Help with planting

I am 17 and a member of White Salmon BSA Troop 384. I am extremely concerned about climate change, worried about the rising temperature of the planet and the extreme loss of biodiversity occurring.

For my Eagle Scout service project, I want to benefit the climate and help improve the natural world.

In partnership with “Trees of the Gorge,” my project is to do a local tree planting this October. We will be planting several different species of native trees and shrubs. The planting will help improve the local ecosystem and environment with cleaner air, the retention of water, and improved habitat.

I am seeking individual, civic group, church or business cash donations to purchase as many trees/shrubs as possible. Checks should be made payable to “Columbia Gorge Peace Village” and mailed to Nate Roth, 45 Kida Road, White Salmon, WA 98672.

Each mature tree can absorb approximately 48 pounds per year of carbon, and a half-acre of forest can absorb the annual carbon output from one car (www.Tenmilliontrees.org).

Nate Roth

White Salmon

What’s your plan?

What will you do if your candidate for president loses the race in November?

I have friends on both political sides, and I’m concerned. We are constantly being told that this election is “the most important election ever,” and we’re usually receiving that message in the form of a shout or a rant. We can leave the debate whether other presidential elections have a legitimate historical claim to the title “the most important election ever” for another time.

Individual post-election depression (of the emotional sort) or violence (of the despicable sort) are both horrible choices. It’s true this country faces immense challenges. But why would I empower the outcome of the upcoming election, an event over which I have almost no control, to dictate my emotional state and behavior, post-election?

But what if my candidate wins and I ascend the emotional heights? That’s not all bad, so long as I remind myself that my candidate will manage the executive affairs of our country imperfectly. I have a responsibility to myself and to my country to not abide by “my candidate, right or wrong.” That’s not patriotism.

My faith in the diversity of the United States will not allow me to accept that 50 percent of the population are brilliant (those who support my candidate) and the other half are idiots. This cannot possibly be true, albeit the vitriol displayed by both sides could lead an alien from another world to conclude that we’re all idiots.

So what’s your plan, especially if your candidate loses? It’s not a winner-take-all contest, regardless of what your favorite politician or talking head tells you. We live in a democratic republic, and our sensible reaction to the outcome of the election will strengthen that republic.

Doug Roof

Hood River

Keep Sizemore

In my 16-year tenure as a Klickitat County commissioner, I have served with six different men, each bringing different personalities and talents to the Board of County Commission table. I have seen other county boards of commissioners plagued by internal friction to the point of being non-productive, while Klickitat County has been fortunate to have a Board of Commissioners that keep giving their constituents the best representation as possible. By reelecting Jim Sizemore, the voters in our county have the opportunity to continue this path forward.

It takes time to build relationships with state and federal agencies. This is how projects get funding and/or are approved. Jim Sizemore has built those relationships by demonstrating that we are a worthy county with honest, dedicated and fiscally responsible leadership within our county commission.

The problem with Jim, if this could be considered a problem, is that he is not a braggart. He is a hard worker, does his job well and calls it a team effort. I would have been honored to have served with Jim Sizemore as a part of that team.

Klickitat County has become a very diverse county. A county of residents with new ideals as well as the rural community culture and its traditions. This requires a commissioner that is a good listener; one that is open to new ideas and approaches. As a county, we can’t afford to lose Jim Sizemore.

Joan Frey

Lyle

Thank you, teachers

I want to say thank you to our area teachers, school administrators and everyone involved in educating our students. The job of a teacher is always incredibly difficult. In the year 2020, it is harder than ever and I am sure they are receiving criticism from all sides.

The profound and amazing role teachers play in the lives of young people is something we should admire. They did not expect the changes that have happened over the past six months, but have continued to do their best for every student despite what has become a countless number of new challenges.

Thank you for all you do.

Allen LaBerge

White Salmon

Fallacy of herd immunity

The guarantee of herd immunity is a fallacy, if it was that easy we’d all have immunity from the flu and never get sick again. If I were a doctor, I could include a long list of other viral agents for which humans have no herd immunity. The minuscule societal cost of herd immunity is a fallacy. At least 5 million Americans will die before we have the remotest idea whether it will even work. So do we wait until 15 million die, 30 million, 50 million before we give up?

Any economist worth their degree knows that removing the purchasing demand of 5 million consumers will throw even the strongest economy into recession. That’s 5 million human beings that aren’t going to the grocery store every week, paying their cellphone bills, eating dinner at the local restaurants, buying their teenager a car.

