Friday, April 27, 2012
Don't allow cable park
Naito's plan to close off the boat basin to the public and dedicate it to exclusive for-profit use by a Portland-based developer would set a terrible precedent. Closing off public property owned by the Port of Hood River and thus all Hood River residents to the large number of kayakers, stand-up paddlers, swimmers and beginning windsurfers who use it today would be both unfair and unwise.
While there are dueling legal opinions, restricting public access to publicly owned navigable waters would at least open the door to a precedent-setting legal fight that would leave the boat basin in limbo for many years to come.
The planned cable "park" would also bring a feel to the Hood River waterfront that is one part Coney Island and one part industrial construction site. It would include a spider's web of metal cables that would be suspended by seven "masts" 35 feet in height that look like construction cranes.
These crane-like structures would support motor-driven tow lines that would rip around the basin at high speeds. This infrastructure, as well as more than 10,000 square feet of new docks and floating walkways, would be secured into the riverbed with more than 280 concrete anchors each weighing 300 pounds.
Finally, while the boat basin is not pristine; it is a unique type of off-river habitat that is known to be very important for young salmon. At the very least the city should require the developer to submit the fundamental information about the project's impacts before deciding on the project.
Visit Friends of the Hood River Waterfront on Facebook to learn more or email Derek Bell at email@example.com.
Derek Bell and Linda Maddox
Co-chairs, Friends of the Hood River Waterfront
English has broad skills
We are pleased to recommend Matt English for Hood River County Sheriff.
Matt has shown leadership and law enforcement skills through a broad range of experience, currently serving as a detective and public information officer. He is accessible and responsive to community needs. His dedication and hard work will continue the healthy and positive environment in the sheriff's office.
Joella and Paul Dethman
Tiffany will 'clean closets'
So far, we have read many "English for Sheriff" letters, but none have contained any quality substance relating to education, training and experiences other than being a detective.
These letters seem to carry that "good old boy" tune along with more of the "same ol' same ol'," suggesting that he will maintain Sheriff Wampler's policies which was (quoting other deputies) "without a chain of command." No thank you!
One letter stated that Matt English is Sheriff Wampler's choice. That is a red flag! Mr. Wampler said (four years ago at a forum) he would "step out when the right person (was) standing on the threshold."
In this small-town race, big billboards spell big money from big pockets with big concerns.
My sense of the three candidates' offerings range from egotism to humility. The next step is to evaluate the quantity and quality of their job-related experiences which span from 14 years for English to 21 years for Tiffany. Then let the facts speak for themselves.
I want a sheriff whose priority will be to rebuild our sheriff's department; installing morale, teamwork and dignity - one who will clean out the "closet skeletons."
Sewell has contributed
I have known John Sewell for 28 years, and in that time I have watched him raise a family and dedicate his life to our community. He has successfully prosecuted the most heinous of cases, sending numerous rapists, drug dealers and murderers to prison and in so doing giving many of us a peaceful sleep at night.
But true to his dedication to justice and "doing the right thing," he has also created programs that help fractured families and drug-addicted people.
Under his leadership Hood River County now has a domestic violence diversion and treatment program, a successful drug court and Oregon's newest child advocacy center, which has served more than 120 kids in the last three years and has kept these children from having to testify in court against the people who hurt them.
These are just a few of Mr. Sewell's many accomplishments that require integrity, creativity and a zeal for the job that he has done for over 20 years.
For these reasons I urge you to vote for John Sewell for Hood River District Attorney.
HR ready for fresh ideas
It is with great pleasure that I write in support of Brian Aaron for District Attorney of Hood River County.
I have worked as a legal assistant/interpreter in Hood River for about 30 years. I have worked with Brian continuously since 1992 and without hesitation can attest to his qualifications for the position of district attorney.
Brian is a man dedicated to the principles of justice and public service. He has always maintained the highest standards for himself and has demanded the same of his co-workers and employees. Brian has established himself as a highly motivated leader and is well respected by members of the legal community.
Hood River County has the opportunity to elect this man as your next district attorney. This county is ready for fresh ideas and renewed momentum. Join me in voting for Brian Aaron.
English has earned trust
This election, my wife and I are endorsing Matt English for Hood River County Sheriff. We think he would be the best person for the job based on a number of factors. We have had the chance to discuss several of the issues unique and important to Hood River, including community involvement, law enforcement capabilities and general public quality of life.
Matt has a noble vision of what can be done to make our community even better than it is today, and can be counted on without question to help create it. He was the lead investigator in my uncle Jerry Cranmer's case, and worked tirelessly to solve Jerry's murder.
Matt followed each and every lead regarding this case, and kept our family updated on his progress. Our family knew that Matt wasn't going to lessen his effort and attention on Jerry's case as time went by. He determined who the murderers were, resulting in their arrest and prosecution. The evidence Matt provided assisted the DA in prosecution, leading to each person to plead guilty without trial.
Throughout the case, we were able to get a hold of Matt if there was anything we thought may help. He kept us informed on what was going on, what steps we could take to better ensure our safety, and let us know what possibilities to anticipate next. He helped the rest of our family survive.
