Person first

With regard to “Another Voice: Our brilliant, wonderful, racist workplace” (Nov. 4): Anytime you identify a person as a color, you are practicing racism. It isn’t only the treatment, the lack of eye contact, the careful wording of every sentence. Your “Black co-worker” is a person first, her race is secondary. Don’t you prefer to be known as the person you are, not as the “Asian woman” in your workplace, social life, etc.?

Peggy Packer

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Inspiring Women

As I read the article in the Nov. 4, edition of the Columbia Gorge News about two young women speaking out about the sexual assault they experienced at the hands of a trusted coach, I had tears in my eyes. Tears for the pain and sorrow I feel for these women having experienced this violation, for the outrage that the perpetrator got his hand slapped and that there will likely be other victims, and for the courage these women demonstrated by speaking out.

In these days where integrity seems scarce, look at these women. This is what integrity and courage look like! Savanna Hawk and Christy Caldwell are an inspiration to all of us who will need to stand up, speak out and face tough stuff in our lives — they showed us how it’s done. Our part is easy. Believe women when they demonstrate extreme courage by daring to tell their stories of sexual assault. Respect, support and love them as they recover and learn to feel safe again. And support community organizations, such as Programs for Peaceful Living, Helping Hands and HAVEN, that serve those experiencing sexual assault.

Pam Tindall

White Salmon

Flagstone troubles

My name is Gwen Filben and I am a resident of Flagstone Assisted Living.

I want to thank Scott Scrimshaw for being so brave in opening up this to be able to write. He was fired and that is wrong. Scott worked long hours for us. Bringing water to our rooms. Encouraging us. Scott loves us. Firing Scott was wrong, and firing Sharla (Mosqueda) was wrong, too. She did not cause COVID.

We pay a pretty hefty sum to live here and they are always short-handed. We are treated so well. Scott was not a disgruntled employee — corporate didn’t help us when we needed them.

It would be nice if the caregivers could purchase Flagstone and run it. And run Flagstone properly.

We have Michaela Webb who has been here 27 years and could run this place. The staff is wonderful.

Scott was so over-worked in memory care, long hours, he was so exhausted.

Gwen Filben

The Dalles

Stop Rand ‘badgering’

In April and October, City Councilors (Megan) Saunders and (Mark) Zanmiller complained about the spiraling costs for the Cascade and Rand Road construction project. Mark asked whether the contract could become null and void because of the increases. Megan said she felt the city was “at the mercy of the state” and “on the hook for whatever they say we’re on the hook for.”

Both Zanmiller and Saunders had the responsibility and opportunity to review the contract that the city signed on July 10, 2017. The Municipal code says: “The City Council is designated to continue as the local contract review board of the City ... ” The same 2017 City Council members who approved the contract now pretend to be outraged at its cost.

The Intergovernmental Agreement signed by Hood River in July 2017 limited federal funding to $750,000. The city council signed the city up to be “responsible for all remaining costs, including (the city’s) required match for all eligible costs, any non-participating costs, and all costs in excess of the available federal or state funds” and “If the actual costs of the project exceed the estimated total Project cost set forth in this Agreement, (the city) is responsible for all costs.” The state can also award a construction contract “at ten percent over engineer’s estimate without (the city’s) prior approval.”

Zanmiller, Saunders, and McBride were city council members in 2017. Check the minutes for the discussion if you can find them. City Attorney Dan Kearns signed the contract but stayed silent during the October council meeting when councilors asked what they could do about the contract’s rising costs.

The councilors who have been loudest in protesting these costs were on the council that approved the contract. Why not admit that they either didn’t read the contract or didn’t ask the right questions? Stop badgering visiting ODOT engineers trying to explain the construction and asking them to beg the state for more money. These three should admit they failed to act as fiscal guardians with a thorough review of the contract, and residents should read the next big contract the city approves.

Tracey Tamashpol

Hood River

Land for housing

Thanks to Stephen Curley (letter, Oct. 28), we all now know that the property at Country Club and Frankton may be purchased by the port — and the final day for them to exercise their option to buy is Nov. 12!

