Long for Congress

When I first met Carolyn Long at a town hall in 2018, she shared her story of working on her family’s off-the-highway produce stand. She took that trade to Safeway where she worked a family-wage job and was a member of UFCW Local 555. That family-wage job allowed her to pay her way through college and ultimately become a WSU Professor and leader in our community. Carolyn has proven herself to be a person with a strong work ethic who is committed to Southwest Washingtonians. Prior to COVID, she held numerous Town Halls throughout the 3rd District and after she has held many Coffee With Carolyn Zoom meetings to talk with and explain her positions to people throughout the district. Her accessibility is a breath of fresh air compared to our current Representative. Jamie has so far been unwilling to commit to debating Carolyn. We need a representative who is willing to meet with her constituents. If you haven’t met Carolyn yet, join her on Facebook for a live-streamed Town Hall and ask a question. 

John Melink

Longview

Thanks, merchants

Gorge businesses? They are just competing merchants whom you might or might not chose to support. That’s what I used to think. I used to think the “thank you” was due me, the customer.

During these unsettling pandemic times, I have learned to be grateful for the businesses and personnel who daily continue to serve the community: Groceries, pet food stores, bakeries, restaurants, tire centers, hardware stores, filling stations, drug stores, this newspaper ... and others I don’t even know about. They have become service organizations! Can you imagine the state our society would be in, if they, if those workers, didn’t step up? I want to express my gratitude to them: Just, thank you all. I wish I could personally bring about hazard pay for you, our local heroes. Stay safe and well!

Vote!

Sieglinde Smith

Mosier

Fiddle lessons

They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Are Gov. Brown and Mayor Wheeler taking fiddle lessons?

It is hard to imagine that to even more liberals, watching Portland burn is okay. Is it okay to see businesses destroyed and people injured, including minorities? Is it okay for Gov. Grown and Mayor Wheeler to sacrifice those they are supposed to be serving just to try and lay the blame on President Trump?

Those are the type of elected leaders you want?

Steven Nybroten

White Salmon

Trump false on USPS

President Trump is opposed to and blocking $25 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Postal Service that has been approved by Congress because he alleges it would lead to ballot fraud. It’s another of his false arguments.

There’s no supporting evidence for his claim, but he’s using it to deny a safe and simple solution to the challenges of in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law (named for former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.) “mail ballots … are secure and essential to holding a safe election amid the coronavirus pandemic.” We, in Oregon, know from experience that mail in ballots work and are secure!

There’s more to this. Who votes the most? Older people. The Elections Project shows that more than 65 percent of people over 60 turn out to vote — twice the turnout for people 29 and younger.

Who is most vulnerable to COVID? People over 60.

So, could Mr. Trump be trying to discourage older Americans from voting out of fear that they might contract COVID at in-person polling stations?

Nah. Not if you choose to believe Trump’s false voter fraud horse-pucky. But why would you believe it, given that Trump has uttered well more than 20,000 lies since taking office (Washington Post Fact Checker database, wapo.st/3kHnBnM)?

If you care, contact your representatives and senators and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and demand support for the Postal Service. It’s about democracy

Peter Belmont

Hood River

Rushing for Dist. 14

According to Northwest Harvest statistics from 2019, Washington ranks 10th nationally in overall wealth, but 34th in food insecurity. Additionally, almost 20 percent of families in Washington experience food insecurity. 

When schools in the Yakima Valley paused in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, these hidden disparities were laid bare, as Yakima schools distributed 380,000 meals between March 13 and May 27 to students navigating food insecurity — by far the most meals distributed across the state’s counties. As complex as food insecurity is, it’s encouraging to see that Tracy Rushing, a candidate for Washington’s 14th district in the House of Representatives, prioritizes expanding food and nutrition access for people navigating food insecurity in our county. What’s more, Tracy wants to include our local agricultural experts — our farmers — in the process of accessing these basic food needs. Tracy’s willingness to address this clear disparity in our county is a departure from the incumbent’s approach — he has regularly voted against legislation in committee that would make it easier for struggling families to access their basic needs.

Let’s shift gears and elect a person like Tracy Rushing, who cares about putting more food on families’ tables in District 14.

Wyatt Kanyer

Yakima

True colors

The Republican National Convention featured several speakers who proclaimed the Trump Party is committed to equality, love of God, and a willingness to hear the voice of EVERY American. The same week, Jacob Blake became the next black man shot in the back by police. His three children had the misfortune of witnessing the event. 

In response to the situation, the entire NBA, with global support from their mostly white coaches and owners, decided not to play any games Wednesday or Thursday. This action was meant to bring further national attention to the all-too-common excessive force displayed by some in law enforcement in the U.S. As everyone knows, money is the only language this administration understands.

Senior White House advisor and devout man of God, Jared Kushner, was asked about the NBA decision amid the GOP convention promise to hear and care for every American. Instead of offering an ounce of sympathy or empathy, he said, “I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position … to take a night off from work without ... the consequences to themselves financially.” The statement represents an extremely unsympathetic, callous statement, even by Donald Trump’s low standards. Perhaps Kushner should have listened to the convention speakers before offering his entitled position.

I hope voters across the country are listening to what the Trump administration REALLY thinks about them. They simply do not care about anything or anyone who does not support their agenda. Outside of a convention speech, they will not even fake it. #FreeBarron2020.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Miller for Dist. 30

Carina Miller is running on the Democratic Party ticket to replace Lynn Findley as our state Senator for District 30. Last week, I had the opportunity to hear her speak in The Dalles.

