Good neighbors

A few weeks ago my husband and I were on our usual early morning walk on Belmont with our dachshund when I stumbled and went down hard on my hands and knees. I was okay, but shaken.

Right away a car that had just gone past us stopped, backed up, and the driver asked if I was okay or needed help. After assuring her I was okay, she drove on.

And right away another vehicle stopped and the driver asked if I was hurt, even offering to give me a ride home.

We’d never meant either driver before, which made it even sweeter. It was just such a kind moment and showed me that caring and kindness are alive and well in Hood River.

I can’t thank these ladies enough for taking time to show their concern for me on their busy morning. I’m very grateful.

Georgia Donnelly

Hood River

Best fire engine

Mosier Fire District is about to sell off an engine purchased brand new in 2017 after an exhaustive, public, team process which determined that its specifications are and will continue to be the highest priority for all-hazard response in the district.

The engine, referred to in public meetings as “the squad,” was intended to be first out on every call in a response model which partly relied on distributed equipment — certain apparatus and emergency medical equipment staying with trained and qualified responders rather than centrally stored in stations, leading to more than five years of fast, effective responses on fire and medical calls.

Instead, it has hardly been used. When it has, it’s usually been misapplied as a brush engine, to disastrous effect.

A recent public review of response times and staffing pre- and post-2017 revealed shocking recent declines in both, suggesting MFD’s constituents are now vulnerable in ways for which they were previously protected.

The engine could be used as primary pumper on a structure fire. It could also be staffed by a single qualified responder to begin effective control of a burning semi and its fire spread, without leaving the driver’s seat. It was spec’d to fit easily through the Mosier Twin Tunnels, which none of MFD’s recent apparatus purchases can do.

It was not intended to leave the district except in limited and infrequent circumstances. It was meant to work hard and fast for MFD’s constituents, taking into account the longstanding and current reality that our volunteers simply do not respond quickly as a group, while limited staff can safely initiate a distributed, effective response quickly.

Reasons for this sale rely on recommendations — not requirements — for all agencies nationwide.

Proof of the error of this decision can be found early in the Mosier Creek Fire.

A home near the origin of the fire was left unprotected, reportedly because Mosier’s recently purchased engines were too large to negotiate switchbacks on the driveway.

Meanwhile, “the squad” sat in a station. It is optimally suited for the conditions which kept larger equipment from engaging.

Jim Appleton


County confusion

Klickitat County Board of Commissioners confuses “Local Authority” with “local politics.”

The story in the Columbia Gorge News on Sept. 29 stated the Klickitat County commissioners wrote a letter to Governor Inslee about how unhappy they were he took away local control of mandates.

It’s a matter of record, the week before, the local authority of the board of health, county health director and county health officer all supported the mandate.

The BOCC letter is clearly a political move to support local politics and not local control.

It is so frustrating that a vocal few people whose feelings are hurt over not getting their way can change the minds of politicians.

All politics is local is the saying, but definition of local should be those most likely to cause trouble and not those who have the verifiable credentials of authority.

Vern Harpole


Big wheel turning

The wheel of big government is turning. The heavy weight of the grindstone crushing our freedoms, one grain at a time.

Masks, mandates, and trillions in socialist spending to keep able-bodied, working Americans and businesses under the weight are the lies, leaving a fine dust on the halls of Congress.

The dust is useless to our way of life, the European model is stale, the nutrients and unity bleached out, starving anyone who consumes it.

The heart of the grain falls to the inside, that grain powers the mind and bodies of the free Americans, it has been so for many generations. The yeast of our fight for liberty lives in the air we breathe.

We knead and beat the woke and socialist agenda out of the dough. The bread is braided together in freedom and unity for all citizens. The scent of the bread draws us home again, the breaking of the loaves is our love for each other. Memories of the struggles we have endured to keep our independent and free way of life. The taste of the whole grain, our truth.

The wheel turns against us, our enemies wait outside, sharpening their knives, watching for the cracks that are forming in the policy’s and leadership of our nation, waiting for the wheel to break.

Will we be ready? Can we fix the wheel and unite before it is too late?

Sheilah Nelson

Hood River