Productive solutions

This letter is in response to Nancy Johanson-Paul’s letter to the editor on Aug. 14 (“Need housing, not a park”). In her letter, she claims that I don’t care about affordable housing, and that I only care about myself.

I, like Nancy, moved to Hood River 35 years ago. During this time, my wife and I have personally provided affordable housing in Hood River, Bingen and other areas in the Northwest. In fact, that has been my family’s business since I was very young. Currently, my wife and I rent out apartments and houses to 27 people at affordable rates. We only do long-term rentals and don’t do any short term rentals.

I don’t blame Nancy for not knowing that we make our living by providing affordable housing, but I do feel that to accuse me of not caring about affordable housing is inaccurate. Sacrificing park land for affordable housing is not a wise or responsible way to solve the problem. It’s a bit like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

It would be more productive for us to work together to solve the affordable housing crisis in the Gorge instead of lashing out at people who disagree with you.

I will continue to do my part to provide affordable housing in the Gorge and also to help protect the things that make Hood River a special place to live (including parks). This is why I am one of the chief petitioners on the ballot initiative, which will require a vote of the people before the city can dispose of any parks.

Brian Carlstrom

Hood River

Missed opportunity

This has been an exceptionally cool, pleasant and beautiful summer in Hood River. The beauty and pleasantness of our community has led to an impressive number of visitors this summer. Downtown, finding a place to park is difficult. The eating establishments are crowded.

Although the influx of visitors is great for the local economy, the large number of visitors represent a missed opportunity. In the spring, the voters rejected Measure 14-66 titled the “Prepared Food and Beverage Tax.” This measure would have helped services such as the maintenance of the trails, snow removal, public parks, the History Museum, and environmental health services. Given the number of visitors, this measure could have led to a substantial improvement in revenue for important county services.

Roger and Linda Blashfield

Hood River

Reduce gun deaths

I’ve been a gun owner for many years. I no longer hunt, but hold fond memories of time spent in the field with hunting partners and friends. I understand the attraction of owning quality firearms. Like others, I’m troubled by the number of deaths from gun related suicides, homicides, mass shootings and accidents.

Our Second Amendment rights come with responsibilities. If we want to continue to own guns without burdensome restrictions, we need to be a part of crafting sensible gun legislation. Responsible gun ownership requires that we support measures that reduce gun deaths.

Measures that deserve our support include:

Funding research that treats gun deaths as a public health issue.

Background checks on all gun sales.

Red flag laws that keep guns out of the hands of people likely to harm themselves or others.

Age restrictions and stricter licensing requirements for high-capacity weapons.

Safe storage requirements for guns in homes with children.

With over 300 million guns in society, new legislation is not going to make gun deaths go away. We should not let our inability to stop gun violence keep us from reducing it where we can. Every gun death is a tragedy for some family.

Offering thoughts and prayers is no longer enough. We need to take responsibility for reducing gun deaths and reject the voices of those who profit from opposing any efforts to reduce those deaths.

Richard Davis

The Dalles

‘Ignorant’

It is easy to understand Donald Trump’s confusion about how our federal government is designed. Having never held any elected office before, he is totally ignorant of it or any other government.

He refuses to acknowledge that he heads up only one of three divisions of the government. He refuses to understand the constitutional checks and balances between the three branches. Trump thinks he and his lackey administrators are the only branch that matters. He can’t stand the fact there are two other branches just as important as his.

It is the constitutional duty to check the excessive or unconstitutional actions of any of the other branches. If Trump does not like the fact he is rightly criticized by the house majority because of his actions from his position in the White House or his idiot tweets, then he should leave the United States. Obviously, he does not love our country. Because his actions are destroying it from the inside and by his action with our allies, trading partners and his pandering to the leaders of our enemies.

Trump is the worst president this country has ever had. I am sure I am not the only one to hold this opinion. Hey, he should just leave.

Gary Fields

Hood River

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