Songer should resign

No, Sheriff Songer! There’s no global conspiracy to make Trump look bad. He does that by lying, cheating, stealing and his unethical behavior himself! 

By the way, you violated Washington Law by using your office as a political platform. My guess is the Democratic Committee will soon be filing court action forcing you to resign! 

Steve Carlson

White Salmon


State help needed

Oregon breweries and restaurants have been severely impacted by the pandemic. With public and employee health as the top priority, breweries, restaurants and our employees have endured stinging financial impacts from bar and restaurant closures across Oregon. 

After the initial stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of COVID, Governor Kate Brown and her team have built a framework for re-opening gradually and safely. This framework and corresponding orders consider the conditions in each county and have placed common-sense requirements on restaurants and our guests. 

While we expect it will be a while before we can operate at full capacity, the steps that have been taken have made a big difference in flattening the curve and allowing service industry employees, local breweries and restaurants to stay afloat. As one of the state’s largest and most impacted employment segments, the continued support and success of our breweries and restaurants is critical to Oregon’s economic recovery. As the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and extended unemployment funds have been exhausted, these state actions have offered critical support at a time where it is so urgently needed. 

As we face the prospect of a second wave, we are thankful that Governor Brown has considered public health and economic recovery to come up with a plan that prioritizes both interests. We hope and expect she will continue to find an appropriate balance as we move into the fall and winter months. Oregon’s restaurants, breweries and service industry employees are counting on it.

Ken Whiteman

Hood River

Ken Whiteman is co-owner of pFriem Family Brewing in Hood River.  


Roots of racism

So there’s no such thing as systemic racism, huh? Let’s look into that. Quoting John Ehrlichman, council and assistant to the President on domestic affairs, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: The antiwar left and Black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. Raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”


Now jumping forward to the Reagan administration, quoting political consultant and Republican strategist Lee Atwater, “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘n****r, n****r, n****r.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘n****r’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now (that) you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is (that) Blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

There you have it, the architecture of systemic racism as described by the very architects themselves. Who needs transparent racial antagonism when you can use economics to hurt a specific community while maintaining plausible deniability?

Your time is up. In the words of the late, great, David Bowie, “And these children that you spit on/ As they try to change their worlds/ Are immune to your consultations/They’re quite aware of what they’re going through,” and “where’s your shame? You’ve left us up to our necks in it.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Make America Think Again.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.


Soles 4 Souls

For the month of September, the Hood River Valley Leos Club will be hosting a Soles 4 Souls campaign. We will be collecting new and used shoes to be donated to those in need. You can drop off shoes at one of four locations: Footwise, Doug’s, Shortt Supply, and the Gorge Athletic Club (formerly the Hood River Sports Club). Have questions? Feel free to contact me at 541-806-4465 or With your help, I know that we can better the health and opportunity of others, all while prioritizing sustainability. 

Jacob Kaplan, Soles 4 Souls co-chair

Hood River


Kind gesture

I was returning from farmers market Saturday and walking east on May Street. On the opposite side of the street, there was an older couple also heading east. I saw that approximately three-quarters of a block away on the same side of the street as the older couple was a young person who was heading towards them with no mask. This young woman noticed the couple, took out her mask, and put it on — still three-quarters of the block away. I was immediately struck by the kindness of this simple gesture. It warmed my heart to see this act of thoughtfulness and care for others displayed in our community.

Samantha Irwin

Hood River


‘No mask, no service’

My wife and I have made friends with many checkers at both Rosauers and Safeway. They’re in the front lines of the pandemic all day and everyday. Nine hours with a mask on. What’s so hard about 15 minutes having one on? 

Their stories of rude jerks who won’t wear a mask and blame the world for their troubles are both amazing and sickening. What is so difficult about wearing a mask? “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Is that impinging on their freedom. Seatbelts? And the checkers tell us that it’s the clowns from Portland and other places that are the worst. Being dumb is not a positive attribute and their stupidity puts us all at risk.

Al Brown

Hood River


Support the News

The Columbia Gorge is VERY fortunate to have the Columbia Gorge News. Many of us miss the local papers we once had, but after being here for 35 years I can identify with the Columbia Gorge as my home and the home of a lot of family, friends and neighbors.

During this pandemic, it is an essential time to work together as a community. By having a local paper, we can still get informative news, learn of community happenings, be informed of local elections, learn of new and current businesses to support, and keep involved in our community. It is essential for families to find out the local school news. Families enjoy seeing their children in the paper for academics and sports. We are thrifty shoppers and use the advertising to get the best prices possible and it encourages us to shop locally. 

Since I write and read “Letters to the Editor,” I enjoy having those letters in the paper. Public notices, classified ads, police reports and obituaries are also important!  I am sure many kids and adults stuck at home also enjoy Kid Scoop!

I would like to thank Chelsea Marr for buying the community papers and for the staff to continuing to cover our local communities. The Columbia Gorge News is trying diligently to spread out their coverage in the Columbia Gorge region.  Please support the Columbia Gorge News so our local paper can prosper!

