Flagstone heroes

With tears streaming down my face, I thank God for my three heroes. At the very risk and cost of their health and careers, they strove to meet the critical needs of the Flagstone Memory Care residents against all odds last month. An incredible nurse, and facility chaplain Scott Crimshaw, remained 12 straight days, working through the night, continuing to serve ill residents with every bit of energy that they had.

Their executive director, Sharla Mosqueda, sought, and pleaded “corporate” for supplies, staffing and support, with minimal and delayed response. A resident noticed her office light on at 6 a.m. which then did not shut off until 2 a.m. then next morning. Some days were even longer!

This past month has been traumatic for the residents and staff of Flagstone. Likened to a battlefield, Memory Care became a place of death, with a lack of supplies and caregivers for residents’ critical needs and seemingly ignored by the outside world. (If only the outside world could have known!)

These three people mourn for those so dear to them that didn’t make it, and rejoice that others were able to be transported to facilities out of town. One of my heroes, the nurse, became sick with COVID-19 and Sharla and Scott were fired as if they had been the ones negligent.

You know, as horrific as this real-life scenario has been, I believe that these three would have done it all again rather than to abandon those under their care in the conditions and fate they would have left them. They would not, and could not, leave the residents they loved and served. To me they are the unsung heroes of The Dalles! They are my heroes.

Ramona Harwood

The Dalles

Editor’s Note: This letter was published in the Oct. 14 edition but the last few lines were inadvertently omitted. We print the letter in full, with our apologies.

Vote Zanmiller

Mark Zanmiller for City Council. Mark has served with distinction for the last two terms. I have known Mark for 12 years and had the pleasure to work with him on a variety of projects. He is honest, thoughtful, and a true problem solver. Because of his community involvement and his desire to have a positive impact on the world around him, he is aware of local issues and has the tools to address and build consensus on those issues to affect real change. It is my belief you would be hard pressed to find someone more willing to dedicate himself to serving our community than Mark Zanmiller.

Julie Heinemann

Hood River

No on Measure 110

Regarding Oregon Ballot Measure 110, which is the de facto state legalization of a variety of addictive and dangerous drugs: My first wife died unexpectedly of a morphine overdose at age 49. The medical examiners’ report stated that she had enough morphine in her system at the time of death to kill 1,000 people.

It seems to me that we have too much and too many drugs of all kinds around these days. Why add to the huge problem we already have?

Britt Storkson

The Dalles

Voting plans

I’ve never been more excited to vote and it’s interesting to me that my ballot doesn’t look like the kind of ballot you would be really excited about. Curtis King, State Senator for LD14, doesn’t have an opponent and there are two Republicans running for County Commissioner in District 3.

But, looking deeper, every single race on my ballot is for a powerful position and I connect that to how it will affect us. Reading voter’s pamphlets/guides, researching the candidates, watching forums/debates with the candidates, speaking directly with them, and with my community, are all actions that have helped me decide who to give my powerful vote to.

I’m voting for Biden for president for the future of my country. I’m voting for Carolyn Long because we deserve someone who is as smart, hardworking, and accessible, as she is. I’m voting for Tracy Rushing for LD14-1 because we need a doctor in the House, especially now. I’m voting for Devin Kuh for LD14-2 because his write-in-to-serious campaign shows how much he can get done for us in a Democratic House. I’m voting for Joanna Turner for Klickitat County Commissioner, District 1 because she will make better decisions and give us better outcomes. I’m voting for Jim Sizemore for Klickitat County Commissioner, District 3 because he is everything his opponent isn’t: Respectful, good, experienced and willing to change if that means improving.

I’m voting for many other candidates and resolutions on my ballot that will affect my future.

Please join me.

Sasha Bentley

White Salmon

Stop stealing signs

Well, someone stole my yard sign. Lots of people have these signs — they just have a couple of names on them, they don’t say that you have to like my guy or vote for my guy or believe what I believe about who deserves to be president or governor or representative. Just names. My way of demonstrating my convictions. My sister, who belongs to a different party and who had a yard sign with different names than mine, reports that her sign was also stolen.

Here is what I want to say to whoever stole our signs — stop it! I’m sure your mom taught you that stealing is wrong. As a mom and grandma myself I want to grab you by the ears and make you stand in the corner until you say you are sorry and promise you will never do it again.

As a person who loves this country, I want to remind you that one of the things that make this country amazing is the right to free speech, the right to support and vote for your choice of candidates. Stealing yard signs is petty, childish and un-American. So stop it!

Heather Weisfield

White Salmon

Nation in crisis

I know what crisis looks and feels like, and now so do you.

As an American, I have always believed in the American dream, “anything is possible, all you have to do is work for it.”

That is no longer true. People are working without the ability to get ahead. Some work without the ability to pay their basic bills. Many find it difficult to keep enough food in the house. This country’s systems have been broken for a long time without many of us knowing about it.

However, a rare opportunity for to become aware of our broken systems has become real with this pandemic. You may not have understood the uprise of the protesting and riots without the pandemic to help unveil this country’s system failures.

The people in this country, especially our elected officials, are not respecting the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and that is the core of our crisis.

The U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the base for the American dream, a promise that the quality of life we desire can be achieved.

The core of our crisis is the uncertainty of our safety. If those we have put in place do not honor the oaths and ethics that require them to be held to a higher standard of person, they should not have taken the job. With their job descriptions outlined for them, they are given budgets and tax payers’ monies to carry out a plan.

Let us elect officials that can show us the difference that one voice can make backed by the people, people that have our safety and quality of life at the top of their priority list. Joanna Turner has researched and focused on the issues necessary to heal the areas that our broken system has hurt.

