Thoughtful Plea

I am writing to politely urge the person or people who have been defacing the sign of the Belmont Drive Baptist Church on Belmont Drive to stop. This group has the right to post any messages they choose even if they are in direct opposition to Christian teachings of tolerance and acceptance.

I believe you are doing a disservice to the entire community when you prevent others from seeing the message they wish to convey. Please let the sign and church community speak for themselves and leave others to make their own decisions.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

No excuse

Not since 1215, when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta, have we seen a king, president, or other fool so arrogant they think they can pardon themselves. Now our deluded president thinks he can.

For years, we’ve watched Congress give more and more power to the executive branch as they abdicate their responsibilities, and now we have a president who thinks he’s part god — I’ll just excuse myself when I collude with the Russians, I’ll pardon myself when I permit the sale of weapons to the Saudis and others to use on innocent civilians. I’ll just excuse myself when I make transgendered citizens second class, and I’ll excuse myself when I tear apart Hispanic and other families to send parents and children back to Mexico or wherever. I’ll just excuse myself when I take away healthcare from 22 million Americans.

Can he excuse himself from impeachment?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Voyeur drones

Question: How would you react if you and your family were outside on a Saturday afternoon, relaxing in your private back yard, when a complete stranger walks into your yard with binoculars and a camera and starts to walk around peering at you and taking pictures of your yard and family?

My guess is that you wouldn’t react happily or welcoming. You would likely tell them that they were trespassing and you might call the police. It is also likely that you would be shocked that anyone would have the nerve to do that.

My family is shocked because it happened to us — the only difference was that the invading stranger was a mechanical drone. On a recent Saturday, we had a drone buzz over our house and property four times. It flew over the house and then lower than the roof line so we could see it in great detail and hear it because they are loud.

We were able to trace it to a local home where there was a party of “weekend vacationers” renting the property. They admitted to one of the group using the drone. What astonished us was that they didn’t realize how offensive this was to spy on neighboring homes.

Theoretically, rules were broken. They violated height regulations, trespass to land, out of sight of operator and invasion of privacy. In reality, there is no action that can be pursued. As it turns out, the police or sheriff can respond, but the jurisdiction is the FAA who does not have any stringent rules regarding the use of drones for “recreational” use.

Since when is a Peeping Tom deemed recreational activity?

Mary Zenorini

Mt. Hood

Adios, forest

Adios to 30,000 acres. Repeat. Repeat.

I sure hope Rep. Greg Walden is going to vote against the unbelievably named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (HB 2936). This bill would allow national forest tracts up to 30,000 acres in size to be logged without consideration of the impacts on the environment and public health. It also limits public input and judicial review of agency decisions.

I am angry that the Trump administration is threatening our public lands and trying to limit public and judicial review. Both are necessary, and are our rights. These are our lands. Wood in the national forests is a public resource, and harvesting is expected. But decimation of 30,000 acres without even considering the environmental or public health impacts is completely unacceptable.

Mr. Walden’s District 2 is full of federal forest lands which could be destroyed piece by piece by this bill. We need him to stand up against this destructive and irresponsible assault on our public lands.

Ray Sherrill

The Dalles

Neighborly Hood River?

I moved to Hood River 14 years ago to a nice neighborhood on the east side of the Heights near a community elementary school. These days many accessory dwellings are going up in peoples’ yards. I understand the need for more housing in Hood River, yet I don’t believe we are addressing this problem in the correct way.

What bothers me though is when these extra units or additions are built, why are neighbors not sent notice as to where the structure will go? You’d think the owner would come over and let their next-door neighbor know what they are planning. Especially if it is built five feet off their property line, is super tall and completely impacts their way of life. Not so in our case.

We have lived next door to the same neighbor for 14 years and when the enormous hole (for her garagemahal) was dug five feet from our fence, we were surprised and mortified that she decided to put it there. It directly impacts all the daylight coming into our home. Before we had daylight until 8:30 p.m. in the summer and now only until 2 p.m. It has completely diminished our ability to enjoy our outdoor living space — our deck now exists under the gaze of our “neighbor’s” second story windows. Neither the building department nor the owner took into consideration anyone else it may impact.

There should be a conversation or some notification between neighbors about the impact to their investment when new construction may actually decrease the value of a home or change the quality of life the owners enjoyed. It seems in our current real estate environment, property owners and builders no longer care about building community, only building profits. The planning departments should do more than just place public notice in the paper.

In our case, even though the builder realized that it was an unfavorable place to build (and would screw the teacher and nurse’s family living next door), when the client declined his suggestion to move the structure, the builder neglected to come over to talk about the impact it would have on us until it was too late.

Let’s be a little more considerate, Hood River. We all have to live together in this community — unless, of course, you never want to speak to your neighbor again.

Justine van Houte

Hood River

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