Kuh makes sense

As my fellow Klickitat County voters know, the rural character of Legislative District 14 lends itself to manual labor, blue collar jobs, small towns and family farms. I find the rural, industrious nature of my home to be its strongest selling point. These factors also highlight the cracks in our system. It’s time we address the issues with our economic, healthcare and education systems — by finding representatives that are willing to work for each and every one of us.

As a self-employed agricultural producer, Devin Kuh’s platform just makes sense for me. His ideas for the economic sector, such as supporting opportunities for local business and faster broadband, mean that we can grow our businesses without hitting bottlenecks in the system. Those of us in rural communities know what matters. We want our families and our businesses to be happy, healthy and growing. By supporting healthcare and education, he won’t let us get left behind. Focusing on the right policies (rather than removing protections for our women and minority neighbors), gives us the confidence to strive for bigger and better things. I see Devin’s platform as a tool to strengthen the weak links in the chain, so that we can all move forward together.

Sara Horne

White Salmon

Corry’s influence?

Transparency in politics sounds abstract until it isn’t. In his interview Tuesday with the Yakima Herald, Rep. Chris Corry was asked specifically whether his lawsuit against public health orders was an attempt to further his own personal and business interests. We’re still waiting for answers.

Who paid for Corry’s federal lawsuit? In his business as a commercial insurance account executive, Corry’s website lists packing houses and agricultural processing as his main lines of business. Given that the pandemic was exploding among poorly protected packinghouse workers while he filed his lawsuit, we need answers. Who are his packing house clients and specifically, who are his new clients that have given him their business since he took office and gained legislative decision-making powers?

Without transparency, there is no way to know if Corry filed his lawsuit because he feared harm to his clients and his bottom line more than he did harm to essential workers and their families. Without transparency, there can be no trust.

It’s time we followed the money and got paid-for influence out of our political system. It’s time to remind our representatives that they work for us. Rock the vote.

Chris Faison

White Salmon

Christopher duplicity

A part truth is a full lie. Dan Christopher’s campaign is evidence of that statement.

After several conversations, if Dan had remained the only candidate, I would not have voted for him.

Nothing in his background qualifies him for a position which would be the private sector equivalent of a Chief Operating Officer.

His tactics:

Create enemies and sensationalize problems which he would “save” everybody from. His favorite, “good old boys.”

For about two years, he worked this scam among my fellow conservatives, gathering a large following for the primary.

Accused our commissioners of criminal misconduct, disdain for constitutional rights, fiscal irresponsibility and several more acts unbecoming their office.

Every accusation was proven to be distortions or fabricated.

Rants about the poverty, oppression, intimidation, and need to “free our people from the slavery they have us in.”

Now, he is pandering to Democrats.

By suddenly shifting to a shade of blue after Primary campaigning as the hard line Republican and Jim Sizemore as the RINO.

Made absurd guarantee to bring businesses which would only attract conservative employees to counter liberal growth, preventing a Democrat takeover of the county.

Made disparaging remarks about Native Americans to me. Accused the commissioners of favoring a Yakama Nation housing project. Appears his problem is the Native American part.

Made derogatory comments about one of my gay friends, probably did not mention that when my friend’s mother contributed to his campaign.

Another Dan lie stated, I was responsible for bringing Patriot Prayer to our county for multiple rallies. I did not invite Patriot Prayer here for any rallies.

I was at the Patriot Prayer event on our courthouse lawn. So was Dan, in full campaign mode, working the crowd, and applauding Patriot Pray leader. Dan’s duplicity is by far more dangerous to our county than Patriot Prayer.

Politicians know it is by far easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.

Democrats, don’t be fooled.

Fellow conservatives, drop the Kool-Aid, open your eyes and think for yourselves.

David West

Centerville

Cheato in action

I see the foolish attack flyer by Jamie H. on Carolyn Long came from Florida! Figures! That’s where Cheato has his resort! She has consistently helped him destroy our democracy! I personally don’t think America wants a theocracy or dictatorship. That’s what she’s backing. You’re fired!

Steve Carlson

White Salmon

No on 108

Measure 108 is not about saving money. The earlier people die, the less Social Security they draw. Dying early, they may leave more wealth behind. Like the folks in old-folks’ homes dead of COVID, saving you money, smokers dying early save you money for years of end-of-life care. If money is what’s most important, then smoking should be promoted for anyone over 50. That would be cynical and nasty, but honest.

The tax on tobacco is already unreasonably large. A small tax for education about tobacco was good. It became a sin tax with the previous increase. The tax should be reduced, not increased. “Should” based on what is fair and just.

A raised tax on tobacco would be like the Oregon government being as bad as a dealer of addictive drugs. “Now you’re hooked, we can up the price.” That isn’t the intent, but that would be the result.

But the reality of the campaign for 108 is that it intends to end tobacco use. If 108 passes, it will be the tyranny of the majority. Is there something you like that someone else would like to stop?

