How did your legislator vote?

With the recent close of the 2021 Oregon legislative session it is an appropriate time to give thanks to those Gorge-area lawmakers who voted to pass good legislation to better respond to wildfires, improve public safety from bias crimes, reduce carbon emissions, and also recognize those who did not.

The wildfire bill, SB 762 establishes dozens of new programs to fight and mitigate wildfire, help communities adapt to smoke, and implement changes to the state’s building code within high-risk areas of the wildland-urban interface, known as “WUI.” Thanks to Rep. Anna Williams, Sen. Lynn Findley and Sen. Bill Hansell for supporting this legislation. Voting against wildfire response planning in SB 762 were Rep. Dan Bonham, Rep. Greg Smith, and Sen. Chuck Thomsen.

There is no place in Oregon for bias or hate crimes, motivated by racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, or other prejudice. SB 289 prohibits persons convicted of these crimes on public lands from using state parks and state waters and suspends or revokes licenses for recreation uses and prohibit the issuance of licenses for a period of six months to five years. Thanks to Rep. Williams, Sen. Thomsen, Sen. Findley, and Sen. Hansell for voting in favor of SB 289. Voting against SB 289 were Rep. Bonham and Rep. Smith.

The need for bold climate action has never been more urgent. HB 2021 will largely eliminate carbon emission from the electric utility sector by 2040. Emissions from electricity accounted for 30% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. The recent record-breaking heat wave and extreme wildfire danger underscore the importance of this legislation. Thanks to Rep. Williams for voting in favor of addressing climate change. Voting against this common-sense legislation were, Rep. Bonham, Rep. Smith, Sen Findley, Sen. Hansell, and Sen. Thomsen.

If you see our local legislators in the community please ask them about their votes on these important new laws. Also, send them an email. You can find your legislator and their contact information easily on the Oregon Legislature’s homepage by entering your address (www.oregonlegislature.gov).

Peter Cornelison

Field representative, Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Hood River

We can do better

Seventy-plus years ago, the greatest generation built what amounted to an entire city inside Vancouver, Wash., called McLaughlin Heights. It was built by the government in collaboration with private industry. Pietro Belluschi, the famous architect designed the public area which consisted of at least the kindergarten, a large multi use auditorium, grocery, offices and medical facilities. It was built to serve those arriving to build ships in the Kaiser shipyards. The houses were small and rudimentary, but rents were inexpensive, starting at about $35.

The schools provided in those days were more extensive than what we have today with K-12 being our usual model. Back then, there was an additional two years, a play school and a preschool. This served multiple purposes, families and single moms didn’t need private and sometimes shoddy and expensive day care for their youngsters, and it gave children time to interact with other children of different back grounds before entering kindergarten.

Today we’re not fighting any officially sanctioned wars as Congress hasn’t declared one. We build no affordable housing even though our major cities have housing crises with homelessness being a huge issue. Many of our schools were built before this writer was born, it’s as though our children were an after thought, old buildings, some with inadequate HVAC systems, and fairy tale books that don’t give our students adequate knowledge of our countries history, which might explain why we’ve become such a divided country.

As to our school board, they need to play an even handed roll, providing adequate pay and benefits to keep good teachers, and a good education for our students while looking our for our citizens who finance the system for the benefit of all. It’s time to stop moving backward; we’re becoming a third world country and can do so much better.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

The spell

A pleasant young lady from Hood River asked me if I had a personal grudge against the church pastor due to some horrid past experience. No, never, I said. Pastor is a professional charmer. It is nearly impossible to dislike them as people. It is a matter of doctrine … teachings …truth.

The church pastor of today continues in the steps of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians or the King of Babylon’s astrologers and Chaldeans. These men of ancient times fooled and tricked their kings with smoke, mirrors and spells. Especially the spell. It’s still used today by the church pastor …the spell.

In the simplest terms, the spell’s a threat. Physical misfortune is implied by the sorcerer (pastor) when the spell is chanted and directed at the churchgoer. Today the male church pastor and unfortunately to their shame a female pastor too, chants a horrible threatening spell upon their gullible, naïve superstitious customers. What is this spell? The threat of going to hell for eternity.

I was angry and disgusted with the church system and church pastor when I learned from reading “The Scriptures” for myself that there is no hell going … period. This lie is a cheap threat used by pastor to retain paying customers whose minds are imprisoned with “ Scripture” ignorant chains of superstition.

A simple reading of all “The Books” earns a person the knowledge that this “hell” threat does not exist. It is manufactured by pastor and it is another lie that creates that resentment and contempt for “The Books.” The three main passages used by pastor to sell this lie are so twisted and distorted out of context that even a grade school child could see through the deception.

Even if you are not a church paying customer you are pretty sure the church pastor preaches that “The Books” suggest that people go to hell for eternity. You think you know that. This has been sold in churches for a thousand years. How could I possibly suggest otherwise? Whatever pastor sells it’s opposite of what you would read in The Books … opposite. Reading is the only path to truth.

Gary Fischer

The Dalles

Good care

I am a permanent resident in Scottsdale, Ariz., but I spend several months a year in Hood River. My wife and I very much like Hood River and the variety of activities offered.

Our only concern was the quality of medical care in a reasonably small town. As a senior with some rare medical issues, we were very concerned about the quality of care I would receive if a medical problem arose. Well, I found out!

After a 911 call, the paramedics responded quickly and took appropriate action that relieved me temporarily. The paramedics took me to the emergency room. The ER doctor and nurse reacted quickly as well.

