Good bye and gratitude

I am a Licensed Acupuncturist, small business owner and employer. I founded and operated Cascade Acupuncture Center, LLC (CAC), with clinics in Hood River and The Dalles from August 2005 until November 2020, when I sold it to a new owner. Since the sale, I have not been involved in any management, marketing or the CAC newsletter, but have been working as the clinical director. The sale was announced in Columbia Gorge News on April 28.

Over the last 16 years, I have served many roles with CAC and my final role over the past six months has been to provide the best transition I can to the new management team. I chose to sell and leave the company to have more private time and pursue other professional endeavors.

I am deeply honored to have been part of so many people’s lives who have trusted me with their healthcare. It has been amazing to witness the many positive health improvements over the years and those memories are a big part of my life! I have fond memories of interacting with business owners at many chamber events facilitated by all Gorge Chambers. What an incredible local business community! Thanks to the chamber staff and business owners for all you do to serve the Gorge community.

CAC sponsored many local farmers markets over the years. I participated by having a booth and enjoyed speaking with people about acupuncture, purchasing local products from the farmers and becoming part of their community. I highly respect the work our local farmers do, thank you!

Finally, I wanted to thank the local medical providers who have placed trust in Acupuncture, the CAC clinics and referred many clients. It was an honor to co-serve these clients to reach their health goals.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with CAC and the wonderful staff who remain with the company. I am certain they will continue to serve the local community well with their healthcare needs. In gratitude,

Carola Stepper, LAc

Hood River

Don't ignore global interconnections

Last weekend, the meatpacking company JBS, which processes almost a quarter of U.S. cattle, was the victim of a ransomware attack. Preparing the U.S. ag industry to defend against cyberattacks means one more burden for already-beleaguered ag producers. Unfortunately, the costs of not doing so are too high: Higher prices, possible food shortages and tainted food supplies, and more.

As a high school social studies and electives teacher with classes in both agriculture and cybersecurity, I’ve been privileged to see the writing on the wall: These two topics will and now are colliding. I recognize the urge of many conservatives to emphasize personal freedom and the desire to go back to a simpler time with less government red tape, and maybe less concern about global events. However, important interconnected global realities now stare us in the face: Climate change (more droughts, early-snowmelt floods, and wildfires in Eastern/Southern Oregon), economic trends, worldwide internet and thus cyber-threats, and, of course, the pandemic. None of these respect national boundaries, let alone state and county ones.

Since I also teach a national security course, I’m especially hopeful people in rural Eastern and Southern Oregon will rise to the challenges before us by learning to better plan for, adapt to, and minimize these interconnected threats.

The world is moving — if not forward, at least along. Protecting ourselves and our communities from climate change/extreme weather, economic downturns, pandemics, and cyberattacks takes courage; practice in seeing how aspects of our lives are interlinked, and humbleness in continued learning. Luckily, we have a rural Oregon “can-do” attitude to help.

Raz Mason

The Dalles

Raz (“Roz”) Mason is a high school teacher, interfaith chaplain, and climate consultant who lives in The Dalles.

Partnership worthwhile

The city-county partnership to build middle and low income housing off Rand Road in Hood River is an extraordinarily worthwhile project. Although I, too, am worried about the extreme density being discussed, we all know it is sorely needed.

Funding is sure to be an issue, and I have a suggestion: I know many people have some money set aside to invest in buying a house, but there are no affordable houses available in Hood River.

Supposing these people could invest now and secure a future house for themselves, while also helping to jump start the funding issue? This might encourage loans and state and federal grants for the project, and hopefully speed up the building of these needed houses.

Alison McDonald

Hood River

Voting is a privilege

I just saw a headline “Fourteen States Have enacted 22 New Laws Making It Harder to Vote.” My first response is: “I certainly hope so!”

The freedom to vote is a privilege, and I fear that although we scream that from the rooftops, our actions betray us.

Mail-in voting? How much effort does it take to seal an envelope? Is this the extent of the civic duty we are instilling in our kids?

I propose returning to in-person voting. Voting should take effort, voting should require some sense of obligation, and maybe even a hint of accomplishment. Voting in-person involves a conscious decision to show-up, interact with others, and respect our country for all the opportunities it provides to us.

In our nation of abundance, there is no reason that for one day, businesses cannot shut down or show some flexibility so that people young and old can come together, to stand in line, to be patient with each other, to put some physical effort and presence into their opinion.

And for those who do face a challenge, that their neighbors, friends, relatives, or even poll workers and volunteers take a little bit of extra time to check on those people to ensure that their ballot is cast.

Voting in-person involves a connection with the community. Voting respects our past and changes the future of our nation. Isn’t that worth a few minutes of our time?

Lisa Evans

White Salmon

Biblical beginnings

It matters not what I write or say about the Hebrew Scriptures that would convince anyone of their authenticity. It must be read, studied and understood by each individual to be accepted with any degree of intellectual trust. Every book, chapter and verse must be read over and over again, year after year.

Being in the truth is not church. Churching has nothing to do with the truth. Fact … the churchgoer does not read the books. It is a physical impossibility to read the books respectfully, diligently and responsibly and be in a church.

Only when the individual takes on the tremendous task of reading all the books will that person be convinced that the books are of a “Divine” source.

It is a large book and it is daunting. Before a person touches the book and glances at its pages something must happen. They must find someone they trust who they believe understands the books. This is not easy in our day of mistrust and suspicion. I cannot convince anyone that the books are what they claim to be. All I can do is try to convince a person to read them for themselves.

The power to convince is found in the books miraculous method to predict political history. Political prophecy of course has been destroyed and mocked by pastor and the church system along with movies, TV shows and books. No one has a nickel's worth of trust or interest in what I have to say about political prophecy simply because they can not distinguish what I say from the stupidity they have heard from the world.

Allow me this. If you have the time and the interest read at least one chapter (a lot more really). This one chapter is easy to read for it is laid out in grade school level manner and it establishes the foundation understanding of political prophecy. It is the second chapter of Daniel and it is an interesting read. The Book of Daniel could be (and I have) studied for 30 years it is that complex and interesting and vital.

Gary Fischer

The Dalles