See, here comes a chance to tax one bad thing into nonexistence. What about the rest? Raising beef is a waste of land, just like raising tobacco. Eating lots of fatty meat is as bad as smoking. When red meat is taxed like tobacco would be under 108, would you accept it?

Adrian Fields

Hood River

Vote for Sizemore

The three Klickitat County Commissioners play a critical role in our county. Two positions are contested this year. I lived in Goldendale for 20 years and in White Salmon for the past 10 years. I want the best for our county.

Jim Sizemore has been a commissioner for seven years. He is smart, hard-working, and experienced. I strongly support Mr. Sizemore for reelection. He has done a good job during difficult times.

I carefully evaluated his opponent, Dan Christopher. I read the Voter’s Pamphlet, a letter he sent to District 3 residents, and an editorial by the Sentinel (Google: The Sentinel opposes a candidate this year). These troubled me. More damaging are two letters he sent this week (Google Sentinel: Christopher sends two conflicting campaign letters).

I listened to the discussion between the candidates hosted by the Goldendale Sentinel (www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_HSarpUVGM&feature=youtu.be. 1:12:05 to end). This discussion was needlessly contentious.

I believe Mr. Christopher would harm the collaborative functioning of our county and our commissioners.

Please vote for Jim Sizemore.

Paul Pennington

White Salmon

Vote for Beutler

In a recent study conducted by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia, and published by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Jaime Herrera Beutler was ranked the most effective federal legislator in Washington state.

It should be no surprise to those of us in Southwest Washington who’ve had the privilege of being represented by Jaime. Her effectiveness runs the gamut, from standing up for struggling families during this pandemic, fighting to keep small businesses afloat, and ushering in legislation to protect our region’s fish runs.

We need to vote for Jamie in this election so we can continue to have the best representation in all of Washington state. It would be foolish to accept anything but the finest when it comes to dealing with the issues that affect us.

Richard Kennington

Vancouver

No HR charter change

I strongly recommend a NO vote on Measure 14-70 amending Hood River County’s charter. The amendments fail to address mistakes in the existing charter and erode government transparency. The charter review is two years overdue but needs to go back to the drawing board.

Under the proposals, the county government becomes less transparent and accountable. This loss is serious, given how little transparency the county currently provides. For example, minutes for county meetings haven’t been posted online since October 2019. County ordinances aren’t online either.

If Measure 14-70 passes:

• Distribution of ordinance proposals to news media is eliminated. Ordinances can be adopted simply by reading only the TITLE of the ordinance on two different days. This change reduces public information and transparency.

• Ordinances deemed part of the Board’s “exercise of its policepower (new charter wording) AND covering an emergency take effect immediately. The change removes the current requirement to publish the ordinance in the next edition of the newspaper.

• Changes to employment or termination for some county positions will need to conform to the Employee Handbook and the County Administrative code. However, the Administrative Code doesn’t describe employment practices. The Employee Handbook is not online. The public will remain in the dark about what those employment rules are.

The Charter Review is two years overdue without an explanation of why. In July 2020, commissioners unanimously voted for the revised charter. They questioned term limits, the compensation committee’s members, and the board chair’s term length. No commissioner challenged removing notifications to the public or news media. County legal counsel asked about redistricting (every Oregon Home Rule county that elects commissioners by district provides for rebalancing districts by population). The commissioners took no action, though District 1 now has 41 percent more registered voters than District 4. Commissioners expressed no concern that Hood River County districts don’t conform to the “one person, one vote” balance the Constitution requires.

Voters deserve an equal voice, more transparency, and citizen involvement. We need a do-over of the charter review. Vote NO on Measure 14-70.

Tracey Tomashpol

Hood River

Ten for Towey

Vote Brian Towey for Hood River City Council (briantoweyforhoodriver.com)! Here are my top 10 reasons:

1. Parks: Brian understands the importance of neighborhood park acquisition, and how quickly parks can slip away in the face of other priorities. He gets that parks should not be sacrificed for growth.

2. Housing: Brian seeks to simplify the building code with input from local builders, incentivize the creation of much needed housing, and protect the character and livability of Hood River.

3. Transportation Infrastructure: Brian understands the importance of safe streets for biking, off-street parking, and solid long-term planning for traffic flow as Hood River grows.

4. Decision Making Processes: Brian understands that many Hood River residents seek better ways to have their voices heard by the city.

5. Accountability: Brian knows how to hold us accountable as a city when it comes to achievement of goals and adherence to recommended strategies.

6. Research: Brian is thorough, well read, and ahead of most with respect to keeping on top of legislation, code, local projects, and decision making forums.

7. Guts: Brian not afraid to stick his neck out on tough decisions; there will be no flip-flopping or surprises with this guy.