Importantly, the doctor wanted to understand my medical history and he listened to me as well. Taking time to understand my medical history was important so that actions taken would be beneficial. While I am knowledgeable of my medical history, I think it is critical that doctors unfamiliar with me take time to listen to me as well as my medical records. Each doctor was a good listener and sought to understand my medical history.

I was admitted to the hospital. The nurses and nurse aids provided great care. I have always considered the nursing staff to be the backbone of the hospital and it is certainly true of Providence Health and Services.

The quality of care, the personalization and understandable medical explanations made the medical quality I received under the care of Drs. James Little, Nikolas Jones and Ryan Kealy as good as or better than doctors I have been cared for by at larger hospitals.

I also have a primary doctor in Hood River, Dr. Maria McCormack, who has taken time to know me and my medical issues. Dr. McCormack is very thorough, knowledgeable and personal.

In every way, my expectations have been exceeded. I am relieved to know that, if necessary, I will receive the medical care I need regardless of whether I am in Scottsdale or Hood River.

Chuck Sklader

Hood River

Resentful

Don’t know about you, but I am exceedingly resentful of the new president labeling all Americans as systemically racist.

By doing so, he handed our international enemies a 12 pound hammer and held America up for unearned ridicule to the rest of the world. I am not a racist and have the credentials to prove it. I am certain many other Americans feel the same way.

Biden would know about racism though. As a freshman senator in the 1970s, he fought desegregation tooth and nail with his legislation to stop busing as a tool to promote desegregation. Surrounded by associates and friends Sens. George Wallace, James G. Eastman, Herman Tallmadge, Strom Thurman and Jesse Helms, staunch racists all, he fought the fight. Biden knows well the “Jim Crow” concept. So when he starts preaching racial unity, watch your step.

When he misconstrued the legitimate change in Georgia’s voting laws, it seemed he felt slighted and hurt. Someone forgot to ask him for permission to make a change. President Joe made them pay for that.

He may believe Americans no longer have the right to free speech (he banned using the term Chinese Virus); he may also believe states no longer have state’s rights. Copying his mentor, Barack Obama, he does not believe in the 2nd Amendment. So you may not either.

Some folks are concerned about the immigration crisis on the southern border and flood of immigrants entering America and why something isn’t done to stop the flow of people, particularly juveniles. Don’t despair. Biden is tickled pink. He considers this all much ado about nothing. If he can increase the numbers of (immigrants) flowing into America, he will. Remember that his main plot is to bring as many folks into America as possible. The more the merrier. He hopes each and every one will be a future Democratic voter. Face the facts, his administration is doing nothing to stop the numbers of people entering America. He will continue to do so.

G. D. Summers

The Dalles

For the people

The Klickitat Co. Sheriff is elected by the people. When the elected person performs poorly, the remedy is to not to elect them to a second term or perform a recall. The voters have the power.

Janet Holen

White Salmon

Dear GOP

An Open Letter to Rep. Cliff Bentz, State Sen. Lynn Findley, State Rep. Daniel Bonham, and State Rep. Mark Owens:

You are leaders in your party. It is incumbent on each of you to tell the truth to your constituents, many of whom have been tricked into believing The Big Lie and other conspiracy theories.

As Mitt Romney so perfectly put it on Jan. 6, “The best way we could show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth. That’s the burden. That’s the duty of leadership.”

We were also dismayed and angered to see the shameless announcement put out by Rep. Owens and Sen. Findley headlined “Findley, Owens Secure Unprecedented $54 Million in Funding for Eastern Oregon Counties.” The vast bulk of these funds are from ARP appropriations, which were passed without a single GOP vote in support.

What nerve, to claim credit for these funds while simultaneously refusing to debunk The Big Lie!

These matters are not mere policy differences between the right and the left. Your pandering to the far right members of your party who believe everything the Great Liar, Donald Trump, tells them is actively undermining our democracy. It is past time for you to show some courage and denounce The Big Lie, firmly and publicly, even if it costs you your seat.

Your constituents deserve better. Our Country deserves better.

Sheila Dooley, Debi Ferrer, Sally Ford, Connie Krummrich, Sandy Haechrel, Serena Smith and Carolyn Wright

The Dalles

Response to warming

Well, we’ve all had a taste of the lashes of global warming. Around here it was the recent heat dome; a rancher told me this weekend he’d lost 600 head of cattle in the abnormal heat. A little further away the ongoing drought is a longer lasting result. Up north the melting ice is flooding New York’s subways. Down south people are left desolate as the storms pass through. And all of this is just a foretaste of what’s to come while we dither about solutions and take half measures.

Many years ago when I was a child, there was a world war ongoing. One thing people did willingly to help our effort in the war was to accept gasoline rationing. Thirty years later we accepted the need to ration gasoline according to our automobile license plate number.

If we adopted some similar plan today might species, even the human one, be saved?

David Bullock

The Dalles

What is it about flags?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands ... with liberty and justice for all.”

Our National Anthem is all about the flag which miraculously survived an attack by the British during the War of 1812. Clearly, “Old Glory” stands out as a reminder of our struggle for freedom from the yolk imposed by the King of England.

The Confederate Battle Flag is a reminder of the struggle of The South for the freedom to maintain its yoke of slavery, which was the foundation of its economy and culture.

The Nazi flag is a reminder of the grip on all of Europe and the terror of Hitler’s style of inhumane treatment and killing of the “others.”

On last Jan. 6, 2021, all of these flags were proudly waved and used as weapons by members of the attacking force on the United States Capitol in the name of Liberty and Justice.

On this Independence Day, how can any American view those attackers and those who encouraged them as real patriots? Confused, maybe, but not patriots.

Russ Hurlbert

Hood River