Arlene Burns for Dist. 59

Arlene Burns has earned my vote for Oregon State Representative, District 59. Arlene’s experience as Mosier’s mayor, her work with the state legislature after the oil train derailment in Mosier, and the many accomplishments of her lifetime prove to me that she has the skill set we need in our leaders of today. Among those skills is her willingness to listen and truly hear the opinions of others before acting. 

Arlene’s vision for rural Oregon includes creating more resilient communities that enable us to adapt to a changing physical, social and economic environment; working for more equity in education, healthcare, and justice; and supporting the lifeblood of our communities — our small businesses and farms. And you can only do this if you’re willing to do the hard work. 

Arlene will not play political games. She will stay in Salem and keep working until the work is done. She won’t let partisanship keep her from making wise decisions. She is an independent and creative thinker and we can sure use some of that kind of leadership right now. 

Arlene’s opponent has made some poor choices during his tenure, most recently in voting NOT to ban chokeholds by police, and NOT to allow public agencies to hold their public meetings online or by phone during the pandemic. On those votes, even his own party mostly voted against him. Such votes make no sense in the world we live in today. 

Arlene Burns will represent us in Salem with common sense. 

The upcoming election is getting a lot of attention at the national level, but let’s not forget how much our local elected officials can impact our lives. Please join me in voting for Arlene Burns for State Representative, House District 59, a wiser choice for rural Oregon. Learn more at VoteForArlene.com. 

Deborah Ferrer

The Dalles

 

Please plan to vote

The election is quickly approaching, and this is an important one. Please vote. Research candidates, talk to friends you trust. Vote the whole ballot — the presidential office is important, but the outcome of local elections also have a direct effect on you, your family, and your business.

Make sure your vote is counted! During the primary elections, 550,000 mail-in ballots were rejected across the U.S. Ballots are typically rejected if signatures on the envelope don’t match voter records or if the ballot arrives in the election office too late. 

Sign your ballot envelope with care. Use ballot drop boxes to deposit your ballot if at all possible.

In Klickitat County, there are ballot drop boxes in Bickleton, Bingen, Dallesport, Glenwood, Goldendale, Klickitat, Lyle, Roosevelt, Trout Lake, White Salmon and Wishram. Check the county auditor’s website for exact locations.

If you absolutely need to send your ballot through the mail, the USPS recommends mailing at least one week prior to election day. Election day is Nov. 3, so ballots must be mailed before Tuesday, Oct. 27. I recommend mailing them even earlier to ensure your vote is counted.

In Washington, ballots will be in your mailboxes starting Oct. 16. I will be completing my ballot the day I receive it and getting it in to a county drop box immediately. I encourage you to do the same. This could be the most important election of our lives.

Marisa Cieloha

White Salmon

 

Your vote matters

Does voter turnout really matter? Turnout in the 2016 presidential election was just under 55 percent of the eligible electorate, and since Trump received 46 percent of that vote, only about 25.3 percent of eligible voters actually cast their ballots for Trump (0.55 percent times 0.46 percent equals 25.3 percent).  Just a little less than the percentage of the German electorate that turned to the Nazis Party in 1932-33. Unless voters turn out in record numbers, why wouldn’t Trump be re-elected? Please register and vote. It is the least we can do to show our support for, our respect for, and our thanks for our fragile democracy, which hangs on this vote. Your vote matters!

Roland Lavoie

Hood River

 

Facts with Biden

Given the jobless rate of 8.4 percent in August (down from 14.7 percent in April) after the botched federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to see what the two presidential candidates were offering in the way of jobs programs. Trump’s campaign page lists no plan. His record shows quite the opposite.

Trump promised to restore manufacturing jobs. Wrong. An Economic Policy Institute report in August said the U.S. has lost “nearly 1,800 factories ... during the Trump administration between 2016 and 2018 (bit.ly/2Zffztf).

“On top of that, COVID-19 — and the administration’s mismanagement of the crisis — has wiped out much of the last decade’s job gains in U.S. manufacturing,” the EPI says. 

