Show figures
Since the county is asking for more money, I would like to see the past three years’ tax statements showing how the revenue was spent.
I believe a balance sheet showing revenue and expenses should be in order.
Thanks for publishing the papers.
Linda Holloway
 Hood River
Not so friendly
Well, spring has final arrived and with it the return of the pilots training school, based at the Hood River airport. It’s a return of two years ago, when the port held two hearings to let upset citizens voice their displeasure of the constant, day after day, hour after hour of planes circling low over the same neighborhoods. To say that is distracting is an understatement.
Once again, there is a fairly large group of residents west and south of the airport who are more than mildly upset at this constant noise disruption. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with what used to be the day-to-day operations, as they will tell you to call the port office, who will tell you to call the airport. You can call Tac Aero, who is responsible for the training school, but all that would result in is like putting a fox in with your chickens for protection.
There are two members of the board of directors that I have confidence in. They are both respected businessmen and I believe they would listen to your concerns and take them into consideration. I urge each of you to email Ben Sheppard at and Hoby Streich at hstreich@portof
I find it amusing that the port’s mission statement, in part, reads, “The Port of Hood River Seeks to initiate, promote and maintain quality of life.” That must be after making money at the expense of quality of life for many longtime residents of Hood River.
Jim Eastman
Hood River
Mayor for all?
On March 11, a crowded city hall heard the testimony of 26 brave men and women (me included) requesting that the city council save Morrison Park. All 26 people, without exception, were factual, polite and well-informed on the dangers to all of our parks once we allow an existing park to be converted to high-density affordable housing. At the end of the testimony, the city council was told: “The people have spoken, please listen to the people.”
Our mayor, Mr. Paul Blackburn, stood up and dismissed the testimony saying: “I need to push back on the people who said everybody disagree with us. Just look at this room, because this room is full of people almost exclusively white folks who showed up to talk to us …”
I am a legally naturalized American citizen. Like many people of similar background, I find it offensive and rude to be referred to by shirt color, skin color, ethnic background or religion.
At the next council meeting (March 25), I presented a number of points of order and as a last point of information I said: “During deliberation, Mr. Mayor, you stood up and said: ‘Look at the crowd, you are all white folks.’ I take offence to it.” Our mayor rudely interrupted my presentation and, with an uncontrolled anger, said: “Excuse me, I did not say ‘all white people,’ I said, I don’t remember the words, mostly, I remember …”. I suggested he may want to listen to the meeting recording. The following day, I sent the mayor a copy of the recording where he referred to the crowd as “almost exclusively white folks” and suggested he may want to apologize for his outburst.
The mayor’s (email) reply to my request:
“Aw lay off, Cohn. If you don’t like the way I vote, vote for the other guy next time.”
Paul Blackburn
Mayor of Hood River
Sorry Mr. Blackburn. While you claim to be the mayor for us all, you are not my mayor!
Avi Cohn
Hood River
Editor’s note: The full wording of mayor’s statement on March 11 was this: “I do need to push back on the people who said, ‘Everyone disagrees, with us, just look at this room.’ This room is full of almost exclusively white folks who showed up to talk to us. There is very little representation from a big section of our community here and that’s very important. They don’t serve on council and by and large they don’t come to speak to us.”
In the March 25 recording, Blackburn stated, “Excuse me, I did not say ‘all white people.’ I said … I don’t remember the words exactly … predominately, mostly …”
Vaccine safety
It has been stated by the editor and several readers of this paper that: “Vaccines have been proven safe.” No references have been given for these statements. Questions: 1) When you state this are you referring to all 16 vaccines the CDC recommends for children, all vaccines in general or a single vaccine? 2) Could you please provide any double-blind placebo studies that prove all 16 vaccines given to children are safe? I can’t find any.
The CDC and FDA created the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in 1990. It is the only system we have in America where doctors are supposed to report vaccine injury. As of this morning (April 15, 2019) a search of VAERS shows, in just the year 2018, there were 60,544 total reports of Vaccine Injury, of those 443 were deaths, 1,267 were permanent disabilities and 4,414 hospitalizations.
These are reports and do not prove causation. However, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services gave Harvard Medical School a $1 million-dollar grant (Grant R18 HS017045) to track VAERS reporting for three years. According to the grant final report: “Fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events are reported” (to VAERS).
The CDC agrees that there remains ‘‘uncertainty about estimates of the risk associated with vaccination.” Former FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler has also estimated that VAERS reports currently represent only a fraction of the serious adverse events.
If VAERS is capturing less than 1 percent of the vaccine Injuries, as the Harvard report suggests, these numbers of vaccine injured extrapolate to over 44,000 deaths and 126,700 permanent disabilities potentially caused by vaccines in just one year (2018) in just the United States alone.
This gross underreporting of vaccine Injuries may lead people to a dangerous false sense of security with regards to vaccine safety. Vaccine risks are very real and need to be weighed against the potential benefits when making decisions to vaccinate. Simply stating “Vaccines Are Safe” without good scientific evidence of this is misleading and potentially very dangerous.
