Waymire for sheriff
I was pleased that Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown forcefully and unequivocally gave a strong endorsement for David Waymire becoming our next sheriff in a recently released YouTube clip (google “Sheriff Dave Brown Endorses David Waymire” to see the endorsement).
I have met with and questioned both candidates for Skamania County Sheriff. And being someone who strongly believes we need more women in leadership positions, my initial impulse was to vote for Waymire’s opponent. But after the interviews I had no doubt whatsoever that Waymire was my only choice. Sheriff Dave Brown absolutely got it right by endorsing Waymire for sheriff and here’s why:
Waymire demonstrated to me that he can and will work with everyone, regardless of their political views or reputation in the community. I have seen him give courtesy and respect to individuals that other community leaders have shunned and belittled. He does this not because he agrees with everything a person might say or do, but because he believes in his heart that everyone, no matter who they are, deserves to be heard.
Waymire has the temperament to be sheriff. That is, I believe he has the skills necessary to “de-escalate” tense situations. This is crucial in law enforcement. He was able to provide me with real life examples of where his calm demeanor de-escalated situations that could have quickly gone out of control.
When I asked Waymire tough questions, whether it was about hiring practices, the sheriff’s budget, or some of the controversies surrounding the police we all read about in the news, he didn’t get defensive. He stayed calm, gathered his thoughts, and gave me a well-reasoned response that illustrated to me that he understood the complexities involved in police work.
In conclusion, having interviewed both candidates for sheriff and having asked tough questions of each, Waymire by far impressed me the most. That is why he has my vote. And why I was so pleased to see that Sheriff Brown also strongly supported Mr. Waymire’s candidacy in his recent YouTube video.
Providence nurses deserve better
As an ICU nurse, my patients are my first priority. I see people from all walks of life and it’s my job to treat them with respect and the best care I can provide — regardless of who they are or why they came in.
Unfortunately, management at Providence Hood River fails to treat local nurses with that same level of respect and care.
Over the last seven months, my fellow nurses and I have volunteered our time to negotiate a fair contract with hospital management — one which includes fair compensation for nurses and stronger safety standards for patients.
Despite its obscene wealth — Providence made more than $1 billion in profits from Oregon alone over the last 3 years — Providence Hood River pays its frontline nurses less than nurses at other hospitals who have the same knowledge, skills and abilities. This pay disparity means many nurses who work at Providence Hood River can’t afford to live in Hood River (I live in The Dalles). It is devastating that despite working for a multibillion-dollar health care corporation, Providence’s local “healthcare heroes” can’t afford to live in the community we serve.
Due to a combination of COVID-19, a national nurse shortage and management neglect, our hospital is already understaffed and giving patients less time and care than they deserve. Our lower compensation makes it extremely difficult to recruit and retain the skilled frontline caregivers our community needs. When nurses can get better pay, better health care and better treatment at another hospital, why should they come to or stay at Providence Hood River?
Without enough skilled nurses, our patients suffer. That’s why your local nurses are standing up to demand a fair contract. You can help by joining us at a community rally outside Providence Hood River Thursday, Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of May Street and 12th Street. Come to learn why and how we can all stand together to improve health care in Hood River and ensure everyone who walks into the hospital receives the respect and care they deserve.
I have been too angry to write a letter about what has been done to Underwood’s mountaintop. The most recent assault has been the clear cut of the whole south-facing top.
We had adjusted somewhat to the several neat vineyards on the middle section — it is great sun they get there. However, this recent cutting has totally denuded the very steep top. I can only imagine what the rains will do to it (mudslides?). It is certainly an eyesore that will take years to recover.
All this is “allowed” because Underwood is an “unincorporated” strip of houses (i.e. not an area that has to follow the Scenic rules) along a steep cliff-top road, looking right over the Columbia River. Underwood houses can be painted bright white, and the old top of a long extinct volcano can be denuded. Though we live directly across from it, we carefully obey all the guidelines and restrictions of the National Scenic Area and I guess we look pretty fantastic from Underwood: River, neat town of Hood River, surrounded by grasslands and the best view of Mount Hood. Too bad we don’t get such a nice view looking north anymore.
