Not okay

What is happening to our country is not okay. Our president is supposed to help us feel safe, not living in a country with violence and terrifying events. The deportation that Trump is doing to get all the immigrants out has him thinking that’s the right way to settle things. If I could say one thing, it’s that we are all human beings with our own given traits. These human beings that you are deporting are not only not doing any bad, but work their hardest to provide financial help to their families. The fact that you think this will make America great makes my stomach sick. One thing that gives me such a horrible thought is that you’re willing to take people violently in front of their own children — can’t you just imagine how much pain they must feel, screaming “Mama” or “Papa, don’t leave”? Wouldn’t that make them simply feel like giving up because you’re taking away the person who has cared for them their whole life? I know that nothing will stop you, but I know that people should be able to understand what you’re actually doing is horrible and not making this country any greater.

Jatziri Chavarria


Hood River Valley High School

Volunteer drivers needed

I am a volunteer driver for the DAV Transportation Network, and I drive a DAV van from Hood River to Portland at least once a week. I have enjoyed this “job” for the last 11 years and have happily donated over 4,200 hours in that time. However, I am 80 years old and think it is time for me to retire and let a younger person step in. Unfortunately, no one is standing in the wings to take my place and I don’t feel right just walking away and potentially stranding veterans who need transportation to get to their vital — sometimes life-saving — medical appointments. But I will need to take advantage of this free service for my own needs soon and am hoping you will publish this letter so that your readers will learn about this need for volunteers and step-up for our veterans. It’s an easy job, picking vets up at scheduled stops, taking them to Portland and back again later that day. The VA even provides a free breakfast and lunch voucher. All I need to do is drive. I have gotten so much out of this over the years, talking with the men and women who were actually there fighting to fight for the many freedoms we enjoy in this country. I drive living history and truly enjoy getting to know these brave people. Although I am a veteran, you don’t have to be one to volunteer. Volunteers just need to have a valid driver’s license (Washington or Oregon), current valid auto insurance (only needed to prove you are insurable) and pass a physical and background check provided by the VA. This is an excellent and easy way to say “thank you” to our veterans. Anyone interested in volunteering should call the VA at 503-273-5402.

Thank you,

Vern Thornburg

White Salmon

Protect local kids

It’s officially summer, which means local kids are involved in sports, camps and other fun outdoor activities.

If you’re working with kids, you may not realize you have a responsibility to protect kids from sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse is a serious problem that can happen anywhere, even in Hood River County. Luckily, it can be stopped.

According to the prevention organization Darkness to Light, one in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. And the impact can be long-lasting. Research shows that children who are sexually violated are far more likely to experience long-term psychological issues.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening in Hood River County.

The Ford Family Foundation administers a nationally-acclaimed training curriculum, Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children. The training is available for free through The Next Door.

Anyone who regularly interacts with children and teens can become excellent mentors and advocates to help guide youth on productive paths forward. That’s why all coaches, mentors and youth leaders should be trained to detect, prevent and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. And if you’re a parent with kids in summer sports, camps or activities, check with coaches or leaders to ask if they’ve been trained.

The Next Door has two upcoming trainings in English and Spanish:

English Stewards of Children, Aug. 12 at The Next Door, Inc., 965 Tucker Road, Hood River, 5:30-8 p.m.

Spanish Stewards of Children, Aug. 19 at The Next Door, Inc., 5:30-8 p.m.

We owe it to the children of Hood River County. Let’s be champions for them!

Janet Hamada

Executive Director,

The Next Door 


It seems that Darrell Roberts (“Anarchy,” Letters to the Editor, July 24) has forgotten about the Senate walkout in 2001 led by then Senate Minority Leader Kate Brown who stated, according to AP on June 25, 2001, the House Democrats’ actions “very appropriate under the circumstances.”

“Under certain circumstances, it’s fair to say we would use all tools available to us, and stage a similar boycott,” she said. 

It appears odd to me that such action was appropriate at that time but not today. Is it because it was a Republican tactic and not as Democrat tactic?

Also included in the support of the walkout were these fine people:

  • Senate Minority Leader Kate Brown (current governor)
  • Representative Phil Barnhart (former State Representative)
  • Representative Alan Bates (former State Senator)
  • Representative Richard Devlin (former State Senator)
  • Representative Mark Hass (current State Senator)
  • Representative Laurie Monnes Anderson (current State Senator)
  • Representative Diane Rosenbaum (former State Senator)

Alan Bailey

Hood River

‘Popcorn! Peanuts!’

President Trump has turned himself into the greatest circus barker the world has ever seen. No matter what the issue, or who is involved, nearly everything he says or tweets conjures up the image of a finely dressed man in a top hat yelling into a megaphone outside a circus big top.

The president seems well aware of the socioeconomic challenges faced by the district around Baltimore represented by Congressman Elijah Cummings. He recently said the area was rat-infested with overall conditions worse than the U.S.-Mexico border.

An educated, thoughtful person would expect the president to write an executive order to help out this area equal to the Trump-certified national security crisis at our southern border. The least he could do is a fly-over on his weekly taxpayer-funded golf trip. After all, the president loves natural-born Americans and minorities so much. Why else would he fix the economy to provide so many minimum wage jobs with no benefits for them?

Unfortunately, no aid or appearance seems to be on the horizon. Sorry, Baltimore. He did, however, bark out a childish, degrading tweet about the crisis while offering zero support. Instead, he chose to publicly criticize U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represents that region. Now THAT is leadership.

Popcorn! Peanuts!

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Benefit concert Aug. 3

This coming Saturday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m., members of our community will have the opportunity to attend a special “benefit concert” at the Wy’east Performing Arts Center. All proceeds will go toward the Hood River Christmas Project to fund gifts for local children. The “Collegiate Singers,” a 48 member Brigham Young University-Idaho Choir, will present “You Are Not Alone,” an entertaining and uplifting musical concert. This benefit concert in Hood River is part of their Northwest Tour including performances in Montana, British Columba, Alberta, Washington and Oregon. This timely musical program features a range of sounds from Broadway, Gospel, contemporary coral masters and the classics.

You will not want to miss this one time performance. Tickets on sale at Waucoma Books for $10. All proceeds to benefit The Hood River Christmas Project.

Hope to see you there!

John Brennan

Hood River

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