Big thank you

I look back on my 45 years working in the kitchen at Westside Elementary School and reflect on the many changes that took place. There was a gymnasium added, as well as new classrooms and portables to hold the growing community.

I worked with many principals through the years, less than a handful of secretaries and food service directors, not to mention all the kitchen staff, teachers, instructional aides and custodians. We went from serving lunch only to serving breakfast and lunch at Westisde.

From serving meals to Westside students to serving Westside and Hood River Middle School. And then Cascade Locks was added to our duties. I endured lots of added paperwork, public health inspections and saw many changes in meal requirements. I have to say some of the requirements I could never agree with, but had to follow them.

The main reason for this letter is to thank the many, many students who graced the classrooms at Westside Elementary. It was a joy to watch how each and every one of you grew in your first years of school. I’d like to thank the many, many parents of those students for your support and hard work as your child/children attended Westside. I’d like to thank all the kitchen staff I’ve had the privilege to work with.

Each and every one of you are unique in your own way and it was such a pleasure to get to know and work with you. I’d like to thank those staff members who saw to it (every day) that their students got through the lunch line with a good lunch and taught them to use their manners. Last, I would like to thank the Westside staff for the nice card, signed by most with well wishes for a happy retirement, and the $50 gift certificate to Good News Gardening as a gift.

Joanne Franz

Hood River

Thanks, Sen. Thomsen

“Thank you for representing us Sen. Thomsen.” Local residents have likely noticed many of these signs displayed around the area recently.I have two.

The message they convey is that Chuck Thomsen was indeed representing his constituents when he chose to join his colleagues and walk out of the capital in order to stop HB 2020 from becoming law.

Legislators are not public employees, they are public servants elected to represent the residents and interests of their districts. In taking the extraordinary action of walking out to kill HB 2020, Chuck Thomsen was representing me and every other farmer in his district who would have their businesses damaged by the bill.

Fuel costs for farming practices would have skyrocketed to the point some growers may not have been able to afford frost protection for their crops. What too many people in Salem, and many in downtown Hood River, don’t appreciate is that Oregon farmers are not responsible for whatever issues the world may have with CO2 emissions.

In fact, I’d bet the vast orchards and forests in Hood River County absorb far more carbon than local residents and businesses emit. So why pass a bill that would devastate natural resource based businesses in our area and across the state, with no perceptible impact on global emissions?

With the Democrat super majorities that exist in Salem, Chuck and his colleagues took the only action they could to stop this harmful legislation. If the proponents are so sure that a Cap and Trade system to limit carbon emissions in Oregon is such a great idea, why don’t they just put it on the ballot like Washington has twice done? Oh yeah, because it was defeated both times... Thanks for representing me, Sen. Thomsen!

Alan Bailey

Hood River

Wildwood update

With regards to the July 13 edition and the cover photo and the parking situation between Wildwood Academy/ The Ruins and the Mount Hood Railroad: We’ve had a few people ask if the backhoe is still blocking the entrance. Absolutely not!

It was a one-time occurrence and was removed via court order. All events (including Ruins Tuesday, summer school, Story Gorge classes, etc.) are proceeding as normal. To clarify some things in the article: We have NEVER asked our patrons to park in railroad parking spaces.

Signage is posted appropriately that marks Wildwood/Ruins parking and Railroad parking. All our staff parks exclusively in our area and we’ve asked the general public to respect the railroad’s parking space.

When the building was purchased last April, Springhouse was paying the railroad $750 a month for non-exclusive access to railroad parking. After over 50 hours of meetings over almost a year, we made two final offers of either $1,700 a month (for limited parking) or putting in $60,000 worth of parking meters (in which the railroad would recoup all profits after the interest free investment was made). Both offers were rejected.

We feel both these offers far exceeded the value of parking as we would need it on a very, very limited basis for things like Ruins Tuesdays and other events during the summer months and limited parent pick-up during the school year. We would also like to thank all the patrons and parents in the community for their on-going support.

Joe O’Neill and Carrington ‘Ceb’ Barrs,

owners Wildwood Academy, The Ruins, and the Artist Foundry

No more News

My name is Mike Farmer and I have lived in Hood River for 40 years. I have read your paper twice a week all this time and have subscribed to the Hood River News for many many years.

Lately, your editorial page makes me want to vomit. President Trump is my president, and he is also your president.

The barrage of anti-Trump cartoons and hateful letters to you, the editor, has made me regret taking your newspaper.

So, at this time I would like to be removed from your subscription list. I hung in there a long time just for the once monthly Safeway $10 coupon, but even that is not enough for me to continue reading your anti-Trump and anti-American gibberish.

Count me as a constitutional American who will not continue to read articles from people who are the exact opposite of me. Thank you for the years of news I can use, but now I wish to keep my sanity.

