Support Nelson

You know him, you love him … and if you don’t, you should.

John Nelson is running for Board Director for North Wasco County School Board, Zone 4.

He’s been on the board for eight years and wants to continue working toward some goals the board has set. He knows the issues like the back of his hand. He is thoughtful and open and wants to make sure our schools are safe and equitable for all our students. He is an educator by trade, a hard worker by history, and lives by the Golden Rule.

So, unless you have the time and energy and want to run for this position yourself … how about letting John continue to work for us? (Thanks to John and all the other board members who have given so much to our community.)

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


Widge Johnson

The Dalles

Vote John Willer

Please cast your vote for John Willer, for Position 3, Port of The Dalles.

John Willer is invested in The Dalles. He came here about 20 years ago, started an ophalmology practice, and now employs more than 50 people in three very successful businesses.

John Willer is all about economic development, and will be a great fit, for Port of The Dalles Commission.

Please cast your vote for John Willer.

Mike Courtney

The Dalles

Support Nate Stice

Our region is lucky to have Columbia Gorge Community College as an asset for our students and industry. During this May's election, Wasco County voters will have a chance to select new members to its board of directors, and I am writing to express my support for Nate Stice.

I grew up with Nate just east of here in Umatilla County, and I have always known him to be an active and engaged member of his community. It was a fun surprise to reconnect with Nate a couple of years ago at Safeway in The Dalles, a city we are both proud to call our home.

Even though I once beat Nate in a race for student body president of our high school, I can say without reservation that Nate will be a great board member for CGCC. He spent years working in higher education for the state's second-best university, the University of Oregon. (With the first best, of course, being my alma mater Oregon State University. Go Beavs!)

I know him to be a person in our community that works to build bridges and help solve complex problems.

He will be a great addition to the already great leadership at CGCC, and I hope you'll join me in voting for him this May.

Jose Aparicio

The Dalles

Fox for port commission

The Hood River Port Commission is currently facing some of the most significant challenges in its history. Electing Mike Fox to the District 3 Port Commission vacancy is a prudent choice and wonderful opportunity to provide outstanding leadership with an extensive base of experience ideally suited to these challenges.

I have known Mike as a neighbor and friend for the past few years. We share some similar experiences in our careers, both having lived and worked overseas and worked in administrative arenas. We both designed and worked on building our own homes. We also enjoy spending time together in recreational opportunities. I have come to know Mike’s background and understand well his particular qualities which make him very well suited for a port commission position.

Mike is a degreed engineer with 45 years of experience in developing and managing huge infrastructure projects, including bridges, airports, and seaports. A primary concern for Mike is the urgency to replace the Hood River bridge over the Columbia River. Recent downgrading of weight limits underscores the ongoing deterioration of this essential structure. He further understands the interplay of bridge financing options and issues of bridge toll revenues and their impacts on the rest of the port’s financial responsibilities: Airport, waterfront recreation, marina, and industrial development.

Mike’s experience enables him to ask important questions to deal with these issues. He has unparalleled expertise in budgeting, planning and scheduling, performance and risk management of such a large project. In my opinion, Mike is uniquely qualified for the work facing the port. He has written a series of statements about his views on Port issues. I encourage readers to review them at

The experience and background Mike offers is a stroke of good fortune for our community and the Port to help deal appropriately with the challenges ahead. He is a tremendous asset and the right person at this critical time for the job. I hope you will join me in voting for Mike Fox as Port Commissioner for the 3rd District, Port of Hood River.

Dale Hill

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Boring Biden

Local readers and national politicians seem really worried about the lack of excitement being generated in President Biden’s White House. I guess I do not understand where they are coming from.

Would it be better if Biden slept with a porn star while married to his third wife? What if Biden tweeted bullying messages to a young environmentally active woman not even old enough to drive in the U.S.? Maybe he should have private meetings with the former head of the KGB and functional dictator of Russia paid for by your tax dollars? How about if he starts to hang out with child sex traffickers?

I feel pretty old saying that Boring Biden is just fine by me.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Support Nelson

I would encourage everyone in zone No. 4 to vote for John Nelson, who is running for reelection to the North Wasco County School board. John is not only a wonderful and kind person, he is a long time resident and dedicated advocate for this community.

