Letters - March 5

Pointless article

What was the point of your recent page one article concerning Faustino Garcia? Was this your attempt to slam the reputation of a dead man, while the family is in the midst of grieving and suffering from their loss? You drew attention to an “initiated” court action that was “later dropped”, an “alleged” case (over a decade old) that was “later dropped”, and a very old court case that was settled out of court. Great detective work! You should be ashamed! Or change the name of this rag to the Hood River Enquirer!

Roberto Sanchez

Hood River

Free to protest

There have been various comments of late concerning protestors against war with Iraq. People have been described as traitors, cowards, disloyal to God and country, and worse. Freedom means we have a right to protest war with Iraq or any other issue. I refuse to be a lapdog for George Bush.

During Vietnam and Watergate our government lied to us. Could I believe everything Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton said? I will maintain my healthy skepticism, thank you very much. We will learn the truth on Iraq soon enough. In a free country the issues should always be open for debate. I do not believe any opinion for or against war with Iraq makes that person against America. I would like to see us embrace our freedoms and differences because that is what makes this country great.

Sidney P. Spaulding

Hood River

‘Tempest’ a treat

All those who did not attend the opening weekend of the Hood River Valley High School Performing Arts Department’s “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare missed an evening of pure magic. These young actors, under the creative direction of Rachel Krummel, took a difficult play and turned it into a marvelous romp into fantasy. With a simplified stage and a few (quite frankly confusing) lines cropped from the play itself, Rachel reduced the production to its beautiful, enchanting bones.

Best of all, these wonderful kids obviously took their characters into their hearts and gave us a glimpse into a wondrous world of love, revenge, and rollicking humor. Hans Severinson’s Prospero has depth of feeling you don’t expect from a high school senior. The young lovers, Jerrad Barclay and Amanda Richenbach, glow on stage to the delight of the whole audience. Jordon Emerson is the wildest Caliban I’ve ever seen and Liz Ghiz and Jeff Kline as the inebriated Stephana and Trinculo, the King’s fool, are absolutely hilarious. The ocean, wind, and sound of the island, represented by the cast’s troop of dancers added to the perfect mix of mystery. The entire cast, from first time actor to seasoned “pro” combined to create magic!

Most people, when they think of Shakespeare, don’t think of ribs and cheeks aching from laughing and grinning. Well, think again. And the best news is that you haven’t missed it yet — there’s another two weekends to fit this into your schedule! Friday and Saturday night, March 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th — forget the TV — go see some real magic!

Lynne Schuepbach

Hood River

Prevention pays

Legislators are making difficult decisions in Salem concerning program and service cuts to needy children and families. Some of the deepest cuts proposed are aimed at prevention programs that save millions of dollars and thousands of lives. But many of our lawmakers feel that prevention isn’t effective or doesn’t save dollars. The opposite is true. For every dollar spent in prevention you save between 7 and 12 treatment dollars.

The statewide tobacco prevention program is on the chopping block, for the rest of this year and perhaps forever. Statistical data from Oregon Health Division shows that each year, a program costing $8 million, has saved 1,800 Oregonian’s lives and $450 million in health costs. The cost of tobacco use to Oregonians is conservatively estimated at $1.8 billion annually.

Funding for the $8 million program comes from voter mandates in 1996 and 2002 when tobacco tax increases were passed by 70 percent of Oregonians with funds allocated to health care and prevention. Now the legislature is proposing to silence the voters’ voice with a stroke of the pen.

Oregon legislators have already robbed tobacco settlement dollars, borrowing against the income to fund schools and other services. This is understandable in a time of crisis. But you need to know that none of those dollars have gone to tobacco prevention as indicated in the settlement.

The Tobacco Prevention program has been extremely effective in Hood River. It has reduced the rate of 8th graders who use tobacco from almost 30 percent to less than 5 percent. We have comprehensive tobacco prevention curriculum in the schools.

And we have saved the county approximately 1 million dollars in tobacco related costs by reducing the adult and youth smoking rates.

I urge you to let your senators and representatives know that it is fiscally irresponsible to dismantle a program that costs 8 million to run each year but saves the taxpayer $450 million in health care costs and lost productivity.

Maija Yasui

Hood River

Strive for peace

Contrary to some others’ opinion I see nothing cowardly about protesting poorly thought out and planned military actions. In fact I find it to be a very patriotic thing to be doing. War in general is the stupidest, cruelest and most ineffective way to solve international problems. Where has our self appointed role as world policeman gotten us in the last 57 years? The Korean War was supposedly over 50 years ago, yet the unrest on the Korean peninsula still makes the nightly news. In Vietnam we slaughtered millions to save those same millions from a government they rightfully and willingly choose. As a result our own soldiers came home maimed, addicted, poisoned, and depressed. Even the so called Cold War, which some claim we won, militarized third world countries around the globe and spread nuclear weapons to countries so backwards their citizens want for potable water and other basic needs. Undoubtedly our worst military and diplomatic plunders have been in the Middle East. We have repeatedly given billions to any country that will allow us to fly our flag on their soil for a few days so that we can fight against all those “other” countries that allowed us to fly our flag on their soil just a few years previous. The end result of this ill thought out policy has been the hate that has brought us September 11th, plus dozens of other attacks on our interest at home and abroad.

There’s a strong lesson that we should have learned by now about war and peace, that war begets war. In Korea, where we have maintained a military presence, the possibility of renewed war has been an everyday concern for over 50 years, in contrast to Vietnam where peace was able to return to their countryside after our military pullout 30 years ago. We will not see lasting peace in the Middle East either until we withdraw our military and stop all arms sales. In time, with a military withdrawal, we will find that our interests have been furthered far better by prayers and food than by our failed policy of threats and bombs.

Jim Denton

Mt. Hood

Sad commentary

When a Mosier citizen has so much to contribute to a community and is thwarted by bureaucratic red tape, it is disconcerting to everyone in the community not to mention demoralizing. Someone who gives freely of time and money to see the fruition of their vision which benefits all is a sad commentary on our style of government. That’s why our taxes are so high, bureaucrats wasting time as the wheels of government slowly turn while our lives are fast fading. We wanted to see things accomplished in our lifetime. Don’t give up, Gay (Jervey).

Joyce Fox

Mosier

‘Stealing’ hurts

It’s interesting to hear metro-area officials trashing anyone who would derail their effort to put $40 million in “new money” into Portland schools — but outside the equalization formula. They wonder why any legislator would participate in what amounts to theft of funds destined to protect children from the ravages of a collapsing economy.

Why indeed? Last session, metro-area legislators gutted a bill designed to funnel a special congressional appropriation into rural communities decimated by the loss of timber jobs. These dollars were not derived from timber harvest, but were appropriated to help repair damage to rural school districts and county governments. It was “new money.”

Portlanders are right. It feels bad to have out-of-area politicians steal financial support desperately needed by our children.

Senator Ted Ferrioli

John Day

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