Mike Farmer

Hood River

Key points missed

Congressman Walden held a town hall in Cascade Locks to discuss progress on many issues with constituents. The Hood River Newspaper decided to focus on initially one topic in that town hall, immigration, with a later updated article.

Neither article covered a key part of the immigration discussion at the town hall.

There was an emotional attendee who explained her frustration with the border crisis. This crisis was considered a “manufactured crisis” by the Democrat party until just recently.

The emotional speaker demanded Walden to do more. What both news articles don’t cover is Congressman Walden explaining that the funding bill providing $4.6 billion was delayed by the Democrats in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

The funding bill was ready to be signed in May 2019. But the Democrats didn’t sign it until late June 2019. But here is the kicker. NONE of the Oregon Democrats in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate voted for this bill. Not one of them. Why is that?

Or maybe the better question, why didn’t our newspaper mention this fact? Sen. Merkley held a town hall in June and wasn’t asked why he voted against sending money to fix the border crisis.

In the one-on-one interview Sen. Merkley had with our newspaper, he wasn’t asked at all about the funding bill addressing the border crisis. At Congressman Walden’s town hall, the emotional attendee was stunned when Congressman Walden informed her that every Democrat member of the Oregon State delegation voted NO on spending money supporting the immigrants coming through the border.

I bet the rest of the Hood River County residents would be interested in knowing that fun fact.

Unfortunately we have a newspaper that 1) claims a majority of people in a crowd protesting our state senator are from Hood River when they aren’t; 2) doesn’t ask difficult questions for one senator while ignoring more successes that our Congressman Walden has accomplished.

Ken Ebi

Hood River

Editor’s Note: To clarify, Mr. Ebi’s last paragraph makes reference to the June 29 coverage of a protest about State Sen. Chuck Thomsen. That article stated that 50 people attended the rally but did not say “a majority of people” in the crowd are from Hood River, or anything of the kind. That said, in the photo with that story, of the 24 people visible in the front of the crowd, at least 18 are recognizable as residents of Hood River or Wasco counties.

Seen enough?

Donald “fine people on both sides” Trump has outdone himself again, launching his most transparently racist attacks yet by telling Reps. Ocasio- Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley and Omar to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

For the record, all but Ilhan Omar were born in the United States, and Omar herself is a citizen, elected by the people of Minnesota. If that weren’t enough, one day later, Donald Trump is admonishing the quartet for their “horrible and disgusting actions” (by which I assume he means that they dared to criticize him), and demanding an apology.

The irony is almost too much. Nobody, absolutely not a single person, owes Donald Trump an apology because Donald Trump, on principle, has never apologized for anything. Trump has shown himself not only to be a vile racist, sexist, misogynist, liar, accused and likely rapist, and early stage fascist, but a hypocrite as well. If you support him, I invite you to examine your own hypocrisy, racism and sexism.

Rep. Omar’s response: “As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States. Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.”

For the love of Christ, Republicans, how can you continue to support the most un-Christlike man imaginable? Have we not seen enough?

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Editor’s Note: Benjamin Sheppard works as a social worker.

Raw deal

Once again, President Trump is getting a raw deal from liberals who are screaming he is a racist. I just do not believe that is true. He just has a different way of looking at the world. The president just uses the Fisher Price method to understand his world.

The system categorizes people by skin color, ancestral origin and religion to determine their value and worthiness for a role, or if they are allowed to have an opinion. You cannot put a yellow key into the hole where the red key goes, right?

He was probably ecstatic when his daughter told him she was marrying a Jewish man. As “Many people say,” Jews know how to manage money. What a perfect edition to a wealthy family who constantly “wins” and makes deals! I guess the president knows that Massachusetts, New York, and Michigan are part of the U.S.? ... These are the states where Congresswomen Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib were born, respectively.

Congresswoman Omar “stood in line like everyone else” and has been a U.S. citizen longer than President Trump’s third wife. President Trump simply cannot see a U.S. Congresswoman of color when she speaks about U.S. law and decency, because that is impossible using the Fisher Price method.

He sees a woman of color who should probably clean up the room after a party at Mar a Lago. So take your pick. President Trump either does not know the 50 states, or he uses some child-like method of labeling everyone to understand the world. Either way, that does not make HIM a racist. Everyone else. Sure. We would call you a racist in a heartbeat.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River


Vice President Pence recently visited the immigrant camps on our side of the border with Mexico. In one facility, he saw adult men caged in inhumanely crowded and unsanitary conditions.

After observing the men the vice president tweeted the following: “The crisis at our southern border is not a ‘manufactured crisis,’ it is real and is overwhelming our system. To show this, we also visited an overcrowded facility for adult men, many of whom have been arrested multiple times.”

The overcrowding is obvious. Given our current White House’s lack of regard for the truth, who knows if there has been “multiple” arrests or not? In any case, it is unbelievable that in the United States any man, woman or child would be placed in such a revolting and degrading situation by our government. At least, I used to think so.

Mary-Ethel Foley

Hood River

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