No billions to curriculum

There were some factual errors in the April 28 letter titled, "Vote Hosford, Kelly, Parr."

While the author is certainly entitled to her personal opinions, the errors should be corrected:

1. “Billions of dollars are earmarked to introduce CRT or “Critical Race Theory” into the curriculum…”

CORRECTION: “Billions of dollars” are not available in Oregon for ANY curriculum introduction. The Oregon state budget for schools is about $5.75 billion for 2020-21, and 85 percent of that is used for personnel costs, or about $4.8 billion. The remainder must provide for educator training, technology, supplies and equipment, sports transportation, text materials, building maintenance, fuel and utilities, legal fees, insurance and everything that happens in a school. There aren’t enough budgeted funds in Oregon or other similar-sized states to spend “billions” on any curriculum adoption or materials.

2. “…A biology test question ask(ed) if …“race” was biological or social….The correct answer was “social”….”

CORRECTION: Science says that “Social” is the correct answer. According to a publication from Harvard University in 2017: “In the biological and social sciences, the consensus is clear: race is a social construct, not a biological attribute.” Sequencing the human genome allowed research into the genetic basis for “race” and no evidence was found “…that the groups we commonly call 'races' have distinct, unifying genetic identities.” The teacher was teaching based on current science in several disciplines.

3. “'Critical Race Theory' ... teaches white students to hate themselves and feel guilty for the color of their skin.” CORRECTION: Schools actually try to teach students NOT to hate anyone for the color of their skin or any other personal characteristics.

I’m happy to share the research citations with anyone who is interested.

Pat Evenson-Brady

Hood River

Ramp fix needed

Something better should be done with the off ramp of 1-84 and 1-97. That barrier should be changed to a guard rail, or have lights. For lower sitting cars, it’s hard for them to see over. Which makes those cars have to pull up past the barrier.

I sadly experienced a car wreck involving the barrier, and I was driving a low sitting car. I stopped before the line, and then I inched up. That’s when I got hit. Since I inched up after the white line, I got a ticket for disobeying a traffic signal/sign. In the driver’s manual it does say if you stopped at a white line and can’t see, you can pull forward to see.

That’s not against the law, so why I got a ticket I have no idea. I just want something to change with that turn off, I also don’t want to see anyone else succumb to a wreck either.

Rebekah Stockhoff

Wishram

Common sense candidates

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented difficult challenges to the D21 educational system. Our board, administrators, teachers, support personnel, students, and parents have responded with creativity, flexibility, imagination, and common sense to keep our students safe and to fulfill our mission to provide a quality education.

I believe that Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Brian Stevens are two candidates running for the D21 board that will best be able to carry out the mission of our school district, which is to work towards having a quality educational system that will educate, motivate and graduate our students to be successful in their life pursuits and chosen careers.

Rebecca brings her wealth of experience and good judgement, perceptive problem solving, and her past commitment to active participation on the Mosier Community School Board and her current participation on the D21 School Board to her work. She values integrity, honesty, civil discourse, and collaboration. She has the unique ability to understand the gist of the issue at hand and to articulate it with clarity, to the public as well as other board members.

Brian Stevens brings enthusiasm for collaborative board work from his past experience as a volunteer in a variety of community functions, and mentoring and coaching children in The Dalles for the last 19 years. Brian has also worked in the surgical department at MCMC, caring for patients’ needs. He is able to apply that quality of service to our district as a board member. He promises to bring proven, attentive leadership, common sense, the ability to collaborate and his personal commitment to the business of the Board’s work.

I enthusiastically endorse these candidates for elected positions on the D21 Board.

John Nelson

The Dalles

Child care support

Exciting to see child care finally getting support, with locally 70 percent still in need ("COVID grant supports child care" in the Columbia Gorge News, May 11).

Lack of child care and affordable housing are two of the reasons there is little mobility in our country for low income earners, people of color being hit extra hard.

Now is the time for our government to take bold steps to turn around this crisis in basic needs. Step one was the American Relief Plan, which included increases in the Child and Earned Income Tax Credit. The next step can make these increases permanent and increase funding for affordable housing, especially the Housing Voucher Program that currently serves only 25 percent of those who qualify.

Calling, writing, and visiting those who represent us — thank them for step one and ask them to pass these and other critical initiatives.

This is how we build the political will to put America on the road to equity.

Willie Dickerson

Snohomish, Wash.

Working government

The recently completed session of the Washington State Legislature demonstrated Democrats’ commitment to make government work for people and families.

The Democratic-led legislature passed laws to 1) expand access to early learning and child care programs; 2) provide low-income families with a larger tax refund by giving back some of what they pay in sales taxes; 3) combat climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and requiring cleaner fuels; 4) mandate overtime pay for agricultural workers beginning in 2022 and a 40-hour workweek by early 2024; and 5) increase funding for wildfire prevention and suppression.

Democrats in Washington, D.C., also are working hard for people and families. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposes to 1) fix highways, rebuild bridges, and upgrade ports, airports, and transit systems; 2) deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans; 3) build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our nation’s schools and childcare facilities, and update veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings; 4) solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers; and 5) revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future.

While one political party wants to invest in America’s future, the other focuses on developing new barriers to the right to vote and pedaling falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.

All of us residing in the fact-based world shook our heads when House Republicans stripped Liz Cheney of her leadership position for obstinately telling the truth about the 2020 presidential election.

One of Washington State’s GOP Congressional Representatives, Doug Erickson, has drawn a Republican primary challenger for the same “sin” as Cheney. His foe? Loren Culp, who still refuses to admit he lost the gubernatorial election to Jay Inslee.

The contrast between the priorities of the two parties underscores the reason why Republican Party affiliation is down, while independents leaning toward the Democratic Party have surged.

Rick George

White Salmon

Vote Swift

I am a local attorney and I have worked with Marcus Swift involving legal issues. He is incredibly professional, prompt, and attentive to detail. He has a proven history of volunteering and contributing to the local community by providing free legal services to people in need. He currently serves on the Wasco County Planning Commission, which like the port deals with complex land use issues. We need a port commissioner who is thoughtful in his responses, has a passion for the wellbeing of the community and is professional. Please support Marcus Swift for the Port of the Dalles Commission, Position 3.

Shannon Tissot

The Dalles

Comfort zones

Cats and Republicans have a lot in common. They both have strict comfort zones and hate change. If you lay new carpet, the arrangement of the furniture or invite strangers into a room a cat is comfortable in, it will refuse to enter that room. Republicans have panic attacks if laws, procedures, or especially emigrants, threaten their own comfort zone.

When I see cat today all I see is a fuzzy Republican.

Gary Fields

Hood River

No political funding

I was dismayed to find a Political Action Committee mailer in my mailbox for one of our local school board candidates, Heidi Parr. The school board should not be a political position, nor should outside political interests bring their agendas to our schools.

For this reason, I will not vote for Heidi Parr. Hood River County voters, beware of candidates accepting Political Action Committee money regardless of political affiliation.

Svea Truax

Hood River