For 4S2!

Cheers to all the pilots, aviation ground crew, local fire and police that put out or supported the extinguishing of the East Hills ground fire on Monday, Aug. 17.

Without your skill and expertise, that could have been a disaster. They licked it in about an hour and 15 minutes, judging from where I watched the organized water assault while having tacos at The Gorge White House with my family.

We are lucky here in Hood River to have 4S2, Ken Jernstedt Airfield. This airfield and its many organizations that help train, support, and educate current and future pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike are vital to our local economy, growth, education and culture.

Small airports like this that allow for curious youngsters to get their first flight or train in a glider or powered aircraft is what sparked my distant cousin Neil Armstrong’s interest in learning to fly. The pilots that train here become the pilots that fly you to your vacation or see your loved ones, allow for your Amazon Prime item to be delivered in a couple of days, fly for Life Flight, volunteer fly for Angel Wings West, volunteer fly for Pilots and Paws Rescue Services, fly and defend our borders or other countries boarders that are less fortunate as ours, fly to put out fires, fly to stop animal poaching with the Fish and Wildlife, on and on, and yes fly for fun as given to them by their free rights in our Constitution of our United Sates of America.

Please help support 4S2 Ken Jernstedt Airfield and it’s many amazing organizations, most importantly Hood River Soaring, Tac-Aero, and the world’s premiere antique aviation museum WAAAM.

Mark A. Stanfield

Hood River

Add a ballot box

As a resident of Mt. Hood, I urge Hood River County to install a ballot box in both Parkdale and Odell. The nearest ballot box at this time is in downtown Hood River. That is a huge inconvenience for residents in the Upper Valley, especially for elderly people.

This doesn’t seem like much of an expense, and with recent federal efforts at voter suppression it would be a patriotic and honorable thing to do.

Thank you.

Tracie Hornung

Mt. Hood

Pro-choice reasons

I am pro-choice, and here’s why:

Even if I grant the other side some questionable presuppositions, such as life beginning at conception, at the end of the day, I don’t want people who do not want children, or do not have the resources to be able to adequately raise a child, to be forced to have said children. This does nobody any good.

Does that mean that abortion is fun and easy? Hell no. It’s sad and painful, and the vilification of exercising bodily autonomy with respect to reproduction only adds to the negative experience.

Conservatives would happily use the power of the government to force you to birth and raise children that you don’t want, while simultaneously and systematically disabling the social safety nets that you probably rely on, as well as destroying the environment for the future of those children.

Meanwhile, it is progressives that are literally and figuratively planting the trees that our children’s children’s children will sit under.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.

Sturgis

I saw the pictures from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Been there and it is very entertaining. Not just a bunch of rich guys dressing and behaving like pirates for a week. Thousands of people from all over the country will have a good time and take home pleasant memories. Hopefully that is all they will take home.

Masks and avoiding large gatherings seem to not be priorities in South Dakota.

Fortunately, patriotic Americans have always been willing to die in order to protect our God given rights and freedoms. Helping the economy is just a bonus. How many people will die to protect the right to not wear masks or meet in large gatherings during this pandemic?

Hopefully none.

Freedom to worship as we please is also a right, although the largest COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon (236 people) was traced back to a church. We seem to want immediate gratification of our desires but maybe we should try to strike a balance between saving lives with retaining wealth.

It would be nice to do both. Time will tell.

Dave Radley

Hood River

Obvious hypocrisy

It seems that on a daily basis, I now must drive by people asking for signatures to “recall Governor Brown.” Their signs read “Stop the abuse.” What is the “abuse” to which they are referring?

Are these the people, in the flesh, who believe that COVID-19 social distancing ordinances issued by Gov. Brown are an abuse of power? Are they arguing that attempting to mandate safety is an abuse of power? Are these the same people who don’t want to wear masks to keep themselves and others safe? Are these the ones who yell “All lives matter”?

Are these the same people who fight for “pro-life”? But, for some reason, they think government mandated safety measures for the citizens of their home state don’t comply with their all-lives-matter-pro-life agendas ... I don’t understand the obvious hypocrisy.

Cognitive dissonance has arrived in full force in our quaint little tourist town, everyone. Please keep yourself and others safe.

Jonathan Terharr

Hood River

Save the Census

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced it would prematurely end census operations on Sept. 30, 2020, despite disruptions due to COVID-19 that have significantly slowed data collection. The counting date had been extended through Oct. 31 for that very reason.