He spent much of his working career as a teacher here locally, and since retiring he has not stopped volunteering and giving everything he can to serve. He is currently the chairman of the school board and under his leadership our school district is managing to open back up, even though we don't have the best facilities for our students.

One thing I want you to know about John is that if he takes on a project, like school board, he takes the job seriously and does the work needed. As a leader, he works to make sure that all the people involved are supported and work cooperatively together. I trust him to be thoughtful and respectful and dedicated to our students, and I can think of no finer person to lead our school board.

Please vote for John Nelson, Board Director, North Wasco County School District, Zone 4.

Serena Smith

The Dalles


Mitch McConnell has to have the homeliest face in Congress. It is unfortunate he has this face, but it is even sadder he has two of them. His recent rants threatening CEOs and corporations for having the audacity to take action against Georgia for it’s voter suppression law smacks of duplicity.

He championed the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling giving corporations First Amendment rights, i.e. classifying them as people. Now that these “people” are actively participating in politics he threatens them with dire consequences.

How much more duplict can he get?

Gary Fields

Hood River

Too many

Ah spring at last! Longer days filled with welcome, warmer temperatures, daffodils and tulips waving their pretty heads, and the scent of lilacs wafting on the gentle breeze.

A darker side of spring’s delights, however, surfaces again with the arrival of unwanted kittens and puppies. Due to the cruel, irresponsible behavior of their humans, many beautiful, trusting, dependent animal babies will be unwelcome and unwanted. Instead of being rightfully greeted with love and kindness, many will be murdered, abused, or callously dumped to die slow, painful, needless deaths.

This tragic, never-ending saga can be stopped by kind, caring people who adopt needy, helpless, deserving animals. Kind hearts and hands can overrule cruelty and irresponsibility. How? Visit our local animal shelter where you can buy love! Gaze into the liquid, longing eyes of your next best friend. Look forward to the comfort and contentment of having a purring, warm, cat in your lap. Be grateful for your new furry, non-toxic mouse catcher. Befriend a homeless pet, offering shelter and kindness, followed by spaying or neutering.

Our animal shelters are overcrowded and the need is great, especially in the spring. No beautiful animal should be killed simply because it’s homeless, its cruel owners moved away and left it behind, or no one cares. Be the difference! If each household in The Dalles adopted a homeless pet and offered unconditional love (like the animals do), this sad epidemic could be cured.

Other ways to make a difference include reporting animal cruelty. No trusting, helpless dog or cat should be some sick soul’s punching bag. Donate dollars to make a difference to Home at Last, Fur-Footed Rescue, or Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue. These folks care, do a thankless task, and deserve our support.

Together, we can overrule animal cruelty and irresponsibility, and bring hope and help to animals who so desperately continue to wait for love and kindness. Thank you.

Karen Saunders

The Dalles

Social programming

There is a regular contributor to this newspaper who likes to talk up capitalism and degrade socialism. I wonder if this individual has stopped to contemplate the reality that under a strictly capitalist, profit-driven economy, services that they enjoy, such as the Hood River Valley Adult Center, would not exist.

I don’t get paid to deliver meals on wheels, I do it because food security is a human right. I have the means, and therefore the responsibility, to act.

This really sums up the difference between a socialist like myself, and a conservative, Christian, Republican, capitalist like ... this individual: I will continue to deliver food to his house every Wednesday and Thursday morning as long as he needs food, because it’s the right thing to do, even though this individual is going to vote for and support, with his money, politicians that are going to cut spending to services like meals on wheels. People like Donald Trump.

Do you believe that it is a society’s duty to protect and take care of its elderly people when their economic productivity and output is diminished? That’s socialism, baby!

Capitalism has indeed lifted millions (not billions) out of poverty in the global north, while exporting that damage to the global south and east. Seeing as how global capitalism is sending us hurdling towards ecological collapse, this individual might be the last generation to not live in abject poverty. The next time you look at your grandchildren, just shrug and say, “Well, we got ours.” I’m sure they’ll understand.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is a social worker.

Vote Stice for CGCC Board

Columbia Gorge Community College is governed by a Board of Education. Wasco County residents will have chance to select several of their representatives during this May’s election.