Matt Morrow
Hood River
Editor’s Note: The letter cites information from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), an organization sponsored by the CDC and FDA. A peer-reviewed scientific article entitled “Deaths following vaccination: What does the evidence show?” authored by several CDC immunization officers, including Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, the deputy director of the Immunization Safety Office at the CDC, states “VAERS is a voluntary reporting system which accepts any submitted report of an adverse event without judging its clinical significance or whether it was caused by a vaccination; it is a signal detection and hypothesis generating passive surveillance system and therefore any broad claim of cause and effect with respect to deaths following vaccination based on VAERS reports should not be interpreted as proof of causality.” The CDC states that the current U.S. vaccine supply is the safest in history.
Lot 700
I am writing to encourage caring people in this community to ask our city council to build affordable housing on Lot 700. I am fully in favor of using the entire lot for affordable housing.
This is not an environmental issue. I have heard opponents assert that Lot 700 is the only place in Hood River that is still “wild” and has wildflowers. I am a wildflower enthusiast, and I can tell you that this is not true. There are wildflowers in pastures on Rocky Road, along Indian Creek, planted in my backyard, and in many other places.
But even if it was true that wildflowers only grow on Lot 700, it is still a poor argument, because Hood River is a city. The City of Hood River is not a wild place. But we are surrounded by abundant public and protected wild places, and beautiful accessible nature. To say we absolutely must keep every bit of open ground within the city limits is selfish. An entitled desire of people who already have secure homes and access to wild beauty.
We are also surrounded by hundreds of people who grew up here and can’t find housing, people who do the hard work of the service industry, who work at nonprofits, who clean and cook, who care for children, who make this a wonderful city, but have no hope of ever affording a home. These people are so much more important than a few Grass Widows and Desert Parsleys. And let me remind you, I am a wildflower lover, a member of Native Plant Societies who plants wildflowers in my own yard!
Please, fellow lucky residents of Hood River, let us all care about the people who grew up here, but can’t afford to live here anymore. Please, friends, let us care more about unique and beautiful people than about common wildflowers and common open space.
Darrell Roberts
Popular vote
In regard to Roger Neufeldt’s letter in the April 3 Hood River News where he states, “I fail to see how a cowboy from Wyoming can have more influence than some rich actor from La La Land” in response to Justin Danner’s letter on March 30 that stated that a voter in Wyoming has four times the sway over the Electoral College as a person in California, I present the following facts to prove that Mr. Danner is correct. In the examples that Mr. Neufeldt gave in his letter, California has 55 electoral college votes, Texas 38, New York and Florida 29 each and, if you divide the estimated population of each state as of July 1, 2018 (which I sourced from Wikipedia), then the estimated number of people for each electoral vote in those states is as follows, with the estimated population rounded to the nearest 1,000, of each state in parentheses: California (39,558,000) 1 /719,236, Texas (28,702,000) 1/755,316, New York (19,542,000) 1/673,862 and Florida (21,299,000) 1/734,448. The estimated population, from the same source, of Wyoming is 578,000 with 3 electoral college votes equaling one vote for every 192,667 people. Four times the 192,667 people in Wyoming per vote is 770,665, which is pretty darn close to the number of people per vote in each of the states noted above. Thus, under our current system of electing the president, where the electoral college votes are what determines the winner, a voter in Wyoming does have four times the effect of a voter in each of those other states that Mr. Neufeldt used as examples.
This is just one of the many reasons why we must support the popular vote as the best way to determine who is the president.
Darrell Roberts
Electoral numbers
I would like to start this response to Roger Neufeldt’s April 3 letter entitled “Presidential Elections” by saying that I agree with his assessment of the DNC as of the last election cycle. However, to then go on to say that needing to win the votes of people, rather than the votes of states (Popular Vote vs. Electoral College) is “stacking the deck” is simply ludicrous. I truly believe, as I think many do, that a system that allows a person with the support of less than half of the population to win is fundamentally flawed in this day and age.
He calls into question my statement “... a person voting in Wyoming has four-times the sway over the Electoral College than a person from California,” which is an easily explained and provable fact. Wyoming has three Electoral College votes, meaning each person’s vote is “technically” .0000052 percent of an EC vote. California, on the other hand, has each citizen “technically” only having .0000014 percent of an EC vote. Not quite a full four-times difference, but I am working with estimates. However, articles in the Harvard Political Review studied it closer and came up with the four-times number. Notice, however, that I said “technically.” That is because only half of a state’s population, plus one, is all that is needed to win that state, since almost every state gives away all votes to one candidate. So if you are a Democrat living in a blue state, or a Republican in a red, your vote above and beyond that benchmark is useless. It is the same the other way around, with Democrats in red states. Why have a system that differentiates your vote based on where you live, and who you decide to make your neighbors?
