Who to believe
The troubling world we now live in is full of many conflicting voices. One may ask, who should I believe or trust? May I suggest a proven voice: the voice of the Lord. His words have always been true and have or will yet all be fulfilled. So, where can one find these precious words? A. The words of God are recorded in the scriptures. God reveals His mind and will to His prophets. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (also, Amos 8:11-12).
Who are the Lord’s living prophets in our day? What is the Lord revealing to them? Listen for yourselves this coming Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time TV channel 9403.
In the March 28 issue of the Hood River News, a letter written by Cindy Allen was published that claimed to make factual statements by Sen. Chuck Thomsen at an event hosted by the Port of Cascade Locks last November. Each fall, the port has a retreat for its commissioners, staff and invited guests to review the port’s prior year and to plan for the future. Invited guests are generally legislators, local elected officials and others who are able to present on topics of interest for the port.
Cindy Allen was not present at the November dinner she references in her letter. The allegations she makes about statements made by Sen. Thomsen lack accuracy and context. It’s unfortunate that Ms. Allen’s comments have painted a misleading picture about what actually occurred at the event.
Government Affairs director
Port of Cascade Locks
‘A win’ for Gorge
It’s no secret local journalism, as an institution, is struggling to make ends meet. Toss an unprecedented global pandemic on top and you have a recipe for hardship.
Rather than folding under intense pressure, the three Gorge newspapers have found a new owner in Publisher Chelsea Marr. This is a clear win for our communities.
I speak as a former Eagle Media Group employee. The News provided my first career job, as a reporter. It was a rewarding experience getting acquainted with Hood River County and meeting the remarkable people who live here. I grew up in Oregon but have found few places so endearing.
Journalism isn’t an easy undertaking, operationally or financially. Many U.S. communities have lost their historic news institutions. Since 1990, newspaper staffing has fallen by two-thirds nationwide, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported April 1, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Too often, the media goes underappreciated. Many take it for granted when their kids grace the sports page, the local bands get coverage — bias disclosure: I’m a musician — and citizens stay informed about government actions. Much of the information we consume originates from a local newspaper, even in the social media age.
Please remember: Journalists are real people. They live in this community, raise their families here, and they tell your story. It’s been that way in the Gorge for a century.
I urge readers to share their appreciation for the people working behind the scenes. Thank a reporter. Take out an ad to promote your business. Write letters showing you care.
Whatever manifestation it takes, local journalism will keep bringing us together as a community. Amid crisis, we need it more than ever.
It’s sad to say that some folks will stop at nothing to defend a bad choice.
I don’t know Rick Larsen but since my name was included in his letter to the editor of April 1, 2020, in the Hood River News, I will try to respond.
Sen. Chuck Thomsen chose to leave Salem and a lot of legislative business hanging just before COVID-19 hit the news. He maligned recall signature gatherers as working during the COVID-19 outbreak in a news interview: www.opb.org/news/article/hood-river-oregon-legislative-recall-race-controversy.
In the article, Chuck was allowed to gaslight the signature campaign rather than answer for his own poor choices, deflecting criticism and blaming others rather than owning up to his own faults and omissions.
In Mr. Larsen’s thinking, recalling Chuck is destroying the community response to the pandemic. Sen. Thomsen’s choice has nothing to do with pulling together as a community during a time of unprecedented crisis. Mr. Larsen is guilty of a non sequitur and a false equivalence, e.g. either you support Chuck’s choice or you don’t support the community.
Perhaps the reason that the Republican Party has such a small representation in Salem is due to this kind of poor logic and rampant animosity.
Here’s the bottom line:
1. It was irresponsible of Sen. Chuck Thomsen to bail on the legislative session.
2. Ms. Lara Dunn is her own person and the chief petitioner of the recall effort.
3. I am chair of the Hood River Democrats but not the boss.
4. I support the recall.
5. Mr. Larsen is way out of line.
Chuck didn’t stand.