Joanna Turner and like minded people are part of the solution necessary to bring our country’s systems back up and working for the American people so we can again have an “American Dream” to reach.

Vote for Joanna Turner, County Commissioner

Elizabeth Mutch

Dallesport

Rushing and Kuh

I am deeply grateful to Tracy Rushing and Devin Kuh, candidates for State Representative, District 14. Kuh is a teacher, and Rushing is an emergency room physician. Neither had political experience prior to this election. Both felt compelled to run for office when they saw the unopposed incumbents actively obstructing efforts to control and contain coronavirus, while Yakima County, in the 14th, was one of the hardest hit places in Washington State.

Rushing and Kuh both see healthcare as a human right, critical to building healthy communities. Their platforms are solid on other issues as well. What makes them extraordinary candidates, however, is the love, intelligence, and caring shining through their campaigns. Rushing’s opponent, Chris Corry, has only right-wing ideology to offer. Kuh’s opponent, Gina Mosbrucker, is busy climbing the GOP ladder to success in Olympia. Rushing and Kuh offer something quite different — genuine care for people and for the planet. It shows in the work they have chosen, and it shows in their campaigns. We are fortunate to be able to vote for Tracy Rushing and Devin Kuh. Please join me in doing so.

Patricia Arnold

Trout Lake

Workers United

In central Washington, our food goes from farm to table on the backs of agricultural and packinghouse workers. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we were quick to label these workers essential, but we were slow to protect them from dangerous working conditions.

When cases exploded among the close quarters of Yakima packinghouses, workers realized that no help was coming. So they took it upon themselves to organize and strike; they came together to save their lives and their jobs. Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia (Workers United for Justice) was able to negotiate safer workplaces and protective equipment, hazard pay and the right to organize.

I stand in solidarity and support with Trabajadores Unidos. I’m running for Washington State House of Representatives to represent working families, but more importantly, for working families’ rights to organize and to represent themselves.

Tracy Rushing

White Salmon

Retain Lannen

Tom Lannen has been working for Skamania County, long before he was ever a commissioner. I had met Tom while he had been doing volunteer work for the county. Tom’s entire mission during that time was to hold accountable the Forest Service for their management of the Gifford Pinchot Forest and to maintain the sustainable logging and management they have said they were going to do for over 25 years.

After he began working as a volunteer for the county in the name of sustainable and healthy forest practices, Tom began to consider running for county commissioner. It seemed suitable for someone who had already given an abundant amount of time working for the good of our county, coming to every commissioner meeting for three years prior and wanting what was best for our county.

In the four years since Tom became county commissioner, he has worked to bring to task the Forest Service on better management practices on our Forest, hold DNR to task on their Management of the local State lands, he has added $3.5 million to the County coffers since taking office, has worked hard for Secure Rural Schools, has strong relationships with our local, state and federal officials, and has done a number of things within the inside operations of our county that will make us a stronger and brighter county for years to come.

As a lifelong resident, business owner, raised all 10 of my children in the county, and now am a proud grandparent, I strongly support re-electing Tom Lannen for District 2, for four more years.

Jim Waters

Carson

Rushing for health

Over the decades, the word “environmentalism” has been hammered by negativity from corporate elites. More recently, it has been linked to radical left thinking. And that’s a shame. Because caring for the land that feeds and houses us and for the water and air that is necessary for all life should never be construed as a bad thing. I spend a lot of time on public lands, observing wildlife and studying plants, and I am deeply concerned about the conditions we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. Insects, especially pollinators, are in decline. Pollinators are responsible for two-thirds of the foods we eat.

According to the EPA, childhood asthma is negatively impacted by air pollution.

We know that the development of many cancers is linked to the toxins in our environment. Thousands of Americans and millions of world citizens die each year as a result of our ever-increasing toxic load on the planet. Recently, despite the science (or perhaps because of the science), the Trump administration rolled back over 100 rules and policies designed to protect our land, water, and air, which in turn, protects all life. Did the American voters ask for those rules and policies to be overturned? No. Corporations and millionaires wanted them overturned so they target politicians. Nowadays, it is the Republican party that caters to the corporate demand for deregulation of environmental policies and laws. Our current Washington representative Chris Corry, does not consider this an issue of concern. He has made it clear that he prefers business over people and will do their bidding.

I am supporting Dr. Tracy Rushing for Washington State Representative because she is trained in science and not political games. Her vision is for a healthy community and state which starts with science-based decision-making and policies that support not only human health but the health of the land we live on.

Sue Kusch

White Salmon

Maupin needs Burns

What has Daniel Bonham done to fight for a healthy Deschutes and its benefits for the town of Maupin? I’ve been asking if anyone can recall anything he has accomplished to help restore the lower Deschutes. I’m certain he was aware of the seriousness of the river’s decline but, to my knowledge,

Mr. Bonham has not used his office with any sustained, effective effort to help save Maupin’s lifeblood. Civic centers are fine, but river money sustains Maupin. A shiny new grocery store is wonderful but river money makes it possible. Multiple city parks are the cats meow but river lovers don’t come just for the parks. We have lots of restaurants for a small town but they shrivel away without the river’s attraction. A healthy river keeps our nifty resort afloat. Two fly shops are great but they can’t thrive without a healthy lower Deschutes. River visitors keep Maupin’s smaller shops alive and they help our hardware store, downtown bar and grill and coffee shops.