We hope Matt can earn your trust as much as he has earned ours.
Grant and Laura Polson
Tiffany has experience
I want to express my support for Gerry Tiffany, running for sheriff, a longtime employee of the sheriff's department. I've known Gerry casually for a number of years and always found him positive and pleasant to be around. In addition he's well schooled and the best accredited candidate for sheriff.
Those who work with him speak of his professionalism under very trying circumstances and his reaching out to help as well as performing the duties of a deputy sheriff who is third in command in the sheriff's office.
Gerry has been recognized by the Child Advocacy Center for his work in the field of abuse. As a Vietnam vet he went through a very trying time in our country. Being a police officer is not an easy job; your public contacts often occur during times of stress when people are emotionally upset. Gerry has a track record of dealing with these situations.
Please vote for Gerry Tiffany.
Political ads have affect
Ever notice how crazy political ads come up on TV and through glossy mailings late in a political campaign?
You probably don't pay much attention to them.
You may even scoff at the idea your political choices could be influenced by such trash.
Well, you're likely the unusual voter. You probably don't pay attention to whatever these ads are trying to do to your thinking. But you do know they're not trying to objectively inform you so you can vote intelligently.
Advertising experts know how ads affect most (or at least significant numbers) of buyers of products.
And political pros who have worked in advertising know some things about how to affect the outcomes of elections by pumping ads into campaigns at crucial times. Such times often come just as ballots are coming out and the smeared candidates don't have time to respond. Even if they try to respond, the damage to their image is set in enough voters' minds to swing the outcome.
Sometimes the political experts get surprised as the public senses the charade and they vote contrary to the intentions of the (usually negative) ads.
This has gone on in elections recently in our local areas. Who pays for these ads? Normally outsiders who want to determine who our representatives will be. They rationalize that they do this for our own good.
No, not really. They have their own interests in mind. And these include electing representatives who will do their bidding, or at least will be more attentive when they come calling.
Of course others also benefit from these crazy ads. The political pros who hire out to candidates to run their campaigns (or for other reasons). And the TV stations and others involved in advertising. They all benefit and defend their behavior under some hazy description of our precious First Amendment.
Well maybe our truly precious First Amendment allows them to get away with it. But we don't need to.
Sewell most experienced
Doctors hate going to the doctor. But I needed a certain procedure that I couldn't do on myself, so off I went to set things up.
Being a doctor I knew the most important question I could ask was, "How many of these have you done?" He told me about 1,600. That's good, I thought; that's a lot of experience. And, as most of us know, experience is the best teacher.
Only one candidate for district attorney has experience as a prosecutor and that is John Sewell. Twenty years of guiding the criminal prosecution of suspects has given him the kind of experience that you can't get in a classroom, the Internet or by watching CSI. That's why I will vote for John Sewell.
His prosecutorial record is excellent and that is his experience.
Phil Chadwick, M.D.
Regardless of your political leanings, you are likely aware that the influence of big money on our elections process has become a real problem. Many believe that the financing of political campaigns with large donations of special-interest money is wrong and should be stopped, but nobody seems to know how.
Peter Nordbye, out here in District 52, has come up with a way to get big money out of politics, but he needs your help to do it.
To finance his State Representative campaign, rather than asking a few big donors for a whole bunch of money, Nordbye is asking a whole bunch of local citizens for just a little money. He is only accepting donations of $50 or less, once per year, from people who live in his district. If successful, his campaign could very well change how politics are conducted.
If Nordbye can prove that it's possible to get a good candidate elected, without having to depend on big money from special interests, it could change everything. However, he can't do it alone. He needs a $50 campaign contribution from you, and contributions from lots of other local citizens as well, to make this happen.
He's counting on lots of volunteer help, as well. Should you choose to get involved, your participation will greatly increase his chances of success. If Nordbye does get himself elected this way, the result will be an immediate transfer of power, from special interests back to you.
Please visit his campaign website at www.NeighborsForNordbye.com and get involved today. You'll be glad you did.
Keep quality of Gorge
Dear Hood River, Ore., to the City Council et al, I want to go on record as opposing the proposed waterfront park/hotel.
Many of the uses of our precious Columbia River Gorge and Scenic Area are being exploited. We are whoring out our natural resources for a quick buck. I feel this is short-sighted. I personally don't want this eyesore.
We do have the choice to maintain our waterfront in its current state by not turning it into a commercial zoo.
I believe the city, county and residents need to be more farsighted as to how over-developing our area is going to cause more pollution, traffic, maintenance and water safety, just to name a few certainties.
This is my home. I don't want this water park/hotel. I don't want transnational corporations getting a foothold and taking away our natural resources. I don't want 1.5-mile-long coal trains several times a day. I do not want to promote plastic water bottle consumption. I don't want corporate sprawl in our precious Gorge.
Each time I read in the Hood River News about things happening in our area I ask myself, how is this happening? Why aren't people screaming at the top of their lungs "Stop this madness!"? It physically pierces the depths of my soul.
I am one person. I am one voice. I am not alone.