For most of my adult voting life, I aligned with the Democratic Party. However, I am seeing the consequences of a supermajority in Salem. With a supermajority, there is very little room for debate and compromise. The past two legislative sessions, the Republican legislators “walked out” in order to represent their constituents. During the regular session of 2019, I found it frustrating and felt that the Republican walkout undermined representative democracy; however, I followed the legislative process more closely as the 2020 short session unfolded. Among several bills, I was eager for Rep. Williams’ bill to increase search and rescue funding to county sheriffs’ offices, which would directly support the Hood River community, to pass. Why did the Democratic leaders choose to bring the highly contentious and polarizing cap and trade bill back for a vote so early in the short session before other important legislation could be passed? Denying quorum and effectively halting the legislative session is an extreme measure, but in this case I found it courageous on behalf of the Republican legislators as their seemingly only option to represent THEIR constituents who opposed the cap and trade legislation. Furthermore, over two-thirds of Oregon’s county commissions voted a proclamation to oppose Cap and Trade. During testimony Republican legislators brought forth dozens of amendments to the Cap and Trade bill including a referral to the people of Oregon for a vote.
The Democrats voted down every single amendment. When the supermajority dominates every committee and every subcommittee in the legislature, it creates no room for negotiation. Legislators are elected to represent their constituents and this past legislative session, we witnessed Republican legislators doing just that. I support Sen. Chuck Thomsen and his courage to walk out on behalf of the majority of his constituents who communicated their opposition to cap and trade. We need to maintain a bipartisan balance in Salem. A balanced legislature is important for representative and just legislation. We need to keep Sen. Thomsen in office through his term. He is a moderate Republican and has a strong reputation in Salem for building bipartisan relationships.
Prisoners at risk
There’s no such thing as social distancing in prison, where crowded facilities make hygienic conditions and adequate healthcare extremely difficult, if not impossible. Public health professionals across the country tell us that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a heightened risk of infection for people who are imprisoned or detained as well as for the staff working in these facilities. Since deportations and mass incarcerations disproportionately target people of color, these communities and families share a disproportionate grief and loss during this time of pandemic. Hundreds of families over the past few weeks have called attention to how their loved ones are being treated behind bars during the pandemic.
The Justice Department’s early-release COVID-19 plan is not what it seems. Looking into the how this plan will be implemented, we see that candidates for early release will be screened primarily using a controversial algorithm called PATTERN which is untested, and would continue to propagate the racial disparities in our criminal justice system.
President Trump and our Governors need to follow the recommendations of our public health leaders to release the elderly and those with compromised health from prisons, jails, and detention centers. This release needs to be done without racial discrimination, in a humane way that respects each person’s civil rights.
I’m joining many concerned citizens asking for children, nonviolent prisoners, the elderly, and those who are ill and ailing to be released for prisons, jails and detention centers. Once released, adequate testing and self-quarantine are needed. Those who remain imprisoned need more sanitary conditions, and complete, ongoing information about pandemic policies, and the supplies necessary for personal hygiene and safety.
Grow up, Donald
It had to have been the lowest day in President Trump’s presidency when he announced he would have no more contact with the governors of Washington and Michigan. He thought they hadn’t shown enough “appreciation” for the help in providing antivirus “supplies.” He instructed Vice President Pence to not communicate with those “ingrates.”
I am personally incensed because I have relatives in Seattle and Spokane who might just need masks or gowns, and if these items are withheld because of a “snit” of juvenile proportions, I will really be angry.
Grow up, Mr. President.
“Exploring the many faces of our Moon,” by Jim White (March 28), is questionably interesting, except that I relate one misstatement in an article such as this to that old Proverb, “One rotten apple will spoil the whole box.”
Note paragraph 4:; ”Earth’s natural satellite (?) is the easiest astronomical object to see in the night sky ...”
Then again in paragraph 10, he refers to the term “degrees,” and a dime and straw for size viewing relationships.
Paragraph 11 is my favorite, due to the “But it appears much larger to most of us, when it’s near the horizon, due to a phenomenon known as the ‘moon illusion.’”
Huh!? How about due to the atmospheric density conditions caused by dust, smoke, and the relative humidity which causes refraction of its light rays.
(Personal: Loving the art of photography and the wonders of God’s created universe.) I am amused with a rising moon and its apparent viewable status prior to its actually being viewable due to refraction which lessons as it rises, thus giving the apparent illusion that it hops over the horizon.