This is an intentional and transparent move designed to sabotage the census, thereby skewing Congressional representation, redistricting, and critical funding allotments for every state in the nation.

Nearly four of 10 households have not yet been counted. To a large degree, these are immigrants, people of color, and traditionally undercounted groups. The results of this misrepresentation will last a decade.

Congress can and should act to protect the census by ensuring adequate funding in the next COVID stimulus package to continue census counting through October as planned. Please encourage our elected officials, Rep. Greg Walden and Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, to fight for the necessary funding.

Daera Dobbs

Hood River

Mail is essential

The finest man I have ever known spent his entire career working for the United States Postal Service. With the exception of the years that he spent fighting for this country in three different wars (World War II, Korea and Vietnam), he worked to make sure that Americans got their Social Security checks, letters to and from grandparents, tax refunds, and grocery store coupons (a big deal for my grandma every week). If he were still alive and working, he would be delivering stimulus checks, prescriptions, and, in states lucky enough to have vote-by-mail, ballots.

The USPS delivers over 472 million pieces of mail in this country every day. In contrast, UPS delivers approximately 22 million packages (worldwide), and FedEx delivers approximately 6 million packages a day. The drafters of the U.S. Constitution believed regular interstate communication to be so important that they wrote it into the document (Article I, Section 8, Clause 7: “Congress shall have the Power to establish Post Offices and post Roads”). For my entire life, I have taken the mail for granted. The mail carrier comes, we get and send mail. There are, of course, complaints, especially lately as its funding has been cut and Amazon has come in to compete — but for the most part, it has been a reliable, constant, and quiet part of life.

Now we see reports that mailboxes are being removed, mail is being delayed, and Pres. Trump is saying the quiet part out loud, admitting that he is holding up post office funding because “that means that you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to handle it.” It seems that he believes that only Democrats vote by mail or care about getting mail. In the midst of a pandemic, vote-by-mail in an election year is the logical, safe way to ensure that Americans can exercise their right to vote but that will not happen if the president is blocking the mail.

My grandpa loved this country and he hated cheaters. I am grateful that he is not here to see what Pres. Trump is doing right now.

Jennifer Hackett

Hood River

Responsible Planning

I live at the Skamania/Clark County line. Our well went dry in February and it cost us $30,000 for a new well. People live in rural areas because they love the lifestyle. But rural life has limitations, one of them being that we have no alternative for water if our well drys up.

The West End Comprehensive Plan was created over several years with guidelines for the number of wells this area can support, and parcel sizes that allow growth in a sustainable way.

This plan’s intent was to protect the rural way of life, water temperature for fish survival, and availability of well water. With hotter summers becoming the new “normal,” the risk of wells going dry is very real. For this reason I ask that you support Jeremy Bechtel for Skamania County Commissioner District 1. Jeremy understands the importance of responsible planning. He will work to protect our rural lifestyle, and in return protect our water so that we can remain living in the beautiful area.

Sherri Irish

Washougal

Support Turner

Klickitat County is beautiful, safe, and full of vibrant communities. These are not the reasons my family moved here, but they are the reasons we have stayed for 15 years. Klickitat County is a great place to raise children. As a parent of two teenagers, I want my kids to grow up in a supportive community. As an active volunteer with youth organizations in this county for more than 10 years, I have seen tremendous community support! I have also seen that many of our children miss out on that support. Too many of our kids in Klickitat County experience substance use issues, bullying, abuse, and mental health challenges. Too often these kids land in the court system or worse.

Joanna Turner is a parent and recognizes that the youth in our county need more support. Joanna is committed to helping Klickitat County support every child with prevention — providing and increasing services like after-school tutoring, mentoring programs, youth centers, food support, child care, reproductive health education and support, and in-county treatment centers. These preventive services will help us build a safer, healthier, more supportive Klickitat County, and will ensure all our youth have the chance to thrive.

Joanna Turner’s commitment to our youth and to the longevity of our county is clear. Please join me in voting for Joanna Turner for Klickitat County Commissioner.

