Letters - July 30, 2005

Dangerous changes

Regarding Hood River County highways:

After a long construction project, the Odell turnoff on Highway 35 is now unmarked and quite dangerous, worse than before the repaving.

Even worse is last year’s million-dollar make-over of the Odell/Parkdale/Dee turnoff on Dee Highway. The intersection is very dangerous for those coming from the upper Hood River Valley.

Oregon Department of Transportation has turned two perfectly fine interchanges into dangerous spots, at taxpayers’ expense.

I know many people who wonder if this was done on purpose, or is it just stupidity?

Frank Zilla

Parkdale

Great train time

This is in response to Paul Nevin, and Thomas the Tank Engine. I actually came to my home town, with friends from Nehalem, my daughter, granddaughter, great-niece and her mom from Vancouver, Wash. We had a wonderful time!

I was not aware until last year’s Thomas visit (2004) that the (Mount Hood) Railroad had these kind of events for children!

I would like to extend a thank you to all of those involved in bringing Thomas, and to our grand children. We will be back next year!

Unfortunately, I was there on a Monday and went to have some pizza! I hear from a New Yorker that it is the best this side of New York! Santacroce’s — next time!

Good work — I will be going on the full excursion Valley train soon. I love my old Valley! It is still as beautiful as it was 20 plus years ago.

It was nice to see home again!

Carla McGrann Smith

Garibaldi, Ore.

A Capitol plan

Under the Capitol dome in Salem, momentum is building to have the Legislature meet annually. Most Oregon voters will agree that this is a bad idea — an unacceptable idea.

Annual confrontations are unlikely to serve any greater purpose, or inspire any worthier results, than have biennial sessions as we’ve known them.

Then why not a legislature in continuous session; by Internet, fax, phone, conference calls, video conferences, and yes, even mail.

Committees addressing specific issues in the calm of their own homes and offices, simultaneously in touch with their constituents and colleagues. An electronic downhill consistent with the technical flexibility of the 21st century. The legislative office would logically continue to serve as the central clearing house for these dispersed activities as well as for those of the full, also dispersed, legislature.

All members would be assigned to specific committees, with time to give intimate study to those narrow issues along with the overall business of the Legislature, away from the adversarial atmosphere of Court Street.

All this on regular salary with per diem only on the much-shortened plenary sessions. The voters would love that idea.

An unstressed, reflective body of citizen-legislators casting votes by fax/Internet on time-critical issues conducted through the legislative office during dispersal.

Biennially, then, back to Court Street well prepared to conduct the people’s business in short, productive, plenary sessions in consequence of being fully prepared for that business.

The electronic miracles by which we are surrounded can hardly serve a greater purpose.

Harry Neuwirth

Salem

Love, not conquer

As I was driving home the other evening, I passed the Assembly of God church and was stunned to read their inspirational message. It said, “There is Victory in Surrender when the Conqueror is Christ.” I thought, “How can Jesus, who stands for perfect kindness, be so misrepresented?”

A consensus of nine different dictionaries define the word conqueror as:

1. To gain or acquire by force of arms.

2. To deal with or successfully fight against a problem or an unreasonable fear.

3. To overcome by mental or moral power.

I guess you can go to church every Sunday for a lifetime and not understand the meaning of Christ’s ministry. It’s simply love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

If you believe that it’s reasonable for Jesus Christ to conquer, then I’m beginning to understand Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. With an estimated 100,000 Iraqi citizens dead, we shall destroy the meek and inherit the earth.

The truth is that Jesus weeps for those who have so sadly forgotten the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

C.S. Taft, Doctor of Divinity

Bingen, Wash.

Pox on someone

This is for the unfortunate one who left Savino’s Saturday night.

You left with a walking stick that did not belong to you.

How were you to know that the owner of that cane has a debilitating disease, and needs it to get around the hills and stairs of Hood River? Just know that you have made my life harder now.

Or perhaps you will need it more than me. Perhaps in the future you will find it hard to get around town.

As is said, “Kharma can be a b....”

A good way to clear that Kharmic blemish would be to just return it to where you found it.

No questions asked.

Seth Metteer

Hood River

Losing competence

Recently my wife and I sold our house in Camas. The buyer’s lender was tasked with wiring the proceeds from the sale to our account. The company representative had our account number and the details to wire the money once the funds were made available. On Thursday, the representative said she missed the daily wiring cutoff time by two minutes. On Friday, the funds never showed up in our account. An inquiry on Monday revealed she had sent them to the wrong account. Later that day she sheepishly informed us that she could not find the wire and that we would have to wait until it was found. On Tuesday, the matter got escalated to the “Vice President” and on Wednesday the funds were finally transferred.

The incompetence my wife and I just experienced working with this company highlights another aspect of the outsourcing debate. The Internet is leveling the global labor market. This makes it possible for U.S. companies to replace U.S. workers with foreign workers for a fraction of the cost often without impacting, and in some cases improving, service. So it is not just economic factors driving jobs overseas but perhaps competence. It is frustrating because we need to keep these jobs in the U.S. but if we can’t deliver service at a good price then someone else will.

Orhan Beckman

Hood River

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