For several years, I had the pleasure of serving with Carrie Rasmussen on the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC) and the Child Justice Act Task Force (CJATF). Carrie was a standout leader on both of these committees. I’m proud to say that under her leadership on the CJATF, we accomplished some great collaborative projects. She held the committee and partners to a high standard of account-ability.
I know that as the DA of Hood River County, she will continue to hold the system, partners and foremost herself to a high standard of professionalism, duty and accountability. You would be blessed to have her in this leadership position.
Oregon Foster Parent Association
Targeting feds’ relief
The first coronavirus relief package was a good start, but it was missing crucial protections for our hardest-hit communities that cannot wait. The next “relief” bill could turn into a major corporate handout, as has happened several times in our recent past. We should be speaking up now.
I’m asking my elected officials, Sens. Wyden and Merkley, and Rep. Greg Walden, to make sure the bill includes free coronavirus treatment, universal paid sick and family leave, expanded food stamp benefits, and more support for small businesses and state and local governments.
It’s critical that further relief funding provide stronger workplace safety protection, especially for frontline healthcare workers and including personal protective equipment and hospital supplies and equipment. Fore-closures, evictions and utility shut-offs should be prohibited. Corporations should be required to use bailout funds to retain employees, not for executive bonuses or stock buybacks. National vote-by-mail and election-security measures should be fully funded. And Treasury Secretary Mnuchin should not be allowed to dole out slush-fund payouts without proper oversight.
Our senators, Merkley and Wyden, seem to be quite on track with promoting these needs. Walden — well, have you heard or read of him making any useful contributions recently? Let’s get on our phones and laptops to make sure this next bill provides substantial relief for citizens and small businesses, rather than another round of bailouts for big corporations.
Thank you, D.C.
Focusing on the good. We are in an unprecedented national emergency and I am so grateful and proud to be an American. This morning, I learned about a program recently passed by Democrats, Republicans and Trump to help small business owners like me. It’s a program where we are receiving loans that don’t need to be repaid if we continue to pay our employees and rent. Wow! That is a lifesaver and an amazing gift for all businesses, their employees and local communities. Yes, there’s a lot of bad out there with COVID-19, but there’s also a lot of good. I’m trying to focus on the good. Thanks Washington, D.C. You just helped out one small business in tiny little Hood River.
Rasmussen clear choice
For the first time in over two decades, Hood River has the chance to pick a new chief prosecutor. Citizens are very lucky to have Carrie Rasmussen as a candidate. No newcomer to the office, she has served as the Chief Deputy for years. Moreover, she is known state-wide as a fearless prosecutor, fearing no one and never seeking reward or approval, as too many in politics look for. I was the elected DA for 25 years in Astoria, and I had the chance to work with virtually every prosecutor who is working today in Oregon.
Your choice is clear: Carrie Rasmussen for Hood River DA.
As a small business owner in Wasco County, I know the struggles our employers and employees face in our community. Small businesses continually struggle to find reliable, skilled employees. When we do find good people, we often can’t keep them in the area because of the high cost of housing for them and their families. If we want our community to thrive, we must solve these issues. We need local elected officials to show courage, tackle tough challenges, and work collaboratively to find common ground. We need bold leadership and new ideas to embrace our bright future.
That’s why I’m supporting Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commission in the May election. Marcus is a local small business owner and understands the struggles we face. He has more than a decade of experience and relationships working in federal, state, and local governments to tackle complex issues like health care, housing, and jobs. And he’s an accomplished attorney who fights for justice every day to protect Wasco County families, seniors, veterans, kids, and small businesses. He constantly gives back to our community through volunteer work and pro bono legal help.
Marcus Swift has the ideas, skills, leadership, and energy we need. He will be a champion for Wasco County’s small businesses and working families and he will bring much-needed change to the county government. That’s why I’m proud to support Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commission.
It is wonderful to see people coming together to get through the COVID-19 crisis. People are at their best when faced with a crisis that affects the whole community. We can’t forget that we are in the midst of two crises. More epidemics are one of the expected results of the climate crisis. There are many others.
We can, and must, deal with both crises at the same time. Our economy has ground to a halt and will need to be rebuilt. If we bail out the fossil fuel companies and provide subsidies to the cruise ship industry and airlines, we will have used our financial resources (which aren’t unlimited) to put ourselves in a worse position with the climate crisis. Instead we should be converting cruise ships to hospitals and subsidizing renewable energy to build an economy that will get us through the climate crisis. Subsidies must go to the people that need them to survive and new jobs created to build a new infrastructure.
