Remember CGCR

Recently, five ladies in this area got together to solve the feral cat population in their neighborhood. They talked to Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue (CGCR), borrowed traps and kennels and one lady even offered her garage as a holding area.

It took several weeks to accomplish, but they trapped 41 cats and got them spayed/neutered. Several kittens were placed in homes as pets and two older cats were released to remain in their family’s turf. The remainder were adopted as mousers on farms. All the ladies agree this is the best option for any neighborhood to pursue. The cats were re-homed for their best interest, plus the ladies now know each other better than ever before.

The Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue was an integral part of this neighborhood’s improvement/control of their feral cat population issue and the ladies will be forever grateful for their assistance.

However, this is not an isolated incident in The Dalles. During the pandemic, the feral cat population has exploded all over town because many shelters/animal clinics were not allowed to continue offering spay/neuter services, including CGCR. Now that clinics are back open there is a great need for volunteers and donations to help them manage the high volume of calls and surgeries they are expecting.

Please remember that controlling the cat population by spaying and neutering both your pets and feral cats will ensure all of them to get to live their best lives.

During this giving season, please keep Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue in mind and help them help you.

Betty Mercado

The Dalles

Unfortunate Tragedy

Will our country’s polarizing events ever stop? This week 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for shooting three people with two of them dying as a direct result of his actions.

There seems to be reliable video evidence that Rittenhouse was truly being threatened by one or more people that night. Some gun rights advocates and conservatives have jumped on this evidence to argue self-defense while presenting a social media verdict of case closed!

The background in the case is not so clear cut. At the time of the event, Rittenhouse was only 17. He was illegally in possession of a semi-automatic rifle which he illegally carried across the state line. Rittenhouse was also illegally violating the local curfew in place at the time. Finally, he presented himself as an emergency responder, which may not be illegal, but is certainly immoral unless you are attending a costume party.

I was not there, so I have no idea what was going through Kyle Rittenhouse’s mind regarding how much he feared for his safety that night. He did make the choice to be there, to carry a semi-automatic weapon, and to lie about being an emergency responder. It sounds like he was planning on something bad happening before he walked out the door.

Regardless of the outcome in this trial, it will represent the next in a long line of tragedies further dividing our country. Self-defense or not, dead is dead. No court decision can take away the pain of those who lost loved ones that day because of some very questionable choices.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Editor’s note: Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges Nov. 19.

Helpful solitude

I wanted to give kudos to the Cascade Volcanoes Chapter of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness who volunteered in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness providing data on solitude to the Forest Service this past season.

The Cascade Volcano Chapter is part of a national organization,, that advocates for wild places as well as providing education and stewardship activities on public lands.

Solitude is one of the characteristics that wilderness rangers measure in order to determine visitor usage on trails. Ten volunteers provided 24 sessions of four hours each documenting number of dogs, hikers, and low flying aircraft.

We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance for the generous grant in reimbursing our mileage and other expenses for the project. It has been a rewarding experience in providing this data to our understaffed and overworked forest service rangers in the field

Laurie Kerr

Battle Ground, Wash.

Strong team

I read with concern the Nov. 17 letter about Mid-Columbia Medical Center. I was born and raised in The Dalles and watched as the hospital expanded over the years to serve the needs of our growing community. For a rural area, we are fortunate to have this highly-accredited medical center focused specifically on our area’s unique needs.

It is no secret that the pandemic has had a tremendous effect on healthcare workers all across the country. The entire team at MCMC — physicians, nurses, clinicians, support staff and managers — has been working under emotionally draining and physically exhausting conditions for more than 18 months. It has been a testament of the talents at all levels of the organization that the hospital has been able to remain open and serve our community uninterrupted despite an overwhelming patient surge. I am very proud of them.

At the same time, healthcare providers throughout the nation are choosing in record numbers to leave their professions or take needed respites from the physically and emotionally draining work they do to heal and save lives.

Whenever this happens, whether it is for retirement, sabbatical, a new opportunity, the end of a contractual arrangement or simply personal reasons, it is understandably unsettling for patients. I know this because my own personal provider was one of those who left.

However, I ask that you try to appreciate that providers are people, too, and we all need to respect their right to make their own decisions about their future.

Practicing medicine is exhausting work. That is why MCMC is taking steps to support our providers through cultivating a culture that makes them want to put down roots here in The Dalles. This includes focusing on medical staff wellness, recognizing exemplary care, and maintaining open, honest and consistent communication. We want our providers to know how much they are valued by MCMC, our patients and the community.

The past year and a half has been challenging, but I am confident that the future of healthcare here is bright.

Phil Brady

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mid-Columbia Medical Center

‘Kind City’

Thank you to the residence of The Dalles — our nickname, “The Kind City.” Now in our mid-80s, my husband and I have traveled through our 50 states, seven foreign countries, and commuted as snow birds for 22 years. But never have we been treated with such compassion and kindness as we experienced in your city.

In mid-July, while enjoying a paddle wheel cruise near your city, I was taken off the boat by ambulance at about 2 a.m. to the Mid -Columbia Medical Center, where I stayed for nine days being treated for a serious medical event.

My husband of 63 years had to find a motel in the area and arrange, at first, for means to get between the motel and the hospital, not knowing how long the stay would last, and not knowing anything about the town.

He ultimately found a rental car, but at first relied for transportation on a combination of cabs, kindhearted people from the hospital (and motel) and his own two feet.

Just a few examples: The policeman who delivered our belongings from the boat to the hospital. The pharmacist who arranged for, then delivered (late at night and in person!) my husband’s prescriptions when he ran out; several cab drivers and drivers of the local public jitney service. The marvelous, professional staff at your hospital. The private citizen who volunteered to take my husband to the hospital at 10 p.m. when I relapsed. The consideration and little “extras” shown to us by the management and staff at the motel. The terrific paramedics who drove the ambulance, and later came to our motel room when I fell — three times in one day.

To all of the people who reached out to help us, your kindness did not go unnoticed, primarily because it seemed to be shared as a general attitude by the city, and generously shared by each of you.

Our thanks to the kind people of The Dalles, so appreciated during a rough time. A remembered and shared visit.

Laura and Jim Lambert

Punta Gorda, Fla.