But come to look at it, the east side of Underwood is also quite chewed up and stripped for its lumber. The view from the river and the bridge (and the beautiful new one coming in the next five years) the east side of Underwood is also looking mangy. Is there no recourse?
Songer unfit for re-election
In a recent interview, Klickitat County Sheriff Candidate Bob Songer pontificates he is the more legitimate Republican candidate, and his opponent is not due to getting support among Democrats as well as Republicans. God forbid we have a sheriff acceptable to and respected by all political persuasions.
Songer, who conflates his Christian Nationalist beliefs of “following God’s supreme authority” with so-called “constitutional” legal power as sheriff, is in reality a polarizing far-right anti-government extremist. His tenure as Klickitat County Sheriff has cast a pall of suspicion and distrust by many on the entire Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office. On this fact alone he is unfit to be re-elected.
“Constitutional Sheriffs” and the “county supremacy” movement originated with the far-right Posse Comitatus and racist Christian Identity movements in the 1970s and 1980s. They proclaimed the county sheriff as the highest “legitimate” authority in the country.
Today’s nearly identical “Constitutional Sheriffs” and “Constitutional County” movements are comparable far-right anti-government propositions. Richard Mack, a former director of the far-right insurrectionist Oath Keepers (a group now under federal indictment for sedition) founded the “Constitutional Sheriffs.” Mack believes the thoroughly discredited and unconstitutional theory that the county sheriff — a holdover from colonial England found nowhere in the Constitution — is the ultimate authority above the state and federal governments.
Songer parrots Mack’s beliefs and diatribes that his authority as sheriff somehow goes beyond enforcing laws to being able to pick and choose what laws he believes are legitimate — without any legal foundation, check, or balance — completely nullifying and in defiance of the legislative and judicial institutions of government. Beyond that, Songer has repeatedly threatened to arrest those who defy this illegitimate unconstitutional version of reality.
Democracy is based on the rule of law, not of a man. Songer has no real respect for the rule of law, and has made it clear he will do whatever he wants as long as we allow him to remain in office. This is what fascism looks like.
This November, across the United States and in Klickitat County, democracy is truly on the line.
This fall we have a big decision to make for the Oregon Labor Commissioner race — why is this position important?
The Oregon Legislature founded the Bureau of Labor and Industries in 1903, with the mission to protect employment rights, advance employment opportunities and protect access to housing and public accommodations that are free from unlawful discrimination. The commissioner enforces state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and vocational, professional and trade schools. The commissioner has the authority to initiate a commissioner’s complaint on behalf of victims of discrimination.
As a new mother, I more clearly understand this message — having a fair and empathetic maternity leave from my job meant I could spend those precious first months with my newborn instead of worrying about her health and safety, which is why I’m endorsing Christina Stephenson for Oregon Labor Commissioner.
Christina is a civil rights attorney and entrepreneur who started her small business at her kitchen table when her son was just 3 months old. Her involvement with Oregon legislature began with the passing of her father when she learned Oregon did not provide protected leave for workers who experienced a death in their family. She rallied her grief support group to help add Bereavement Leave to the Oregon Family Leave Act. Christina then went on to help pass the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance in Oregon, both of which have become national models for workplace legislation.
This is a big job with a big budget. Oregon’s labor commissioner oversees a bureau with a budget of $30 million and 130 employees. We need someone with experience who is familiar with these labor laws. As an attorney, Christina has spent thousands of hours applying these laws into practice.
In an interview, Christina explained why she’s running: “I fundamentally believe Oregon should be the best place to work and live in this country. And I know that may sound like a lot, but it will only happen if we elect people who believe that and want that to be the vision.”
I agree with Christina, which is why she has my vote.
Vote Kotek for education
I support Democratic candidate Tina Kotek to be Oregon’s next governor because she is a champion for public education.