The internet is a great tool for communicating with neighbors, friends and families while we are isolated or quarantined. We need to re-organize it so that we can talk to each other without being spied upon by companies to sell us things we don’t need and politicians trying to convince us that lies are true.
Every crisis creates opportunities. Let’s use this one to pull together and create the sustainable country we want to live in.
Lights of hope
Just like the old lamplighter who made the night a little brighter, The Fun Group will make the night a little brighter by lighting the stars each night until the coronavirus is defeated and things return to normal. Normally the stars are lighted from Thanksgiving to the end of December, but we felt there was a need to brighten the skies with the hope of boosting the morale of our community during these dark times.
We have noticed that many homes are again decorated with holiday lights. We welcome their company and also welcome those who have stars of their own to erect them again.
We appreciate any donations to further our efforts. Donations can be sent to: The Fun Group; 891 East Eighth St., The Dalles OR 97058.
Ross and Laura Bailey
England was settling Jamestown, and the Pilgrims were landing in Plymouth. The myth is the Indians welcomed the incursion with harvest feasts, teaching about fish as fertilizer, and romantic Pocahontas, leading the royal life. The truth is, explorers had previously visited bearing their gifts of contagious diseases, mostly viruses such as influenza, smallpox, measles. Soon after the Jamestown arrival, the viruses took a heavy toll on the Powhatans. Pocahontas did survive and lived a short while in England before succumbing to an onslaught of contagion. In Plymouth, 90-plus percent of the indigenous people died. Skeletal remains in abandoned villages remained.
Cortez’s viral gifts to Mexico, migrated north by trading, ravaged our native tribes. Exploring sailors were and still are great for spreading pathogens. Before the first wagon train, 85-90 percent of the indigenous population died leaving skeletal remains in empty villages. Although fervent missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman determined to save heathen natives, brought misery and death. No one understood the contagion, but the natives knew the missionaries brought it. Consequently, the Whitman massacre of 1847.
In 1917, everyone sang Cohan’s, “Over There … The Yanks are coming so beware ...” and 53,402 Doughboys made the ultimate sacrifice. World War I was the great influenza exchange. Armies, hospitals, troop ships, cities were ideal for the virus. The United States influenza death toll was 675,000. In my youth, my family reclaimed building from Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio. It was an Army training camp. I recall stenciled on the wall, “200 dead men in this room.”
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused by a coronavirus and H1N1 Influenza were dangerous pandemics in 2003 and 2009, respectively. We responded reasonably well but realized the need to view viral epidemics as national security issues.
The National Security Council formed the “Global Health Security Unit.” The “Very Stable Genius” eliminated that sentry. While Trump was boldly assassinating Iranian General Soleimani, he should have been vigorously preparing for the inevitable COVID-19.
Trump’s ignorance, incompetence and arrogance has put us in this precarious position. The conservative Congress has affirmed and rejoiced in his vanity.
Several conclusions are obvious: Our health and well-being depends on the health and wellbeing of others. Trump et al, have a very negative impact on all our lives. Oregon’s elections system is necessary to protects us from foreign and viral intrusion. The 2020 election is our chance return to a government of competence, integrity, and confidence.
Support national vote
The coronavirus pandemic threatens to massively disrupt the 2020 presidential elections, now just over five months away. There is no way to know what the state of the pandemic will be in November, and whether it will be safe for anyone, voters and poll workers alike, to be out waiting in lines and crowding into polling places.
Past crises have not stopped elections. Americans voted even during wars. It can and most certainly should be done this time too. The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, proposed by Sens. Wyden and Klobuchar, would allow this to happen safely and dependably by expanding vote-by-mail (VBM) to all states, allowing for no-excuse absentee voting for anyone requesting an absentee ballot, and lengthening early voting perhaps by 20 days to reduce crowding.
The bill could be improved to allow mailed ballots for all voters, not just those who ask for them, and to include funding as part of Congress’s pandemic response.
It is likely that this obvious and sensible strategy will meet with firm opposition from factions that invite foreign interference and/or have traditionally relied on voter suppression to win elections. It’s up to all of us to urge our federal representatives to support the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, with the improvements noted above.