8. Clarity: Brian exemplifies the “say what you mean, and mean what you say.” He’s a clear communicator and thinker.

9. Honesty: No games. Brian is upfront, open, and transparent.

10. Listener: Brian hears all sides of a debate. He’s an analytic thinker that appreciates diverse perspectives.

This is a huge opportunity, folks. Please join me in voting for Brian Towey for Hood River City Council.

Becca Sanders, PhD

Hood River

Yes on 108

This November, we can save lives and protect future generations from a lifetime addiction. Measure 108 will increase the price of cigarettes and tax e-cigarettes in Oregon for the first time. This is important to me because as a pharmacist, I have seen the consequences due to years of tobacco use and how difficult it is to combat this addiction. The cost to treat emphysema, COPD or high blood pressure is an unnecessary expense to our health care system. As an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I’m committed to saving lives from cancer. I’m concerned that nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths are caused by smoking. Meanwhile, youth tobacco use is rising due to alarming rates of e-cigarette use by teens. Measure 108 can help stop these statistics. This cigarette tax will decrease youth smoking nearly 20 percent and keep about 19,000 youth from starting to smoke. Measure 108 will lower health care costs for everyone and fund important health care programs. The tax revenue will help create a healthier Oregon by funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs and the Oregon Health Plan. I’m voting yes, and I hope you will too.

Marilyn Wong

The Dalles

Yes on Measure 110

Criminalizing drug usage has not been an effective way of dealing with addiction. Incentives for treatment without the threat of incarceration can and should be utilized. Imprisonment is costly and does not guarantee treatment. A drug conviction has a lifetime negative impact for many Oregonians, particularly people of color.

Almost 9,000 Oregonians are arrested every year for possessing minor amounts of drugs. Black, Latinx and Indigenous people of color are more than three times likely to be arrested, charged and convicted, even though white people use drugs at the same rate. Oregon currently rates 50th out of 50 states for access to treatment for addiction. One or two Oregonians suffering from addiction die every day, some while their name is on a waiting list for treatment (even court-mandated treatment). The system is broken.

Measure 110 would shut down a major source of the drug-to-prison pipeline that destroys families and creates lifelong stigma for people with convictions. Instead of putting people in jail for addiction, Measure 110 greatly expands treatment facilities across the state. The Oregon Partnership for Safety and Justice which has been leading on criminal justice reform in Oregon for years, advocates a YES vote. So do most judges, prosecutors and others across the criminal justice system, social workers, teachers, doctors and most recovery and drug treatment program leaders.

It’s time to shake up and change this system: Reframe the message, use tax dollars from marijuana sales to fund these programs, and see drug addiction from a wider lens, a compassionate response to an individual and community health problem.

I’m voting yes on Measure 110. I urge you to do the same.

Daniel Fritz

Mosier

A docu to watch

If you care about the unborn, the born, children, adults, Black people, white people, humanity as a whole ... if you care about animals all over the planet and your food sources ... if you care about yourself and your family, you need to watch the documentary available on Netflix “A Life on our Planet” by David Attenborough.

It is terrifying what we might accomplish as humans — destroying our beautiful planet and the biodiversity that offers us life on it. But the ways to reverse this and bring back the balance seem obvious and simple and lined out clearly in this documentary. I would say the first step is voting in a way that can make these changes possible.

Leslie Kerr

Hood River

Vote for Jaime

I’ve recently learned that the United States has one of the worst maternal death rates in the world. It’s shocking that in 21st century America, women are dying during childbirth. It’s simply outrageous.

A leader in Congress on this issue has been our Congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler. She’s passed multiple pieces of legislation to get at the root cause of maternal deaths. She even had a bill pass recently, which expands telehealth to women in rural areas, which is vital to so many moms here in our communities. Jaime is working for moms. Vote for Jaime!

Linda Langdon

Vancouver

Vote Biden

The nation is at a crossroads. Will we choose to reelect a president who spreads lies and hate, or will we choose a new president who is hopeful and empathetic?

Joe Biden is a moderate, he is willing to reach across the aisle, he listens and he compromises. He is just what the country needs to heal our partisan divide. Joe is the kind of guy who will fill a room with liberals and conservatives, critics and colleagues, and he will listen to and value each of their opinions.

Will we elect someone who hates criticism, attacks opponents on Twitter, and insults people at campaign rallies? Or will we choose someone who loves his neighbor, makes real connections with real people, and knows how to walk in someone else’s shoes?

Joe Biden knows how to be a politician, but he also knows how to be a person. He knows how to love, how to grieve and how to grow. Joe Biden knows how to talk to people, how to learn from them and how to make others understand him. He will use these skills to be a president for all of the people and work just as hard for those who didn’t vote for him as he will for those who did.

