Letters - April 13

State your will

The extensive media coverage of the deaths of Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II has raised questions that everyone needs to think about: the “right to die” vs. the “right to live;” “quality of life” vs. “sanctity of life”.

We each need to decide what is the balance between these opposites that is right for us. We need to discuss it with our families and doctors. And we need to put it in writing in the legal form of a Living Will which states our wishes, and Power of Attorney for Health Care which states who we want to make decisions when we cannot. Free forms are available at your hospital. Do it now!

Sally Duncombe

White Salmon

Vote yes on 14-23

To defend and maintain the quality of our city’s drinking water, please vote YES on the Hood River Drinking Water Protection measure. My father was a dentist for 50 years and instilled in me the importance of keeping our drinking water chemical free; he especially opposed fluoridation of public water systems. He felt that the risk of dangerous side effects of fluoride to the overall health of people far outweighed any questionable benefit. In his professional opinion, the best protection for children’s teeth is through nutritional education, dental hygiene and by increasing access to affordable dental care.

For years, we have been told by government officials or medical professionals that we should not be concerned about certain levels of chemicals in our environment or by some prescribed medications, only to later find out that they have negatively affected our health.

It was reported at a City Council meeting in July 2005 that the city has an excess of 3 million gallons of chlorinated water, which is dumped into the Hood River DAILY. To change that to chlorinated/fluoridated water would be toxic to our river.

We in Hood River are so fortunate to have such high quality, pleasant tasting drinking water, and as a result do not feel the need to rely on bottled water like so many other communities. I believe it is time that people begin to take responsibility for their own health. One way is to protect our drinking water from the addition of a chemical waste and to keep it safe and clean. Please vote YES on ballot measure 14-23.

Kathy Eastman

Hood River

Vote no on 14-23

The recent Hood River News letter from a water system operator is a sad message indeed. This letter was originally published in The Oregonian. For roughly the cost of a candy bar a large city like Portland can provide water with the original concentration of the natural mineral fluoride. Yes, that includes the fluoride that some fear is wasted on the lawns and flowers.

In Hood River it will cost more. The information given our legislators is that the projected highest cost in the cities studied was $1.56 per person per year. Last year our hospital billed $159,613 for our city’s children’s dental services requiring under general anesthesia. This does not even include the professional fees. The per capita cost for these same services to The Dalles children drinking fluoridated water was only 25 percent of Hood River’s bill.

As a physician I have witnessed firsthand operations done on children under general anesthesia. I know that the best data on our region found that there was over 60 percent fewer cavities in towns which fluoridated.

I’ve listened to physicians like pediatrician John Berry, from Corvallis, who were in practice when fluoride first came to Oregon in the late 1950s, tell of the obvious and dramatic improvement in dental health they witnessed. I’ve read the scientific literature and reviewed the opinions from groups of the most learned and prestigious public health scientists such as the CDC and the United Kingdom’s York University. I know that the local Head Start screening shows 68 percent fewer cavities in fluoridated The Dalles.

Today nearly 70 percent of Americans receive the benefit of water fluoridation. Of major metropolitan areas when California’s Fluoridation law is implemented only Wichita, Honolulu and Portland will not fluoridate. While all people with teeth are benefited, there is general agreement that fluoridation is even more important for disadvantaged and under-served peoples. This matter is amongst the most important social justice issues Hood River voters will ever be called upon to decide. For the sake of the children and the lives they will lead vote NO on 14-23.

Charles Haynie, M.D.

Hood River

What is set aside?

In a recent letter I indicated that the person involved in construction of the housing next to the Hood River Middle School was a commissioner. I did not give names, nor did I indicate whether this person was a city or county commissioner. I have had phone conversations with the wife of one commissioner, who stated that their name was VERY similar to the person in charge but that they were not involved. In effect, I was told to get my facts straight. I indicated that I thought that another individual might be involved. I received a call from this other individual the same day. We arranged for a meeting. I enjoyed the meeting and actually feel that this commissioner did explain some of my concerns.

He/She explained that he/she was an investor in this property,but did not have a controlling voice in decisions. Now, some of the other specifics that we discussed. Apparently Hood River County, and city, have set a standard where housing may be condensed into a small area if an area is designated as clear space. This was done to help people who had a part of their land in wetlands. They could set aside an acre, acres, etc. and build on the rest of the property. They could count this “set aside” as part of the required size for the buildable property.