River visitors are the backbone of Maupin’s motels, rental cabins and B-and-Bs. High speed internet and Wi-fi are icing on the cake, but people won’t come here simply for that — a healthy river is an absolute necessity for healthy growth in Maupin. Times were hard when Mountain Fir Lumber pulled out. When the river dies, Maupin will again face economic hardship. Make no mistake, the town of Maupin faces an existential threat to its identity as the gateway town to a healthy river that many people love.

Now we can enlist an accomplished elected official who is ready to fight for our river. Arlene Burns has the experience and passion to make a difference in Salem. She knows Maupin’s fate is locked to the Deschutes and she’s a bona-fide river person who has committed to helping us with the fight for cleaner colder water. She is the correct choice for voters who want a healthy 100 mile stretch of river. Maupin residents and river lovers need to set aside political differences and unite to send Arlene Burns to Salem.

Steve Mounts

Tygh Valley

Campaign money

Well, its that time of the election year where we need to pay attention to the money that is funding the campaigns of people on the ballot who want our vote in November. Lets take a look at Anna Williams, running to be re-elected as state representative. When she first ran for office two years ago, her biggest single donor was the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, who shelled out over $43,000 to help her get elected. Recently, Anna pocketed another $17,000 from them.

Now that we know who her high-dollar friends are, lets see how the money may be influencing her votes in Salem. Virtually every business association in Oregon has been asking the legislature to pass liability protections that would shield them from frivolous lawsuits they may encounter due to being open for business during the COVID-19 economy. School districts have also asked for similar protections if they bring students back to the classroom.

The legislature has had two special sessions in recent months to make budget adjustments and distribute federal support awarded to the state. But they have refused to take up the issue of liability protections. Why not? Well, maybe its because Anna’s friends the Trial Lawyers are strongly opposed to COVID-related liability protections? They are on record saying they are just fine with current situation. More lawsuits mean paydays for their members. OTLA is one of the major donors to the Democrat super majority that runs Salem. They and Anna love the big checks that fund their campaigns.

I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough. I’ll be voting for Jeff Helrich for state representative. I know he will stand with us and not sell out to the Salem high rollers who just want to line their pockets.

Christina Dowden

Hood River

Fagan for Secretary

In Oregon we’ve been voting by mail successfully for more than 20 years. As State Senator Shemia Fagan continues to strengthen, expand and defend our vote-by-mail system. Vote-by-mail is the way of the future and many states are following our lead.

Fagan’s legislative record also shows her support for workers and families voting for paid sick leave, investing in our public schools and healthcare system, and advocating for small businesses. She also supports the U.S. Postal Service and recognizes the vital role the post office plays in our communities, especially in rural communities, and in our elections now and in the future.

Oregon’s nurses, firefighters, and teachers support Shemia Fagan in the Oregon Secretary of State race. Fagan also received endorsements from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and The Oregonian.

Fagan’s opponent in this race, State Senator Kim Thatcher is endorsed by the Timber Unity Political Action Committee (PAC) and the Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs (ORCOPS).

Corporate and timber interest and law enforcement — the status quo — are Thatcher’s primary endorsers. This tells me a lot since Timber Unity opposes climate change legislation and represents corporate and timber interests. In addition, Thatcher’s record has not supported making it easier for Oregonians to vote by mail.

From my point of view Fagan has worked hard and earned her way to running for Secretary of State. A native Oregonian raised in rural Oregon Fagan had her own struggles growing up in an unstable family situation. She worked her way through college and law school, and served on her local school board before serving in the Oregon legislature.

Fagan’s history of service and record are clear and transparent in favor of workers, families, strengthening voting rights and our public institutions and infrastructure.

There’s a clear choice in this election between the status quo fanned by corporate interests, and someone who has a longstanding record support ordinary Oregonians and the public good. Shemia Fagan has earned my vote for Oregon Secretary of State in the Nov. 3 election.

Pam Starling

Mosier

Where to start?

Where do I even start?

Perhaps I should start with the fact that our duly impeached president’s history-making, precedent-shattering, non-response to the novel coronavirus has come back to bite him in the derrière. As a result, he is going to die sooner than he would have otherwise, and he has only himself to blame. Thoughts and prayers, etc.

Or I could talk about how Trump’s obsession with optics has put his security detail at risk to the point where members of the secret service have spoken out anonymously.

Or maybe I should write about how right wing terror groups were thwarted by the FBI in their efforts to kidnap and potentially murder Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer in a vain and misguided attempt to overthrow the state government. I would hypothetically follow that up by writing about how “Cheeto Mussolini” attacked and placed blame on Gov. Whitmer in the aftermath of the thwarted terrorist effort;

Or maybe I should write a letter about The Bunker Inspector’s proposed “patriotic education,” which amounts to no less than modern day book burning.

Or maybe I should write about how Trump’s tax returns reveal a man who has mismanaged everything on every level, and deserves to see the inside of a jail cell for the rest of his mercifully short life.

Or perhaps I could spend some words talking about the abysmal debates, and how a fly landed on Pence’s head, because flies are attracted to rotting garbage.

I haven’t scratched the surface of the horror show that has been this year. Get out and vote. Vote blue, vote Biden, and vote as if you could stop the Holocaust by doing so. Get out and protest, write letters, make art, and spread compassion, for compassion is the enemy of fascists like the Republican Party under Trump.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.

For Beutler

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler stepped up and helped her constituents in times of crisis. She has worked in Congress to expand access to healthcare, advocated for better service for residents trying to receive unemployment in Washington and Oregon, and now she is trying to force Congress to get to work and reauthorize the Paycheck Protection Program to save millions of small businesses and jobs. Attacks against her are partisan garbage that puts the party over effectiveness. I am proud to cast my vote for Jaime Herrera Beutler, a member of Congress that works by and for the people of southwest Washington.