Donald Trump tried to take away your right to vote — Democrats and Republicans both vote by mail. Trump has ignored and downplayed the coronavirus even as it has infected millions of Americans. Trump refuses to denounce white supremacy and QAnon conspiracies. I believe that we can build back better, with health care for all, thousands of green jobs, pathways to citizenship, protections for LGBTQ individuals, and justice for Black Americans.

If you think you have to vote for Trump because he is on the Republican ticket, the party of Lincoln, I ask you to examine your priorities. If Abraham Lincoln we’re alive today, he would be unifying the country, trying to end the nation’s most racist institutions and promoting a good Christian way of life; he sounds like Joe Biden to me.

Please vote, democracy depends on it.

Rachel Luther

White Salmon

It’s on all of us

County Health Departments in the Gorge are stretched very thin. In normal times, their work covers everything from prenatal and maternal-infant support to well water quality. Suddenly, the pandemic has them doing contact tracing, which is the enormously time consuming job of talking to EVERY person in the county who tests positive for coronavirus and finding out who their close contacts are, then calling those people to arrange for testing and quarantine. Contact tracing (along with wearing a mask and limiting your contacts) is a still a core tool in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Even though we’re not a national “hot spot,” there’s still too much COVID going around for our contact tracers to keep up. They need our cooperation. Many close contacts never hear from an investigator, so it falls upon ALL OF US do the right thing, whether or not we get a call from “the county.”

If you are diagnosed with COVID, please:

1. Follow your doctor’s advice on isolating.

2. Inform people who you’ve been in close contact with (less than 15 minutes indoors, more than 6-feet, mask or no mask) of your positive test result and encourage them to call their doctor.

If you get a contact tracing call, please thank them for their work and follow their advice. If you don’t hear from them, DON’T assume that you don’t need to isolate/quarantine. If it’s not clear what to do, call your doctor.

Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

If we work together we can wrestle the pandemic to the ground. If we don’t work together and protect each other, many of us will die.

Dr. Tracy Rushing, candidate for Washington House District 14, understands that good contract tracing is a vital part of getting us back to school, work and worship. Please vote for her.

Chris Samuels

White Salmon

Inclusionary leaders

Vote for inclusionary leaders in Hood River — Dani Correa for Mayor and Brian Towey, Susan Johnson and Gladys Rivera for city council.

Hood River deserves inclusive leaders who will engage community stakeholders of diverse interests, needs and points of view in conversations and decision making that will impact how our city contends with increasing growth pressure and related challenges.

Mayoral candidate Dani Correa and city council candidates Susan Johnson, Brian Towey and Gladys Rivera will ensure greater transparency in government and fight to maintain livability in Hood River. Dani is a business owner in The Heights and is responsible for re-establishing The Heights Business Association. She is a strong advocate for small business owners, working families and a balanced approach to transportation and land use planning. Towey has been actively engaged in city council meetings for many years and has advocated for policies that will preserve and expand parks and open space and smart housing development in Hood River. He is one of the founders of Engage The Gorge and he will support planning and development in the Westside that balances the need for increased density and diverse housing options with the need to preserve the integrity and quality of existing neighborhoods.

Johnson was actively engaged in the successful campaign to protect parks and open space through the passage of Measure 14-67. She will advocate for parks and open space and housing development that serves people of diverse ages, mobility needs and walks of life. Having previously served on city council, Susan brings leadership experience to the table.

Rivera, a certified community health worker and current Hood River City Council member, is committed to governance that considers the needs of working class families and those who voices that have historically been underrepresented. She has proven to be an invaluable advocate for the Latino community and vulnerable members of our community.

Tina McNerthney

Hood River

Not typical

Carolyn Long first caught my attention when I heard her speak at Lower Columbia College four years ago about political engagement and divisiveness in politics. It wasn’t the typical one party good, the other party bad presentation. She talked about finding common ground and working together from there. She’s since brought diverse groups together in our community to discuss topics like homelessness and education. She has walked the picket lines with educators. She stood with workers when the anti-union Janus decision came out. She attends meetings and engages. Most importantly, she will listen. Carolyn will be an incredible advocate for all of S.W. Washington. Please join me in voting for Carolyn Long for U.S. Representative.

Shawn Nyman

Longview

Engagement with civility

We, the BIG we, are in desperate need of a change in attitude in this country. I know it can’t happen under Trump, as he purposefully sows divisiveness and fans the flames of hatred among us. But I am hoping and expecting it can start under Biden-Harris. They at least recognize and are speaking of the need for unity and civility.

The negative, confrontational attitude on display daily in the U.S. has been building for a long time. We see it in our progressive distrust of institutions — governmental, educational, commercial — and each other. We see it in our promotion and celebration of American “individual-ism” and individual rights, which can also convey “f*** you, society, I’ll do what I want.” Not only is the overall feel one of hostility, we seem to have lost the inclination to respect and work for the common good — actually subjugate our individual judgment/“rights”/preferences for the collective benefit of all.