Marisa Cieloha

White Salmon

Rushing for Dist. 14

Many seem to believe that health insurance provided through employment is a time-honored concept that was handed down by our founding fathers. In fact, employer-based healthcare only dates back to World War II when wages were frozen by law, and companies tried to attract workers with health benefits. Time has proven this model deeply flawed. For-profit insurance companies, drug manufacturers, hospitals and providers have steadily made healthcare benefits unfordable for employers, putting them at a big disadvantage in the world market. The result has been job loss in our country and shrinking coverage, coupled with higher copays. And that’s if you are lucky enough to be employed. Otherwise, you are just left out on your own: Uninsured or under-insured. In that situation, you are much more likely to be unable to manage chronic and new medical conditions adequately, resulting in avoidable expensive hospitalizations that we all end up paying for when you are unable to do so. As an ER physician, Tracy Rushing, MD, deals with avoidable health crises every day. She is acutely aware that there needs to be a better way. Some form of universal healthcare is in place in almost every developed country around the globe. It is affordable; their healthcare costs are less than half of ours. It works. They live as long or longer with better health statistics on many measures. Let’s get behind someone who will work to make universal healthcare a reality in our state. Let’s finally get this right! Vote for Tracy Rushing to represent District 14.

Robert C. Florek, MD

Underwood

On masks

Making a law that kids have to wear seatbelts was good. But when someone is given a license to drive, they should also have the right to decide whether or not to wear a seat belt. It disgusts me that Oregonians voted to make that a law. It is shameful that police enforce it. It isn’t the sort of thing that should be made a law in the U.S. of A. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. My life belongs too me, not the state. It is unconstitutional, and should be revoked.

When something you do is likely to endanger someone else, that’s different. Requiring measures to limit disease spread is part of good government..

It really bugs me that people have criticized employees who demand that patrons wear masks. Every place of business has the right to demand a dress code of patrons. Shoes and shirt are not required by law (except as regards decency laws). Some establishments demand that a man wear suit and tie. That is allowed. But unless the dress code is posted at the door, it is illegal to refuse service or ask someone to leave for going without tie, shoes, or anything.

Masks, that’s different.

Adrian Fields

Hood River

Leviathan government

Provided it doesn’t suffer from constant deconstruction and revision, history can be insightful. In 1932, perhaps the worst year of the Depression, Louisiana Democrat and demagogue Senator Huey Long was asked if fascism was likely to come to America. He replied, “Sure but it will be called anti-fascism.”

All shades of socialism are in essence uncomfortably similar economically, socially, and politically in that eventually, to borrow a phrase, there can be nothing above the state and nothing outside the state. Statist Republicans as well as Democrats subscribe to and faithfully practice this seamless system.

On its hind legs, socialism will eventually intellectualize and even spiritualize violence in its drive to create utopia on earth. Jurist Robert Bork wrote that utopian thinking, without regard to actual realities, will instead result in violence and subjegation for all, including the very people it says it values.

We now have a front row seat of leftist violence coupled with an overall dull response from too many Republicans. At the same time, we’re faced with those who demand, for their own interests, hyper-individualism at the same time demanding hyper-collective rights according to their specific preferred group identity.

Klickitat County Sheriff, Bob Songer, isn’t popular with some people for the right reason. He places the guarantees of the Constitution ahead of and in place of the destructive tendencies exibited by far too many which is why some find him objectionable.

Judge Bork also pointed out that our Constitution presents a firewall between our individual liberties at tension with the excesses of the leviathan government. Ironically this is available even for those who want to destroy it.

Mike Goodpaster

Goldendale

Dismayed by USPS actions

I am shocked and deeply concerned by the blatant dismantling of our US Postal Service by the Trump administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The President has made clear that his motivation is voter suppression by reducing the reliability of mail-in ballots. This action is particularly reprehensible during a pandemic, when voting by mail is a safe way for people to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

The Post Office is enshrined in the US Constitution and is a beloved and essential institution in America, with as high as 90 percent approval ratings. For so many of us, the post office is a lifeline, providing timely delivery of crucial medicines, ballots, information, financial matters, personal correspondence.

I am outraged by the wanton decommissioning and destruction of 500 barcode sorters and the removal of many mailboxes. This has wasted millions of dollars in taxpayer money. All of this equipment belongs to the American people.

I encourage everyone who cares about our Post Office to speak out and stand up for this vital service and for free and fair elections. Our very democracy is at stake.

Carole Anderson

The Dalles

No electricity?

I heard on the radio that we may very well experience brownouts due to the shutting down of the [electricity generating] coal plants.

Climate changers responsible for the shutdowns had said there would be a replacement. to take the place of the coal thereby giving us electricity, but apprently that hasn’t happened.

Who is responsible?

Patricia Ward

The Dalles

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