Top that off with the unknown — doctors have yet to prove or disprove that the human immune response completely fights off SARS-COV2. I’m confident that most readers had chicken pox as a kid. Well, those blisters didn’t heal and the itching didn’t stop because we successfully fought off the virus. It stopped because the virus went into hiding, hibernating somewhere deep inside our bodies. And it’s incredibly patient, waiting 30, 40, 50 years until our immune systems weaken with age and our ability to heal slows down, before springing back to action with a painful itchy rash known as shingles.

Fortunately the mortality rate for shingles is relatively low, but only time will tell if SARS-COV2 behaves similarly to chicken pox/shingles. Forced herd immunity is not the way to find the answer.

Jeff Zipfel

The Dalles

Vote for Richardson

I went to a Wasco County Commission hearing not that long ago, and when a member of the public spoke up to argue that our sheriff should be able to choose which gun laws he enforces some of the audience clapped. One of our commissioners said, basically, don’t clap every time someone speaks because I am pretty sure we all agree on this issue.

All I thought was, you have no idea what’s going on.

It seems like there are still people in our local government who have no idea who their constituency is. They seem to think we are all gun-toting, Confederate flag waving Trump chumps who still need good old boys in government to protect us from the Rajneeshees and the latte drinkers.

I grew up in Yakima, I’ve lived in Seattle and Portland and on the east coast, and I chose The Dalles 17 years ago. I see how this town has opportunities to grow and prosper that seem to slip through our fingers so often. I see how we have members of our community who we are failing, including the homeless, and our students who need new and improved schools, and working people who need affordable housing.

Please spend some time this election season actually thinking about who you want to have serve you in your local government. These are real people who will make real decisions about the future of this community. In a democracy, it is our responsibility as citizens to educate ourselves about these people, vote, and then work with whoever gets elected to create the future we want for our community.

I’m voting for Dan Richardson for The Dalles city council. Find him on “Dan Richardson, The Dalles City Council” on Facebook or email him at danrichardson@gorge.net). I hope you will take the time to get to know him and then vote for him.

Serena Smith

The Dalles

Yes on Skyline levy

I have lived in Trout Lake for 43 years. During that time, I have been treated at Skyline Hospital many times. In one case, the doctors and nurses of Skyline probably saved my life. From 1986 to 1995 I served on the Skyline Board of Trustees and currently am a member of the Skyline Foundation Board.

It is very important that we as citizens of Western Klickitat County continue to support our public hospital so that it can continue to provide the best medical care possible. As a public hospital, Skyline will treat anyone who presents with a medical problem whether they can afford to pay or not. Many of the patients at Skyline are on Medicare. Skyline actually losses money on every Medicare patient that does not have supplemental medical insurance. Although Skyline does an amazing job of keeping the hospital financially stable, it is necessary for the taxpayers to assist by supporting hospital levies. In light of the current COVID crisis it is essential that the medical and support staff of the hospital be fully equipped to meet the healthcare challenges that they face daily.

Please continue to support our “Health Care Heroes“ at Skyline Hospital by voting YES for the Skyline Hospital Levy.

Thompson Reynolds

Trout Lake

Stunned by theft

When I moved to Hood River in 2009, I planted a tiny plum tree. It grew and grew until it gave me a few delicious plums. Every year, the tree became more mature and bore more and more fruit. I loved sharing with friends and neighbors and froze plums, pitted and halved, in my freezer. I enjoyed snacking on those plums almost the entire winter. Having never grown my own fruit, I was pleased and thankful for my very own plum tree. Each summer, I wait and wait for fall when my plums will be just right for picking. Three or four days ago, I checked again. Nope, I thought, just a few more days, and they will be perfect.

This morning I went out to check my abundant harvest. I was stunned! Am I in the “Twilight Zone?” Am I walking in my sleep? My tree, which had branches bent down with fruit, was bare! Nary a plum in sight.

Whomever helped themselves to my bounty, I hope you had a good reason for doing so. Were you hungry, or did you need to sell them for cash? These are difficult times for all of us. You left me feeling empty and sad. Next year, ask me, and I will share with you.