The idea of achieving a greater sense of unity and respect for others is not just a utopian dream. It can happen — in fact, it must, if we are to flourish. We do not have to roll over and play dead to avoid conflict. We do not have to give up working for the issues and values we hold dear. We do need to make a real effort, though, to do it with civility, even tolerance, even acceptance. People are different. There will always be different points of view. But the common good calls.

Tresa Kowats

Hood River

Retain Reykdal in Wash.

What does Republican candidate Maia Espinoza propose to do should she be elected superintendent of public instruction on Nov. 3? It seems absurd, but it’s true: She advocates cutting $2.5 billion from public schools. She recently told radio host Jason Rantz that now, during our COVID-19 crisis, it’s the perfect time to slash the budgets.

That would, of course, decimate the ability of our community schools to provide a top-notch education for our children. Her proposed cut, adopted from the right-wing Washington Policy Center, would reduce $2,500 per pupil. From her extremist point of view, perhaps that’s the point: Vote for Espinoza so that she can ruin our public schools!

Until 2018, Washington State had for years run afoul of our courts because it was underfunding public education. Now that we’re back in the good graces of our courts, Ms. Espinoza apparently wants to see our state facing a judge for failing its constitutionally mandated duty once again.

Chris Reykdal, our current superintendent of public instruction, has done a fine job. Under his leadership, our state has added career and technical education pathways to graduation, returned civics classes to our schools, and increased the graduation rate to a record high.

For those who care about our children receiving a high-quality education — and that should be all of us — the choice is a no-brainer: Chris Reykdal.

Rick George

White Salmon

Vote for change

The unequivocal success of Measure 14-67 proves in no uncertain terms that Kate McBride, Mark Zanmiller and Megan Saunders do not represent the citizens of Hood River. Despite broad based opposition to the sale of Morrison Park to a developer for $1, and being rebuked by the Oregon Court of Appeals, these elected officials refused to listen to Hood river citizens. Rather than change course, elected officials doubled down on their efforts to give away Morrison Park. Both the decision to give away Morrison Park and the procedures used to implement the decision were unlawful. As former mayor Babitz accurately noted: “If we’ve elected a city council, we don’t trust to make decisions about our parks, then we have a much bigger problem.”

As the vote on Measure 14-67 makes perfectly clear, we do in fact have a much bigger problem; namely, that current elected officials ignore the law and refuse to listen to their constituents. Making matters worse, current and former city politicians attempted to bully and shame supporters of Measure 14-67 into submission using false rhetoric. To wit, in a June 5, 2019, article in the Hood River News, former mayor Paul Blackburn accused Morrison Park supporter Susan Crowley of being a “minority of one holding up the will of elected leadership of the city.” What Blackburn fails to comprehend is that the “will of elected leadership” is not the will of the people, as the 72 percent vote in support of Measure 14-67 makes abundantly clear.

As it turns out, Hood River citizens are not divided against each other; rather, the real division is between a majority of Hood River citizens and the non-representative elected officials. The attempted looting of Morrison Park is emblematic of an intransigent local government that lacks transparency, ignores the rule of law, and disregards the public will. “We the People” saved OUR parks, in the next city election, let’s save the rest of Hood River — I encourage you to vote for Susan Johnson, Brian Towey, Don Harring for city council and Dani Correa for mayor.

Drew Weerts

Hood River

Justice in justice

We’ve seen how COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces have affected our communities in the Columbia Gorge. It’s important to acknowledge our local county public health departments and medical teams that have been diligent and working hard on behalf of all of us. At the same time, as of this week, there are 1,209 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among Oregonians in prison. There are also 290 confirmed positive cases among prison staff, and 16 people have died thought to be from COVID while in Oregon Department of Corrections custody since the pandemic began.

Four of Oregon’s 10 largest workplace outbreaks of COVID-19 are in Oregon prisons: In ranked order of number of confirmed cases, number 1 is Snake River Correctional Institution followed by Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution at number 2. Two Rivers Correctional Institution ranks number 4 and Oregon State Correctional Institution at number 9. (Info from the Oregon Health Authority.)

Confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise in what are normally crowded conditions. What are Correctional Department leaders doing to address social distancing protection and other pandemic health protocols? How is prevention as well as medical treatment, education, safety and support to Oregon prisoners being provided? Individuals in our prisons are human beings who are under the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections. This department is responsible to provide adequate healthcare services for inmates.

The Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC) works to dismantle systemic discrimination in the legal system, defend civil rights and end mass incarceration in Oregon. OJRC has sued for better protection for prisoners though so far the Oregon courts have declined to order these protections. OJRC is also seeking compensation for incarcerated Oregonians diagnosed with COVID.

Our tax dollars pay for prisons. We need to hold our state and correctional leaders accountable to address these workplace outbreaks. Let’s stand for justice within our justice system.