While serving as speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Kotek accomplished many new investments in childcare and education systems to support children and working families, and to build a stronger workforce for our future. She negotiated Oregon’s Student Success Act, providing $1 billion more every year in new funding for preK-12 education. In the spring of 2021, Kotek secured $250 million to support summer learning and child care opportunities to help Oregon children recover from challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. And thanks to Kotek’s leadership, Oregon became the second state in the nation to make community college free to our high school graduates.
I’ll be proud to cast my vote for Tina Kotek, because she has bold ideas, demonstrated commitment, and a proven legislative track record of building a stronger education system for all our children.
Long for State Rep
As a resident of Hood River, I am excited to cast my vote for Darcy Long for House District 52 Representative.
Darcy was raised in The Dalles and graduated from The Dalles High School prior to attending Willamette University to study political science and international studies. A mother of two boys, she has been a long-time advocate for children and adults with mental health issues and respite care for families with special needs children. She currently serves on the city council in The Dalles while also running her own business, Empower Financial.
I have been impressed with Darcy’s ability to juggle many responsibilities and demonstrate leadership as a city council member, which takes strength, compassion and determination. I hope you’ll join me in voting for Darcy.
Darcy Long: Climate and jobs
I care deeply about climate change, and feel it is crucial that we elect candidates who are knowledgeable about and completely committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels ASAP. I’ll be voting for Darcy Long for House District 52 Representative because she understands the urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the economic opportunities that exist for Oregonians as we transition to a 100% clean energy economy. She is committed to ensuring that while Oregon’s economy goes through this important transition, the work will be done by unionized workers that benefit from good wages and safe working conditions. We have got to deliver on climate action and building a clean energy future for our children and subsequent generations.
Kotek works for affordable housing
I live in a wonderful house, but I know way too many local people — folks who work here — who still struggle to find a place to live in that they can afford. I support Tina Kotek for governor because her legislative record shows her commitment to developing our affordable housing resources.
She favors more mental health counseling and emergency housing to redress our houseless problem.
In the Legislature, she worked to liberalize land use to allow more multi-housing units.
She favors measures to increase the supply of affordable housing for rent and ownership.
In response to COVID evictions and recent Oregon wildfires, she helped secure $75 million for Project Turnkey to re-purpose vacant motels for short-term housing.
Action before hollow rhetoric! That’s why I’m voting for Kotek for governor.
Mason for climate
Wow, look at what’s happening to our climate: Record breaking heat waves, increased severe wildfires and crop fires! There were four fires within 10 miles of The Dalles last year and there are more extreme water events. An atmospheric river in February of 2020 flooded downtown Pendleton and closed I-84.
These are some of the reasons I support Raz Mason for Senate District 26 (“the Mt. Hood District”). Her work leading a climate change education foundation heightened her awareness of the physical mechanisms driving extreme weather and seasonal changes. Her love for people, and the natural world in all its diversity, drives her to work hard to address climate change with thoughtfulness and strategic care.
A sensible and wise transition away from fossil fuels will require tremendous leaps of imagination, aspiration, and courage, and that describes Raz to a “T.” Please join me in voting for Raz Mason for Oregon Senate.
Long has been a problem solver
Darcy Long is a champion for solving the homeless problem.
Homelessness is not just a problem in Portland. It’s in other cities and towns in Oregon as well as in cities all over the country. Families face housing insecurity right here in the Gorge for all sorts of reasons. Homelessness produces health and safety risks for them and for everyone in our community as well.
Darcy Long has experience connecting people with the resources they need to find and maintain stable housing. As city councilor in The Dalles, she worked with a wide group of stakeholders to create a shelter village for the homeless in The Dalles.
Darcy has made homelessness one of her campaign priorities. As state representative for District 52, she wants to get private and public resources to build affordable housing for people who are experiencing homelessness and for working families as well.
Darcy Long has the experience to make a difference in solving the dilemma of housing insecurity, which will benefit not only the homeless but our entire community. Darcy has my vote!
Oh great. A Chick-fil-A food truck.
Why does a company that made $5.8 billion last year get to set up a food truck in our small community where the local food trucks have to work their tails off just to stay in operation?