Carol Sabins

Hood River

Vote for Turner

JoAnna Turner is running for County Commissioner, District 1 and I will be supporting her in the November election. JoAnna is someone we can all get behind because she has taken the time this year to really learn about the issues that are most important to the residents of the County. She is truly concerned about making life better for us in Klickitat County and does this by listening and understanding what is needed. She is determined to make a difference by focusing on economic opportunities and development; access to better high speed broadband internet; improved services for At-Risk youth; adequate senior citizen housing and services; mental health; work-force housing, and adequate and responsive policing. JoAnna Turner will tirelessly represent all of us, no matter what our politics might be, and I urge you to vote for Joanna in November.

Kim Gilmer

Trout Lake

Burns over Bonham

Who owns Daniel Bonham, the Republican candidate running for Oregon House District 59? As a resident of District 59, I wonder.

The public information about the Committee to Elect Daniel Bonham filed with the Oregon Secretary of State shows a clear pattern of influence. Bonham has received significant contributions from the pharmaceutical industry including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and Eli Lily, to name a few. Koch Industries is also a significant out-of-state contributor. The fossil fuel industry is filling Bonham’s campaign chest with out-of-state funds from Chevron, the Natural Gas Political Action Committee, and the TransCanada USA Services Political Action Committee, as well as other industry players. The Oregon Firearms Federation has chipped in. Some of the major corporations contributing to Bonham’s campaign include Monsanto, Comcast, and Anheuser-Busch Companies. To my view these organizations do not have my interests as a citizen, nor the interests of the towns and communities of District 59 on the top of their list of people and places they cherish and want to see bounce back and thrive.

The interests of these corporations and political action committees does not represent my values, nor what I see as the needs of the people living in District 59 and the state of Oregon: Access to affordable healthcare; investments in public health, our K-12 schools, community college education, green jobs; and transition supports for Oregonians laid off, underemployed, or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to invest in working families, children, and the economic recovery of our region and state.

Arlene Burns knows what it takes to keep a small town vital and on its feet. She has served as Mayor of Mosier since 2012 and has built a strong record of getting things done, and involving the community. She hasn’t received contributions from major corporations, big pharma, or the fossil fuel industry. That’s because she’s in the people’s corner, not the pockets of the corporations. My vote in the November election is with Arlene Burns, Democratic candidate for Oregon House District 59.

Ruby Mason

Mosier

Burns has integrity

If you value independence, respect, and integrity over unproductive partisanship, Arlene Burns is your choice for Oregon State Representative Dist. 59. Three different parties have chosen Arlene as their candidate, and both of Oregon’s senators have endorsed Arlene. This is because Arlene understands that working together with people from different backgrounds and diverse points of view is the only way to solve the complex problems we face as a society.

While Arlene’s opponent has relied on the “run and hide in Idaho to prevent a quorum” strategy of governance, Arlene will stay and work until the work is done, for there is much work to be done. Arlene will listen to all her constituents, listen to experts, and make wise and informed decisions.

Among Arlene’s priorities are affordable healthcare for all Oregonians, funding for rural broadband and rural schools, representing and advocating for Warms Springs Tribal members, and addressing the challenges facing Oregon agriculture such as decreasing water supplies and soil depletion.

I’m a resident of Mosier, where Arlene is serving her third term as mayor. I know that Arlene views challenges as opportunities for building a more resilient rural Oregon. Moving toward energy independence is a challenge, but it also means creating good jobs and a better climate for farmers and for all of us.

The time for denying the scope of human-caused climate change is over. As Oregon’s fire season grows longer and more intense, politicians (like Arlene’s op-ponent) who continue to deny the dangers of climate change are either not paying attention to the science or are getting too many contributions from the fossil fuel industry. Either way, Oregon deserves better.

Vote early and vote for Arlene Burns for Oregon House Dist. 59.

Sheila Dooley

Mosier

For Trump

Two days after placing a Trump sign on my property, someone stole it. In response to this, I’m stating why I support him and plan to vote for him:

1. He is opposed to abortion, which is the single highest cause of death in the U.S. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 862,320 abortions were done in 2017. In the same year, 647,457 deaths were from heart disease, according to the CDC.

2. He is having a wall built between the U.S. and Mexico, which is effective.

3. He has reduced taxes.

4. He is preventing China and other countries from taking financial advantage of the U.S.

5. He strongly supports the military, police, working people, Blacks, Latinos and women.

6. He supports the U.S. Constitution, including the First and Second Amendments.

7. He supports improvement of forestry management.

8. He rightfully rejected the notion that man significantly influences climate. He promotes the importance of oil, gas and coal.