Remember when this property was home to two long rows of very low income shacks for not-so-migrant-anymore agricultural workers?

What happened to Hood River’s low income housing plans? The asking price of $4 million for this property is too much? It is 16 acres plus!

What about my old theme, get ODOT to move their gravel mound to anywhere by the railroad tracks and give up the Cascade lot across from the Safeway for good low income housing? (It’s right above the skate park!)

Maybe ODOT could move to port land by the stinky poop plant? Maybe the Country Club and Frankton property could serve a couple of needs. Can the city, county and state please see the big picture and coordinate such lands swaps? The state REQUIRES us to build affordable housing, right? So ODOT is state — make a deal!

Why does the Port get land that is neither riverside nor airport? What gives? Please everyone, let’s get creative here. Land in Hood River is too precious to squander.

Alison McDonald

Hood River

Editor’s note: The “gravel mound” is the Cascade lot often termed “the Yard,” located on W. Cascade just west of 20th Avenue.

Irresponsible headline

The Columbia Gorge News is now the primary print source of news in the Gorge. With that distinction comes great responsibility. It is my feeling that the lead headline in the Oct. 28 issue was a breach of that responsibility.

I see the headline “Outbreak nears ‘official’ end” as a political nod to the untrue propaganda coming out of the Republican Presidential campaign. I feel a more responsible headline would read something like “Flagstone outbreak nears ‘official end.’”

Also, included in the article should be, “Health officials strongly urge added caution, continued mask wearing, hand-washing and social distancing as the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise across the nation.”

Then go on to praise the staff and explain the situation at Flagstone. The suffering and loss at Flagstone are the true tragedies and the news.

On the week before national elections, all Americans (were) paying attention to the national scene. In that case the “outbreak” is nowhere near officially ending. The “corner” is nowhere near in sight. Any word, even vaguely suggesting any type of relaxation of caution has no business in a headline.

Numbers and science do not lie. Words can be recklessly stated, misunderstood, and twisted to express different agendas. Please report the news without injecting bias.

David Sheppard

Hood River


Congratulations on your great personal effort and sacrifice for your country … you voted. A lazy, irresponsible coward’s way out in an attempt to fix our problems. A personal vote does nothing to fix what you are responsible for creating in the first place. You use your vote as a cheap disguise to throw the blame of our problems onto that other party.

The problems are due to your personal behavior. The issues exist from your irresponsible selfish self-absorbed behavior. Example: Abortion and gun violence.

Children learn by example …yours. How is it possible that anyone could blame young women for seeking an abortion in our flagrant adultery diseased free lust filled fornicating culture? Our entire culture is rampant with examples of adultery, fornicating, sleeping around, doing it, free love making, etc.

Children have seen it for decades in their homes and in the Hollywood movies and TV shows you crave. A thousand realistic shows where “beautiful” hero cop stars use weapons to fix the problem? You think the g-o-d you worship … the Internet … helps children understand these issues?

What of your XBox and Game Boy toys are those sex-filled, gun violent amusements you buy the fault of a political party? You gorge yourselves on “must be realistic” socially destructive freedom of expression amusements. These amusements demonstrate to the children that unrestricted sexual copulation is fun and cool (thus the need for abortion) and weapons are the tools used by the beautiful people to fix a problem.

We are in a real bad way and voting will not fix it. Passing laws will not fix it. The problem is deeper and more complex.

Checking the candidate box? It is your personal behavior that needs to be placed in check.

You’re not that serious about fixing the problems if it calls for that sort of effort … hell no. Why don’t you relax a bit after your great voting effort and take a vacation to … Vegas?

You laugh and joke about Sin City? You think that saying is cute … “What happens here, blah, blah …?” You then wonder why young women need to seek abortions? You wonder why the man uses a weapon to fix the problem? Really? Your do nothing voice and vote will not fix anything. This is a lazy coward’s way out.

Have the sense and courage to admit it is not the other party’s fault but maybe OUR individual behavior.

Gary Fischer

The Dalles

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