Beautiful Baseball

Every year a group of young people dress up the White Salmon baseball diamonds. This year is the best yet, with improved access for safety. Job well done, thank you!

Adrian Palmer

White Salmon

Save Mural

As a former member of The Dalles Mural Society, I am very concerned with the decisions in regard to Tony’s Town & Country building located at 401 E. Second St., The Dalles. The City of The Dalles and The Dalles Urban Renewal District is considering tearing down this building. What is to happen to the mural on the side of this building? There are thousands of dollars invested in the mural and it is local history.

Come on, The Dalles Mural Society and residents of The Dalles! SAVE THIS MURAL!

Jody Cochenour


Thanks, Kirby

Thank you Kirby for wearing all the hats you did while in our/your community! You contributed a great deal as the years flew by. I have forgiven you for shouting at me once when I did not come to a full stop on the intersection near your home. You were right, of course! No doubt you will fit into the McMinnville community as nicely as you did here.

Let me also mention how much I appreciated the comment in your farewell letter, re the gravel yard on Cascade St. It really is a rotten shame that we allow it to just sit there when we have such a great need for low income housing. A perfect spot for apartments across from the shopping center with cross walks nearby. I have been told the state wants a million dollars before handing it over. That’s the stumbling block. Well, let’s see if some day we can send you a note telling you of progress in this matter.

We wish you and Lorre all the best. Continue having fun! PK and I will miss you!

Maria Kollas

Hood River

Homeless or Nomad?

Recently, we’ve seen an increase in Hood River’s homeless population.

Is this a problem and how should we address it?

First, are making progress when it comes to understanding and respecting diversity?

Or, are we still better than others and need them to understand us and be more like us?

Why do people look at those who live on the street and find fault in their choices? Why do they need to conform to our life choices and change their nomadic lifestyle?

Since the dawn of man, there have been nomads. They don’t want to conform, be tied down, pay rent, pay a mortgage, pay utilities, pay taxes, etc.

What’s wrong with that?

Nothing. And, it sounds appealing in many ways. So, why is there concern over how to rehabilitate “these people,” provide them food, shelter, etc.?

It seems if we provide shelter, food, etc., we’re rewarding, recruiting and encouraging more nomads.

What about my reward for paying a mortgage, taxes, contributing to society, etc.? I guess my reward is that I have “stuff.”

Why don’t we just let these people be and not feel compelled to support them. Many think they are on drugs and need our help. Over the last several years on my trips to LaPaz, Mexico, I’ve noticed there aren’t any nomads camping on sidewalks and public parks. Why do we see them in the U.S.?

It seems the U.S. supports nomads and Mexico doesn’t.

Let’s stop supporting them. If they break the law, litter or become offensive, the police should fine them, jail them and/or insist they leave Hood River.

Jon Nigbor

Hood River

Support Nelson

My name is Philip Mascher, I’m a real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty. I’m also on the The Dalles Planning Commission, a board member at The Dalles Art Center and a member of The Dalles Arts & Design Committee.

I’m writing this in support of John Nelson’s bid for Board Director for North Wasco County School District 21 for Zone 4, and re-election to the School Board. I have had the pleasure of working with John in different capacities, and found him an invaluable asset to the community.

John has been a highly engaged community member and teacher in Oregon for over 50 years. Along with a long list of civic volunteer contributions, John was elected as a School Board Director for North Wasco County Schools D21 in 2013, and has served as Chairman of the Board for the last two years.

Johns 8 years of distinguished service on the school board have given him invaluable experience, and the community has invested in John in the form of varied programs of board member training.

John is a tireless advocate for the community who has spent a significant part of his life in service to others. He is a friendly, kind and thoughtful person who enjoys working for the common good. John does not focus on what divides the community, but on what unites it. He fosters collaborative relationships and treats others with respect and encouragement.

I know that John will work tirelessly to create and improve policy that lowers the barriers for all youth, no matter what their means, and to have full and equitable access to the school services our district offers. His approach and experience is perfectly suited to fulfill the school district’s mission to motivate, educate, and graduate our students in the top quality schools we help to create.