The building development next to the middle school has been designated as this type of property. Housing can be very dense. The set aside area is the waterway and adjacent banks. Neither curbs nor drainage is required. All can save substantial money in the development.

The waterway and banks are NOT a realistic play area for children. Again, according to my source, most of these houses have been purchased by people with no children. This is because these houses are designated “low income” or “starter homes.” What happens when this changes?

Leonard Hickman

Hood River

G.E.M. is neutral

I am disturbed by the publication in your paper, as advertisements about the important local issue of fluoridation, of so-called “Fluoride Facts.” Much of what is published in them as opinions of sets of people — usually as 100 percent — is unverified and probably unverifiable. Some is simply false. Particularly disturbing to me is the claim in “Fluoride Fact No. 12” that Gorge Ecumenical Ministries has endorsed fluoridation.

Having been present, as secretary, at the meeting where a leading member of the pro-fluoridation people requested such an endorsement — while accusing, without proof, fluoridation opponents of deceit and lies I might add — I can report that the organization politely but unambiguously declined to provide such an endorsement. Instead, it supported the arrangement of a public forum at which all information and opinions pro and con might be presented.

G.E.M. continues to support such a forum as best serving the public’s formation of an informed decision on this important matter. In the meantime, I suggest that readers take these so-called “facts” for what they are: claims that remain often unconfirmed, and in some instances downright false.

Thomas G. Penchoen

Hood River

Roeseler responsible

I’m wondering how Mr. Percy Jensen, who has never met Port candidate Cory Roeseler, can claim to know how responsible Roeseler will be as a Port Commissioner. Mr. Jensen regurgitated an old news story reported by this paper, and he was obviously not well-informed. The reporter failed to follow up on three important details relating to the 14-16 campaign:

1. Many of the missing campaign reports to which Jensen refers were late years before Roeseler became Treasurer of CRWD.

2. Roeseler eventually completed all the reporting and had all fines dropped. (Inherited a mess ... cleaned it up — sounds pretty darn responsible.)

3. During the same campaign, Port Executive Director, Dave Harlan, was found guilty of repeated election law violations, was fined $75 by the Secretary of State, and Port Commissioner, Don Hosford, publicly defended this illegal behavior. “He (Harlan) was just doing his job and exploring all the issues and that’s what we pay him to do,” said Hosford. Then, after losing the election by a landslide, Hosford directed Harlan to spend thousands of your Port dollars to hire Portland-based lawyers to fight the will of the public. All this, while Roeseler was simply trying to help give Hood River residents what they have been asking for for years: a waterfront park.

Who’s the responsible one?

That the Hood River News has failed to report these stories with accuracy and fairness to Roeseler is no surprise. Last Saturday’s issue mis-labeled him “a windsurfer” and it mis-reported his position at his place of employment (see corrections). While this sort of false labeling may cost Roeseler a few votes from the “anti-windsurfer crowd,” a group with whom Mr. Jensen may draw support, I can assure you that my husband is NOT a WINDSURFER! And belive me, I KNOW my husband.

Please consider the facts and vote Cory Roeseler for Port Position 2.

Terese Roeseler

Hood River

Fluoride tastes bad

I was in Hood River this past weekend visiting family and during First Friday noticed the information being distributed encouraging residents of Hood River to allow the addition of fluoride to their water.

I am from Salem and do not drink city water from the tap. My reason — it tastes awful. Hood River’s tap water is excellent tasting, very crisp and clean without the taste of additives. Once home, I looked up information on the City of Salem’s water quality (cityofsalem.org) and they add fluoride and chlorine to the city’s water supply.

In addition, my vet advised me several years ago to give only bottled water to my two cats because the addition of chemicals in the water can be harmful to their health.

I would encourage the residents of Hood River to vote yes on the measure that will preserve the quality of their drinking water and keep it free of any additives such as fluoride.

Jan Willetts


Fluoride ‘fraud’

I can’t afford to pay for one of those little message boxes the pro-fluoride dental lobby is buying in this newspaper. In regard to their “Facts and Quotes” messages, I’d like to add one from the discoverer of streptomycin, a Rutgers Medal recipient, and Ph.D. in microbiology, Professor Albert Schatz, who calls fluoridation “the greatest fraud that has ever been perpetrated, and it has been perpetrated on more people than any other fraud has.”

Casandra Woody

Hood River

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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