already in serious deficit, largely because of Trump’s tax breaks for rich people. National worth is declining daily. Our country is spending more than she earns, which any householder knows is crazy and destructive.

Why are Republicans, whose long-time cry has historically been for a balanced budget, letting Trump continue with this nonsense? The expense of the government shut-down is already costing taxpayers MORE than the cost of the proposed wall!

We must stop Trump from blackmailing our country into spending so much money on a terrible idea that Congress will never support. America should get on with running our country successfully, without enduring the antics of a delusional madman.

Dick and Wendy Best


‘Eating cruelty’

The thought of eating elk and deer who were killed by drivers on state highways — as it’s now legal to do in Oregon — understandably makes some people squeamish, but if one wishes to eat animal flesh, then it’s far more ethical to eat animals who were accidentally killed on highways than those who are killed in slaughterhouses.

Unlike cows, chickens and pigs, most animals who are killed on roads have lived a free life and died a fast, unexpected death. Animals raised for food, on the other hand, are confined to filthy, overcrowded sheds.

Heather Moore, PETA

Norfolk, Va.

‘No lie too big’

The Hood River News ran a letter from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in its Opinion page dated Jan. 5 entitled “Merkley unveils ‘Blueprint to Restore American Democracy.’”There were two parts mentioned I agree with: Campaign spending reform and enhancing election security. These are things both Republicans and Democrats should be able to find some agreement on.

The remainder of Merkley’s letter was not so much a “Blueprint” for American Democracy as it was a recipe designed by Merkley and those on the far left in this country to change our political system to a single party, all-encompassing government that controls every aspect of the lives of every U.S. citizen.

Merkley, along with the majority of Democrat voters in this country, still have not accepted the fact they lost the 2016 presidential election, one which Donald Trump won over Hillary Clinton.

As a result, Democrats have made up a myriad of excuses as to how such a thing could happen. Name calling, finger pointing, lies, conspiracy theories, you name it. Democrats have proven they will say and do anything to get their way. The bar can never be set too low. No subject is off limits. No lie is too big. They will do anything to push their agenda and to continue their onslaught to change the U.S. Constitution.

Should Merkley and the far left follow his outline, it could produce the greatest divide between U.S. citizens since the American Civil War.

On a more humorous note, it was stated recently in our local newspaper that they subscribe to a service that provides political cartoons and that particular service only has anti-Republican and anti-Trump cartoons available for print. Question: Is this the only service available for such things or is this the only portrayal of cartoons they wish to print?

Roger Neufeldt

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Editor’s note: “A Year in Letters,” published Dec. 29, stated that the service used by the News has had no pro-Trump cartoons available; there are pro-Republican cartoons, which have run.

Lot 700, ODOT Lot, and …

I think almost everyone can agree there’s a great shortage of affordable housing, including low-income housing, in Hood River. The proposed use of Lot 700 would provide 65 units of specifically low-income housing.

Like many, I was delighted to learn that the ODOT lot on Cascade is also being considered as a possible site for low-income housing. What I didn’t appreciate at first was many people’s enthusiasm about the ODOT lot was in thinking it is/could be an alternative to Lot 700. Now, I’m seeing the thinking expressed in newspaper articles, letters to the editor, and hearing it at housing-related meetings.

Yikes. This “either/or” thinking does not seem at all realistic. The Housing Needs Analysis commissioned by the City in 2015 states that 615 new units would be needed during 2015-2035 (page 39, Table 7). That estimate is not likely to have gone down in the last three years. At the time of the HNA, we had 111 units of low-income housing in Hood River, and none have been added since. The Lot 700 plans would add 65 units.

There are approximately 400 applicants currently on the waiting list.

The 65 or so units to be added by Lot 700 (or any new project) are much needed, but would not in any way meet the city’s current or projected need. It is therefore very welcome news that the ODOT lot might be a possibility, but we should be thinking of it in two ways: 1) In addition to Lot 700, and 2) as one of many needed additions.

Bonnie New

Hood River

A call to Greg Walden

Dear Greg Walden,

I have voted for you in the past, but not in the most recent election.

The reason I didn’t was because you support this crazy president. He is not a friend of conservatives. He is an embarrassment.

The Wall Street Journal just mentioned that you broke with your president to join Dems in a bill to reopen the government. Thank you!

I’ve been critical of you, but this is the right step and you need to know that I support your effort to become the adult in the party.

Please push for comprehensive boarder and immigration reform, but do it in the context of bipartisan and open debate. Don’t use the paycheck of federal workers as leverage. It’s wrong and I’m encouraged to see you stand up to it.

Jon Davies

Hood River

Refreshing choice

As someone frequently and openly critical of the decisions made by Congressman Walden, I believe he deserves a great deal of credit for his vote to reopen at least portions of the government held hostage by President Trump.

We all know it is not easy to vote against an elected official’s party, particularly with the petulant manner that POTUS tweets about it like a schoolboy.

Thank you with all sincerity and respect, Congressman Walden.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

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