Dion Hess

Ridgefield

Williams for House

Politicians say all sorts of things. What they actually do, how they actually vote, can tell you more about whether they deserve your continued support.

Consider Republican Jeff Helfrich, running to unseat Anna Williams as a state representative from District 52.

As a self-professed family man (and former law enforcement officer) Helfrich voted against HB 4145 in 2018.

HB 4145 prohibits “convicted stalkers” from possessing a firearm if they are under a restraining order to protect a family member or domestic partner. The legislation passed.

Two years later, Helfrich’s successor, Williams, co-sponsored HB 2013, which establishes statewide protocols for firearm removal from domestic abusers.

So, who is doing more to protect Dist. 52 residents? Williams is. Vote for Anna Williams for state representative from District 52.

Cindy Allen

Hood River

Retain Beutler

Our Congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler, has worked across the aisle to cut the cost of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Long has run around promising to do like Jaime. However, it’s unclear how Long’s going to accomplish this when she appears to be bought and sold by big Pharma. It’s been recently reported that her family has hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement from big pharmaceutical companies.

If you think she’s going to go toe-to-toe with the big pharmaceutical companies who are paying for her cushy retirement, think again. Don’t let Carolyn Long pull the wool over your eyes.

Kathleen Hartson

Vancouver

Moving along?

Recently I saw a Hood River Police Department officer trespass a houseless man from a business. The officer mentioned that this was the third time he had been called to different businesses to trespass this same young man. The young man, for his part, explained that he needed to use the bathroom. The interaction was professional and calm and I’m sure an everyday occurrence in our community.

I also recently listened to a Hood River City Council meeting in which the council voted to move forward with planning for a new police station to be built on the Columbia lot in downtown. This plan includes a 20-year, $14 million levy, on top of the Hood River County public safety levy. During the same meeting, the City Council heard about the difficulty of finding a space for 15 mini-shelters to keep folks warm and safe for just a few months over the winter.

I can envision in 20 years’ time, a Hood River PD officer leaving a spacious and high-tech new police station, to respond to yet another call to move along a man who lacks housing or even a safe place to use the bathroom because Hood River has no shelter.

If police are the only thing we will invest in today, police are the only tool we have in the future. What future do you want to envision?

MariRuth Petzing

Hood River

Whose ‘Unity’?

I’m seeing “Timber Unity” (TU) on yard signs and on donor lists of a lot of conservative candidates in Oregon, including Jeff Helfrich here in House District 52. Supporters claim TU is nonpartisan, but it’s the number one listed “affinity organization” on the OR-GOP website. Other TU features are deceptive as well. TU presents itself as “regular folks,” but allies with militias and QAnon. It presents itself as “rural” but its leadership is Portland-based. It presents itself as “grassroots” and for the benefit of “working families,” but is in reality a PAC and two corporate entities controlled by conservative wealth. Why the deception?

Back in 2019, some log truck drivers started a small group called TU, opposing climate legislation because of concerns about fuel prices increasing. That didn’t last long. The group was taken over by corporate interests headed by Andrew Miller (CEO of Portland-based Stimson Lumber) and Julie Parrish, formerly a GOP state representative. They appropriated the TU name and threatened the original loggers with legal action if they tried to continue to use the name. The PAC’s major donors include log trucking companies, agricultural and mining companies, right-wing militias, and Rob Freres, owner of Freres Lumber and the link between TU and Trump.

It’s election season, and we need to know not only who is running, but who is paying and why. TU is funding candidates who will do its bidding for its corporate financial benefit. That includes undercutting measures to address climate change, and continuing to push the false choice of jobs vs. reducing carbon emissions. This comes at a time when the entire West is being incinerated by megafires due in part to the effects of climate change.

Recognize Timber Unity for what it is, a self-serving corporate PAC. Do not sacrifice our children’s future to climate change. TU is not grassroots, rural, nonpartisan, or interested in supporting working families. If Timber Unity had our interests at heart, there’d be no need for its deception. Be wary of the candidates TU supports. Climate change should be front and center for every voter.

Samuel Taylor

Hood River

Broadband for all

We have come to rely on the internet as a critical part of our personal and professional lives. Many now work from home, our kids are doing distance-learning, and we are increasingly aware that internet services that were maybe “good enough” before the pandemic are falling short.

We need broadband internet for all. Two roadblocks to this are affordability and availability.

In terms of affordability, grant programs exist to pay for the internet for low income families who don’t already have it. This safety net doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t cover enough people, and it doesn’t address accessibility. Grants fund the cheapest option and also do not cover improving the speed or bandwidth of current coverage. We can’t take advantage of grant funding unless providers run fiber optic cable all the way out to more rural areas for the offered amount. The quality of internet access in many homes, due to accessibility, affordability, or both, cannot keep up with the demands of working and learning from home.

As restrictions ease, our dependence on reliable high speed internet won’t fade. Let’s use current funding opportunities to work toward bringing fiber optic cable to all.

Megan Sheffels

White Salmon

Vote Richardson

I wholeheartedly support Dan Richardson for City Council of The Dalles. His work with landowners and natural resource management issues exemplifies his ability to deal with complex issues similar to the problems that come to city council. He is an openminded listener with a good sense of fairness and discernment. When it comes to being a council member, it’s not the person who says they have the best idea at the start of the meeting, it’s the person who supports the best idea at the end of the meeting, no matter who proposed it, who makes government work for everyone.

