Pass HB 2015

We are Latinos in Action, a Latino Leadership group from Hood River County that is committed to health equity where communities of color can live and thrive in ways that best support them. That is why we urge the Oregon legislature to pass the Equal Access to Roads Act (HB 2015).

The ability to drive legally is a core everyday need for many Oregon families as people take their kids to school, commute to work, and take care of family and neighbors in need.

Oregonians shouldn’t have to live in fear of being deported or worry about their families being torn apart simply because they are taking their kids to school, going to work, or taking care of their family or neighbors.

Oregon lawmakers need to pass the Equal Access to Roads Act (HB 2015) to ensure standard licenses are available to all drivers who can meet the requirements to drive regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

Alejandro Aguilera Cano

On behalf of Latinos in Action

Hood River

Accept the ‘naked truth’

Dear citizens of Hood River County,

For those who voted for the two funding measures for Hood River County: Thank you. For those who did not, I hope that you continue, or begin, helping to craft a solution for the funding shortfall.

While I am disappointed that the measures did not pass, I am more concerned by the general vitriol expressed by people who poorly understood this situation. There are natural consequences to failing to fund services. We’ve only had these services for a few generations; lessons are easily forgotten when they are not part of a long-held cultural tradition. Let’s start a new cultural tradition. Let’s establish a culture of learning, thoughtful discourse and problem solving. But most of all, let’s stop treating well-dressed talking points and outright lies with as much credibility as the naked truth. In that effort, consider this fable:

“One day, a person named Truth and a person named Lie stood by a river. Lie challenged Truth to a swimming race. Lie stated that they both must remove their clothes, dive into the river, swim to the far side, and back. When Truth jumped in, Lie did not. While Truth crossed the river, Lie stole Truth’s clothes. Lie, dressed as Truth, proudly paraded through town pretending to be Truth.

“Truth found that his clothes were gone. Refusing to dress himself as Lie, Truth walked back to town naked. People starred with incredulous disapproval as naked Truth walked through town. Despite explaining what had happened, because he was naked, and uncomfortable to look at, people mocked and shunned him. The people chose to believe Lie, because he was dressed suitably and easier to behold.

“From that day until this, people have come to believe a well-dressed lie rather than believe a naked truth.” — Original origin of this fable is unknown; edited by this author.

Ian Stormquist

Hood River

Morrison Park rezone facts

Ordinance No. 2048: “An Ordinance Approving a Quasi-judicial Zone Change from OS/PF to R-3 for Parcel (3N 10E 26DB, Tax Lot 700) — Morrison Park — with Conditions.”

Mayor Blackburn stated, “‘… I also maintain the integrity of the council’s very complex decision to rezone 2.76 acres of a 10-acre park for affordable, income-restricted housing.’”

Ordinance 2048, signed by Mayor Blackburn, is clear that the rezone applies to all of tax lot 700, which is approximately 5.03 acres.

To get the 10 acres, you have to add other tax lots.

A condition is that a “maximum of 2.76 acres may be developed as affordable housing (households earning 80 percent AMI or less)” and provides the balance be used for “park uses.”

However, after Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation (CCHA) exercises its option to purchase Morrison Park for $1, becoming the owner of an R-3 5.03 acre parcel, those conditions will be easier to remove when CCHA wants to build more than the 85 units currently planned.

Given Oregon’s needed housing statue, the current city, county and statewide land use movement of packing in as many people in city limits as possible, I would not be surprise if this condition is removed soon.

I do applaud the mayor for mentioning that the complex is “income-restricted housing,” given that affordable housing is different for everyone. My recollection is that 80 percent of the units will be for those with income of 50 percent of AMI or less (about $35k for a family of four) and the other 20 percent for those with income less than 80 percent of AMI (about 55k for a family of four). If you want to see if you qualify to live in the proposed complex, you can go to and check.

I can see why the mayor framed his statement that way; however, the spin presents incorrect facts. This is a divisive issue that is pitting people the normally work together against each other.

We should not have to choose between parks and housing. If you keep dividing parks in half for houses, the end result is a very small park.

Carolyn Smale

Hood River

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