Justin Danner
Hood River
Brassicas and beer
Voters in Hood River County will have a prepared food and beverage tax, and a health and safety levy, on the May ballot. The funds from these sources will allow the county to continue many services that we enjoy as residents of Hood River County. One of the many services that will continue to be funded is the OSU Extension Service.
 Perhaps you’re asking, “What does the OSU Extension Service do for me?” I’m glad you asked! OSU Outreach Program Coordinator Rachel Suits will address this question at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 when the OSU Extension Central Gorge Master Gardener Association kicks off the 2019 Brassicas and Beer series. Brassicas and Beer is a continuing education summer series of casual and informative garden related presentations, offered free of charge by the OSU Extension Central Gorge Master Gardener Association.
The goal of the OSU Extension Service is to offer residents of Hood River County affordable education that strengthens our local community and economy, sustains natural resources and promotes a healthy community. The host location for Brassicas and Beer is Volcanic Bottle Shop, 1410 12th St., Hood River, where your favorite beverage will be available for purchase. Questions are welcomed and encouraged. Be sure to continue to attend the remainder of the Brassicas and Beer seminars, the second Wednesday of each month, April to September. Each topic and speaker will be announced in the Happenings section of the Hood River News.
Margo Dameier
Hood River
God’s will
First, what makes a republic different from a democracy?
The main difference between a republic and a democracy is the charter of constitution that limits power in a republic, often to protect the individual’s rights against the desires of the majority. In a true democracy, the majority rules in all cases, regardless of any consequences for individuals or for those who are not in the majority on an issue.
A lie doesn’t become truth just because the majority wants it to be. A person who comes to the U.S. without proper papers is breaking the law. Our president isn’t anti-immigration. He just wants people to obey the law. I married a Filipino on Feb. 7, 2016; she finally got here on Oct. 2, 2018 after two a half years and about $2,000.
Second: Here is what my Bible states about our president. Romans 13:1: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Obey the government for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. Disobey this and you disobey God. As a “man of God” you should know that no man can keep all the Ten Commandants, that is the reason Jesus came, only he could keep the Ten Commandments.
Acts 13:22: David the son of Jesse, God said was a man after mine own heart.
David committed adultery and murder yet god said this about him. Samson was a womanizer, Paul put Christians in prison. I could go and on but I think this is enough to get the point.
Because I disagree with someone does not mean I am hateful, unloving and everything else you have called me. I write this because I do love all who read this and hope this sheds some of God’s love and light on you.
Mike Harrington
Hood River
Come quilt
Thank you for the wonderful coverage of the upcoming Blossom Fest Craft Fair and Quilt Show event happening April 20 and 21 at the Hood River Fairgrounds. It is always a wonderful event in our valley.
For many years, our local quilt shop, ETC, sponsored the quilt show, assisted by members of the Columbia River Gorge Quilt Guild. With the loss of our beloved shop, the Guild has stepped up to continue the tradition of a quilt show at the Blossom Fest event. This is not a Guild show, but part of Blossom Fest itself.
The Blossom Fest Quilt Show is an OPEN quilt show — there are no limits as to who may display a quilt. All types of quilts are welcome — new, old, handmade, machine made, made by individuals or by groups. They do need to be clean (free of pet hair, too) and in fairly good condition. Vintage quilts and items such as pillows, wall hangings or clothing are always interesting to see.
Quilts can be brought to the fairgrounds on April 19 between 10 a.m. and noon for the setup crew to display. We will have entry forms for you at that time. Quilters will be available the entire weekend to answer questions and provide assistance.
Can’t wait to see what is hiding in trunks and on beds!
Kim Vogel
President, CRGQG
Obtain permit
In her column in the HRN on April 6, Ellen Rosenblum (Oregon Attorney General) mentioned her support of Senate Bill 978. Part of it would expand so-called “gun-free zones.” This is a feel-good law and gives a false sense of security. But these are where law-abiding citizens are left defenseless against criminals who simply ignore such arbitrary boundaries and know they can kill more people in places where victims can’t protect themselves. Most gunmen are smart enough to know that they can kill more people if they attack places where victims can’t defend themselves.
So, I urge people to oppose this portion of the bill and go ahead and obtain their Oregon Concealed permit, be trained and then carry. Classes for this are offered monthly either in Hood River or The Dalles and are advertised in the HRN and The Dalles Chronicle.
Donald Rose
Hood River
May levies
I think it is important that we vote for the upcoming county levies. The additional revenue is needed for services we all appreciate and value. One of those is support for the Extension’s programs, all of which would be terminated if the levies fail. One of those is support of the Master Gardener program.
It has been instrumental in the recent rejuvenation of the Parkdale Bicentennial Memorial Garden. The garden was designed and installed nearly 50 years ago through the efforts of numerous Upper Valley families and it has many dedications to them throughout the garden. It is an important Parkdale landmark and has been maintained through the continual attention and work by Master Gardeners and members of the Parkdale Garden Club.
Please vote for its continued maintenance and thus its enjoyment by all county residents.
Bill Sturman

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