I am writing to express support for my friend, Nate Stice, and ask for you to vote for Nate this may. I first met Nate when I sold him and Carrie their home in The Dalles, and I have had the chance to work with him over the years on economic development and housing in our community.

Through this work and our friendship, I know that Nate is someone who cares about people and our community, and I know Nate to be someone who works hard — whether he is refinishing hard wood floors in whatever home he and Carrie are renovating at the moment or helping to work with local leaders to address community needs.

For these reasons, I ask you to join me in supporting Nate Stice during this May's election.

Nan Wimmers

The Dalles

Swift support

As a small business owner in Wasco County, I know what it takes to build and expand a local small business. So does Marcus Swift, which is why I’m supporting him for Port of The Dalles Commission, Position 3, in this May 2021 election.

Marcus Swift has invested his life savings in building a local small business in our community. He loves this community and is deeply invested in its growth and success. He loves The Dalles so much, that in 2020 alone, he provided more than $20,000 in free or low-cost legal services to local residents. When Marcus isn’t busy solving complex issues for local families and small business owners, he can be found serving in a variety of roles, including on the Wasco County Planning Commission and as vice president of the Mid-Columbia Bar Association.

Marcus has extensive experience in public policy, including economic development, which makes him a perfect fit for this position. He knows we need to build and expand our local small businesses, create new good paying jobs in the area, and revitalize downtown The Dalles.

Marcus Swift is dedicated to moving The Dalles forward in a way that works for everyone — with transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility. That’s why I’m supporting Marcus Swift for Port of The Dalles, Position 3.

Steve Light

The Dalles

Support Swift

Just before Christmas in 2019, my children and I were almost evicted from our apartment in The Dalles by a big landlord from Portland. I was terrified. With no affordable rental units available in the area and nowhere else to turn, we faced certain homelessness.

Then I called Marcus Swift. Marcus stood up to the Portland landlord and saved our Christmas. It’s a clear example of the type of courage and values he will bring serving on the Port of The Dalles Commission, Position 3.

Marcus Swift invested his life savings to start a small business in The Dalles. He and his partner have built a life together in the community and are saving to purchase their first home. Since 2018, Marcus has worked to solve complex problems for families and businesses in our community. In 2020 alone, Marcus provided more than $20,000 in free or low-cost legal services to residents of Wasco County.

He also serves in numerous volunteer positions in our community, including the Wasco County Planning Commission. Every day he works to move our community forward for everyone who lives here.

Marcus Swift will work to create and expand local businesses, attract new, good paying jobs, and revitalize downtown The Dalles. His experience in building a small business, solving complex legal issues, and creating and advocating for good public policy is exactly the expertise we need right now. Please join me in supporting Marcus Swift for

Port of The Dalles in the May 2021 election.


Hunter Johnstead

The Dalles

Fair taxation

I wish we could all agree that paying your fair share of taxes is patriotic. Obviously we all need the dollars we work hard to earn, but not contributing to our country’s infrastructure, which almost everybody uses daily, is like not maintaining your car, or your family or your place of residence.

Why then are entities and people who avoid taxes considered smart? Like Trump proudly boasted, they wear their avoidance to help pay for the defense of this nation, for the roads on which our commerce travels, or the airports and seaports that import or export goods and services as a badge of honor, or simply as shrewd business practice?

Last year, more than 50 of the largest U.S. companies paid no federal income taxes at all. Many haven’t for years.

Yet they wave the flag on the fourth, and incorporate it into their product packaging, even as they lobby to pay even less than they do.

Meanwhile bridges are crumbling, broadband penetration is third rate, and the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state of our infrastructure a C-. Barely passing.

Yet [some large companies] had a total effective tax rate of zero or less for the last three years, even though they are profitable.

In addition, many companies locate over seas in tax havens to avoid U.S. taxes.

I pay my taxes. I think these fortune 500 companies that make use of our roads, airports, defense and other infrastructure should pay too. Their avoidance should be deemed unpatriotic, not lauded as “smart”.

Jennifer Ouzounian

Hood River

COVID kills

COVID-19 vaccinations are rapidly coming available to all. Yet, there are people in Oregon not wanting to be vaccinated for various reasons.

To those who have a reason not to get vaccinated, talk to the 500,000 families who lost love ones. Explain your reason to them.

Take the vaccine. COVID kills!

Lee Huckins