After hearing her carefully thought out ideas and beliefs and her commitment to rural Oregon, I am 100 percent committed to supporting her candidacy.

Recently, as a member of the Columbia Gorge Commission, Ms. Miller showed her willingness to vote for compromise for the sake of moving forward on important issues in the Gorge. Although she and other members appeared to have won an argument to set the cap on Gorge expansion at 20 acres and 1 percent, there were others on the commission who refused to accept the majority decision and continued to reopen the issue. 

Carina Miller acted as a responsible public representative. She stayed in the room for continued discussions on an issue for which her position was in the majority and then voted for a compromise so that the commission could move on to other important issues in the Gorge. 

This stands in stark contrast with Carina Miller’s opponent, Lynn Findley. 

Earlier this year, rather than continue discussion on HB1530, the cap and trade climate bill, Mr. Findley and fellow Republicans walked out of the Senate in protest, effectively ending the legislative session and discussion on over a hundred bills, including ones to prepare the state for an earthquake, changes to the way wildfires are fought, efforts to address the state’s housing crisis and an ambitious climate change policy.

In her speech last week, Carina stressed the value of sitting down and taking the time to understand each other and a belief that people in District 30 have a lot more in common than they realize. 

I intend to vote for Carina Miller, a woman who I believe will work with people of rural Oregon to find solutions, by bringing people together to tackle tough issues successfully.

Kristine Harter

Mosier

Truth Matters

Would you hire Donald Trump to be a Wasco or Hood River County Deputy Sheriff? 

Would he pass a background check for character, truth and financial responsibility? 

Would you hire him to respond to your call for service with empathy, understanding and with a skill set to de-escalate or resolve a community, personal or mental health crisis? Would you trust him to understand lethal force, carry a firearm and be respectful of all people? 

As a former law enforcement administrator with 30 years of experience including FBI Academy training, and International Police Service in Kosovo, my responsibility was to find and support the best person(s) to do a difficult job with a proven character including the empathetic understanding of the challenges involved in working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Donald Trump would not make the first paper cut in the hiring process. I repeat, Donald Trump would never be considered a viable candidate to be entrusted in responding to complex situations in our communities. Your local law enforcement have gone through this selection process and should be commended. Character and honesty do matter. Please remember this when you vote. 

Bill Lennox

The Dalles

Rebuild police

As if activists of police brutality and racism needed more motivation, more justification, and more validation, yet another unarmed black man was fired upon by police officers while, himself, trying “to deescalate a domestic incident.” His name is Jacob Blake, and though he survived the seven bullets in his back, he will now face the rest of his life as a paraplegic. 

You can probably guess what happened next: People took to the streets in protest, as is our God given right as Americans. In response, more police were dispatched to provide “law and order,” but whose very presence and appearance was itself escalating the already tense situation. Tempers flared, protesters clashed with police, and in the chaos, opportunists caused a great deal of property damage.

But this story has a twist. On night three of the protests, a white, 17-year-old male, who idolizes the police, and the Bunker Inspector, drove to Kenosha, Wis., armed with a rifle, with the intention of “protecting businesses.” This terrorist, and that is what he is, shot and killed two protesters, and injured one. What happened next is, shall we say, illustrative.

The shooter walked toward police with his hands up, walked past them, and left. He wasn’t stopped, let alone arrested or shot. In fact, he wasn’t arrested until THE NEXT DAY.

Then, wouldn’t you know it, video surfaced of police officers, earlier in the day, telling this person, “We appreciate you guys, we really do.”

As if it weren’t clear from the entire history of policing in this country, we know whose side police departments are on, and it’s the side of white power, and white authority. It is for this reason that police departments countrywide must be severely defunded and or abolished altogether, so as to be rebuilt from the ground up on the principles of deescalation and public service, not as Trump’s personal army. 

Maybe that money should be reinvested in our phenomenal postal service. 

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Benjamin Sheppard is employed as a social worker.

No emergency powers

We can all stay as safe from disease as we ourselves permit. The way people have always maintained health in any crisis is by boosting our immune systems, getting fresh air if healthy, exercise, eating well, and maintaining a positive attitude toward life through meaningful social interactions.

Sick people usually are too sick to go out and so stay home without being ordered to do so. 

Government is not legally authorized to exert emergency powers thereby effectively eradicating civil rights and commerce.

If you want government to keep you from getting sick, look for a fascist dictatorship to belong.

If you want to keep yourself healthy without the force of illegal government takeovers, welcome to the Republic of the U.S.A.

Freedom is maintained by a free people, not by cowering behind masks and plexiglass barriers because of a virus. Fear kills more of us than a virus ever could. And because of the fear we have almost surrendered all of our civil rights and have become servants of our very own public servants.

Peter Spiro

Stevenson

Editors note: Those affected by the coronavirus can shed the virus into the air prior to experiencing symptoms of the illness. Those who are sick do not. Therefore, stay home. 

An orderly society

There are many laws and rules we follow in an orderly society. We pay property taxes to fund the city services we share. We drive on the right side of the road to avoid killing each other.  Washington’s Gov. Inslee declared an emergency stay-at-home order to stop the coronavirus from killing us.

The incumbent representing Washington State Legislative District 14 is part of a lawsuit against Inslee to reverse his emergency order. 

That makes no sense to me.  I will not be voting for the incumbent.  I will be voting for Tracy Rushing, MD.  

Janet Holen

White Salmon

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