9. He stands for law and order against looting, arson, destruction of property, assault, etc.

So the difference between him and the other candidate is crystal clear ... do you want freedom or socialism (or worse)?

Donald Rose

Hood River

Rushing, for future

We are fortunate to live in an agricultural region with access to an abundance of food. Yet, 98 percent of the food consumed in our region is grown somewhere else and shipped in. In addition, one out of three people don’t get enough food to eat. We have outsourced our food supply to large international corporations who pocket their profits outside of our community and who pay farmers and agricultural workers less than a working wage.

One major disaster like an earthquake could prevent food from being transported for weeks and our region’s stores would empty in several days. How would our residents survive? We need a resilient, sustainable and equitable local food system.

We have a good start thanks to the efforts of Gorge Grown Food Network. Now it’s time for our political leaders to support the development of small family farms and a local food system. A candidate for Washington’s District 14 State Representative, Tracy Rushing, has made developing a local food system and supporting small local businesses two of her top priorities. We need leaders dedicated to the health of our district’s residents and economy. Dr. Tracy Rushing has the knowledge and vision to make our district more resilient. A vote for Tracy Rushing is a vote for our district’s future.

Sue Kusch

White Salmon

Both ways

I want to applaud the thoughtful, responsible Sept. 16 letter, ‘Wake up and act.’ The writer claims Gov. Brown’s weak leadership and gross incompetence are solely responsible for every individual acting unlawfully in Portland as well as every forest fire throughout the state. I, too, believe that leaders must publicly take responsibility when they have knowledge of something and do nothing to prevent a bad outcome.

The world has now heard an undeniable recording made of President Trump during a phone call with Bob Woodward in which the president acknowledged in early February that the coronavirus was highly contagious and very deadly. Using Mr. Nigbor’s responsibility rule, more than 192,000 are dead because President Trump purposely lied to the American people about the coronavirus. His lack of concern for American lives was made clear in September when he said, “It is what it is,” when asked about the death toll in an interview.

If we are going to ask elected officials to be accountable for gross incompetence, I suggest we start with our president. I propose that President Trump publicly apologize to every American for his dishonesty and lack of leadership surrounding the coronavirus. Furthermore, he should personally apologize to the loved ones of every person lost to the coronavirus after Feb. 7.

In support of Mr. Nigbor’s sentiments, I will gladly write a letter condemning Gov. Brown in the paper and drive to Salem to speak with one of her staff in person as soon as I learn that President Trump has acknowledged his own incompetence. Any takers?

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Focus on training

Stories about police violence and brutality across our country continue to be covered on major TV networks, cable, newspapers, podcasts, magazine, and social media. Some of these stories cover legislation being considered or enacted at the federal, state or local level. There’s a lot of conversations happening, and this is important since there are 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States varying in size from 10 employees to 36,000 employees.

As someone who cares about education and skills training, I wanted to learn more about how police officers in the U.S. are trained. Training for police officers in the U.S. is the lowest in the world except for Iraq and Afghanistan. In 37 out of 50 states no training is required for a police officer to begin working on the job. Where training is required in most agencies police officers receive less than six months of basic training. In addition, there is very little research on the effectiveness of police officer training. (Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform.)

On average, police officers receive 58 hours of fire-arms training focused on shooting people, and 8 hours of training in deescalation, addressing mental health situations, or crisis intervention (according to the Police Executive Research Forum).

This information leads me to ask some hard questions. I’m sharing it with Columbia Gorge News readers so that as we listen to media coverage or are at the table talking about police violence, we ask the critical questions: How much training should new officers receive before starting on the job; what topics and skills are police officers being trained in; and how effective is the training they receive.

Our taxpayer dollars pay for police training and for lawsuits against police officers’ misconduct and violence. Lets’ take time to ask questions in our communities about current police officer training. We need more training that is proven to be effective in conflict deescalation, crisis intervention, appropriately handling mental health situations on the job. We need to ask what training and skills building do we want our police officers to have in the future.

Daniel Fritz

Mosier

Fire and the walkout

We’ve had intense smoke in the air from the wildfires burning in much of western Oregon, but that’s nothing compared to the loss of life and widespread destruction of the fires themselves.