Philip Brady

The Dalles

Propaganda explained

Few progressive modernists can imagine a future scenario which they do not control, and propaganda has proven an ever reliable feature of the socialist state The purpose is to alter thinking from one based on reliable evidence and reason to one based on anticipated power.

Propaganda purposely creates a thinking vacuum which is then filled with uncertainty and even fear. A safe, secure, and equitable society is promised, of this sort or that, but only high-risk has historically been delivered. The left, despite historic disasters, never recognizes the mistakes and dangers inherent in social planning. This blind-spot is common to big-government Republicans. A prime example is found in North Korea, a “mature” socialist state whose citizens suffer under an organization formally named the “Propaganda and Agitation Department.”

Propaganda is seductive and drives people into competing camps and keeps them there, at least while they remain useful to those who define the cause. Its aim is to establishes a double-standard which demolishes competing opinion and worldviews. This process lets the propagandist off the hook for having to defend their ideas. Some years back, historian Paul Johnson wrote in his book, Modern Times, that the greatest menace to the world over the previous century had been (and is) the rise of the professional politician.

Mike Goodpaster

Goldendale

Bridge issues

I’m wondering how many Port of Hood River customers who have a “breezeby” pass are being deluged with the wasteful bills being sent trying to nick us $5 for a $1 bridge crossing. It seems that if your Breezeby sticker does not cross-reference properly (via computer) with the car/truck/motorcycle you happen to be driving, you get one of these bills in the mail trying to fleece an extra $4 out of us when we already have an account with the port. And just how many people are paying this when they don’t need to?

To me it seems like having a “Sears” credit account and charging something in Chicago and then something in San Francisco. It’s an account — who cares what we are driving, we have an account with the Port and they charge our credit cards, they still get paid. What a waste of time, effort and money ... and then we have to respond to this bill and waste our time to clean their mess up.

Motorcycles were always cheaper than cars/trucks as we do ZERO damage to that bridge, now we are the same as a car, ridiculous.

And now the port has the “option” to buy the property off Country Club Road (former potential Super Walmart property) to the tune of $4 million. Why? What do you need that property for and ... who’s paying for it? Oh that’s right, the Port has a printing press for money called the toll bridge. Aren’t you supposed to be saving money in the “Bridge Replacement Fund” to replace the 95-year-old bridge?

How much is enough Port of Hood River? You have the bridge, the marina, the Waucoma buildings, the Sprint buildings, the DMV building, the airport, and I’m sure more than that (Odell Business Park), how much is enough? And why are you competing with the private sector? You have a distinct advantage with your toll bridge money machine.

The port is like an out of control cancer gobbling up everything in it can, like the out of control medical system in this country, they keep getting bigger and bigger and more bloated eating up everything in its path.

Stephen J. Curley

Hood River

Truth challenged

I recently received a letter from Dan Christopher in the mail in which he claimed that he is a “Bipartisan Candidate” despite being a Republican.

I was intrigued. Being a progressive from the western side of Klickitat County, I often lament my lack of representation in my county. For the past several elections in District 1 the Democrat has won the primary only to lose the county-wide election for the very same seat to a Republican that is supposed to represent the western side. Now here is someone saying that I deserve a “seat at the table” which so many “Good Old Boy” establishment Republicans have unjustly taken from me. Hell, yeah, Dan Christopher! Tell me more!

Then I did a Google search — “Dan Christopher Goldendale.” The sixth result is an article about another one of Dan Christopher’s letters which basically says that Dan Christopher is a liar. One of his lies is claiming that Jim Sizemore supports I-1639.

I-1639 is a pretty Democratic law. Why would someone who says that he is a Pro-Democrat Republican be slandering another candidate for supporting that law?

A little further sleuthing and you read more about Dan Christopher in the voter pamphlet. He’s a member of Sheriff Bob Songer’s “posse.” Who is more of a “Republican Good Old Boy” than Bob Songer?

He doesn’t care about Democrats or the truth any more than Donald Trump does. In fact he’s just like Trump — he’s doesn’t know what the truth is.

Ryan Dougherty

White Salmon

Vote for Sizemore

Voting’s not easy. There are complicated ballot measures, nonpartisan candidates, etc. You ask your-self where do I drop the ballot off and by when, which envelope, has my signature changed? There are voter pamphlets/services, forums, newspapers, communication with candidates/your community, etc. This is a lot of necessary work to use your vote-power wisely. There are rare times when you still don’t see a clear choice. One race on my ballot that is confusing is Klickitat County Commissioner, District 3. Dan Christopher has confusing information out there. I went to Dan’s website in the primary and found things about being a “constitutionalist” and promoting access to guns. I go there now and he’s talking about change and he won’t serve the “good old boys.” I saw a mailer he sent to Democrats where he’s calling himself Bipartisan but in his application for endorsement to the KCDPhe said he didn’t agree with Democratic values. Who is this flip-flopper?

What is this deceit? Where is the authenticity? Democrats hold a lot of power in this race and I know Danhas made it confusing (is he who says?), and tempting to others (maybe we should burn it all down?). The answer is we don’t know who he is (and from what I’ve seen, I’m worried), so how has he earned our vote? And no, we should not burn it all down (do you remember 2016?). Let’s use our vote-power in this race. Vote Jim Sizemore. Vote for honesty, respect, integrity, kindness, reliability.

Sasha Bentley

White Salmon

Helfrich for balance

In the midst of a contentious and divisive election like this one, it’s easy to think that the parties have always been unable to work to together and that bipartisan-ship is a pipe dream. But it hasn’t always been this way.

