Thank you for vital work
 
I want to echo Heidi Venture’s letter (“Prioritize Housing,” printed in Letters to the Editor on June 19) of praise and appreciation to the Hood River City Council for its decision to proceed with low income housing on Lot 700.
 
It’s brave; it’s the right thing to do; it’s not easy in the face of quite a bit of public misunderstanding; and it follows through on longstanding commitments and public priority-setting.
 
More generally, I want to thank all those in volunteer (or very low-paying) public office in our local communities — serving on our county commissions, planning commissions, special work groups and task forces, school boards, watershed and public utility boards, transportation councils, and others I’m failing to mention but appreciate all the same.
 
Your work is vital. There probably isn’t a single decision you could ever reach that would please all constituents, and sometimes those who oppose your actions go on the attack. That’s never a comfortable thing to have coming at you.
 
Thank you for sticking with the many tough and complicated challenges of any community — striving to research, reflect and reach the best solutions you can.
 
Finally, a special note of appreciation for outgoing Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn. I have found him to be courageous, clear headed and forward-thinking. I will miss his influence in our community.
 
Tina Castañares
Hood River (Odell)
 
Impeach
 
Will you be joining in the group that is forming to impeach President Trump?
 
Wanda Taylor
Hood River
 
‘Start hiding our friends?’
 
I want to take a moment to thank Jeff Merkley for hosting his town hall on Saturday, and especially for all his work traveling to our southern border and reporting to us, the constituents, on the conditions of the concentration camps in which migrants are held. One attendee, who’s name I have forgotten, was visibly upset when speaking of these conditions, and of how her concerted letter writing campaigns and political donations seem to be having no effect. I can relate. I must admit that it was difficult for me to maintain my own composure. There’s absolutely no good reason that I was born white and in the United States. It could easily be me, and my family, fleeing our home because of a tyrannical government, crushing poverty, or environmental decay, only to have my 2-year-old ripped from my arms and to be labeled an illegal person.
 
Though her words were stricken from the record, and that she was barred from speaking for the rest of the session, I want to bring attention to the very true and accurate words of Congresswoman Underwood of Illinois, speaking on the subject of the detention of immigrants:
 
“At this point, with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like, and the evidence is really clear, this is intentional. It’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane.”
 
She was chastised for making an outrageous allegation, but as it happens, this was the explicit reasoning behind the policy, first floated by John Kelly as early as March of 2017. In June of 2018, Trump signed an executive order ending family separation, and it has not been enforced. This is clearly state sanctioned child abuse as a result of transparent racism which is masquerading as national security, and it is monstrous.
 
Absolutely monstrous.
 
Since drafting this letter, Donald Trump has declared his intent to begin the process of “removing millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”
 
Is it time to start hiding our friends?
 
Benjamin Sheppard
Hood River
 
Editor’s Note: Benjamin Sheppard works as a support worker for special needs adults.
 
It doesn’t shoot itself
 
The cartoon in the June 19 Hood River News shows a hand gun with a silencer to which an upside-down American flag is attached. It is labeled “gun violence.”
 
It seems pretty obvious that guns don’t shoot unless someone pulls the trigger; they don’t just fire on their own. The truth is that the human shooter determines whether it is used for bad purposes or for good purposes.
 
It would be helpful if the cartoon writer and publisher would use some common sense.
 
Donald Rose
Hood River

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