Register and vote

Just as we are all thinking about summer, it is important to remember that a primary election is about to take place in Washington State. Why is the primary important? Two big reasons. One, because you have choices and this year there are more candidates running than ever before! Over 700 in Washington. Second, you will be making the choice for the two candidates that will run in the election in November. You will vote on those who will serve as county commissioners, PUD commissioners, state officials who will run our schools and public lands, who will hold judicial positions, and who will represent you at the state level in the House of Representatives and Senate, who will run for Governor. 

It can be confusing with so many positions, so, what to do? Register to vote or make sure your registration is up to date ( do you have a new address?). Reach out to candidates. It is not easy for them to reach out to you these days, so reach out to them by checking out their websites and ask them a question or start a dialog. Many are having Zoom or virtual events and they would live to include you. 

Check out the Klickitat County website for a list of candidates. A copy of the voters pamphlet will be available soon. 

Ballots will be mailed out late next week; make sure your vote is counted.

Laurie Sherburne

Trout Lake

 

Turner for Dist. 1

I am looking forward to casting my vote for Joanna Turner for District 1, Klickitat County Commissioner. Joanna is offering new energy and long-term thinking about our county and how it should best serve its citizens. Governing requires knowledge about the current issues faced by all of the residents and more importantly, a willingness to lead strategic planning and solving problems. Joanna’s priorities reflect the county’s needs: Improved health care access and affordability, meeting the needs of aging residents, recognizing the importance and value of a healthy environment, and developing sustainable solutions to support economic development. Joanna’s vision is simple: A healthy and safe community is a thriving community. 

Joanna has committed to a more transparent governing process, by developing open and more accessible communication with all residents. I urge you to support problem-solving leadership for our county by voting for Joanna Turner for District 1, Klickitat County Commissioner. Learn more at her website, www.friendsofjoanna.com

Sue Kusch

White Salmon

 

BLM a rallying cry

Whether intentional or not, demonization of socialism, the French Revolution, atheism, and Black Lives Matter in letter titled “Violence path” (July 15) has pushed my buttons. Whatever expertise the letter writer may demonstrate in hyperbole, it also lacks in fact. 

Hitler was not a socialist, even though the Nazi party employed the label "socialist" in many of its iterations from 1919 to the ‘30s and ‘40s. In the same way, China is not a really a Republic, even though it’s called the People’s Republic of China. The Nazis were fascists.

The French Revolution was not inspired by atheism; it was inspired by an overabundance of abject poverty, and a rejection of the divine right of kings. It was motivated by great ideas such as liberty and equality, and a separation of powers already espoused by the American Revolution.

Black Lives Matter is not a Marxist/Leninist economic system; it is an idea, a rallying cry, a hope, and a plea, that the numerous unjustifiable killings, the police brutality and discrimination disproportionately suffered by African Americans in our country should cease, and that justice and equal treatment of all should prevail.

Jennifer Ouzonian

Hood River

 

Check your vote

Dear Klickitat County Voters,

By now you should have received your Washington State Primary ballot in the mail. It is important to do the following two things:

1. Vote! Much has been said in recent months about voters’ rights, access to ballots, election security and more. Here in Washington State, we are fortunate; we do not have to figure out how to conduct vote by mail elections in the middle of a pandemic. We have voted by mail since 2005. “We do that by maintaining that balance of access and security, ensuring every eligible individual has the opportunity to have their voice heard while protecting our elections from fraud and abuse.” — Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

2. Check the status of your completed ballot and voter registration. www.votewa.gov is the website that allows you to track the processing of your completed ballot as well as providing an online voter registration portal. Simply provide your name and birth date and you will find information about your voting status and where your ballot is in the process of being counted. By checking your registration and ballot status you will be confident that you are fully participating in the democratic process. 

Check your own voter registration, help friends and family register (online by July 27, in person by Aug. 4), check on your ballot status and VOTE.

Linda Roland

Trout Lake

 

Settle the suit

As a hazardous materials consultant (happily newly retired), I have specialized in distillery safety and code adherance in recent years and had the good fortune of touring the Hood River Distillery 5-6 years ago. I was impressed by the sophistication and safety of their bottling and packaging operations and the skills required to operate the equipment safely.

I am concerned that the present strike, forced by the company’s unilateral reduction of health and pension benefits, will result in an industrial accident threatening the “replacement” workers as well as the community. Ron Dodge, the majority owner, has selected the most precarious of times to attack his employees’ health benefits given the present state of the economy and COVID-19 pandemic. 

I would urge Mr. Dodge, a longtime Hood River resident, to reflect upon the effects of the strike on the employees and their families in such times. The pandemic has been going on in earnest for over four months and the strike for 11 weeks — seems like it is time to come to a sensible agreement for the sake of our community.