We have known that the combination of climate change and previous fire suppression policies have produced high risk of dangerous forest fires here. Last January, Gov. Kate Brown proposed a wildfire management plan that would treat over 300,000 acres to prevent wildfire, including thinning of forests and expansion of controlled burning of undergrowth where needed, and would mandate defensible space around homes, and update building protections. Senate Bill 1536, in the 2020 Regular Session, was the first step toward that plan. SB 1536, along with many other needed pieces of legislation, died when the Republicans declined to return from their walkout before the end of the session.

Shame on Oregon’s Republican legislators for walking out and shutting down the wildfire protection legislation. Shame on Timber Unity for promoting and supporting the walkout. Double shame on all of them for organizing the walkout in the first place in order to avoid a vote for much-needed climate legislation. There is no way in which these two policy slams (wildfire, climate change) helped the “working families” that Re-publicans legislators and TU profess to love. Devastating wildfires. Related to climate change. Please do you job!

Vicki Nunenkamp

Hood River

Balance needed

Oregon desperately needs a balanced legislature for sound governance. Oregon is a diverse state with diverse needs. Priorities differ between rural and urban areas. However, there are common priorities including the health and safety of our people, our land, and our economy.

We have a strong Democrat super-majority in Salem: 38 Democrats and 22 Republicans in the House. This dynamic creates division among Oregonians. We see mediocre legislation adopted because a lack of dialogue exists between parties. Democrats hold the power in nearly all the decisions being made in Salem. Democrat legislators outnumber Republican legislators on every committee and subcommittee. This majority position prohibits sound policy development. Have you listened to testimony on legislative bills? You will hear legislators submitting amendments to bills to suggest provisions to accommodate constituents.

Last session, I listened to testimony and found that nearly every amendment submitted by a Republican legislator was voted against and nearly every amendment submitted by a Democrat legislator was voted in favor. This type of legislation is a tragedy.

Oregonians are witnessing the consequences of super-majority rule across our beloved state. Communities are suffering. The division between people is unprecedented. I’m hearing reports of armed vigilantes in Corbett, and likewise threats of Antifa protesters “shaking things up in Hood River.”

A super-majority does not promote unity. A super-majority pits the citizens of Oregon against one another. Politics needs to be a conversation. True leadership brings communities together.

I’ve always aligned with the Democrat party. After witnessing our current leadership fuel a divide across Oregon, I will vote for a candidate and not simply a party platform. This is an important election. I support HD 52 candidate, Jeff Helfrich. He is a leader with a strong bipartisan record. He will bring balance back to Salem and represent all of his community.

An example of how the one-party rule also results in complacency and lack of accountability? A prime example could be Oregon’s Employment Department that still has not gotten unemployment benefits to some out of work Oregonians due to COVID economic shutdown. No one in the majority party is held accountable

Meghan Larivee

Hood River

Support Measure 107

For 13 years, Oregonians have been able to use the ORESTAR system at the Secretary of State’s office to look at who is donating money to candidates or to influence ballot measures.

This November, voters have a chance to put limits on those donations. Measure 107 amends the Constitution to let the Legislature pass laws limiting political campaign contributions and expenditures. It also would let legislators require identification of people paying for campaign ads.

Voters in 2006 approved Ballot Measure 47 to set campaign contribution limits, but the State Supreme Court ruled that it couldn’t take effect without a Constitutional Amendment.

This is that opportunity. At a time when democracy is under assault by people in power, people with access to huge sums of money and the ability to buy more mind share for their messaging, Measure 107 would let our representatives set limits.

Rev. John Boonstra

Hood River

Shame on you

This is a response to the Sept. 30 letter entitled “Sports’ power.”

Shame on you. The west is on fire, the southeast is underwater, a global pandemic is surging in many states, we have an executive who thinks letting people die in blue states will help him get reelected, and you are concerned about sports.

Do you realize how ridiculously tone deaf it is for you to quote Nelson Mandela, while Black Americans are being killed in the streets by police officers, without mentioning his position on racial prejudice?

I prefer this quote, “I hate the practice of race discrimination, and in my hatred I am sustained by the fact that the overwhelming majority of mankind hate it equally. I hate the systematic inculcation of children with colour prejudice and I am sustained in that hatred by the fact that the overwhelming majority of mankind, here and abroad, are with me in that. I hate the racial arrogance which decrees that the good things of life shall be retained as the exclusive right of a minority of the population, and which reduces the majority of the population to a position of subservience and inferiority, and maintains them as voteless chattels to work where they are told and behave as they are told by the ruling minority. I am sustained in that hatred by the fact that the overwhelming majority of mankind both in this country and abroad are with me.”

