Correction

David Thies’ July 22 column, “What’s going on with the White Salmon River?” contained an error that changed the meaning of the sentence.

The correct word was “now,” in paragraph five, which should have read this way:

“Under Canvas, a corporation that caters to elite ‘camping’ has now applied to establish the largest development adjacent to the boundaries of the White Salmon Wild and Scenic River. The Forest Service had a chance to nip this problem in the bud by purchasing the land, but as I explained, they are on vacation. If allowed, the impact from this development would be devastating, and would set a precedent for more to come."

— Kirby Neumann-Rea

BLM a rallying cry

Whether intentional or not, the writer’s demonization of socialism, the French Revolution, atheism, and Black Lives Matter has pushed my buttons. (Your Voice, “Violence path,” July 15). Whatever expertise his letter 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

Editors’ note: This is a corrected version of a letter published on July 22.

Thanks from Leos

The Hood River Valley Leos Club would like to extend their utmost gratitude to the community for the donations we received for our July bottles and cans event. With your help we were able to raise approximately $1,300 to be donated to Meals on Wheels and FISH Food Bank. 

Amy Mallett, the executive director of the county Meals on Wheels branch, said that the current need for donations is extreme. The center’s ability to raise funds through programming is extremely limited, and as such, donations are the main way to continue their operations. The club’s ~$650 donation will provide 975 meals for senior citizens and disabled people in our community. 

Marianne Durkan, president of FISH, said that “on behalf of our board, we accept with gratitude the money the Leos have raised from their bottle collections. FISH has seen the demand for food requests increase since the beginning of the pandemic. Many folks have never been to a food bank before but due to the economic downturn, now need our help. On average in Hood River, we are serving 30 families each night we are open. The Hood River community has come to our aid, donating money that is being used to purchase foods from various stores and vendors.” 

Please bring your redeemable bottles and cans to our next event on Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Rosauers parking lot.

Jacob Kaplan

HRV Leos co-president

Federal crimes

After serving in the Judiciary for many years, I’m outraged about the illegal and cruel treatment toward members of the public involved in demonstrations in Portland.

Donavan La Belle being struck by a projectile from a federal employee while he was carrying a sign. Chris David was physically assaulted by a federal employee, without provocation, with a baton and pepper spray. Neither were taken into custody. Both were provided with emergency medical care and hospitalization of La Belle. Both were clearly victims of unprovoked assaults.

We see aggressive criminal actions by federal employees on the streets of Portland. I question their authority in carrying out their actions. I’ve seen in these videos acts that warrant arrest of the perpetrators and their prosecution under the laws of the State of Oregon.

Tactically, the Portland Police Bureau needs to be observant and make arrests based on probable cause for observed assault or kidnap, regardless of who the parties are. Officers of the Portland Police Bureau should arrest for prosecution the federal employees seen violating the laws of the State of Oregon. What will their defense be?

William Nix

Municipal Court Judge, retired

 

Underwood

Consider Chris Corry

Chris Corry, who is our current 14th District State Representative, has a record of keeping the promises he made.

Chris Corry has worked to make school affordable, effective, and safe for all children. He sponsored a bill that would allow for school choice. He represented the majority of Washingtonians by opposing the horrendous sex-ed bill in order to protect children from being exposed to pornography at a young age in school. 

Chris Corry opposed the low carbon fuel standard that would have raised our gas prices significantly without actually reducing carbon.

He has consistently opposed tax increases, which would have left more money in your pocket to give to charity or spend freely in support of our economy in the most natural way. Unfortunately, often not enough legislators have voted with him on his issue.

Chris Corry has consistently opposed bills that would infringe on our constitutional rights, including the misleading I-1639 that labeled all rifles as assault weapons and caused more restrictions. 

And what are constitutional rights but those recognized by the most foundational documents for the operation of our government (The U.S. Constitution and Washington State Constitution) which are intended to preserve liberty for each one of us by protecting us from the abuses of our own government? 

Chris Corry takes his oath to both Constitutions seriously today, an oath which is meant to be “most binding upon the conscience” of every elected official. And that just might be the most remarkable trait of our current legislator of the 14th district. 

Let’s keep Chris Corry in office because, as he states on his website, “the best ideas come from the people, not the government.”

