I am running for a position on our County Parks and Recreation Board and can’t imagine a more exciting time to be a member of this board. The Aquatic Center and our parks and urban trails are among our community’s most valuable assets. Available to everyone, they are a concrete way we as a community express our equality with each other. I believe whole heartedly in maintaining what we have and improving these facilities for all.
The board is working with the wider community on a much needed master plan for parks. There is renewed interest in the completion of the Indian Creek Trail to the high school. A roughly 1,000-foot interruption in this trail has existed for too long. We will soon need major improvements and replacement to keep our aging pool open. And the grand-daddy issue of them all — the unmet need for a west side family park with room for soccer, football, lacrosse and other activities.
All this will require money that requires the support and vote of the citizens of this valley. I bring a life time of experience in this community serving on various non-profit boards and on the Hood River County Planning Commission. I also have familiarity with this parks board, having attended many meetings over the past five years. I appreciate the work and service provided by the present incumbents. They have accomplished a lot with often very limited funds. I have studied the park board’s 2012 to 2020 Master Plan which I wholeheartedly support. I bring with me a 28 year career in real estate negotiations and development which I believe will be useful to the board. I am retired now and have the energy and the necessary time to devote to this endeavor. I will work to ensure an open public process so that everyone is heard and information and communications are open.
Public service is an honor and I will appreciate your support and your vote in May.
The last four years on the board have been an incredible time of learning, hard work, and more rewarding experiences than I can count. After a few years of observing my veteran board members, I am currently serving as board chair. I am also our region’s Legislative Policy Committee representative for the Oregon State Board Association (the professional association for all school boards in the state), a member of the Finance/Bond Advisory Committee, and the board liaison for the Hood River County Education Foundation. During my time on the board, we have passed a bond to finance improvements to our infrastructure and a levy that allows us to recruit and retain amazing teachers and staff. We have increased the academic program that is available to students in every corner of our district and kept class sizes low. I am especially proud of the financial stewardship that the board has shown, allowing us to maintain services for our kids and staff while many districts continue to make cuts.
As our district transitions to a new superintendent, opens a new elementary school, and continues to navigate state funding deficits, I believe my experiences will serve the Hood River County School community well. I would appreciate the opportunity to follow through on the work we’ve started. I will provide stability and a connection to past board decisions and district history. And in all honesty, I would like the chance to continue to do my small part in making sure that the students in Hood River County get the education they deserve and need to be successful. Please vote on May 21. Thank you.
April is National Safe Digging Month and it is also the time when NW Natural reminds you to call 811 before you dig. Spring brings planting and the start outdoor projects — before starting a task that involves digging 12 inches or lower, call 811 to have underground utilities located.
Contacting 811 is free and easy. At least two days before the start of a project, call 811 or go online to make the request at digsafelyoregon.com. You can also use NW Natural’s new safety app.
When you contact 811, a local one-call center representative collects details and notifies the local utility companies of the intent to dig. Then, a professional locator visits the site to mark the location of underground utility lines with paint. Once the site is marked, it is safe to dig carefully around the marked areas. Learn more at digsafelyoregon.com.
If while you’re digging, you accidentally hit a gas line, report it immediately by calling 911 or NW Natural’s emergency line at 800-882-3377. No damage is too small to report to NW Natural, and even a small dent could weaken a natural gas line. Enjoy the season, and remember to call 811.
We are truly blessed to live in a community that embraces the outdoors and our county and city in general. That being said, why do people thing that tagging (graffiti) on buildings, utility meters, signs appropriate behavior? We have trash on the streets and cigarette butts outside of buildings. Come on, people. It is so sad that some don’t care. Tag your own house, not others, throw your trash in the trash can or take it home, don’t throw your cigarette butts on the ground. Take pride in your surroundings.