I’m with Nelson, but are you?

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.

Re-elect Williams

The fires that raged across our state recently covered our skies and choked us with thick hazardous smoke. But they left some things clearer than ever: We must make climate action a priority. Delays, political pandering, and legislative walkouts are luxuries we can no longer afford.

Science experts tell us that rising temperatures, decreasing soil moisture, and rapidly melting snowpacks all contribute to the increasingly destructive wildfires we’ve witnessed in recent years. Representative Anna Williams understands this and is committed to taking climate action immediately. She’s earned the endorsement of trusted environmental organizations like the OLCV and the Oregon chapter of Sierra Club. Her opponent, on the other hand, is backed by Timber Unity, a far-right group who designed and funded last session’s Republican legislative walk-out over climate action.

Oregon House Dist. 52 needs a representative with the courage to stay on the job and make the difficult decisions required to advance Oregon’s response to the climate crisis. If we continue to turn a blind eye to science and ignore the climate crisis, we may have more to worry about than hazardous air quality. Our community could be the next one leveled by destructive wildfires.

Please join me in voting for Anna Williams this November.

Anne Gehrig

Hood River

GOP ‘No’ Party

In a very short time, President Trump has turned the great Republican Party of Roosevelt and Lincoln into the “no” party. If Trump is re-elected, Americans should expect to see a country with no respect for women or their healthcare rights, no respect for veterans and highly-decorated military leaders, no respect for the environment, no respect for refugees and immigrants not of European descent, no protection from Russia, no nuclear deals with North Korea or Iran, no protection of our healthcare system, no living wages for working people, and no concerns about racism and harmful divisions in our country.

That does not sound like a #Great country to me. Take a moment to think for yourself and with your conscience when you vote next month.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Williams ‘truly cares’

I’ve been very impressed with Rep. Anna Williams (Oregon House District 52) in her first two years in office. She truly cares about her constituents. Whenever I’ve contacted her, she’s gotten back with a quick, reasoned and insightful response. She has helped pass bills, among others, to expand healthcare and fund education, and works to close disparities between our urban and rural communities. We need a leader like Anna.

Find out more about Anna at friendsofannawilliams.com. Her website is in both English and Spanish.

Tracie Hornung

Parkdale

Silence, misrepresentation

The threats to our health and environment by COVID-19 and recent destructive fires in Washington and Oregon are showing the importance of clean air and water and positive steps to address climate change in Southwest Washington, the Columbia Gorge and across the U.S.

As a healthcare worker in primary care clinics, I am very aware of the serious consequences of these issues on peoples’ lives. I am looking for support and leadership on these issues.

On the federal level, President Trump has reversed at least 100 environmental rules, including crucial provisions of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts passed by Congress that govern air pollution/emissions and water quality and help keep us healthy.

And Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s response to the president’s orders that undermine legislation by Congress … Silence.

The president also decided to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which addresses climate change ans its effects, that includes shifting to clean energy alternatives.

Again from Rep. Herrera Beutler … Silence.

Given the opportunity this year to do something positive for a healthy environment and clean air/water, Rep. Beutler voted “no” July 24, 2020 on appropriation bill HR 7608, which would boost funding for critical environmental, public health, and public lands programs as well as block attempts by Trump administration to take away states’ rights to protect their waterways and suppress science used in rulemaking.

She also voted “no” on HR 7617, which included funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, plus funding for COVID-19-related expenses for the Deptment of Interior.

So when a super PAC from North Carolina (Clear Path Action Fund) sent a card saying the representative has a “pro-clean energy record,” it is a misrepresentation. According to the League of Conservation Voters, Rep., Beutler has a life-time record of 10 percent for environmental legislation. She is not what the NC super PAC is advertising. She is not giving the 3rd District the representation we need. It is time for a change — to someone who does understand the importance of health and the environment — and works for our benefit: Carolyn Long.

Steven Woolpert

White Salmon

Vote for change

By the time you read this letter, our election campaign will be nearing an end, and many ballots nationwide will have already been cast. Democracy will be secure only if the electorate actually votes … and that means you and me.

Please vote on or before Nov. 3, as soon as you receive your ballot in the mail. Voting is the great agent for change we as citizens have the privilege of using.