Nancy Johanson Paul

Hood River


Rushing for Dist. 14

COVID-19 cases are growing in our district and state, with over 10,000 confirmed cases in Yakima alone. We need a commitment to science, logic and community action to successfully contain this disease. Rep. Chris Corry has shown himself lacking in all three, beginning with his frivolous lawsuit against Gov. Inslee’s statewide COVID restrictions — which were the only thing that kept our state from exploding in coronavirus cases last spring. More recently, with an astounding lack of logic, Corry argues that the emergency “has passed,” calling for people who seem well to return to work even as he acknowledges that asymptomatic people transmit this highly contagious disease. Finally, Corry continues to call for “county level” control of the disease, despite Yakima being one of the hottest COVID-19 spots in the country.  Clearly Chris Corry should not be handling the worst medical crisis this country has seen since the influenza pandemic following World War I.  

That is why I am voting for Dr. Tracy Rushing for Legislative seat in the 14th District.  A pediatrician and ER doctor, Rushing has the scientific knowledge and training to understand and apply medical data in ways that will protect her constituents’ health, education and economy. As a mother of three young children, she is committed to the future of the entire region —  and not just the economic interests of campaign contributors like Anhauser Bush, Boeing and Chevron. 

Not a career politician, Rushing’s professional pledge to “do no harm” has prompted her to enter this race in the hopes of protecting the health and safety of communities throughout District 14. Please join me in voting for Tracy Rushing.

Leigh Hancock

White Salmon


Pulling an anvil

As November comes flying along at us, I’m trying to understand the rational of people who will be voting for President Trump. 

I’ve heard some of what he’s said about changing unfair trade policies to help American factory workers, wanting to bring American troops home from war zones and trying to fix our crumbling infrastructure. For better or worse, since announcing his candidacy in 2015 he has touched on some things that need improvement and I find myself still urging him to keep moving forward in those areas.

While he has brought voice to some important things, he has also been incredibly talented at sowing division and no, that is not "fake news." 

The hardest and most confusing things for me to watch have been his attacks on service members such as Sen. John McCain, his denigration of the FBI, judges and other law enforcement entities, and the way he speaks about women, minorities and his political opponents. 

If you’re voting for him in November, it’s the wrong direction for our country. While yes, you may be gaining a champion for important causes, the cost of division is much higher to our society. 

Four more years of Trump will be like running a marathon pulling an anvil. Or climbing Everest without a jacket and supplemental oxygen. 

We all breathe the same air and see the same blue sky. It is important to choose politicians who at least make some efforts to understand that.

Avery Hoyt

White Salmon


Hear ye, hear ye

Never in my life have I had the experience of cheering when I read the opinions of members of the conservative legal organization, The Federalist Society.  Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society, has voted Republican in every election since 1980, voted for Donald Trump in 2016, stated that the Mueller investigation was unconstitutional, and opposed the impeachment of Donald Trump.  

As someone who has voted Democratic in every election since 1972, voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, supported the Mueller investigation and Donald Trump’s impeachment, you might wonder why I would be cheering when I read Calabresi’s opinion in the New York Times on July 30, 2020. In this article, Calbresi was responding to President Trump’s statement that with universal mail-in voting, the 2020 election would be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history, and a great embarrassment to the USA. The president’s solution: Delay the election!  

Calabresi explains that Election Day was fixed by federal law in 1845, and even if the president disputes an election he lost, his term of office is over on Jan. 20, 2021. Article II of the Constitution gives the states total power over the selection of presidential electors. Each state determines whether or not to allow mail-in voting for presidential elections (not the president or the federal government). Calabresi advises that we should not even consider canceling November’s election because of the president’s concern. Thank you, Mr. Calabresi, for setting the record straight about our country’s laws and Constitution. 

Here’s where my cheering began. Calabresi went even further to say, “President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.”  

Hear ye! Hear ye! I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Calabresi.     

Mimi Maduro




Thanks, Jo Ann Hardesty. De-funding the police, or as Joe Biden calls it, redirecting funds, has resulted in the City of Portland recording its highest monthly homicide toll in three decades. That’s right, it’s highest in three decades! Fifteen homicides in the month on July alone. The police bureau was forced to cut it’s Gun Violence Reduction Council after Jo Ann Hardesty and the city council voted to “defund” and redirect millions of dollars to other programs. The result of budget cuts to police was the eliminations of the Gang Reduction team that was credited in helping reduce violence in mostly Black communities. Is this what we want when the Dems and the far left is running our country?

Mike Billets

Hood River


New perspectives with Turner

Let’s face it, local politics are different from national politics. The usual party definitions do not always apply, and in a conservative region like Klickitat County, the terms “progressive” and “Democrat” do not always need to be feared. 