Richard Miller

Hood River

 

Learn Constitution

“Congressman, openly refusing to live up to their oath of office, exhibit deep contempt for our Constitution. The question I’ve not been able to answer satisfactorily is whether that contempt simply mirrors a similar contempt held by most of the American people. I’m sure that if founders such as James Madison, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson were campaigning for the 2020 presidential elections, expressing their vision of the Federal government’s role, today’s Americans would run them out of town on a rail. Does that hostility reflect Constitutional ignorance whereby the average American thinks the Constitution authorizes congress to do anything upon which they can get a majority vote or anything that’s a good idea? Or are Americans contemptuous of the Constitutional limitations placed on the Federal government?” — Walter E. Williams. 

Mr. Williams has something going here. I will bring it down to a state level. Our Oregon legislature either doesn’t know about the United States Constitution or just sees it as a “Living Constitution” as Progressives like to put it. Both major parties have Progressives in them by the way. We have the same issue with our state Constitution. They get away with skirting our Constitutions or not knowing them at all because the majority of society isn’t educated on them. Why isn’t society educated on them? The main answer I always see for this question is this: They want to keep society dumb so they can overstep whenever they please. Our court system, governors, city councils and even law enforcement have this same major issue. Elected or not, people with no knowledge or blatant disregard for our Constitutions rule over each and every one of us. 

Will our Constitutions ever be taught in schools? I don’t see that happening at the moment because it’s being drilled into the younger generations that our Founders were “racists” and so whatever they did or said is null and void. 

We don’t have much time before our Constitution is gone for good and with it, America. Will you learn and develop the courage to save America?

Doug Geary

Hood River

 

All matter

I would like to respond to the “Examine motive” letter by Benjamin Sheppard (July 15). First, let me say that I have no problem saying that Black Lives Matter. I repeat, BLACK LIVES MATTER! I also have no problem saying that BLUE LIVES MATTER or that ALL LIVES MATTER. The only problem I have is saying that ONLY Black Lives Matter. Unfortunately, that seems to be the message that the BLM movement is projecting to the world.

It appears to me that the easiest way to get your home or car vandalized, your business looted and destroyed or your public buildings burned, is to say that All Lives Matter. The reverse, however is not true. People like me, who truly believe that All Lives Matter, have never vandalized, looted or destroyed anything.

I realize that racial prejudice does exist in America. I also realize that I have never been black, so my understanding of that issue is limited. 

What i do know, is that in this country, we have laws designed to protect everyone from racial discrimination and there will be more laws to come in the future. Some of us have arrived, but we have not all gotten there yet. We’re working on it. 

It appears to me that most of the support for the BLM movement is coming from the white community. Undoubtedly we need to do more, but burning my business does nothing to help your cause. Destroying anything and everything that is in your path is hardly a plea “that all people deserve to be treated fairly and justly.” 

I cannot believe that the way to lift people up is to tear other people down. If Mr. Sheppard believes differently then perhaps he should “examine his motives.” Perhaps he can join me in saying that Black, blue and all lives matter!

John Mabrey

The Dalles

 

Bunker inspection

I would like to take a moment to respond to the letter to the editor in the July 15 edition of the paper entitled “Violence path.” It is impressive that somebody can be so wrong about something, but then again, we are living in the age of the Bunker Inspector.

The author claims that Hitler was a socialist. This is a lie meant to smear socialists by comparing them to a man who accurately assessed that the socialist party’s love of equity and inclusiveness made them easy to infiltrate, and then purged the party of its socialist leaders during the “Night of the Long Knives.” Maybe Mike missed that lesson.

“Preeminent man of the left?” Ask yourself, did Hitler promote equity or equality? Nope. Did he promote democracy or universal suffrage? Not really. Did he flatten hierarchies and instead promote horizontal leadership? Nope. First he went for the communists, the socialists, the trade unionists, and then the Jews, the Roma, homosexuals, the disabled; he rounded up dissidents and people he didn’t like and then imprisoned/exterminated them. 

That doesn’t sound like socialism (it sounds like Trump’s fever dream) but maybe there’s an addendum in the back of Das Kapital that I missed where Karl talks about killing political enemies.

Hitler built, or rather had German workers build, some roads, many of which had already been started, if not finished, by the time Hitler took power. But roads do not a socialist make.

Hitler even wrote about his disdain for socialism as a tool of Jewish hegemony (my words). Such a socialist!

If you, like me, find the July 15 letter reprehensible in how wrong they are, take heart: You are not alone; the discourse has moved left and the “Right” is losing. 