Rachel Boyes

Skamania

Vote for Miller

Recently, the Oregon’s Legislative Emergency Board voted on how to spend $200 million of our $1.4 billion from the Federal Cares Act for Coronavirus relief. Some money went to community organizations, to a new quarantine paid leave program, to the arts, to people and businesses around the state that have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and some even went to the Pendelton Round Up. Some funds were targeted specifically to help the Black community, in long-overdue recognition of how the rules of our economy have not treated everyone equally. 

Our state senator, Lynn Findley, objected to this allocation of funds because (he says) it does not address the needs of other communities that have also been treated unfairly such as Native Americans and Latinos in his district.  It doesn’t have to be “all or none.” If Sen. Findley supports assistance for ALL historically mistreated communities, then he should fight to make it happen.

There are still more funds to be allocated. We CURRENTLY have a SPECIFIC need for funding to repair the water system at Warm Springs and Sen. Findley is failing to advocate effectively to secure that funding. 

We need someone who will fight for all of us, particularly those in greatest need. Carina Miller is running to do the work Sen. Findley is failing to do. She will bring her perspective as a young female member of our Native American community to a state legislature that desperately needs her voice to advocate for the issues that directly impact us here in Wasco County. 

Please vote for Carina Miller.

Serena Smith

The Dalles

Support for Rushing

Why would local ER doctor and mother of three Tracy Rushing run for Washington House of Representatives? As Tracy’s spouse, I’d argue that the common thread for these three roles is someone willing to step into the gap, to project calm into chaos and to bring empathy to a moment rife with division. I may not be thrilled to send her to Olympia, but I think she’s the right person for this job and for this time.

Projecting calm into chaos first requires an understanding of the chaos itself. Chris Corry ignored the looming chaos of the pandemic and abandoned his post. His lawsuit claiming that the coronavirus was not an emergency actively undermined the work of public health officials and front-line healthcare workers like Tracy. 

In her role as ER physician, Tracy is calm amidst crisis, her ability to stand in the middle of a storm an anchor for her patients. It’s a skill I see play out every day as we raise young kids together and one that will be vital as our community navigates this prolonged emergency.

In addition to its health and economic damages, the pandemic shines a glaring light on the gaps between our professed ideals and our daily truths. We need someone willing to bridge the gap, to sit together with all voices represented. We need someone to see, someone to hear, and someone to heal.

She’s got my vote.

Chris Faison

White Salmon

NEPA Needed

While distracting us with even more than his usual chaos and incompetence, Trump has quietly continued his assault on our environment. 

Last week, Trump handed out the biggest give-away to the biggest polluters in 50 years by rolling back the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by Richard Nixon, and respected by all presidents since. 

NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the environmental consequences of infrastructure projects like pipelines and highways, as well as logging, mining and drilling, before they are approved. NEPA also allowed for communities to weigh in on how proposed projects might affect their health and safety, and their environment. 

This is just the latest casualty in long list of more than 100 environmental rules put in place by past Democratic AND Republican Administrations. It is just the latest effort by the Trump Administration to take our voices away and give more power and wealth to the wealthiest of corporations, and the biggest polluters. 

Regrettably, our own Rep. Greg Walden has supported this move. By disingenuously using language like “streamlining NEPA” will allow us to “better manage our forests” and “improve our energy infrastructure,” Walden has helped take us back 50 years to the days when polluters and natural resource exploiters had free reign. Cliff Bentz, who is running for Walden’s position, also supports this give-away to corporate greed.

Dismantling NEPA is a win for those who profit at the expense of our planet. It’s a loss for everyone else.

Fortunately, like so many of Trump’s unethical and self-serving decisions, this will also be challenged in court and that will take some time. We can put that time to good use by making wise decisions in November. Joe Biden has promised to reverse the many environmental rollbacks by Trump. Joe will actually listen to scientists (instead of his “gut”) about science matters like viruses and climate change. (There really is no choice but Joe for so many reasons, but for this LTE, I’ll stick to just one topic.)

And Walden is retiring, so we can choose to elect Alex Spenser to replace him. Alex will work to make sure we have a voice when it comes to our health and safety, and our environment. 

Let’s put people before profit and before party in November with votes for Joe Biden for President and Alex Spenser for Congress. 

