Impeachment

Impeachment can no longer be seen as a political strategy, but as a matter of precedent for future presidents.

Donald Trump has instructed his staff and treasury secretary to reject congressional subpoenas, and when asked for documentation, Attorney General William Barr responded, “No.” When pressed for explanation, William Barr responded by shrugging his shoulders and asking, “Why should you (have the documentation)?”

I am calling on Congress to hold William Barr and Donald Trump in criminal contempt on the basis of obstruction of justice, and to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River 

Editor’s note: Benjamin Sheppard is a social worker and is not to be confused with Ben Sheppard, the co-owner of Sheppard’s Orchard and Vineyard Equipment.

Vote CGCC

The three Hood River County positions in the Board of Education of the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) are up for election on May 21. There are four candidates: Randy Helm (Position 3), Robin Feuerbacher and Tim Arbogast (Position 4) and myself (Position 6).

None of us is an elected incumbent. The recently retired board members (Stu Watson, whom I substituted by appointment in January, Lee Fairchild and Charlotte Arnold) deserve the community’s deepest appreciation. Together with the four Wasco County Board members (all newly elected in 2017), Stu, Charlotte and Lee led last summer’s hiring of the new CGCC President Dr. Marta Cronin. To their great collective credit, her hiring and other developments signal and potentiate essential changes in vision and approach.

While already a regional asset, CGCC is sub-critical in numbers of students and faculty, and thus programs. Growth is needed for enhanced services and stronger impact. An important step will be the recently approved construction in The Dalles of CGCC’s new Skills Center, with major funding from the state, Wasco County, and the City and Port of The Dalles. This center will open programmatic opportunities on construction and other trades, aviation maintenance, and other priority areas for the community we serve.

In its evolving vision, CGCC seeks better alignment and more engagement with the Gorge community. It aims to serve a larger and more diverse student body through more and enhanced programs. And it embraces more data-driven and transparent decision-making, and sounder financial management.

Success and innovation will require careful planning, and will benefit from diverse perspectives, healthy dialogue and hard-earned consensus. Challenges will abound. Meeting them will necessitate synergistic efforts by the CGCC administration, board, faculty, staff, students, and community at large — but is well within reach.

Please take the May election as an incentive to learn about or re-engage with the college. Together, we can make CGCC a transformative lifelong educational resource that adds essential skills, vitality and strength to the Gorge community.

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not purport to represent CGCC or its Board of Education.

Antonio Baptista

Mt. Hood 

Safe driving options

Access to rideshare services (Uber and Lyft) has become common place in the metro areas of the Northwest. Consumers can easily choose to access rideshare to safely and efficiently travel to work, restaurants, pubs, wineries and recreational attractions. Rideshare is giving consumers greater choices and more control over their travel, while allowing them to travel safely and affordably.

There is currently a legislation pending in Salem that could bring rideshare to the Gorge and available to all Oregonians sometime in the near future. HB 3023 would put in place statewide permitting standards for rideshare companies, drivers and vehicles. The bill would help eliminate the confusing patchwork of regulations that currently exists in Oregon and make it easier for all sectors of the state to have access to this important service.

Full Sail is a strong supporter of bringing rideshare to the Gorge area. We believe our customers will appreciate having an additional transportation choice that will allow them to travel safely and affordably on their own schedule. The hospitality industry continues to grow in the region providing residents and visitors alike with outstanding choices of restaurants, pubs and wineries to patronize and enjoy. Access to rideshare services will ensure that our customers can enjoy our offerings fully and travel safely while they do so.

HB 3023 is scheduled for a committee hearing next week. We encourage both Sen. Thomsen and Rep. Williams to do all they can to help this important legislation pass and become law. It’s time for rideshare in the Gorge!

Lisa Merkin

Pub General Manager, Full Sail Brewing Company

Vote for large-scale park

Westside Park. It’s the City of Hood River’s last, best hope for a large scale community park with a perfect location convenient to Hood River’s fastest growing neighborhoods on the west side of town. And it has huge community support. In a Portland State University Masters of Urban/Regional Planning Program survey, 86 percent of the 800-plus Hood River residents surveyed supported a community park to be built northwest of the Westside Elementary School on 20 acres still available for purchase. Among the important issues facing the incoming Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District board members, this is very time sensitive because the land could be sold. The incoming parks board needs to move quickly to secure this land through any of many well researched options. The County’s Zoning Ordinance articles 15 and 75 explicitly allow “parks, playgrounds, or community centers” as conditional uses on this property provided they are compatible with the surrounding areas. Friends of the Columbia Gorge has also said the park is an allowable use according to the National Scenic Area designation for rural residential lands.

If you want this park, vote for Mike McCarthy, Jeff Hunter and Peter Cornelison for the parks board. These candidates all support this proposed park and have worked hard to put it in place in the past, where as two other long time incumbent candidates voted against further pursuing this desperately needed park in 2016.

The time to act is now. Let’s get this park. Vote for McCarthy, Hunter, and Cornelison for our Parks District Board.

Polly Wood

Hood River

National sales tax?

Would you vote for a presidential candidate that proposed a national sales tax?

In 2018, the value of goods imported to the U.S. from China was more than $530 billion. The majority of this is electronics, primarily phones and computers. Tariffs on these products will not be paid by the companies in China who produce the items. There is no other source for these products that can replace the Chinese production, so the brands buying these items have no leverage. The brands may absorb part of the cost in the short term, but Wall Street will take a dim view of missed profit targets, and boards of directors and investors will demand action to stem losses. Inevitably, the brands will pass the majority of this expense on to the U.S. consumer.

This will also affect products outside the tech sphere, like apparel, footwear, textiles and small appliances. Some of these can be moved to other sources once current orders are complete, but prices will still rise because suppliers outside China will charge more, because they can.

Adding insult to injury, China is retaliating with tariffs on U.S. exports. And unlike the items China exports, the items China imports are easily replaced in the global market, so the net result is U.S. producers will suffer substantial losses. The president is proposing to use our tax dollars to pay U.S. producers to reduce their losses.

This is your new national sales tax. Keep it in mind as you decide who to vote for in 2020.

Tony Sims

Hood River

Thank you

I wanted to acknowledge many people for their support on our fire at Big Horse Brew Pub the evening of Thursday, May 2.

First, I would like to say thank you to several good Samaritans who called the police to report their was black smoke rolling out of our restaurant kitchen door. I am thankful for the evening stair walkers. If it was not for these calls, we would have lost the building. It allowed the firetrucks to get rolling ASAP, and put the fire out in 3 or 4 hours. We are grateful the fire suppression system activated and also contributed to saving the integrity of our structure.

Thank you for the help of many fire departments from our area, including West Side Fire District, Wy’East Fire District, Parkdale Fire District and Underwood Fire District. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

Thank you for your help and kind words and actions through this shocking event.

Susan Orzeck

Big Horse Brew Pub

Support 65/66

I support Measures 65 and 66. If we go over to Washington, we pay taxes there. What’s the difference?

We can’t lose services. Would you like to have no plows to plow the roads? No deputies on the roads during the night time? What happens if there is a car accident or a burglary? What’s going to happen then? Having no Search and Rescue?

How about being able to have your children play in parks and showing off our beautiful valley at Panorama Point? It’s closed right now.

My son, Michael, was a marine deputy, sheriff’s officer for years before he passed. I know how hard our officers work to make our valley safe.

Think about the beautiful valley we live in. I have lived here all but five years of my life. I’ve generations of my family were born here.

Please vote YES on Measures 65 and 66!

Leslie Melby

Hood River

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