If you want change … if you want a healthier environment … if you want healthcare for all … if you want a more equitable tax code … if you want restorative justice to become a reality … then vote for a change of leadership.

I will be casting my vote for a change as represented by the sign in front of my home.

Please vote for change ... please vote!

Gretchen Kimsey

The Dalles

No name change

As a long-time citizen and having all three of my kids passing through Colonel Wright Elementary school, I am strongly opposing (a recent suggestion) the name of the school be changed.

It is no secret that misinformation abounds today. To find the real truth, one has to dig, then dig again, to pare away the MISinformation/impressions and get to the best representation of the truth: Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) stated that (paraphrase) “one’s report of an event is tilted to some degree from the actual event.”

If this changing of the CW name is rooted in politics, then we need to stop and not get caught into this 2020 chaos! It seems to be an attempt to take advantage of the current tide of the 2020 chaos. It’s like a tattoo, a “Lifetime reminder of a temporary feelings,” as Jimmy Buffet has written.

If you want some succinct history, from a unbiased (in my review of materials) historian Dr. Carl P. Schilcke, who was a retired surgeon from the University of Washington who in his 1988 book, “General George Wright, Guardian of the Pacific Coast,” Dr. Schilcke cited John W. Robinson, an early historian:

“Many people in California remembered him as a mild mannered old gentleman, not in the least impressive but loved and respected by those who served under him ... yet no one questioned his leadership ability or his courage … He had a will of iron under his frail hide. He was implacable to political pressure and unafraid to lay his career on the line in defense of what he thought was right ...” (pg. 325).

These are the type of comments and references made about The military man, Colonel Wright.

Let’s go back to that time in the young west … 1822-1865. Much attentions has been focused on the brief but tragic campaign in which several sons/men of the tribal chiefs rebelled and continued to kill settlers, and eluded the army. It resulted in the killing of many horses and winter’s grain and the hanging of 16 war criminals. If one were to delve into the climate of that time, this was the end results of many negotiations and attempts at continued peace, but these 16 refused and made choices (several tribes were in peace agreements).

For that single incident of history, in 1858, Colonel Wright is in disrepute. Those looking to shame his name appear to be ignorant of his service to the U.S. military. He was a decorated leader in battles from the east coast, to the southwest, along with General Grant, to ultimately being assigned Commander of the Department of the Pacific. Imagine the expanse of that command?

Little has been paraded about the rest of his long service to our country. (In 1925 the founders of Colonel Wright Elementary knew.) He was commander in charge of the rapidly expanding frontier, he governed the fur trading in the Northwest, he had to govern the passing of travelers on the Oregon Trail/Santa Fe. Trail. It was his duty to govern the gold rush days in northern California and Eastern Oregon, and the vast numbers of Oregon trail travelers.

Wright’s most important contribution was his service during the Civil War, as commander of the vast Department of the Pacific, which included all of the territory west of the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian to the Mexican border. Finally, at the end of the war, he lost his life. By placing Wright’s life and service to his country in perspective, Dr. Schlicke gives due credit to a man who played a major role in the development of the West.

Did we ever think beyond this, that Colonel Wright was the name selected for the school, that would be honored for nearly 100 years? Where is the 1822-1925 use of context for those few disgruntled persons?

“Colonel Wright is a valuable part of The Dalles history, in name and structure. It is our history. What do we become when a person or group attempts to erase our history?

History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from. If it offends you, even better because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours to erase, it belongs to all of us.

Tom Conklin

The Dalles

Stolen flag

To the person that stole my flag off of my front steps, thankfully it was not the flag from my father’s funeral or the one from my uncle that is MIA from World War II. However, it is the flag that I flew after 9/11. Please take care of it, it represents the freedoms my ancestors fought for since the American Revolution. I’ve been flying that flag every day for several months because I love this country and the Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to me.

I’ve put out that very Flag, the one you stole, praying that our differences would be respected, that our love of country was not limited to one party or the other, that as Americans we at least had our Flag in common. I hope that the Veterans in your home fly my flag with pride, just as the two vets that live at my house did. Ultimately, nothing has changed, except you are now a thief. I did notice that the Flag was stolen on the very day that I put out my Biden/Harris 2020 yard sign. I’m certain that was just a coincidence because those that love this country would understand that voting is a large part of what makes this country great.

I can buy another flag but you will always remain a thief.