During the 2011 and 12 legislative sessions, the Oregon House and Senate were nearly evenly divided with an almost equal number of Republicans and Demo-crats. In the House it was and even 30-30 split and the Senate had a narrow 16-14 advantage for Democrats. In the evenly split House it meant that every part of the legislative process was bipartisan. From the committee hearings to the floor of the House every piece of legislation had to have support from both Democrats and Republicans in order to be considered and passed into law. There was no place for extremism on the left or the right and moderation ruled. In short, it was a picture of collaboration. The legislative sessions were hailed far and wide as an example of how state government should function.

Fast forward to today: Democrats in Salem now have super-majorities with a huge 38-22 advantage in the House and an 18-12 margin in the Senate. How has this impacted the process? The majority party completely dominates the committee process and can pass any legislation it wants from policy bills to new taxes. The minority party has little to no input. Rather than being known as a model for collaboration, Salem is now known for its division and contention as the majority party imposes its extreme will.

That’s why I’m supporting Jeff Helfrich for State Representative. Electing Jeff will help reduce the Democrat super-majority and restore balance to Salem. He will stand with us and not vote in lockstep with the Portland crowd as his opponent has done in her first term. Please join me!

Rosemary Brown

Parkdale

ICG endorsements

Indivisible Columbia Gorge (ICG) is pleased to endorse the following candidates and ballot measures at the local, state, and federal levels.

Hood River City: Mayor — Kate McBride; City Council — Gladys Rivera, Megan Saunders, and Mark Zanmiller.

State: Attorney General — Ellen Rosenblum; Secretary of State — Shemia Fagan; State Treasurer — Tobias Reed; State Representative (HD52) — Anna Williams.

Yes on all state ballot measures: Measure 107 (campaign finance limits), Measure 108 (tobacco and e-cigarette tax increase), Measure 109 (psilocybin mushroom services program), Measure 110 (drug de-criminalization and addiction treatment).

Federal: President/VP — Joe Biden/Kamal Harris; U.S. Senator — Jeff Merkley; U.S. Representative — Alex Spenser.

Submitted on behalf of the ICG Steering Committee.

Bonnie New

Hood River

Sizemore for Klickitat

When I filed to run for Klickitat County Commissioner in District 3 back in May, I knew it was a long shot to win, but after years of serious effort and some success in advancing economic development in Klickitat County as both a paid consultant and a volunteer, I had to run. Though I’m sorry about the outcome of the election, it was worth effort, and I’d like to thank my supporters, former colleagues who endorsed me, and the hundreds of voters who cast their ballots for me in District 3 on Aug. 4.

The runup to the primary was unlike any I’ve ever seen in a Klickitat County Commissioner’s race. With the restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, getting the message out to the voters wasn’t easy. But one candidate, Dan Christopher, stood out during this campaign for his inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims regarding his other opponent in District 3, Jim Sizemore.

Dan Christopher garnered a majority of the votes in District 3 and I urge Klickitat County voters to reject his candidacy in the general election because of his lack of leadership experience.

While Jim Sizemore and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on important issues such as EDA grants, and economic development, I’ve known him for years and respect him as a public servant who takes his position on the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners very seriously.

In Klickitat County District 3, Jim Sizemore is the candidate who deserves your vote this November.

Miland Walling

Goldendale

Lannen understands

I first met Tom Lannen seven years ago when Tom was leading a volunteer community group exploring how to insure a more sustainable revenue stream from our State and Federal Forest partners. Tom understood the delicate balance between the timber industry and the recreational/environmental concerns and was an advocate of sustainable forest management.

During this time he developed strong relationships with both the State, Federal and private timber interests who control 98 percent of the land in our county. This relationship remains critical to sustaining a balanced coun-ty budget. He has lobbied on behalf of the local school districts efforts to find a long term solution to the Secure Rural Schools funding. And Tom continues to work with staff to seek partners such as the Department of Transportation or grant agencies to help with the maintenance of existing infra-structure. Our county is unique and we need creative leadership that understands the needs of its citizens while preparing for potential new business developments and maintaining a good working relationship with our State and Federal agencies.

Mary Ann Duncan-Cole

North Bonneville

Scary numbers

Seems just a few short years ago (well, 19, actually — remember 9/11?), law enforcement were heroes; praised and held up high. Today they have become the villans in society, perpetrators of all sorts of evil things, racists and who knows what else ... What has happened?

As one previous contributor suggested, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

FBI UCR datea (fbi,gov/services/cjis/ucr) 2018-19 data:

Last year — 10 milion arrests by police.

Of those 10 million arrests — 1,004 officer-involved fatalities.

Of those 1,005 officer-involved fatalties — 41 individuals were unarmed.

Of those 41 officer iinvolved fatalities — 19 were white, nine were black (the data does not specify the circumstances of those killed).

Number of police officers were killed in the line of duty — 89. (We certainly do not often hear their stories.)

Want some scary numbers? Just check the weekend shooting/death toll in Chicago or New York — any weekend will do.

Are there racists? Of course, the reality is that evey organization/society/demographic has some, maybe yours? Institutional racism? Not so fast on that. If I dial 911 I prefer the police and not Ghostbusters!

Steve Nybroten

White Salmon

Rushing is prepared

The White Salmon Valley School District website states, “The district is starting the planning process for bringing our students back into an in-person hybrid learning model tentatively for the end of October.” I’ve spoken with several parents and district staff members regarding their return to the classroom. The reactions have covered a range from tentative eagerness to outright fear, with impending anxiety felt by all who will make that personal decision for themselves and their families.