To be fair, it’s in keeping with a long-term trend between 1998 and 2018. 

Trump loves to bash his predecessor. The U.S. had 12.38 million jobs in manufacturing when Barack Obama took office at the height of the Great Recession. In August this year, we had 12.13 million — 250,000 fewer factory jobs under Trump’s guidance.

To help rebuild manufacturing, Democratic candidate Joe Biden has proposed major investments in infrastructure, climate, and manufacturing. 

Biden’s plan (joebiden.com/clean-energy/) for infrastructure investment includes new jobs making clean-energy products that would help us halt the advance of climate change. 

In every element of his plan, Biden supports restoring union representation for workers “to reverse income inequality and help restore the American middle class.” 

What inequality, you ask? From 1970 to 2018, the U.S. middle class shrunk from 61 percent to 51 percent of all households.

According to research compiled by the Pew Research Center, middle income households saw income grow by 49 percent during that period — while upper income households saw growth of 64 percent. 

As Joe Friday used to say on “Dragnet,” “just the facts, ma’am.”

Rhonda Starling

Mosier

 

Wake up and act

The following was sent to Gov. Kate Brown’s office:

I pray that someone actually reads this. Too many of the fires in Oregon were caused by careless people. Kate Brown needs to acknowledge this and DO SOMETHING NOW. She is a very permissive and weak leader permitting fires to burn in downtown Portland and now throughout our forests and communities. She needs to severely punish those who damage our forests and/or any public property. She must show visitors that we strictly enforce these laws. She needs to make those found guilty to annually broadcast their remorse and sentence them to serve a life of retribution. She needs to educate visitors of the severity and long lasting damage caused by those who accidentally or intentionally damage our natural resources and public property. Her recent statement that this is all due to climate change is a cop out and the sign of a grossly incompetent and weak leader. She has control to mitigate these recent tragedies and should be held personally liable. Her democratic peers who claim to be environmentalists owe their constituents a strong voice that forces her to take action now and protect our environment. Please wake up and do something now!

Jon Nigbor

Hood River

 

Wear your seatbelt

I totally agree with the writer’s statement (Aug. 26) that government rules requiring child safety seats and face masks are reasonable and effective.  And I agree with him that  "... my life belongs to me.” But I take issue with his statement that it’s his right to wear a seat belt or not.  

Should he be injured or killed in a car collision, he is not the only one affected! Even if he is only slightly injured, a passerby will likely call 911. Police and other rescue workers will come to his aid. He may be taken to a hospital emergency room, where he will be examined and treated. How many people have been involved so far? How much will this cost? Who will be paying for it all? Will his insurance cover it fully? If he has inadequate (or no) insurance, will the hospital and doctors involved in his treatment have to pass the costs on to other people? Add in the possibility of lasting disability, and you can have a substantial total.  

So, to wear or not to wear a seatbelt affects every taxpayer, not just the driver. Seatbelts are proven safety devices. There is nothing disgusting about a law requiring them. 

(And — for the same reasons—there is nothing unreasonable about a law requiring that each person have health insurance.)

Judy Thomas

Hood River

 

Rail Safety Week

Did you know: About every three hours, a person or vehicle in the U.S. is hit by a train.

Because yes, a train can sneak up on you. Our eyes trick us to see trains as slow and far away, but it’s an optical illusion. They aren’t slow, we just can’t see how fast they are because they are big at a distance. Because we assume we’ll see them coming, drivers and pedestrians get over-confident. This is why BNSF Railway observes Rail Safety Week, which starts Monday, Sept. 21, which is intended to encourage drivers and pedestrians to practice safe behavior near railroad tracks. 

Crossing train tracks, anywhere other than a designated pedestrian or roadway crossing, is dangerous and illegal. We are committed to preventing collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Here are some tips to make sure we all stay safe:

Trains are quieter than ever. Wearing headphones makes it virtually impossible to hear an approaching train.

Trains cannot stop fast enough to avoid collision. It may take a train over a mile to come to a complete stop! 

Railroad bridges and tunnels are extremely dangerous. Railroad bridges are not diving platforms. Never walk on a bridge or enter a tunnel.