Michael Stevens

Mosier

Vote Thatcher

We heard Sen. Kim Thatcher speak here in The Dalles last week. She is the best choice for Oregon Secretary of State. A proven leader, Kim is both intelligent and articulate. She values faith, family, and freedom — things which are near and dear to rural Oregonians. She is both a public servant and a businesswoman. Like the late Dennis Richardson, Kim will provide the much needed integrity, transparency and accountability to Oregon government. Unlike her opponent who received a $50,000 campaign contribution from Gov. Kate Brown, Kim Thatcher will be an independent advocate for all Oregonians. She will keep partisan politics out of the Secretary of State’s office. This is why Kim has been endorsed by the Independent Party of Oregon. Let’s do our part to keep the Secretary of State’s office independent and free of undue influence by supporting Kim Thatcher on Nov. 3.

Lori McGaughey

The Dalles

Correct a travesty

Under U.S. law and international treaties, individuals may seek asylum (protection from persecution) at the border or in the United States (bit.ly/35jLZoG). In the years after 2014, border control faced an increasing number of unaccompanied children and parents with children seeking asylum. In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration decided to separate children from parents seeking asylum. Why? The 1997 Flores Agreement states that children cannot be held with their parents in federal jail.

Public outcry prompted an executive order in June 2018, which halted separations, and a judicial order six days later, which ordered reunification within 30 days.

By that point, immense damage had been done.

Two years and four months later, according to a report in the New York Times (Oct. 21, 2020), 545 children still have not been reunited with their parents (nyti.ms/31uhOdo).

Ask yourself: Had you been born into poverty and limited opportunity, a world of gang violence, hunger and illness, might you also have sought refuge?

If you and your children were forced to trade places with those who came to our southern border, would you not have thought our nation sincere in the bronzed sentiments of Emma Lazarus, at the Statue of Liberty: “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me”?

The American Federation of Teachers termed the policy and its injury to families “a crime against humanity” (bit.ly/2TgNQ8a).

Sadly, it is not an American first. We love to talk about our grand ideals, but time and again, we act to the contrary. Start with the forced separation of families of millions of enslaved people. The depredations against Native American families. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

With a new administration, we all should expect and demand prosecution of those in the Trump administration who were responsible for this travesty. Without justice, we all are culpable.

If you agree, call or write your representatives. It’s the least you can do to protect the sanctity of the family. Every family.

Rhonda Starling

Mosier

Beutler ‘problem-solver’

On Capitol Hill, the Problem Solvers Caucus is a group of Representatives equally divided between Democrats and Republicans that are committed to finding common ground on many of the key issues facing the nation. Their aim is to champion ideas that benefit all Americans. It is a group united in the idea that there are commonsense solutions to many of the country’s toughest challenges. They believe that “only when we work together as Americans can we successfully break through the gridlock of today’s politics.” The Problem Solvers Caucus members agreed to find bipartisan solutions on issues including criminal justice reform, health care, and infrastructure. Jamie Herrera Beutler is a member of this caucus. Her colleagues describe her as one of the “rational reasonables” on Capitol Hill.

Let’s vote for someone who works for all Americans by working with all Americans.

Cristina Kennington

Vancouver

Is Medicare socialism?

Is Medicare “socialism”? That’s what opponents loudly proclaimed in 1966 when Medicare was introduced. This was accompanied by dire warnings of progression to communism. But is Medicare really “socialized medicine”? In a true socialized system, the government is the insurer, owns the hospitals, and employs the doctors.

That is the case, for example, in England, where the National Health Service has been providing universal health care since the early 1950s. The NHS has been quite successful, with everyone covered and no medical bills. The Brits pay about one third to one half of what we pay per person, and have better health outcomes. Better outcomes to a large extent because people don’t get very sick from a lack of basic care, as is the case here. Plus, last I checked, the U.K. has not succumbed to godless communism.

Today in the USA, it’s hard to imagine the country without Medicare. While the U.S. government is the insurer, the hospitals and doctors remain private. So it is probably more accurate to describe Medicare as a “social program” rather than “socialized medicine.” Similarly, Social Security is another program that is now an integral part of our national fabric but was branded as “socialism” when passed in 1935.

In the coming months, citizens of Washington and Oregon will have the opportunity to consider programs similar to Medicare aiming to provide healthcare to all residents regardless of their ability to pay. The legislative proposals are called “Whole Washington” and “Healthcare For All of Oregon.” To make it a reality, we need to support state legislators that believe in the concept of healthcare for everyone, which is the standard throughout the developed world.

Robert Florek, MD

Underwood

Yes to Skyline

As a long-term resident and professional in White Salmon, I would like to encourage you to vote yes on Skyline Hospital’s levy lid lift on the Nov. 3 ballot. I have personally seen and experienced the quality compassionate care Skyline has brought to my family and our communities for many generations. I’ve also seen first-hand Skyline’s staff stepping up during the face of adversity to ensure our community would be well-taken care of as the coronavirus pandemic hit our area.

