Letters - May 25

Disgusting game

Like John Alley (Boy, I’m insulted, May 15) I am hopping mad, disgusted, insulted and outraged, not only about those “antigrowth” activists in our town but much more about the audacity of the liberal press, media democrats and even some republicans (Shelby of Alabama and McCain of Arizona to name two) to suggest that President Bush and his administration, through alleged laxness and inactivity, brought about 9/11. This suggestion is nothing short of libelous.

Not three months ago the Bush administration issued almost weekly warnings of possible terrorist activities. They got berated by those same liberals for spreading, though lacking any specifics, fear and panic among the public.

Now he gets accused of laxness and inactivity while doing their biding. This is playing the “blame-game” for political reasons. These people make me sick, they are despicable and disgusting.

Peter H. von Oppel

Hood River

Is this safe?

Most everyone who knows Rep. Greg Walden agrees that he’s a nice guy, but with this nice guy we’re going to finish last.

Recently, he voted to approve the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. Why should we care? By doing so, Walden said it was okay with him if the government shipped thousands of truckloads of high-level nuclear waste to the site in Nevada. Some of that deadly nuclear garbage will pass through the heart of Hood River on I-84.

How safe is this? Not at all. The Department of Energy estimates that this killer cargo will be involved in at least 50 accidents nationwide, a figure that’s hardly surprising — and might even be low — given that there will be a total of 3,324 truck shipments.

The implications are chilling. Think about a nuclear waste spill on I-84 by the Second Street exit. Could our emergency personnel handle such a deadly disaster? Would we even want to expose them to that kind of risk? And what about our children? Ourselves?

It’s time we contacted Congressman Walden and our senators to let them know that we’ll all live healthier lives without nuclear waste passing under our nose.

Mark Nykanen

Hood River

Made every effort

I have worked for Luhr Jensen & Sons, Inc. for over 25 years. I was dismayed by the article in the May 18 edition of the Hood River News regarding the hefty fine charged to Luhr Jensen by the DEQ. To the uninformed reader, it must sound like we have toxic waste spewing out constantly. Let me assure you that this is not the case. We are a conscientious company, and have made every effort to contain and/or eliminate hazardous substances. But we are a manufacturing company, and our metal and plastic fabrication processes necessitate the use of some very noxious chemicals. We feel that we manage those noxious chemicals in a responsible manner.

For a number of years, we have employed an environmental manager, who has made every effort to comply with the myriad city, county, state, and federal laws and regulations.

It is our intent, and always has been, to maintain earth-friendly business practices. We are more than willing to work with the DEQ on any issues that need to be addressed, now or in the future.

Eileen Thomas

Luhr Jensen & Sons

Hood River

We fix it

I have had the privilege of working for Luhr Jensen for the last four years in the capacity of Production Coordinator, and in that time have been very pleased with the level of our ability to work through any difficulties, as challenging as they might be. I am proud to work for a company that cares about the environment, and is so involved (and yes, has a vested interest in) in keeping the river clean. I was sorry to see that the tone of your recent article did not demonstrate this. While not completely conversant in all aspects of chemical or environmental engineering, I do know that when we have a problem in any other area, we react to it accordingly, and fix it. As a company, we pride ourselves on our diligence, and ability to work through our breakdowns and bottlenecks. We may dispute some of these charges, but if there is something wrong, we’ll rectify it. That’s what we do. What we don’t do is dump hazardous waste in the river. We fish, boat, swim and windsurf in the river. We work and live here, and hopefully will be able to continue to do so. Respectfully,

Lisa Shirk

Production Coordinator

Hood River

Lions need paper

I wanted to take the opportunity to remind folks in the Hood River Valley that when they bring their newspapers to the trailers at Rosauers and Safeway the profits from the recycling go to Hood River Lions Club projects. This service by the Hood River Lions Club has been operating for years. There are many donated hours sorting, stacking and managing the newspapers, but the effort is worth it. Projects in the community serving youth, elderly, low income, and the visually impaired have benefited from your generosity.

I realize that you may have other choices in recycling your newsprint, but the Lions Club is the only option if you want the proceeds to help those in this community. Thank you for your support of this worthy project.

Jolie Holt

Hood River

Smaller is better

I love Hood River. Ten years ago I moved here from a small town in Vermont. Everything is better in Oregon. The air is cleaner. The mountains are bigger and the snow is deeper. And Hood River was a small town with a unique character unspoiled by corporate America. Soon after I moved here, the strip malls and big boxes started cropping up on the west end of Cascade Street. I hated the sight of them, but came to accept them as necessary evils. I hoped it would end there.

Now, Hood River stands at a crossroads. I’ve listened to the arguments from both sides. I’ve spent hours on the Internet doing research. I’ve engaged in countless discussions with friends and neighbors. My conclusion is that a super-sized Wal-Mart would be the end of the Hood River that I love. Wal-Mart is a typical corporation whose main interest is to increase profits and line the pockets of their stockholders and executives with our hard earned dollars.

Dollar for dollar, small privately owned stores provide more jobs and give more money to the community than do one large store. Bigger is only better when it comes to profits. Smaller is better when it comes to the number and quality of jobs and the overall impact to the community.

The future for Hood River is obvious, as evidenced by this last weekend. The town was full of low-impact tourists attracted by the Pear festival. Anyone notice the thousand or so Canadians spending money everywhere? They weren’t here to shop in Wal-Mart. The future of Hood River should not depend on big boxes and the extraction of natural resources. The future of Hood River should be based on small boxes and the cultivation and appreciation of natural resources.

This coming week there are two events scheduled to educate and bring the community together in hopes of keeping Hood River special. Find out what they are and please participate.

Laird Davis

Hood River

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