Protect ESA

Clearly, the Trump administration’s craving for the almighty corporate dollar supersedes any compassion for animals.

Republican President Nixon signed the bipartisan Endangered Species Act in 1973, but Trump is working to cripple it. The rollback comes amid a human-caused biodiversity crisis that has pushed up to 1 million species to the brink of extinction. That assessment comes from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the United Nations’ expert nature panel.

The Trump administration has also significantly reduced inspections for commercial animal operators such as breeders, zoos, circuses, horse shows and research labs.

In the case of the ESA, the reason to weaken it is to make it easier for fossil fuel corporations to increase mining, drilling and fracking. The national bird, the bald eagle, as well as many other animals including humpback whales, California condors, grizzly bears and Florida manatees, have been saved from extinction in large part because of the ESA. So have many indigenous plants.

Regarding commercial animal inspections, according to The Washington Post, more than a dozen departed employees of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture division that conducts inspections said the more lenient approach has curtailed inspectors’ ability to document violations, putting animals at risk. Again, the reason fits with Trump’s pro-industry, anti-regulatory agenda.

What can you do? Obviously, the best solution is to vote Trump and his Republican enablers out of office. In the meantime, eight environmental groups, led by Earthjustice, are currently suing the Trump administration for its sweeping overhaul of the ESA. They need your donations to succeed.

Tracie Hornung

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

End White Nationalism

Anyone concerned about the rising of hate in this country should read the book “Rising out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist” by Eli Saslow, which is available at the library. This beautiful and eye-opening book is about Derek Black, a home schooled, gifted young man who is trained to be a champion of hate, who encounters love, hope and empathy at college in Florida. I think this is one of the most important books in my lifetime.

From this book, one will learn what White Nationalists believe such as white people should live in separate parts of the United States. They believe that European immigrants are superior to other races. They are against interbreeding, invasion of immigrants, Black and Hispanic people, Jews, and deny the Holocaust. Nationalists feel they are a victim of white oppression and white genocide. They recruit followers by telling them they are superior to other people and incite fear and violence.

Derek Black is the son of Don Black, who started the radio show Stormfront, and the godson of David Duke. At college, Derek weekly attends Shabbat Jewish dinners with his new friends who share different beliefs, and he comes to see how damaging his beliefs are. Derek denounces White Nationalism and after he decides that White Nationalism rhetoric is groomed in a way that leads to current normalization in the United States, Dereck decides to tell his life story.

It is alarming how the White Nationalists views infiltrated the U.S. political mainstream and was embraced by presidential candidate Trump and the Republican Party. President Trump has only denounced White Nationalists once after the El Paso shooting.

I would like to know how many people who attend Trump’s rallies are White Nationalists. Now I can understand where some of the hate comes from in our current day politics. If President Trump isn’t a White Nationalist, he sure talks and acts like one. It is time now for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to denounce the hateful rhetoric espoused by President Trump.

Nancy Paul

Hood River

'Grow up’

In Steve Kaplan’s letter, “Black and White,” he makes a valid point that disrespect is shown to the U.S. flag when it is displayed backwards, flown when it is torn and other things. But I think these actions are probably due to ignorance and/or apathy, which are not good. On the other hand, highly paid athletes purposely and openly display hostility not only for the flag, but for the millions of citizens of many races who obtained our freedoms at great price. They do this by kneeling when they should be standing in appreciation of their freedoms.

If these athletes want to protest racism and unfair treatment of natural-born U.S. citizens, they should do it on their own time and in a more meaningful way. So, it’s time for these over-paid, whiny, spoiled people to grow up, but they have the right to be over-paid, whiny, spoiled people in the U.S. Such actions probably would not be tolerated by a totalitarian government, where real unfair treatment exists!

Donald Rose

Hood River

City zoning

My wife Carolou and I moved into town a while back, settling in the Henderson Road neighborhood, which we are enjoying. We received a flyer from the city explaining the new “Roll-out” pick up service for recycling, yard waste and trash. Then I learned that I didn’t qualify because I lived in the county. Say what? My neighbors have the “Roll-out” service. How can they be in the city and I be out? I referred to the city zoning map online for the answer. You can too.

This is where the politics of annexing property gets interesting, which is what the city did when they annexed the new small residential development on the short north/south section of Belmont. Logically, they would simply run a connector down Belmont to join the city line at 22nd Street. However, they chose a line diagonally, zigzagging through properties on Park Place Loop, St. Charles Place, and finally popping out between Nos. 720 and 730 Henderson directly across the street from the southern property line of the Hood River Care Center. They completed the connection by following the property line up the east side to Belmont, continuing north up 22nd Street.

Notice anything? They ended up at exactly the same place, except that Hood River Care Center has been cut out of Hood River. They could have accomplished the same goal if they had run the line down Belmont, as I suggested, and looped around the Center to connect with 22nd Street. My guess is that this would shine a light on their purpose (which appears to be to hide the fact that the city bowed to the center’s lobbyists) whereas the ridiculous zigzag route might obscure the obvious. If this were their aim, they missed as they created a situation where one’s property right to city services is obscured. What are they going to do about snow removal as our streets switch from in to out of town in the middle of the block? Will the plows stop, back out and run around the block to reach another city segment?

Russ Hurlbert

Hood River

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