(Sen. Ron Wyden, 202-224-5244; Sen. Jeff Merkley, 202-224-3753; Rep. Greg Walden, 202-225-6730.)
Give your support
First of all, I’m heartbroken about the closing of The Dalles Chronicle, the Hood River News and the White Salmon Enterprise. This gives my message even more urgency.
During these painfully difficult times, if someone has helped you, please thank them with a gift certificate from a local business. Many people are struggling with sudden unemployment, underemployment or possibly losing their business, so obviously not everyone can do this, but even a $10 gift certificate for a coffee shop is thoughtful.
You can buy gift certificates from restaurants, bakeries and bars, but also for goods such as books, toys, jewelry, clothing, flowers, pet supplies, cider and the like. Or purchase a service, such as a massage, pedicure, dog training class, photography session, or even an oil change.
The point is to get money into our local economy now. Our local businesses need the cash flow, especially if they’re not open at the moment. And if you own a business, please add the option to buy a gift certificate to your website, mention it on social media and stay on top of your phone messages so you can respond if someone calls to make a purchase. Your loyal customers want to help you.
I encourage everyone to keep doing this throughout the year, for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays — spend money on local businesses as soon as possible, then let your recipients enjoy the items of their choice. Everyone wins. You can even buy gift certificates for yourself! Save them for when the quarantine lifts and you can go celebrate.
And if the business closes for good? At least you will know you tried, that you didn’t watch a local business you loved go down without a fight. This is about fiercely preserving our towns and doing everything we can to help each other.
It’s always been important to buy local, but now it is crucial for our communities’ survival. Please take even a tiny part of your tax refund or stimulus check to pump life into our businesses. Thank you.
Time for sharing
I have been watching my television set, for many days where I have heard many people repeatedly tell us that, “we’re all in this together.” That is certainly true and it’s heartwarming to see so many people supporting each other. I want to address my fellow disciples of Christ to remind them that although we are all in this together we will not all leave this in the same way. This is a good time — when fear is rampant, the light of the gospel shines even brighter. I encourage all fellow believers to take opportunities, to calm these people’s fear by giving them the hope that only Christ can give.
As we prepare for Resurrection Sunday, this pandemic can provide an opportunity to share our hope through the death and resurrection of our Lord of our Lord, with those who have no hope, only fear.
Election still coming
With everything going on, we need to remember that we have an election coming up next month. We are lucky that in Oregon you don’t have to leave home to vote. Ballots will arrive later this month for the May 19 election. And there is one candidate in a competitive primary that everybody should remember to vote for: Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Secretary of State. Jamie brings a broad experience to the table. She went to school in southern Oregon, has lived and worked around the country and the world, and now offers that experience to all Oregonians. We really should elect an eastern Oregonian to statewide office — she lives in Terrebonne.
But she is running in the Democratic primary, so if you aren’t registered as a Democrat, you can still fix that online by going to SOS.OREGON.GOV and clicking on My Vote. Unaffiliated voters, Independents, people in other parties, you can all change your registration to Democratic by April 28 so that we can nominate and elect the best person for the job as Secretary of State!
War is being used
At its inception, ancient Rome survived because it resisted waging indiscriminate warfare. The custom was for the gates of its main temple to remain shut during peacetime. This reality lasted only 40 years and thereafter the doors were thrown open for centuries and eventually leading to its collapse.
“War” along with other terms including martial law, enforced quarantine and emergency powers is being used by the political and media classes to answer the (COVID-19) virus an accurate definition which they refuse to use or even acknowledge. The only authority the establishment won’t grant to themselves is perspective and restraint. The automatic default is always for the “safety” of the citizen.
Government control purposely ratchets up during crisis; real, manufactured, or someplace in between, but never returns to its original baseline afterward. The upward trajectory is uneven but steady. (I believe) the virus was allowed to escape by the command-and-control nature of communist China, the biggest big government presently in existence, although the American left is making it a horse race.
Today, all problems are spun to enhance political advantage. As the left is incapable of anything other than this — the end-game is to remove Trump. While the physical virus is presently indeterminate, a companion “virus” invariably develops and that is government expansion which is always adversarial to individual liberties and that is why defining and waging “war” by government is always dangerous.