Why does a Chick-fil-A food truck even exist? Oh, that’s right — to appear hip and cool. That’s not the reason people run food trucks, guys.
Funny that they are allowed to set up shop where the local guys can’t.
Fundamentalist “Christian” homophobes only interested in the almighty dollar. Look into their charity donation practices. Nothing surprising there.
Strap in and get ready for more of the same.
I recently received a warning flyer from an organization that identifies itself as the Klickitat Voters for Responsible Government (KVFRG) that appears to promote a perverted version of extremism in our U.S. Constitution. They are endorsing their own brand of a “Republican” sheriff to uphold their own interpretation of our Constitutional rights, a candidate who has never held a managerial position or has any experience as even an undersheriff.
It is of interest that several donors to this “responsible government” group appear to have previously signed a petition to defund Sheriff Songer and his department. Why would the KVFRG put forth a candidate for sheriff if their donors’ intent is to defund the sheriff’s department? Follow the money!
This conflicting message begs the question as to why would someone run for sheriff, and accept funds from individuals who have advocated defunding the sheriff’s department? What is the quid pro quo in this arrangement with their own “Republican Sheriff” candidate, or is this to set up a new sheriff for failure to achieve their hidden agenda?
Personally I support having law enforcement that is steadfast in the defense of our Constitution and the safety of our county, which is exactly what Sheriff Bob Songer and his deputies have demonstrated with 50 years of law enforcement experience, including eight years as our own Klickitat County Sheriff.
My choice for sheriff is someone who has proven performance in protecting and defending our county, and standing steadfastly for our Constitution. I am voting for the sheriff with decades of law enforcement experience and executive level management skills, all of which involves countless hours of coordinated engagement with state, county, and federal agencies on numerous issues to provide the protection and enforcement that our Klickitat County residents need and expect. I urge each of you to vote for a sheriff who has and will continue to deliver, and who has a proven track record from decades of law enforcement experience.
By far, the best and only choice is to reelect Sheriff Bob Songer.
I have recently put up a few American flags in front of my house. While I’ve struggled with some of the positions taken publicly shrouded in the American flag, I realize that now more then ever it’s important to show our neighbors and other people driving by that my family’s values, while different than some, have a common thread. We are more similar than different.
The foundations that generations of my family’s ancestors have built through sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears in this country are shared by all of us who live here. There is not one value set that is better than another. I look at my own values as more of a patchwork quilt. Yours probably are too. In my opinion it’s what it means to be alive.
If we lose sight of our shared experiences as Americans, this is my flag or your flag and not our flag, than I think we are truly lost as a country. Both of my grandpas served in World War II. I’ve grown up in a blue collar family that has taught me much of the values I now have about hard work and sacrifices. I also have passionate feelings about our environment and a woman’s right to choose. Frankly any human’s right to choose as much of their own destinies as possible.
I also like American BBQ. I like operating my construction equipment. I love spending time with my family. I have evolved my values around money to be more conservative over the years. I like to laugh. I own an electric car. My favorite car is a 1963 Chevy Impala, either two- or four-door all original. I like to fish. I don’t like people or companies telling me how to think.
We are all unique and dynamic creations with overlapping values. If we forget this, then frankly I think we are no longer worthy of the democratic torch that has been passed to us in this moment. And probably need a system wide reset to better acknowledge the many needs and values of our 300 million-plus citizens.
When you’re voting for sheriff, you are voting for your safety and your families safety. That is why you want a sheriff that boldly lets the criminals and the drug dealers know that they will not be doing business in Klickitat County. Being complacent just emboldens the bad element and places the citizens in danger. It’s important to have a sheriff that is transparent and responds to the citizens to make the appropriate decision for their wellbeing by having an open door policy and being accessible to all the citizens.
Citizens should vote for a sheriff that has integrity and takes the oath of office seriously as a promise to the citizens to protect their constitutional rights. A Constitutional Sheriff is the only one that the citizens can depend on. Why would you settle for anything less?
