Register to vote

Washington State’s primary election is Aug. 4 and to vote in this election, you will need to be registered (VoteWA.gov).

The primary in Washington State differs from many state primaries. For those new to the state, you will note that you did not declare a party when you registered. You can vote for any candidate regardless of a candidate’s party affiliation. The candidates themselves may express a party preference, but that doesn’t mean that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party or that the party associates with the candidate.

Primaries in Washington State are organized as top two primaries. The two candidates who receive the most votes move to the general election regardless of party preference. They must also receive at least 1 percent of the votes to move forward. Therefore, two candidates with the same party preference and 1 percent or higher of the vote could very well advance to the November election. All candidates running for local, state and federal positions will be elected in this manner except for president and vice president who run affiliated with a party.

The primary on Aug. 4 is vital in determining who will be on the ballot in November. If you are registered to vote, you will receive a ballot in the mail. The league of Women Voters will be holding voter registration and information events every Tuesdays and Thursdays in July from 4-6 p.m. across the street from Harvest Market in White Salmon.

Sandy Montag

White Salmon 

 

Walden, and Trump, out

Trump’s being unfit for any office of the United States was glaringly apparent by his placing advertisements in 1989 advocating for the death penalty of the Central Park 5, innocent children who spent a combined 35 years in prison as Trump fueled the public outrage. We shall soon see if Trump gets his full measure of justice for self-confessed sexual assault, rape, obstruction of justice and election fraud. He proved in 1989 he was a profound bigot incapable of rational thought.

His 2016 campaign was a full-fledged exposition of his ability to lie, escaping the tether of truth. The Mueller investigation has shown he welcomed the Russian intrusion into the Democratic computer system, used Roger Stone as the communication link to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks publication of stolen materials. 

John Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened” gives firsthand information of Trumps betrayal not only to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but also to Ukraine, China, Turkey, Syria and Saudi Arabia. 

His betrayal supersedes that of Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. 

He is the useful idiot of which Putin dreamed. A magnificent idiot who allows a Russian bounty on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan!

He surrounds himself with people of even lesser intelligence and character to disassemble the valuable institutions of our government. 

Many posts for dedicated career civil servants remain unfilled or have acting appointments filled by immensely unqualified sycophants. He totally dismantled the intelligence capability to recognize and successfully defeat the Coronavirus intrusion. 

Even after COVID came ashore, the Food and Drug Administration failed miserably to provide viral testing. Since FDA founding in 1907 (110 years), 22 commissioners provide quality leadership and protection. 

Since 2017, Trump has appointed five FDA commissioners who delivered our current catastrophe. 

Trump has exponentially expanded the COVID-19 pandemic, turned 10 years of continued economic growth into a full-blown recession, and is the central antagonist in the worst civil strife since the Vietnam War. 

In three years, he has added $6 trillion the national debt! He is the worst president any of the billion or so Americans since 1776 could have imagined. 

One hundred and ninety-eight U.S. Representative and 53 Senators have consciously allowed Trump’s bigotry, incompetence, betrayal and corruption. 

Among them is our own Greg Walden. Thankfully, Walden’s term ends in December. We need to replace him with a representative who will not support such treachery. 

Exercise your birthright and vote. Replace the dupe with Alex Spenser!

Terry Armentrout

The Dalles

 

Defensive divide

In challenging times, stress often causes empathy, patience, and compassion to be replaced with anger, tribalism, and defensiveness. This shift makes it nearly impossible to hear opposing views because we are so busy fighting to defend our own beliefs.

Millions of Americans are desperately trying to get others to hear that “Black Lives Matter (Too).” From a defensive position it sounds like “(Only) Black Lives Matter” or “Black Lives Matter (More),” or “... More Than Police Officers.” The issue is about equality, not ranking human value.

COVID-19 has created another divide. Some accept the inconvenience of wearing a mask as a matter of public health and respect for their communities. Others prefer to make the issue a political one. They choose to exercise their “personal freedom” while exposing their loved ones and their communities to the virus merely to avoid buying milk while wearing a mask. 

Germs do not have a party affiliation or understand Constitutional law. There are scientific reasons why doctors use extensive hygiene practices before operating. These practices always include wearing masks, gowns and gloves as a minimum regardless of the doctor’s or patient’s political affiliation or personal beliefs.

It is difficult to accept that our belief system may be flawed. In our culture if, our beliefs are questioned, we (erroneously) believe our identity is being challenged or threatened. A mental pause before responding to a contrasting viewpoint holds back the defense mechanism and permits the brain to examine the idea from a neutral place. Otherwise, we are all wasting our time. 

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

 

BLM ‘shocking’

I have one question about all who support this organization known as BLM: How do you support an organization who is one of its leaders just last week stated on CNN, “If we don’t get what we want, we are going to burn down the system.” Shocking!

This is also an organization where its supporters and protesting cousins created anarchy, destroyed and looted over $30 million to the businesses in downtown Portland. Many of whom will never recover because insurance only covers a small portion of that type of loss. 

Those who blindly support this BLM movement should look at their website. They also support decriminalize the sex trade, basically legalizing prostitution. Which could lead to sex trafficking.

Is that what we want our young people to support?

Mike Billets

Hood River

 

‘Barn-sour’ idea

Thank you, Columbia Gorge News, for bringing the Under Canvas glamping issue to the public’s attention.

This “resort” is proposed on tax-deferred designated timberland straddling a National Scenic River, not “former logging grounds.” It is also not the mom and pop “camping” venture they would like you to believe. Google “Under Canvas financing” and get to know who they really are. Go to their website and you will see they are not a campground, but a “destination resort” catering to a clientele who pay dearly for a weekend of “rouging it”: Foundation-supported tents (canvas substitutes for drywall) complete with king-size beds, stoves, flush-toilets and showers, and three meals a day, round out the glamping outdoor experience. Under Canvas relates their developments to hotels. Get the picture?

I do not have a problem with those who want to spend their money this way, but not at the expense of my neighborhood. Twenty acres of glamorous tents add little value for property taxation but require a huge amount of services that require taxation (police, fire, lost hikers, snake bites, river mishaps, fender benders, wildlife/cattle collisions, trespass). 

Who pays for that? Not them.

Consider an additional 1,000 vehicle trips, including guests, employees, vendors, service/maintenance/water trucks coursing through your neighborhood every day for seven months. 

Consider special events: Weddings and conferences, up to 500 guests drinking and whooping it up until 10 p.m. in your neighborhood. 

Throw in the inevitable wildfire from an errant cigarette, campfire, dragging chain, dropped muffler, etc., that will destroy your property and maybe take the life of a family member. 

Should a fire start, try to imagine 500 panicked guests fighting locals trying to get their animals and life’s possessions down a narrow, windy gravel road (or even if it were paved) under such circumstances. 

Then consider a travel-weary guest motoring up Oakridge Road, like a barn-sour horse trying to beat check-in time, plowing into a school bus of kids just wanting to get home. 

Are you getting the picture why my neighborhood is upset over this “glamping” thing?

Bonnie White

White Salmon

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