Deborah Ferrer

The Dalles

Trouble Sleeping?

In the spring of 2020, the coronavirus ravaged the economy and our psyches while President Trump wished it away and did almost nothing to stop it. Congress was forced to issue stimulus checks in March to help Americans feed their families and keep their homes warm. 

A month later with things continuing to get worse, many economic experts and House Democrats suggested a second stimulus package was crucial. When asked about this idea, Senate Majority Leader and Trump surrogate Mitch McConnell said he would rather see states file bankruptcy than receive more “blue state bailouts.” Blue state Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Sen. McConnell’s plan “really one of the dumb(est) ideas of all time.” Plenty of Congressional Republicans mirrored the sentiment.

As we approach August and the November elections a few things seem clear to many Republicans. First, President Trump could be facing an embarrassing defeat in the upcoming election regardless of all the prayer breakfasts he attends. Second, the Republicans up for election now have to scramble to distance themselves from the president and his policies and rhetoric so they can be re-elected. 

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

 

Where's Walden?

I’m horrified at Trump’s Stormtrooper occupation of Portland, and equally horrified that Rep. Greg Walden has not responded, or even acknowledged, the crisis. Regardless of political party, any elected official should recognize and decry the intentional threat to democracy here, and demand an end to the invasion. Mr. Walden’s office staff confirmed that he has not made any statement about the federal actions in Portland, although she noted he “does read the news.”

This is no joke. Untrained federal troops of unknown identity have occupied and terrorized Portland for a week. They wear unmarked military camouflage, move through the streets in unmarked vehicles, grab people off of the streets for “questioning,” fire into crowds using munitions that courts have restricted Portland police from using, injure peaceful protesters, and fill the streets with tear gas and pepper spray.

They are not wanted or needed or welcome in Portland, and have terrorized the entire city with their presence and lawlessness. They’ve been asked to leave by state and local elected officials. The Trump administration not only refuses, but is now sending secret rogue jackboots forces to other Dem-led cities.

We have so far heard absolutely ZERO from Rep. Walden. He has the distinction of being the only federal legislator in Oregon to not condemn, or even acknowledge, this egregious abuse of power and threat to our state and our democracy. If you see him, please poke him to see if he is still alive, then invite him to stand up and speak out like he gives a damn.

Rhonda Starling

Mosier

 

 

 

Time for change

AS COVID-19 continues to disrupt the lives of our citizens in every aspect, all we see is our elected officials act like children participating in name calling and outright lies. The Nancy Pelosi-controlled Congress went to hide as their constituents died, yes, died, of this terrible life-taking disease, appearing only on TV showing how wonderful their life is behind gated communities. All the while collecting large salaries and benefits.

How many of you are going without any check at all because one day your workplace is open only to close again? How many of you have lost loved ones and couldn’t even attend their funeral? Yet the Nancy Pelosi-led Congress continues to drag their feet refusing to get involved in states that can't even get an unemployment check to deserving individuals that have been waiting for months for relief. How many business have to be destroyed in Portland Oregon before Gov. Kate Brown and Mayor Ted Wheeler act on behalf of tax payers to stop the destruction and death of a once beautiful city? Ask yourselves, is this what I voted for? Is this why I purchased a home here? Is this what I want my children to witness and emulate? If your answers are no, then its time for a change, a change back to civility, love for your city and love for one another and our leaders should be leading the way. 

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-led Congress needs replaced. We need to stop being so tribal about our votes, meaning my party right or wrong, voting for a (D) instead of voting for someone that has your best interest in mind including the best interest of your children, future children, and grandchildren. Its time to be a well informed adult and not someone that is controlled by a letter in front of their name on a ballot. Its time to change control in The United States Congress. Its time to change who sits in the chairs of power in Salem and in Portland. If not, heaven help us. 

Bob Maness

Wamic

Editors note: Congressional leadership of the nation is currently split, with Democrats holding a majority in the House and Republicans holding a majority in the Senate, as well as the Presidency. In Oregon, Democrats hold a majority in both the state house and the senate, as well as the governorship.

Another bad vote by Bonham

Two weeks ago, HB 4203 which bans choke holds by Oregon’s peace officers, was signed into law. It passed 52-5 in the Oregon House and 25-1 in the Oregon Senate.