I was fortunate to be born and raised in this beautiful valley, but had the opportunity to experience a career that took me out of the valley for 25 years. Having moved back to farm my family’s pear orchard 24 years ago, I realize how lucky we all are to live in “God’s Country.” Change is inevitable in life ... and our valley is totally different than what it once was. A high level of energies, brought here by people who all want to experience that great quality of life. As an orchardist, I want to maintain a sustainable agricultural community, a great quality of life, and a healthy economy, values that Kristi Chapman, candidate for port commissioner, supports.
Kristi’s hard work ethic in a family business in real estate, as well as her open minded listening abilities, combine to give me a conscientious commissioner that would be an asset to our community. Please join me in voting Kristi Chapman for Port Commissioner.
My name is Loran Ayles and I am running for Position 1 of the Hood River County School Board. I’m a life-long Oregonian and moved to Hood River from Estacada right out of high school in 1989. This has been my home for more than 30 years and is where I have raised my three children and helped support many other children in their journey towards adulthood.
Hood River County has traditionally had strong leadership from its school board and the district does an admirable job teaching our youth, even with challenging demographics. We are blessed to have dedicated staff that truly put the needs of kids first, though the board should always strive to improve as well, and that is why I’m running.
Position 1 covers the west side of Hood River and goes all the way to Cascade Locks. I think it’s critical that this part of the county feel that it’s children are valued just as much as any other students in the county. Cascade Locks has the highest unemployment and lowest median income of the county — what better way to improve that, than with high-quality public education? Cascade Locks has not had a school board presence for a long time. I pledge to give them the attention they deserve.
I believe serving in elected office is a privileged civic duty and a member’s conduct should reflect that. The recent resignation of one school board member is an example of how the current board may have lost some focus. I will always put the reputation of the board first. I pledge to always be open and transparent with the residents of Position 1. The current boundary adjustment process is an example of how the board could be more transparent and inclusive. The school board and administration should not take the citizens of our great diverse county for granted. If you’d like to be sure your voice is heard, please consider voting for me, Loran Ayles, for Hood River County School Board Position 1.
When I drive by the new subdivision built on former productive orchard located at the first Belmont curve heading west, I think of the composer of “Little Boxes,” our family friend, Malvina Reynolds. I’m dubbing this subdivision “Reynoldstown”:
“Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same,
There’s a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.”
If this is what “affordable housing” means in Hood River, I’d prefer the honesty of a trailer park. Or perhaps just a park. Or perhaps even an orchard.
There is a funny thing about people who believe they know the will of God. They almost always conclude He hates the same people they hate. It’s not all that far from this knowledge to the conviction that He wants those people dead (though not enough to kill them Himself … though I guess there was that time with the lamb’s blood over the door … and that other time with all that rain … make that usually not enough). There has never been a shortage of folks running around killing other folks in God’s name. I guess our gods have always wanted us to make each other miserable, but they don’t mind so much us destroying the planet they made. It’s just a crying shame.
First of all, I applaud anyone willing to run for public office and put in the time and effort those positions require. I feel we are lucky to have someone like Kristi Chapman running for the port commission this May. I met Kristi while we were both on the Port and City’s Waterfront Area Parking Committee a few years ago. At the time, I was impressed with the thoughtful questions she asked and the alternative options her input brought into the discussions. Since then, I have worked with her on other municipal issues and I find that she is inclusive and very willing to discuss alternative ideas or points of view and is a good listener and hard worker. This is what I believe we want in our port representatives and I hope you will join me in supporting Kristi Chapman for Port.
At the 2016 National Republican Convention, Donald J. Trump said, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect LBGTQ citizens from violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” What he deliberately did not say was protection of LGBTQ citizens from his own hateful ideology. An ideology he encourages in the United States. This is only one more of Trump’s many thousands lies, from his campaign to the present day. His declaration of no transgender people in our military belies his former words. His failure to condemn attacks on U.S. citizens of that community is a lie by omission. There are so very many reasons that Donald J. Trump is by far the worst president this country has ever known. He has driven down the standards our forefathers laid down in our constitution.