Letters to the Editor for April 4, 2012

Sewell a community asset, Aaron for DA, Gorge Commission fails, more...

Community asset

Since 1992, John Sewell and his family have advocated for the well-being of everyone in our community as our county's top law enforcement authority. We have known John and his family both personally and professionally for all of these 20 years.

As district attorney, like all law enforcement officers, John is dedicated to be available and involved in the process of justice 24 hours a day. Late-night phone calls from local law enforcement for legal questions and time spent researching and preparing for cases, all involve an understanding family as well.

We have never known a time when John did not answer one of these calls. During his tenure as D.A., the county has benefited from the development of a dedicated child abuse investigator and Child Advocacy Center, as well as a continuous dedicated Victim's Advocate.

John's most important contributions to us all has been his complete knowledge of the literal law as well as a sense of "the spirit of the law" and its application to situations, events and especially to people. John has mastered the ability to apply the law fairly, while having to consider State mandates as well as Legislative and case law legal decisions. These are skills John has developed over many years in service to Hood River County and the State of Oregon.

We believe John's skills and knowledge are invaluable and current. We urge you to vote to re-elect John Sewell, Hood River County District Attorney.

Andrew and Crystal Rau

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Aaron for DA

I want Hood River County to know that they should vote for Brian Aaron. I have known Brian for nearly 20 years. He is a person who cares deeply about helping people.

Brian provided me legal assistance without charge when I was going through my husband's death eight years ago. It was a terrible time for me and my children.

Brian not only provided legal advice but he also saw the impact the death of my husband was having on my children and helped guide them through it, showing great sympathy and compassion. He is a great role model for kids and truly cares about the well being of people.

Hood River County needs someone like Brian in charge of the District Attorney's office.

Yolanda Ortiz

Hood River

Commission fails

Living in the area all my life, I was glad President Regan signed the Columbia Gorge Scenic Act in 1986 to help protect this unbelievably beautiful area. There is no place like it in the country. I am feeling like the Gorge Commission is failing miserably.

I was driving from The Dalles to Hood River a few days ago and saw something that made my heart sink. In coming past Mosier on I-84, I was looking on the steep hill right above the old highway to the south, seeing a huge clear cut extending from the top of the hill and taking a huge hunk out of the beautiful, rugged terrain.

I couldn't believe my eyes. The area is right at the tunnel where the Hood River County line is. I thought the Gorge Commission was based on saving parcels like this from destruction.

Hood River County can't be that desperate to cut down every tree for dollars that will never make up for the loss of the natural beauty that is here. If there are no more trees to cut that can't be seen from the Scenic Area, it's time to change the way they try to get money. Most of the logs are probably getting exported to China anyway, at far less than their actual value.

Hood River County is the most destructive in the Gorge as far as destroying the beauty of the far-off hills. Can't they do "selective logging" and leave some cover on the land? The erosion from all the clear cuts is a huge issue for the salmon and steelhead in the local rivers trying to spawn, finding the eggs suffocated by the silt washing over the eggs, during high water periods.

With all the "newcomers" here, apparently no one seems to really care about the beauty of the forest and all of the good it does for us.

I feel that the government should save some money and get rid of the Gorge Commission and all the fancy vehicles that don't even get dirty that they have parked at the Waucoma Center in Hood River. The commission is not acting in a manner as it was intended to do, so why have it?

All this talk about cutting down all the forest, for a one-time payment is thinking that should be changed. I'm so glad to be alive now, and feel that this type of thinking in cutting down all the trees is not in the area's best interest.

Stephen Borg

The Dalles

Support English

My dad and I are going to vote for Matt English for sheriff even though we don't know him or never met him. We read and heard a lot of good things about him that would make him a good sheriff for Hood River County.

So when you get your ballot in the mail, vote for Matt English for Sheriff. You made the right choice.

Pam and Ralph Smiley

Hood River

Hazards overstated

Do all of you anti-coal train people realize that there are already coal trains going through the Gorge? When driving Highway 14 from Hood River to Carson in the last few weeks I've seen several trainloads of coal in open cars. I don't know how many trains are already coming through, but if several trains a day is predicted to cause enough dust to cause derailments (Bob Brostoff, March 28) then I would expect a few trains a week to cause enough dust to see somewhere.

Anybody see any? How about the beginnings of the degradation of the environment?

I suspect most of you folks protesting are the same crowd that predicted the end of life as we know it when Portland started trucking garbage through the Gorge to Arlington. That threat seems to have been somewhat overstated.

Ted Hansberger

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Vote for

Brian Aaron

I would like to take a moment to show my support for Brian Aaron, who is running for district attorney for Hood River County.

I first met Brian while I was employed at NORCOR. I have known Brian for over 13 years, and have always found him to be very intelligent and competent. He is dedicated to his clients and has a good working relationship with everyone he deals with. His work ethics are above reproach.

By electing Brian Aaron, you will be getting a hard-working and knowledgeable district attorney. He will continue to be active in the community and work hard to be the best district attorney Hood River County has.

Debbie Bush

White Salmon, Wash.

Vote English

for Sheriff

Years ago, Sheriff Joe Wampler allowed me the privilege of serving the citizens of Hood River County as a Reserve Deputy. Joe always treated me with respect, and I found him available and very dedicated to his job. As Joe is retiring soon, I thank him for his service and wish him well in his retirement.

But his departure leaves the citizens of the county with an important decision. There are three different candidates for the office of sheriff, and while I have no animosities towards the other candidates, Matt English is my choice.

I first met Matt when we were both in the hiring process for deputy. The county selected Matt over me, and I still feel it was the best decision. In 11 years as a reserve deputy, I worked with Matt on countless occasions. He was available to help me in my decision making, and always proved to be a great sounding board.

Matt seemed to be at least one thought ahead when I approached him for advice, and I always left a conversation feeling smarter because of it. Matt impresses me as an incredibly intelligent individual.

When I observed him with others in the law enforcement community, he was usually the leader in the conversation, while still listening to others' ideas. He always treated people with respect, whether it was me, a fellow officer, a suspect or a victim.

But what impresses me the most is how much Matt enjoys his job. As the leader of our sheriff's office, that is important to me. The office of sheriff means much more than wanting to be the boss. You have to have the safety of your community in mind. Matt treats his current job as a calling, and I wouldn't expect him to treat the office of sheriff any less.

This May, choose Matt English as your next sheriff.

Nate Larson

Hood River

Latest stories

Latest video:

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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