It is important to note, Skyline Hospital has been operating under the same tax levy since 1997 — nearly 28 years ago — and currently has one of the lowest maintenance and operation taxes in Klickitat County. And, as with most rural hospitals, it can struggle financially. Over the years, Skyline has tightened its financial belt to ensure it continues to be a local health care resource, while still working diligently to bring necessary services to our growing area.

Skyline stepped up for us many years and most recently during COVID-19. Now it’s time we step up and support our local hospital. Vote “Yes” for Skyline!

Imelda Padilla

White Salmon

Vote for actions

As a Klickitat County voter, I am casting my vote for Joanna Turner running for Klickitat County Commissioner Position 1. My vote is also a vote for all constituents of Klickitat County and their voices being heard, instead a chosen few. My vote is based on my observation of the actions of both candidates. In a time of uncertainty, one thing we can count on is the actions of the candidates, rather than empty campaign promises.

Turner currently serves on the Trout Lake Community Council board. Turner backs up her campaign with current actions to listen to all Klickitat County residents. Turner has heard the voices of her neighbors in the Husum/BZ area and stands with them to oppose the proposed development of Under Canvas glamping resort in Husum.

Opposing candidate, Jacob Anderson, currently serves on the Husum/BZ Community Council board. As a resident of Husum, I attend the monthly Community Council meetings. During the summer of 2020, Anderson used these Community Council meetings as his own personal promotional forum by inviting Under Canvas staff to sell the community on their over development project idea.

Immediately, the majority of the local residences voiced opposition to the Under Canvas resort development. After knowing of resident opposition, Anderson took it upon himself to travel to Montana, visiting a current Under Canvas operation to bring back a promotional sales pitch along with photos to support the local Under Canvas development. Anderson blatantly disregarded the voices of his local community. Anderson has put the interests of corporate land developers over the well-being of our community and our voices. If Anderson will abuse his political power on a local level, what actions will he take countywide if elected county commissioner?

Voters’ decisions on Klickitat County Commissioner Position 1 will have long lasting effects on all the residents of Klickitat County in regards to future developments and our way of life. Please join me in voting for Joanna Turner to insure your voice is heard and represented.

Sheri Bousquet

Husum

Lazy politics

It is humanly impossible to fix our political, economic and social problems using the lazy, do-nothing, “your voice, your vote.”

How is it possible to fix our problems when the foundation beliefs of our nation are two lies? The one party member believes in the lie of an immortal soul while the other party member believes in evolution. Right now both parties are pointing the finger at one another blaming each other for all the problems. Each side claims they think right and that they are right. Each side preaches catastrophic death and destruction to America if the other party gains control. Weird.

How is it possible to correct someone else when your foundation of thinking is based on a lie? The “immortal soul” idea is a false teaching used by pastor and the church system to instill fear into their customers so they may control them and their checkbook. It works very well. If this teaching was true and, as it is falsely claimed to be, found in the writings of Moses, the prophets, the psalms and the apostles writings, would it not be fair to expect to see these two words, “immortal soul” together at least once in these writings? They are not.

Why not clean up the lies in your own mind first before you attempt to straighten out the thinking of the other party member? The other party members foundation is based on that other lie…evolution. This teaching is on equal ground with that other lie. The behavior of the evolutionist proves this idea to be a lie. They will not discuss it. Both lies corrupt and distort any possibility of looking at any of the issues in an honest manner.

It is no different than math. Both parties begin the discussion with 1+1= 3.

What is even stranger, you don’t care. Your arrogance and self importance and self righteous behavior have dominated all forms of a possible compromise let alone a fix. These foundation lies create a nasty attitude and a very ugly self righteous aura that is not conducive to working together for a fix.

I have not decided that the issues are frivolous nonsense … you have. If you truly wanted to fix it begin with yourself and what is in your mind. You will see the fix and be part of it once you remove the two lies. Read what I have suggested.

Gary Fischer

The Dalles

Support for incumbents

I am writing to support Jacob Anderson and Jim Sizemore for Klickitat County Commissioners.

According to the internet, Klickitat has a population of 22,107. The county has managed to save over twenty million dollars into its reserve accounts. That mounts to $905 for each resident. The county has managed to do that on a sales tax rate of one half of one percent (compare that to King County at 2.1 percent), and a property tax rate of .73 percent (10.14 percent less than King County). Even though the tax rates in King county are way higher, they have only managed to save about $4 per resident.

We have a safe and a beautiful county that is fiscally conservative. Let’s keep it that way. Please, please vote for Jacob Anderson and Jim Sizemore for Klickitat County Commissioners.

Jim Herman

White Salmon

You might be a Democrat ...

If you believe in shielding “undocumented” immigrant criminals from deportation ...

If you believe in free medical care, welfare, and voting rights for illegal immigrants ...

