Democracy

Democracy is just the marketing strategy of our oligarchs. Those who own the country, run the country. How could it otherwise?

David Warnock

Hood River

‘Thank you, Mr. Amash’

I want to bring attention to “loser” and “lightweight” (as Trump has described him) Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan for doing what our jellyfish of a representative, Greg Walden, seems unable to do, which is to find his spine.

Mr. Amash is, to my knowledge, the only Republican member of Congress to point out the extremely obvious, which is that Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

Thank you, Mr. Amash. It will probably cost you your job, but at least you’ll be able to live with yourself.

Shame on you, Greg. You have tried so hard to stay out of the public eye, but history will remember you for your complacency.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Clean up Bradford

It is important for me for the USACOE to clean up Bradford Island because they are negligent in protecting the habitat that endangered salmon need to survive. Currently, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) rents land at the Bonneville Dam to run their hatchery, where over 53 million hatchery salmon are dumped into the river yearly for the CRITFC sport, and commercial fishing. The total allotment of returning adult salmon are given to humans and none is shared with wildlife, although the USACOE has destroyed fish passage and polluted fish and marine mammal habitat in the Columbia River estuary.

Therefore, unjustly, ODFW, BPA and DEQ do not hold the USACOE responsible or accountable for Bradford island pollution decimating fish, and all of these agencies are all willing to turn their backs on inter-agency crimes for over 40 years and instead agree to scapegoat and kill California sea lions for eating one toxic fish in five years near Bradford island at the Bonneville Dam. In the end, the sea lions have an ancient relationship with the wild fish that the dams, PCBs, dioxins, furans, lead, mercury, pesticides and ODFW’s hatchery fish do not.

Ninette Jones

Portland

CGOA Symphony

Those who made it to the season finale of the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association symphony this past weekend know how fortunate we are. Kathy Apland absolutely rocked it on Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor — unbelievably complex and lightning fast — just stunning!

Beethoven’s Fifth as a closer was wonderful, but for me the real treat was the premier performance of Mark Steighner’s own composition called “Becoming Mountains.” So unique, so powerful, so emotional, so beautiful. What a talent — it knocked me out!

Paul Thompson

Hood River

Memorial Day

When I lived in Durango, Colo., we had a group of Vietnam veterans and each Memorial Day, we’d hold a service by the Animas River, where we had a monument. At the end of the service, we’d call roll and the folks gathered there would sound off with the name of a man or woman they knew who was killed in Vietnam or Korea or World War II. Now, they’ve added Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places.

If I was there next Monday, I’d say: Curtis Hurlock, Larry B. Wynne, Richard Hoots in my platoon in Vietnam, and then I’d say my father, Dr. Albert W. Brown, a frontline surgeon in World War II whose unit treated the wounded and dying in the North Africa campaign, the invasion of Sicily, the first wave to hit Omaha Beach on D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and finally culminating in the liberation of the death camps.

My father, also known as the surgeon who never slept, wasn’t killed in the war, but my mother told me his spirit, like mine, was. He died in 1950 and she told me the only nightmare he ever had was when he dreamt of the German soldier he let die because his anger had finally overcome him.

Al Brown

Hood River

‘Devastated’

I am devastated by the news that both of the measures to support the county were defeated. Do all of you who voted against one or both measures believe you are entitled to services of the county even if you do not want to pay for them?  

One of the mailings I received from those urging a “no” vote said, “Let’s not make it harder to work and live in Hood River.” You have just made that a reality for the many people who work for the county.

Another statement on the flyer read, “The county still has three years of budget reserves, so we have time to find a better way.” Are all of you who voted “no” going to help to find a better way?  It is a lot easier to criticize than it is to find solutions. What solution do you have to suggest that is “fair” and “more predictable” than this one? 

One action I will begin to take immediately is to stay out of all the businesses that urged a “no” vote.

Ruth Tsu

Hood River

Sales tax

On Tuesday, both Hood River County revenue requests were rejected by voters. Ironically, on the same day, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill eliminating Oregon residents’ ability to request a tax exemption when shopping in Washington. Gov. Inslee’s justification was that this action will generate more revenue for Washington State.

It is time that Washington residents who shop in Hood River pay their fair share in supporting the services and infrastructure that supports their shopping experience. The State of Oregon needs to impose a 6.5 percent sales tax on all Washington residents shopping in Oregon. This could be easily implemented by passing a sales tax for all shoppers, with the ability to waive the tax if  you can show proof of Oregon residence.

Ed Salminen

Mt. Hood Parkdale

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