Betsy Berens

Hood River

Support Rushing

Have you ever wondered why we pay 2-3 times more for our healthcare as compared to the rest of the developed world? There are a number of reasons, but one of the main causes is the large number of people who lack access to basic healthcare. We have a large population of uninsured and under-insured people, including many who recently became unemployed. A very manageable condition such as high blood pressure goes untreated because he or she can’t afford to see a doctor or buy medications. Long-term complications from untreated hypertension will develop, including heart failure, strokes and kidney failure, any of which might require expensive hospitalizations.

Not my problem, you say? Think again. When that uninsured person with a stroke seeks emergency care, the hospital is required by law to admit and treat that person. Typically the uninsured patient can pay little or none of the multi-thousand dollar hospital bill. The hospital writes off the debt to “charity care” but the debt doesn’t just magically disappear. In order to stay in business, the hospital must charge the insured patients higher rates. So, in the end, we all pay for this care in the form of higher premiums for our own insurance.

Is it hard to imagine a more inefficient and inhumane system: Provide nothing up front but then provide everything after people get really sick. Tracy Rushing MD understands that providing universal basic coverage will reduce healthcare costs and is the right thing to do. That is why she is supporting the Whole Washington initiative and is campaigning for state representative in the 14th district. Her opponent has done nothing to expand health coverage during his time in office and still has no credible plan to do so. Please give Tracy Rushing your support this election.

Robert C Florek MD

Underwood

Turner, Sizemore

What we think and say counts. We need to be thoughtful, careful and loving.

By thoughtful I mean, think for yourself, instead of letting others or the Internet think for you; by careful, I mean don’t let fear and canned solutions take over; and by loving, I refer to friendship, kindness, helpfulness, forgiveness and mercy.

I wish it was not necessary to speak of such obvious things, but there are those who have hate in their hearts, they are driven by fear, and they imply that civil war is inevitable. Then there are others who think similarly, but hide those beliefs, because they know the general public will not knowingly accept them.

Joanna Turner is a Klickitat County Commission candidate from the west end of the county. Joanna received a lot more vortes than her opponentes in the primary because the voters who know these candidates best liked what they saw in her.

Jim Sizemore is the incumbent from east Klickitat County. Jim has been criticized for exercising caution about corporate development. Jim has a thoughtful and measured approach to governing. Lou Marzeles, editor of the Goldendale Sentinel, has taken Sizemore’s opponent to task for misleading and untrue claims against Sizemore. Unfortunately, it’s still true that a lie travels around the world before the truth gets its boots on.

If you don’t want a radical Klickitat County Commission, turn out and vote for Turner and Sizemore.

Dave Thies

White Salmon

True hope

This letter has a different political ring. Most of you will simply not see that my point is to offer true hope to one reasonable person. There may be one single person out there who is brave enough and sensible enough to see that “your voice, your vote” is a pathetic attempt to fix any of our problems.

Nothing will be fixed or resolved with your vote. Watch. A voice would be okay but you have turned it into a big-mouth, vulgar, shameful disgrace. Those who scream and rant the loudest think they should win. Is that not what spoiled brats do?

So when half of you win then you are happy and it will be fixed?

Watch. As long as “you” have it your way then it is all fine and fixed? It matters not that the other half of Americans will be enraged and furious? As long as you have it your way for a few years you’re happy?

Each side screams we “love” America. What is America? The rivers and mountains? Is it not the people? How can you say you “love” America when you literally hate the other half?

Oh sure, your hate is justified because the other half are idiots deserving your hate. Right?

I have talked to both sides and it is a rightful patriotic hate. To that one courageous person out there … abandon this system … now. Turn your back on it, the “your voice, your vote” system will only lead to frustration and anger.

Even if every 18 year old voted come November will it then be fixed? You will all be happy since you voiced your vote? You act like animals towards one another but you become civilized because you vote? Voting will not fix one damn problem. Watch.

Oh, you must vote or the country will be destroyed by the other party. OMG! Destroyed? Really? Fools. America survived the Vietnam era.

You will say anything to justify your hate. You reason in your minds that if you did not vote for leaders there would be chaos? Are you aware that chaos is coming even though you all vote? Watch.

I can not wait to see how “your party” will fix it all after the election. Remember your words a few years from now. My suggestion? Sit still, be quiet and read. Enlighten your mind. Read what, specifically? Ask me.

Gary Fischer

The Dalles

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