P.S. Going forward I propose concentrating our collective efforts into saving our Gorge economy with saturating our area with money that stays here. Investing in ourselves and not relying on outside corporate interests.
Elise Barron Cain
Nestlé has open door
As the project manager responsible for siting the Cascade Locks project, as well as the one in McCloud, Calif., which was featured in your paper "Cascade Locks seeks keys to Nestlé Water questions"(April 11, 2012), I would like to share some facts with you.
We encourage a transparent process in Cascade Locks and welcome the community's questions. That is why Nestlé Waters has held numerous community meetings, set up an open-door office and has a project website.
If the proposed project moves forward, all parties involved will need to feel confident that their interests are protected. I am confident that Nestlé's actual track record will show that we are a responsible company that works in a transparent manner and which values our community partners.
For information about that track record, check out what people say about us in cities and towns where we already operate. Though the information is posted on our website, we had nothing to do with the collection of it. Find it here: www.Nestléwaterspnw.com/documents.
In the recent article, two publications are referenced that don't tell a complete or fully accurate story about the McCloud experience. One was a four-year-old article from BusinessWeek and the other an analysis of our McCloud project that was funded by project opponents. Readers who may have read either the BusinessWeek or McCloud analysis your article referenced should check out two responses on our website (www.Nestléwaterspnw.com/documents) to balance out their perspective.
In reference to one item that was highlighted in your news story, if the McCloud project had moved forward, NWNA would have paid $187 per acre foot, not the $26.40 as reported.
It's worth noting that the McCloud community first sought out Nestlé to come to its town, and it was Nestlé that ultimately made the business decision to end the project after we successfully sited a plant in nearby Sacramento. Contrary to what some may claim, Nestlé was not "driven out" of McCloud; it was a business decision to not pursue the site or project any further.
If you would like to learn more about our potential siting I would be happy to sit down with you and answer your questions.
Nestlé Waters North America
I know this is old news but as I went through the Panorama Recreation section in Wednesday's paper I came across the article about the naming of the sandbar in Hood River. With all due respect to the folks who chose the name "The Sandbar" - what were you thinking?
The new name is possibly the most uninspired, bland, anonymous and head-scratching name you could have chosen, especially after seeing the entire list of possibilities that were submitted.
Why don't we re-run the naming contest, with the following guideline as the criteria for choosing a winner: The new name, when someone mentions it to someone else, does not immediately prompt the question, "which one?"
Let me give you an example of what I mean, using the Eiffel Tower. The conversation would go like this: "I visited the Tower." "Oh, really? Which one?" "Oh, you know; the big one in Paris." See what I mean? If the Eiffel Tower were just The Tower, and you said you visited The Tower, people would always have to ask, "which one?" Because, just like sandbars, there are towers all over the world!
The same principle applies to Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge or Central Park. If they were named, respectively, the Falls, the Building, the Bridge or the Park, people would always have to ask, "which one?"
So you get my drift. If our sandbar were named Eliot Beach or Glacier Sandbar or Overnite Sandbar or something (anything!) distinctive, then once the name became known people would always know it is in Hood River, Ore. But for now, with the anonymous name The Sandbar, nobody will EVER know that it means OUR sandbar, and will always prompt the question, "which one?"
CL should be cautious
I like Cascade Locks and want it to be a healthy, prosperous community. However, I oppose the Nestlé Waters bottling plant and believe the city's leaders are chasing fool's gold. If, when all is said and done, the city and port insist on this "salvation," they must practice a true "due diligence" (see the two recent excellent articles by Julie Raefield-Gobbo).
They will first commission a comprehensive study that addresses the questions raised by Raefield-Gobbo in the first article: "The questions span economic topics and public resource concerns including: fixed-versus-adjustable reimbursement rates, long-term impacts and reparations during drought or overuse, environmental damage impacts, truck traffic and wastewater costs and concerns, and options for future contract cancellation to protect citizen access to water in the event of a crisis."
Then the city will insist on a contract, not a memo of understanding, the latter a device used by politicians when they "want to keep their options open," committing themselves to the unimportant stuff while not committing to the important stuff.
And the city must insist on a right of cancellation should Nestlé breach, as they surely will. The contract must insist on at least two things: that Nestlé hire and train unemployed Cascade Locks and Hood River County residents to fill the promised jobs, particularly the projected additional 200 truck trips daily through the middle of town; and that Nestlé pay for all infrastructure improvements needed, especially those traffic-control signs that Nestlé representative Dave Palais, in a stunning burst of chutzpah, suggested the city install.
Otherwise, Nestlé's expressions of empty, self-serving corporate promises will leave a beautiful, suffering community drowning in their dream of prosperity.
By the way, I think the citizens of Cascade Locks need no "education"; they've been fed enough propaganda. What they need is honest, transparent leadership.
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"Water Wizards" teach about water conservation
Water Wizards Lego Robotics team gives its water conservation presentation, in costume and with props and placards, in downtown Hood River Nov. 18. The outreach is an example of the community education component carried out by all Robotics teams, of which there are dozens of them in the Gorge. Learn more at The Department of Environmental Quality graywater permit website: Oregon.gov/deq/wq/programs. Enlarge