Among local office holders, thoughtful conservatives typically value our traditions, common sense approaches to problems, fiscal responsibility, and keeping what works well in place. Thoughtful progressives typically hold these values as well, but they also tend to be more willing to push against the status quo to ask hard questions about what is really working well (or not) and what new approaches might be needed to make a town or a county a better place to live in for all its citizens. 

Joanna Toleno Turner — one such thoughtful progressive — is seeking a seat on the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners to ask those hard questions and to bring new ideas and new approaches to the commission. 

Two important needs she sees are the need for better access to mental healthcare and the need for additional affordable housing for seniors. Wouldn’t it be better to find innovative, common sense solutions to existing problems like these at the local level before one-size-fits-all solutions get imposed from the State? Joanna is a smart, committed, and decisive candidate, whom I have known for years. She will bring innovative new perspectives and creative energy to the Board of Commissioners.

Tom Pierson



Courage needed

Everyone has answers to our impossible-to-solve problems, especially the clever and witty political commentary letter writers. 

Your voice, your opinion and your vote are not going to fix one damn problem. This letter is directed at one man or woman who has the courage to turn their back on a system that only generates hate and anger and never a solution. They must call on a rare form of courage to know and witness the true fix. They must act differently than the masses who believe their silence is a crime. What is needed now by that one man or one woman is silence. Sit still and be quiet and read. I have the courage to play the fool of fools right now. The answer to our problems will not be attained by electing another flawed candidate. The dramatic problems the world is contending with will only be fixed by a miracle. Yes, a miracle. Did I lose most of you there? Probably. 

That is expected for the courage needed to “see” this truth may be found in one person among millions. To ruthlessly expose the elected official is common and somewhat cowardly, besides vain. This miracle I am referring to will come from a divine being, a Creator. This Creator reveals his existence in the well-known scriptures. That is what the collection of books is for. 

Your contempt and disrespect for the scriptures is reasonable. The church system and the behavior of pastor are indeed uncomfortable and questionable. Pastor has destroyed nearly any possibility of you reading them. The church system and religion can be very offensive. You are deeply offended by the pastor church show but you have difficulty in distinguishing that offensive smell. The odor is superstition and you loath it. 

Do not trust me, but there is not one ounce of pastor superstitions in the books. Why is it presented that way? Pastor is lazy. The common, accepted superstitions need not be taught. Church goers know them before they show up. 

I am presenting the books and the fix by a different name. Let us call it “You Read.” Have the courage and sense to admit that “Democracy” is not the answer. You want proof that a Creator exists and that he will perform the miracle you are vainly seeking through your voice?  The task of reading is daunting, it is a large book. Ask me for the evidence. 

Gary Fischer

The Dalles 


Big thank you

A big thank you from Shirley Skov for all those supporting my fundraiser for Home at Last Humane Society, a collection of anecdotes about “Life with a Veterinarian.” To date, approximately $3,000 has been donated, a few books are available at Klindts Booksellers and about 35 books remain; I began with 200. I am happy to mail anywhere. In addition, I have heard personally from many old friends, some I have not seen in years. Often calls are about personal experiences others had with my veterinarian husband, Milt. Much appreciated is the support of The Dalles Chronicle newspaper, the radio stations, Klindts Booksellers and my family.

The entire experience was fun, and rewarding for me.

Shirley Skov

The Dalles

Trojan horse

I’m very curious on how this virus has been turned into a Trojan Horse. I’m sure I lost a lot of people after the first sentence. I have been pondering this for a couple of months. How did a very deadly virus (what the media and politicians are constantly drilling into people’s heads but the data shows very differently) turn into climate change, reform/defund police, racial division, anarchy, vote by mail, deleting history, economic destruction, gun legislation, massive censorship and abortion?

I have other questions. How is it that this virus is so deadly, but you are allowed to take your mask off while at the restaurant eating (Yes, I know that it needs to be off in order to eat) but you need to put it on while coming/leaving or going to the bathroom? Why did the media and politicians go from reporting deaths 24/7 at the beginning and then switch to infections 24/7 while still saying the same things as they were when talking about the deaths? How is it that governors and mayors are blaming everyone except themselves when it comes to massive unemployment and permanent business closures when they are the ones that did the shutdowns and picked who was “essential” and who wasn’t? Why is it that so many doctors/experts are being censored because they have a different view of what the World Health Organization has? 

Why do the media and politicians constantly condemn church gatherings, weddings, funerals, family gatherings even if people are following recommendations but praise massive protests?

I hear constantly from our elected leaders that they are driven by data and science, but what I see is the total opposite.  Take a break from the “news” and social media. 

“It’s absolutely fascinating to witness millions of people who are willing to stop living, in order to avoid dying.” — Willa Wallace, YouTube. Thank you, Columbia Gorge News, for space in your paper. 

Doug Geary

Hood River

Editor's note: The quote attributed to Willa Wallace is a transcription of a spoken quote by writer John Waters in a YouTube video titled “The Current Dystopia and The Road Ahead With John Waters,” posted on the YouTube channel Computing Forever on July 31, 2020.

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