The district website goes on to say, “Lastly, we are working towards bringing back K-6 students into a hybrid model, with board approval, when state and local health department measures are met.” The time is right to elect the candidate best qualified to assist school districts in making these kinds of community decisions; decisions that will affect the health and well-being for all of our families. Dr. Tracy Rushing is running to represent us in Legislative District 14. She is the representative for these times.

Dr. Rushing is well-equipped to tackle public health issues. As our LD 14 Representative, she will assist our schools and communities in making tough decisions. Dr. Rushing relies on data, research and best practices, while focusing steadfast attention on the well-being of the public. She’ll bring her calm, thorough decision-making to Olympia and work in the best interests of all her constituents. We need Dr. Rushing’s expertise now and we’ll need it in the future, as we navigate the aftermath of living through a pandemic.

Please join me in voting for Dr. Tracy Rushing for LD14 WA State Representative.

Michelle Mayfield

White Salmon

Health in blood

What this letter’s not: This letter is not about the Good News, even though you’re having seen a sick person becoming the utmost in spirit is not an unwelcome experience.

Blood: Nor is this letter about the kind of blood we inherited — genes and all; but about whether our blood is — flowing — in our veins. What’s that got to do with it?

Pardon my language but we can gum it up with exactly what we eat, or not.

It turns out that our bodies and minds can feel health and vibrance to the end of our days by eating a lot of certain things, not including meds.

That is true based on years of scientific evidence. The evidence is in “How Not To Die” by Michael Gregor M.D. Check it out.

Donna Gray Davis

Hood River

Retain Beutler

Jaime Herrera Beutler was ranked by Vanderbilt University’s nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking as the most effective legislator in Washington State throughout the last two years. This is based on her ability to work with her colleagues and get legislation across the finish line.

Recently, Jamie Herrera Beutler reached across the aisle to pass legislation to cut the cost of prescription drugs. As a result, big pharma ran attach ads against her — but Jaime is going to keep standing up to the drug companies to make prescription drugs more affordable.

Jaime bipartisan ACE Kids Act that was passed, and signed into law by the President, makes it easier for children on Medicaid with medically complex conditions to access high quality health care services across state lines. As a result of ushering in this monumental legislation, Jaime received the “Champion for Children’s Health” award from the Children’s Hospital Association.

Jaime Herrera Beutler helped introduce the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019 which would ensure people with preexisting conditions are guaranteed health care coverage, regardless of the outcome of ongoing litigation related to the Affordable Care Act.

Jaime Herrera Beutler Will keep working in the best interests of Southwest Washington to lower the cost of prescription drugs and make health care more accessible and affordable.

Carl Keels

Camas

Yes to HR incumbents

Mike Kitts and I developed Katie’s Way, Andy’s Lane and Cottage Lane in an effort to create housing for people who work in Hood River. They aren’t as affordable now, but at the time, they were a great option. Building these homes was complex and required discussion and negotiation with the City and neighbors because we needed to densify to make it affordable. A shorter process would have saved us some money, but the bottom line was that we could do it because the cost of the land coupled with densification allowed us to do it.

I received a postcard in the mail today that said “If we want affordable/attainable/middle housing to be built, we must be clear that Planning and Building department functions are time-critical priorities.” This naïve statement is disturbing because it ignores the biggest challenges — the cost of land and neighbor concern about densification. When lots cost over $200,000, a faster processes won’t create housing for the people who work here — we need thoughtful, creative solutions. Check out bigriverclt.org for what I’m working on now.

My wife received a postcard that said “more parks, not less”. She was disturbed by this because it implies that the City is trying to decrease the number of parks. In fact, the City Council worked with multiple local and regional agencies to create a multi-jurisdictional park plan for our area. The next step is working out how to move forward.

We need people on the City Council who take the time to understand the complexity of land-use issues that affect our area. We need people who value all members of our community. We strongly support Megan Saunders, Gladys Rivera, Mark Zanmiller and Kate McBride for City Council and Mayor. They have a track record of doing the work we need.

Greg Crafts

Hood River

Vote for Gina

I would like to let you and Goldendale residents know you have the best representative out there. I am very grateful and thankful for Gina who truly is a voice for the people. I had written about animal abuse and how it needed a tougher penalties for the people who abuse them. She reached out and met with me took lots of notes and started the research needed to make sure there were no surprises or anything to stop the pro-cess. She updated me through the legislative process and had me come to Olympia and testify. Scary but my wanting animals helped gave me the courage and Gina was with me. The Bill passed and my stepdaughter and myself were there when Inslee signed it. Such a great experience for us!

Gina Mosbrucker is the voice of the people! Vote for Gina!

Jill Ketzenberg

Selah, Wash

Retain Mays

So, many of you have seen me over the past 50 years, standing on a street corner protesting something or another ... usually against a war. I’m 73 now. I do a lot of research before deciding what and who I will support. As a voter I try to educate myself on all the candidates and ballot measures.

I am an unaffiliated voter; I cross party lines and try to vote for the person who will best support my country, my community and my beliefs. I have done that re-search again this year for the local Mayoral race. After hearing differing opinions, listening to candidates and watching what is happening with our city council, I will be voting to retain Rich Mays as our Mayor.

Rich has a long history of community service and administration. He has been accessible and responsive when I have had questions. Prior to the pandemic, he had begun several projects which he would like to see to completion. He has an affinity for Parks and Rec., and safety in the community. From what I have seen, Rich is able to listen to both sides of a situation and make reasoned responses, also being able to remain silent when it is prudent.