Trains do not run according to a strict timetable. Always expect a train at each road-rail intersection.

Trains can move in either direction at any time on multi-track sections. Even as one train passes, another could be coming from the opposite direction.

Ron Rose

Cook

 

Support Rushing

We can’t escape COVID-19’s impact on our economy and on our lives. I’ve heard it from teachers, parents, and kids. Distance learning is not an optimal learning environment. Our country’s failure to provide a strategic, well-planned response continues to disrupt the lives of children and their families.

Small businesses in our communities have had to make tough choices: Laying off employees, limiting hours of operation or closing their doors. Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the livelihoods of our community members.

Currently, we have 12,075 cases of COVID-19 in Skamania, Klickitat and Yakima counties. We’ve lost 260 of our District 14 residents. Our country’s leadership failed us and I fear our local leadership is following that lead.

Instead of offering solutions, Chris Corry chose to sow dissension and mistrust by suing the State of Washington. He believes some safety measures implemented by the state should be stopped; those same measures intended to lower our COVID-19 numbers; those measures put in place to return our children to school; those same measures that will ensure businesses can return to normal, allowing us to spend money supporting our local economy again.

Tracy Rushing is running to represent Washington State’s 14th Legislative District. Dr. Rushing will not spend time on wasteful litigation in Olympia. She believes in finding common ground while working together to find solutions to problems. She knows commonsense public health solutions are needed to keep you and your family safe. She will champion the causes important to us: Care for our planet; the wellbeing of our children and their education; support for local agriculture and its workers; and community health.

Please join me in voting for the candidate with sound judgment, insight and the vision needed to act in our best interest: Tracy Rushing for Washington State Dist. 14 Representative. 

Michelle Mayfield

White Salmon

 

Global warming

President Jimmy Carter advised us several decades ago about the scientific prediction of global warming and the need to begin care of the earth in our country and personal lives. He put solar panels on the White House. Then President Reagan removed them when he took office, joking about earth care.  Subsequent presidents varied in their use of the scientific data. Both Clintons stood firmly on earth care.  

Then, President Obama took major endeavors to reduce global warming and climate change, which did, during his eight years, show the onset of some reduction of polluted air quality. All was canceled out by President Trump.  

If Trump is re-elected, with his denial of climate change, the result will be escalation of forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, flooding, and other ecological horrors. This will simply amplify the destruction of lives, homes, factories, crops, forests, and other multiple tragedies.  

Audrey Bentz

Dallesport

 

50-50 question

It seems our nation is split 50-50 on political issues and I have a question regarding which side is victorious. Are we the United States of America or the Politically Correct of America? The answer should come our way in early November. Remember to vote.

Bill Davis

Hood River

 

Light over darkness

Whether or not you agree with Donald Trump, he is a mesmerizing speaker. His talent for shock and awe has been affective at controlling the narrative in this country. With the help of Fox News and the modern Republican Party, he has sold our country alluring ideas of economic development, security and Christian religious freedoms. Yes, supporters of Donald Trump are getting a champion for important issues. 

However, do you notice how he treats his non supporters on all levels? I’m wondering if part of the fear and discomfort I feel watching Trump govern is similar to how you felt watching Obama for eight years. Is that part of the reason that his core base has stayed with Trump through some of the most shocking things we have witnessed in modern times from a politician? 

Words matter. If Trump says one thing and then takes the opposite position when confronted, this matters. When he attacks judges and the rule of law, this matters. When we see him shaking hands with dictators, this matters. When we see him attacking those that make him feel insecure, this matters. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this behavior is leading our nation. 

In November, I will vote for light over darkness and put our country over politics. I hope for the sake of humanity the rest of you do as well.

Avery Hoyt

White Salmon

 

Clarification

A reader requested clarification  of an “Editor’s note” on the opinion page Sept. 2. The note was intended to say that a person infected by COVID-19 can be infected but have no symptoms. Such a person may not, as a result, naturally stay home “sick” as suggested by the letter’s author. According to health officials, those with and without symptoms can spread the virus.

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