If you believe hydroelectric dams should be torn down ...

If you believe racial discrimination is fine as long as it’s against white people ...

If you believe in and support an organization that preaches hate of police, white people and America, and embraces Marxism ...

If you believe the statement “All lives matter” is racist ...

If you believe the solution for people breaking the law and resisting arrest is to stop enforcing the law ...

If you believe in “redirecting” funding from police to social workers ...

If you believe in “protesting” by looting and burning ...

If you believe people who never owned slaves owe reparations to people who never were slaves ...

If you believe world climate can be controlled by higher taxes in America ...

If you believe there is only one “correct” climate, and we can and should stop it from changing…

If you believe more welfare is better than more jobs ...

If you believe killing a killer is barbaric, but killing an unborn child is just a “choice” ...

If you believe in laws protecting children after they’re born, but not before ...

If you believe the Boy Scouts should be forced to accept homosexual scout leaders ...

If you believe biological males belong in women and girl’s bathrooms, dressing rooms, showers, sports and crises centers ...

... then fine, it makes sense for you to vote Democrat.

But if you DON’T believe these things, and you STILL vote for Democrats, what’s wrong with you!?

Steve Hudson

The Dalles

Mays for Mayor

As a member of the City of The Dalles Beautification Committee, I have the opportunity to get to know Mayor Rich Mays and to appreciate his love for our town.

When he was first elected Mayor in 2018, he came out of retirement following a 40-year career in city management. I believe he did so because he cares deeply about the community and wants to share his skills to help our town move forward.

We have had several heartfelt conversations which touched on concerns around mental health services, racial justice, policing policy, and the homeless. I found him to be approachable, honest, and reasonable. He has run a “clean campaign” — not easy during these divisive times.

When we last met, he indicated that one of the most important things he will need to do as Mayor is to bring people together. I cast my vote to give him that opportunity.

Connie Krummrich

The Dalles

Yes to Sizemore

Recently, upon request, Jim Sizemore, incumbent candidate for Klickitat County Commissioner, came to White Salmon to speak with a few Democrats about his campaign and his policies. He patiently stood in the cold rain for 90 minutes, socially distancing, and thoughtfully responded to our questions. I felt that he was forthright and honest, knowing that we had extremely different views on many subjects. He never pretended to change his views but instead looked for and found common ground on a few issues we could agree on. There is no Democrat option for this seat in District 3 and it is clear to me that Jim’s opponent is talking out of both sides of his mouth, depending on the political party he is addressing. After listening to four years of lies and disinformation coming out of the White House, I cannot vote for someone who willingly deceives. My vote will go to Jim Sizemore.

Becky Miles

White Salmon

Support for Devin Kuh

As owners of a small rafting and kayaking company on the banks of the White Salmon River, we have been members of the White Salmon community and small outdoor-industry business owners since 2002. Our company depends on the health of the environment and access to our rivers. We are excited to endorse Devin Kuh for State Representative here in District 14. We’ve known Devin since he came to work for us in 2013. Through his many roles with Wet Planet Whitewater, from kayak school manager to lead raft guide, we have seen him be able to connect with diverse groups, take responsibility with enthusiasm, and share his passion for the outdoors and the value of access to and protection of our natural environment. His passion always goes beyond providing good experiences for our guests and students; he works hard to help our business prosper. We are confident that if elected he will with great passion and motivation continue to be a steward of our environment, expand access and support small businesses. He is a very compassionate, energetic and caring member of our team who puts people first and works to have everyone’s voices heard and respected.

Todd Collins and Jacomijn Klinkenberg

White Salmon

For Turner

Here is why I am voting for Joanna Turner for County Commissioner and why the rest of us should as well. Joanna is exactly the sort of voice we need in these times. She is deeply committed to her county and to her community. She listens when others talk, and she thinks about what she hears. She’s smart, hardworking, and as capable as they come.

Marjorie Burns

Trout Lake

Our youth, our future

We adults are having a hard time under the multiple layers of challenging/depressing circumstances in our lives at this time — COVID-19, the economy, wildfires, homeschooling, racism, violence, immense uncertainty, lack of civility, division in the country, greed, lack of leadership. It doesn’t feel very good. It feels like we’re stuck and removed from a viable future. This is not what we expected at this point in our lives.

If it’s difficult for us, though, I am really concerned for what it means to our youth and young adults. They are growing up in this same world, worrying how they will create lives of their own with happiness and some degree of security. We’re not giving them much to work with.

The occurrence of COVID-19 was beyond our control, but the fact that it has spiraled out of control because of mismanagement is on us. It’s the same with climate change — on us. Also, with violence, racism, gun culture, economic inequality, and on and on -- on us.

Can we look these youth and young adults in the eye and pledge to work on leaving them a better world? What can each of us commit to do to help? At a minimum, make sure to vote to make it a better world for our youth.

Fran Finney

Hood River

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