There’s a line in an old Bob Dylan song that says, “I’ll know my song well before I start singing.” That’s why I research who I’m voting for. Yes, by the way, I’ve heard the controversies. After looking into those, I have decided that Rich Mays would be the most appropriate choice for Mayor. Hope you do too.

Thanks for your time.

Widge Johnson

The Dalles

Turner and Sizemore

I have talked to Joanna Turner. I found her to be intelligent and a good listener. She sincerely wants to do what is best for Klickitat County and all of its residents. She wants to find a solution to the county’s housing crisis. She strongly supports bringing broad-band internet to all parts of the county. She supports senior programs and wants to find solutions for the county’s mental health and drug problem. She won the support of 58 percent of the voters in her district. I believe that she deserves to be elected county commissioner and that she will serve us well. I will be voting for her and en-courage you to do so as well.

I recently received a letter from Dan Christopher. It stressed that he considered himself a “bipartisan” candidate (he underlined it.) Compare that to his statement in the Voters’ Pamphlet where he states, “It’s time we elect a ‘REAL’ Republican to represent ‘Real’ Republicans. Sounds a little two-faced. I will vote to re-elect Jim Sizemore.

Roger Gadway

White Salmon

Voting for Jaime

America is at a time of great rancor and division requiring people in Congress to come together for solutions. For 10 years Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has proven herself to be that person. She has sponsored or supported numerous successful bipartisan bills. Jaime is ranked among the top 15 bipartisan officials in Congress as well as the most effective legislator from Washington State. She’s championed issues from maternal-child health and veterans to forestry and fisheries. As a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, she wields tremendous clout for our region.

Critics complain she doesn’t hold town hall meetings, but Covid-19 prevents any large in-person gatherings, so she’s used electronic means to connect with her constituents. Prior to the virus, I had no problem speaking with her in public many times, including job fairs she sponsored to a pleasant half hour visit walking around the Clark County Fair last year. She listens carefully and gives honest, thoughtful responses.

Being raised in Clark county and living in Battle Ground, she is in touch and deeply cares about southwest Washington. Her opponent is a recent Oregon transplant who has never won nor held a major office, but only taught political theory out of a book. This is not the time to learn on the job. We need Jaime’s experience, influence in Congress, and healing touch now more than ever. I support her without reservations.

Pete Bartel

Ridgefield

Choices for wildlife

I write concerning a letter in the Oct. 14 issue of Gorge News falsely claiming that Congresswoman Beutler has helped our declining salmon and steelhead runs. Killing sea lions and additional spending on hatcheries are not going to recover salmon or prevent further decline. My letter published in the White Salmon Enterprise on Oct. 11, 2018, describes why previous comments by Rep. Beutler and those in a letter to me from her are erroneous.

Many published scientific studies describe why predator control is usually an ineffective wildlife management strategy. More specifically, science has shown that sea lion mortality is a small percentage of adult Columbia salmon mortality. Sea lions have a zero percent mortality on juvenile salmon. Bigger problems, greater sources of adult and juvenile salmon mortality, are the hydropower system, its management and river habitat (which includes water that is too warm.)

Another difficult truth to understand is that our already huge and awfully expensive hatchery system is harmful to wild salmon, both young and adult. If hatcheries were the answer, we would not be in a salmon crisis; they have not been successful. See this from UW Fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn: www.seattletimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/the-alaska-hatcheries-model-is-not-for-washington.

Also, 90 percent of the time, Rep. Beutler has voted against bills friendly to fish and wildlife, for clean water and air and others for environmental conservation. This means that she has a 10-year League of Conservation Voters (LCV) score of only 10 percent. Please see www.LCV.org which tracks these Congressional votes. Both U.S. Senators and seven U.S. representatives from Washington have lifetime LCV scores of greater than 90 percent. I am sure candidate Carolyn Long would have a score of more than 90. So, if you support salmon recovery and a healthier environment in southwest Washington, vote for Carolyn Long. Oregon voters will also be interested to know that US Rep. Greg Walden also has a lousy lifetime LCV score of 10 percent. Candidate Cliff Bentz would continue that regrettable voting pattern; Candidate Alex Spenser will vote for conservation if elected.

Felton Jenkins

White Salmon

Helfrich gets vote

Jeff Helfrich will get my vote for the following reasons:

1. He values unborn babies and wants to protect their lives.

2. He served in the US Air Force and supports the military.

3. He is a devoted husband and father and values working families.

4. He served as a law enforcement officer and supports them.

5. He supports the Second Amendment.

6. He supports teachers and the improvement of schools and school choice.

7. He is for tax relief in Oregon. He opposes cap and tax.

Donald Rose

Hood River

McBride for Mayor

Kate McBride is running for re-election as Hood River’s mayor. I have known her for 15 years and during that time she has been active in the City serving eight years on the Planning Commission and seven on City Council. On Planning Commission, she heard many, many legislative and quasi judicial land use applications and under-stands and knows how to apply the laws governing each. I watched her for eight years at public hearings listening to testimony from citizens, asking questions, and making well-informed decisions. This is important knowledge to have as Mayor because much of the Council’s work is conducting complex public hearings on finalizing planning actions (zone changes, transportation plans, economic inventories and land use decisions). Her background is invaluable to her current success as our Mayor. She has also been on the Budget Committee for seven years.

I have read her opponent’s web page, and she brings up some good ideas about how Council and public participation could operate differently, but did not see that she had the expertise or knowledge to jump in as Mayor of a city as busy as ours. Serving on other City committees first is a good way to start involvement in local government.

Kate is smart, she is objective, she has passion, she has knowledge and is the best person for the job. Vote for McBride, City of Hood River mayor.

Cindy Walbridge

Hood River

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