If you live in Zone 4, I encourage you to vote for John Nelson as Board Director, North Wasco County School District, Zone 4.

Philip Mascher

The Dalles

History questioned

The author propounded in the letter “History Lost” in the March 31 Columbia Gorge News edition changing views and explanations of history. I am grateful that the author, as others do, has the “right” to freely express their opinion on this and other matters. But, he casts great suspicion on his “facts” when he says, “capitalism has lifted tens of billions of people out of poverty.” What planet do you live on? “Tens of billions?” Whoa Nelly!

Gary McFarlen

Hood River

Leadership needed

We recently presented letters to the Klickitat and Skamania County Commissioners about the imminent sale of SDS lands. We have received no response to date. Here is an abbreviated version of our letters:

Dear Commissioners,

We want to bring the upcoming SDS Lumber Company sale to your attention. We ask you to consider how you might best serve the county in this process. SDS will be selling all their assets including the lumber mill in Bingen, Wash. and over 100,000 acres of forest land in the local area.

Public interest and concern is high, as demonstrated by news coverage, social media comments, and attendance by approximately 200 people at the showing of the film "UPROOTED" by Joel Roth on March 14 (on YouTube).

We think you have a role to play in the discussion of economic impacts, loss of forest resources and quality of life impacts to our community and residents. We’ll go farther, in fact, and ask you to take leadership in protecting the county’s economic well-being.

What are you doing to address community concerns? What are doing to prevent the loss of over 300 local jobs? What are you doing to address the potential loss of forest resources and revenue to non-local profit only entities?

Pat Arnold

Friends of the White Salmon River

Public health champions

Dear Public Health Champions,

To say that 2020 was a challenging year for public health is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down in a way that no one could have prepared for. However, public health professionals were not only up to the challenge, but we now see the light at the end of the tunnel. As a community, we focused on public health and prevention principles which have put us on a path to end the pandemic and begin a return to normal in Wasco County.

This week, April 5-11, is National Public Health Week, a week that has been celebrated for 26 years to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. With the theme "Building Bridges to Better Health," we want to celebrate all of our hardworking public health professionals safely: wear a mask; stay physically distant; wash your hands; get a flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you. We must be well in order to begin rebuilding our community.

This past year has shown how essential public health is to all of us. My thanks go out to the North Central Public Health District and all of our local health workers as they continue to work countless hours to lessen the effects of this pandemic and address the needs of the people in our region.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating National Public Health Week 2021, as we celebrate the power of prevention and preventive care, advocate for healthy and fair policies, educate our community about healthy behaviors and work to build a strong public health system across our country.

Learn more at

And please take a moment to thank and support our public health workers for the crucial work they have done throughout the long days, weeks and months of this pandemic.

Best and healthy wishes,

Steve Kramer

Wasco County Commissioner

Firsthand source

Dear Columbia Gorge News editor, you are incorrect — first hand is not synonymous with firsthand nor first-hand.

Firsthand (American English) and first-hand (British English) are adjectives that describes a primary or original source. They are also adverbs that describes how someone learned something, namely, directly from the source. Which I think was your intention.

First hand is not an adjective phrase. It does contain the adjective first, so when you see “first hand” in a sentence, it refers the “first in a series of hands.”

Understanding how to correctly use language is very important when trying to communicate. As an editor, you have a unique responsibility to the community to communicate information in a clear and correct manner. Everyone makes mistakes, but the error is less important than how one responds to it.

Glen Patrizio

Hood River

Vax thanks

I want to let people know how impressed I was with the staff at the Readiness Center. They were so organized and things went so smoothly. No waiting. There were signs that told you where to go — very well thought out. The staff was so accommodating. It was a pleasant experience. This was my second shot. So a HUGE thank you to all who worked there.

Klea Espy

The Dalles


Legislators cowering within a razor wired stockade, guarded by heavily armed military troops to protect themselves from We the People, in The People’s House, purportedly to do The People’s Business, is a sure sign of treachery.

The treachery of doing The Business to We the People NOT for We the People.

We the People pronounce them GUILTY as charged.

Gary R. VanOrman

The Dalles