For those with intellectual curiosity, I highly recommend Prof. Richard Wolff’s show "Economic Update," as well as his books, "Understanding Socialism" and "Understanding Marxism."

I also want to direct those with access to YouTube to a channel called "Three Arrows," hosted by a German fellow, and specifically the video “Was Hitler a Socialist?”

Make America Think Again.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.

 

Paper not the same

I would just like to say I do not like the way the newspaper has combined other counties in one paper. (Do) not like it, don’t see who commits crime names anymore. It (does) not look like a local paper any more. I quit buying it, does not look interesting anymore, so sorry to have to say this, hope you go back to the way it was before.

Sharon Lopez

The Dalles

 

Who is in charge?

To paraphrase Pogo, “The inmates are now in charge of the asylum.” He had it right.

I watched in near disbelief as a mob of thugs, thieves and vandals tore apart the businesses of the City of Portland with little interference from anyone. The media (primarily television reporters) kept mistakenly labeling the mob of ruthless hoodlums and bandits as protesters that I watched rally to loot and vandalize another business. The media apparently knows nothing of Martin Luther King or dozens of other righteous, honest protesters.

Burning buildings and painting government structures ranks right along with shooting yourself in the foot. But mobs don’t care. Guess who gets to pay for cleaning up the mess? Liberals don’t care. And destroying millions of dollars of artistic, historic statues and buildings because someone in the mob believes it may represent tome wrong doing at some vague time or place. It was mob rule, plain and simple. Thank God some minion in the mob didn’t decide to lynch someone.

The limp-wristed liberal leaders, governor, mayor and city council members did nothing to direct law and order. The ship of order ran aground. Was mob sentiment so important? Out of that non-thinking came the terribly misguided and sadly mistaken idea to condemn all law officers for the flagrant, alleged murderous intent of another? Dufund, disable and destroy the police? Rational thinking went under the bus.

All over America liberal governors, mayors and leaders of liberal groups launched against the police. This is the most grossly idiotic and stupid idea of the century. The city police, state police and law officers in any form stand between the people and anarchy. 

Law officers? Bless ‘em all!

G.D. Summers

The Dalles

 

No to cruise ships and Bonham

We all want our lives to go back to normal, to the way we lived before COVID. And we all want our local businesses to survive and thrive.

But virtually all medical experts warn that if we arbitrarily decide to go back to normal before the virus is under control, we will actually have an even longer wait for a true return to normal. And many more lives will be lost.

That’s why it’s so disturbing that Rep. Daniel Bonham (HD59) is working to reopen the Columbia River to cruise ships right now, even as COVID cases in all communities along the river are on the rise. Cruise ships, large and small, are the perfect environments for spreading COVID among passengers, who will then get off the boat and wander around our communities. 

Our state public health experts have issued a statement saying that, given the high risk of spreading COVID in a cruise ship environment, it is “imperative that the cruise ship ban be maintained for the foreseeable future.”

Our local public health officer agrees wholeheartedly with the state’s position, and fortunately, our Wasco County Commissioners listened to her and decided not to join Mr. Bonham’s efforts. 

In going forward with this effort, Mr. Bonham failed to even ask our local public health experts for information and guidance. Ignoring the advice of medical experts during a pandemic is just plain irresponsible. 

Fortunately, there’s an election coming up and we can, we must, do better. Arlene Burns will put the health and safety of her constituents first, by listening to the advice of medical experts during our country’s greatest medical crisis in a century. 

I’ll be voting for Arlene Burns for State Representative District 59. 

Sheila Dooley

Mosier

 

Why no vote?

I was mystified to learn that Daniel Bonham, State House District 59 Representative, voted against a common-sense provision allowing our state legislators to conduct meetings by phone or video conference during the pandemic. Fortunately, both Democrats and Republicans together passed HB4212. It minimizes lawmakers exposure to COVID-19 and slows down the spread of the virus into the community. This is one more step Oregon took to bend the curve back and possibly help Bonham’s own constituents to stay well. 

We can do better this in November. We can vote for Arlene Burns. I believe she will care about the health of her constituents. I’m voting for Arlene. Go to Arlene Burns.com to learn more.

Diane Bungum

The Dalles

 

Humorous letters

There were some statements in the previous letters of opinion that gave me grins: 

"The circumstance of the virus are known and agency measures are in place." The irony of saying that after defining "emergency." You editors are cruel to have printed that, but thanks for the amusement.

Next: "Black Lives Matter and Antifa are Marxist — Leninist" I really did lol at that. Most of his letter was amusingly silly, but that is my favorite sentence. 

Adrian Fields

Hood River

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