As a lot of places become more dangerous because lawlessness is increasing at a rapid rate, there has never been a time when it is more important to pick a sheriff that is the most qualified and has the most experience in protecting the citizens.
The only thing that should determine which candidate you vote for should be the one that has the proven ability to protect and defend the rights and freedoms that all citizens enjoy and to feel safe in your home and property.
Sheriff Bob Songer has been dedicated to protecting all citizens. He has made many vital improvements in the Sheriff’s Department, making it top notch to provide for the security of all citizens. That is his main concern.
Support our rights
The recent Supreme Court ruling that cuts off a woman’s right to choose, whether or not to terminate a problematic (health-wise, economically, socially, etc..) pregnancy should come as no surprise when you look at the history of women’s rights in this country.
While a big deal has been made about the almost 50-year run of legalized abortion, it is helpful to remind ourselves that women only got the right to vote 53 years before that, in 1920! The Republicans who cry that abortion was not mentioned in the Constitution seem to forget that in that hallowed document slavery was sanctioned; slaves were not allowed to vote and were counted as three-fifths of a person but added to the white master’s vote tally to swell their representation in congress.
Of course, women could not vote or have financial autonomy if married. I know that retro can be cool, but do we really want to go back to where the “originalists” would take us?
On behalf of all the grateful teachers here at Dry Hollow Elementary School in The Dalles, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the many businesses, churches, and individuals who gave so much to make sure none of the students we teach were without the supplies they needed when this school year began.
We have received everything from notebooks and paper to backpacks and colored crayons. It is incredible! It’s great to live in a community that shows they care so much about others. The Dalles is definitely that community.
Besides school supplies, the teachers and students at our school have been “adopted” by one of our local churches, and the teachers have received lunch, donuts and notes of appreciation from the community in general for the work they do. Thanks for everything.
Mr. Courtney Kiser
Fifth grade teacher,
Dry Hollow Elementary School
Mason for rural OR
Raz Mason is a Democrat running for state senate. She has also been endorsed by the Independent Party of Oregon. Looking at Raz’s experience and dedication, we see her strong connection to rural and working class people. In rural Oregon, agricultural lands and in town, and also in our natural resource areas, Raz will represent us with actions for the well-being of our families now and for the future. She understands, and here are some of the matters she’ll take action on for us:
She knows that 55% of the private workforce in Oregon is employed by small business, much more so in rural Oregon. Raz believes it’s critical to develop high-speed broadband in rural Oregon to support a healthy economy built on services and industries of the future.
She knows we need to transition to a green energy future, and rural Oregon can lead the way. Just one example: She imagines a future where farm equipment is electrified and fortified by solar power. Farmers could plug their houses into their tractors ... and vice versa.
She believes urban legislators need to take rural people’s concerns about transportation seriously. It means freedom of movement and economic stability and opportunity for us.
She understands we have unique needs for health care, education and affordable housing, and she will deliver.
She understands the grief and fear underlying much of the dissatisfaction of rural people. She speaks honestly and compassionately to the losses and confusion, and invites all people to engage in confronting these challenges.
She is the right leader for our time and our rural corner of Oregon. Please vote for Raz Mason for state senate.
Vote for Raz Mason
When I think about our future, I think about water. Will we have enough clean water to drink, enough water for our crops, our fish, our forests, our recreation?
Democrat Raz Mason, who is running for State Senate in Dist. 26, has plans for how to protect our precious water supply. She would work to pass state laws limiting or restricting the use of water resources solely for profit-making ventures such as Nestle’s efforts in Cascade Locks. She would work with ag producers to strategically recharge groundwater, like the Idaho Water Resource Board’s successful program. She is committed to building or strengthening coalitions among important water stakeholders, from ag to business, residential, indigenous communities and sport fisherman.
As a former science teacher, she knows the importance of focusing on watersheds and riparian protections, and helping us deal with pesticides in groundwater.
If you share my concern that Oregon should always be a land of fresh and available water, please join me in voting for Raz Mason for State Senate.