Regrettably, Rep. Daniel Bonham was among the very few who voted against this bill. Even most of his fellow Republicans voted for it. Thus far, he has offered no public defense of his vote, but that’s not surprising. There really is no defense for his vote.

This is the critical text of the bill:   “A peace officer is not justified in any circumstance in knowingly using physical force that impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person, unless the circumstance is one in which the peace officer may use deadly physical force as provided in ORS 161.239.”

In other words, police officers may not use a chokehold unless the situation requires deadly physical force as described in Oregon Law. You can read about those circumstances under which deadly physical force is permitted at www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.239.

So, why would our state representative vote against this bill unless he is completely out of touch with what has been happening in our country since the death of George Floyd? 

As evidence continues to mount that black and brown people have been the targets of police brutality at significantly higher rates than can be explained by reasonable statistics, it is long past time for all of us, including our elected officials, to face that reality and take steps to prevent more tragic deaths. 

According to the Washington Post (July 16, 2020), even police departments themselves are banning chokeholds:  26 of the nation’s 65 largest police departments have already done so and more are expected to follow.

Rep. Bonham continues to vote with the most ultra conservative members of his party by voting against legislation that a majority of his constituents want.  Fortunately, in November, we can vote Mr. Bonham out of office!

Arlene Burns has demonstrated her leadership and ability to make wise decisions for the good of her community as Mosier’s mayor. I’ll be voting for Arlene this November for Representative of House District 59.  She won’t let partisanship override common sense. ArleneBurns.com.

Sandra Haechrel

The Dalles

Write in Devin Kuh

South central Washington now has a progressive choice in the Legislative District 14 race. Devin Kuh, Democrat, is running a write-in campaign against previously unopposed Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, Republican. A White Salmon outdoor educator and math teacher, Devin Kuh has deep democratic values including ensuring our access to health care and building thriving small businesses and safe, resilient communities. Please join me in writing in DEVIN KUH to be our representative. He needs 1 percent of the Aug. 4 primary vote to be on the November ballot. Be careful to get the spelling of his name correct or your vote will be thrown out. Checkout his Facebook page to read his platform.

Krista Thie

White Salmon

If it happens here?

I am curious. Have you all seen enough? Or are you looking to score some Clorox Chewable Tablets or some Lysol Injectables? Do you refuse to wear a mask because it interferes with your masculinity and your constitutional rights or because COVID-19 is a hoax and your leader refuses to wear a mask? Is everyone else’s right to life less than your right to masculinity and constitutional right not to wear a mask? If you want to inhale COVID-19 and get sick and die or be asymptomatic and exhale COVID-19 into everyone else’s breathable air, is that your constitutional right?

Are you one of those persons out there defending your constitutional rights again an expansive federal government like Klickitat County Sheriff Songer? Are you willing to persuade Sheriff Songer to go with yourself and others to defend against the anonymous Federal Troops kidnapping peaceful lawful citizens off the streets in Portland? Is it your leader’s constitutional right to send anonymous Federal Troops to Portland to kidnap peaceful lawful citizens off the street and haul them away to who knows where? Will you still believe that it is your leader’s constitutional right to send anonymous Federal Troops to kidnap peaceful lawful citizens off the street if it happens here? Even if it happens to you? Just curious.

Lance S. Stryker

White Salmon

Healthcare

Providence Health care system received $559 million in U.S. government funds recently as they said they needed this to offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is while Providence has a venture fund in Seattle that has $12 billion dollars under management and in a good year can bring in $1 billion from that fund. This is more money than they make from treating patients. They also like many other hospital chains are “nonprofit” so they pay much less federal taxes on their profits.

Hospitals that serve more wealthy and privately insured patients received twice as much money as those treating poorer patients, those with Medicaid and those with no insurance at all, per a Kaiser study in June. When hospital chains such as Providence complain they are losing money, check and see if they have a $12 billion venture fund. Providence also recently announced they have decided to cut the pay of their health care providers, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists and occupational therapists who are on the front line taking care of patients in this pandemic whom I am very proud of. It is dangerous work with many physical and mental challenges. Article is from the New York Times’ "Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for struggling Providers” for a fact check.

Dr. Nigel Longland

Hood River

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