Letters to the Editor for July 14, 2012

Bike trails

are valuable

I am writing to voice some frustration in regards to the soon-to-be leveled trails in Post Canyon.

I understand that Post Canyon is basically a tree farm and the County relies heavily on this revenue. Fair enough. I am just wishing that the County could have a more progressive view of the value that these trails have to the community, and the indirect economic benefits that a great trail system offers the area.

In other areas that have a vibrant trail user group, the town has identified its benefit and exploited it. Squamish, B.C., is a good example of this. They will spend $100,00 building a good trail. The better the trails the more people from Vancouver and Seattle will come up to Squamish to use them. All the local businesses benefit from it.

Meanwhile the trails in Hood River County are getting worse, and we are being eclipsed by Bend, Oakridge, Leavenworth, etc. The ice storm was very destructive as we all know, and those trees need to be pulled out, but can’t you treat our trails like creeks and leave a buffer along either side of them? A lot of people built those trails, and a lot of people use them.

The feeling we get is that the county foresters almost relish in destroying our trails. I think the trails and logging can coexist up there, and the benefits to the local economy will add up to much more than the wholesale value of just the trees.

Andrew Bryden

Hood River

Stand against coal trains

Thanks to Julie Raefield-Gobbo for her article on the derailment near Pasco, Wash. Already many cities and other entities are lining up to try and stop big coal and the railroads from shipping coal through the Gorge.

Multnomah County is taking a stand, Jefferson Smith, who’s running for mayor of Portland, has taken a stand against it. Richard Ellmyer, a former city council candidate from Portland, has sent out maps showing coal dust spread of 3 miles from the tracks.

Every house and business in most of the towns will be affected by the coal dust, which is toxic and causes health problems such as asthma and black lung disease.

The trains will in some cases be over 1½ miles long; can you imagine an ambulance or fire engine crew waiting at a crossing in an emergency?

The Gorge is a place of beauty that people come to from all over the world; more haze from coal dust will be incompatible with tourism which is what many of us make a living from.

Coal contains heavy metals such as lead, uranium, mercury and cadmium, which have a detrimental effect on both animals and plant life. This comes from “Coal is Toxic,” by Pauline Roberts Ph.D., B.Sc. You can Google coal and coal dust and heavy metals and find out more than you’d ever want to know.

The railroads are already near capacity in the Gorge and want to enhance their presence in the Gorge to accommodate more trains; that should read more diesel smoke, noise and coal dust.

In a state that wants to be green and an area that prides itself on maintaining the environment, it’s ironic that big coal wants to destroy our environment like they’ve done to so many coal towns in West Virginia and elsewhere.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Another

$4 billion

Anne Vance wondered (Letters, July 11) why anyone who isn’t rich would vote for a Republican. Well, here is one reason why:

This is a normal Thursday in America. There is no earth-shattering news. People are going about their normal lives. Some are playing baseball or fishing or riding their mountain bike. The Democrats are in charge.

And today, just like yesterday, just like tomorrow, we borrowed another $4 billion. How long do you think we can continue this business of living beyond our means?

The Republicans want the government to start being sensible. Thomas Jefferson was right when he said that we need better government and less of it.

Mike Farmer

Hood River

Dimocrud and Repugnicant

We are going too fast to think, and things are only speeding up. We noticed it happening, but just haven’t had the time to stop and fix it. We don’t have the time to stop? Just what and how much is enough of this? When are we going to take the time to slow down before we go over the cliff we all see coming?

Real patriots would carpool all the time — for every good reason (do I really have to list why, you all?). And when somebody says so, we all know it’s true. Can you remember ever taking the time to really reason things out? It was a while ago, wasn’t it?

The British Royal Astronomer was asked what he thought the odds are of human life on Earth in 2100 (88 years from now); he said, “50-50.” We have one party, Repugnicant, that has already submitted totally to anti-high school level science and unconcern with any discussion of ethics out of an astronomically quickening, ever purifying surge of greed.

It has shrieked itself up way past dignity from giving free rein to that fearful, greedy, bully child side (the part that wants all the toys, even if only to keep them locked up for sometime later).

And the other party, the Dimocrud, is slightly better, not because they act differently (they do not), but only because they talk a bit differently from remembering slightly that that they didn’t always want to be the people they have become.

The Dim one is heading the same way, just trying to find a way to lie to itself and make it all sound justified.

First on our list of un-insanity has got to be to absolutely insist we end the bribery that buys our laws. We will never again elect anyone who will fix anything as it should be fixed and in time if we fail at this. And if the U.S. does not fix what we have largely broken, the earth for life we still dimly value is in very deep trouble.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Legion needs local support

NEWSFLASH! Another icon of our times is in danger of extinction.

Besides honoring the warriors of our nation at the different events that happen in our community, the American Legion (Hood River Chapter) offers a gathering place for conviviality and fine dining to its members.

“The Club,” as it is affectionately known to its adoring and supporting members, is limping along, slightly on the south side of its needed cash flow. Simply said, “The Club” needs your support if it is to maintain what if offers to its lucky patrons.

You too, could be a lucky patron — and why not? Chef Albert serves up the best grub in the valley (yes, I mean that!) and at a price that won’t leave you gasping when you pay the bill.

Members and guests, I urge you to try it — you will be more than pleasantly surprised. You will be doing yourself a favor.

Just mosey on out Tucker Road a few miles. You’ll see the Legion Crest on the east side of the road — cold beer, warm hearts and great food. We’ll leave the grill on for ya — see ya there!

Phil and Judy Jensen

Hood River

Johnson

works hard

Now is a good time to reflect on Mark Johnson’s accomplishments in Salem and at the same time state very clearly what is important to citizens on the west side of the mountain.

Oregon workers and businesses have had to adjust to major tax increases during a three-and-a-half-year economic downturn. Our property taxes reflect an assessed value that is nowhere near real market value today. Measures 66 and 67 increased taxes significantly for small businesses and business owners.

The consensus view here is that adequate funding for the times has been provided by the taxpayers thus it is now up to our legislators to live within our means.

Creating a healthier environment for business and individuals to prosper and making education reforms a priority using available funds is what matters most to us. A healthy economy creates the resources to do more when times are better and when doing more is appropriate.

Mark Johnson has worked hard as a freshman representative. It is clear he has the right experience in business and in education and is well aligned with the priorities of most of his constituents. I think it’s important to support a candidate who has appropriate private and public experience backed up by a track record of solid legislative accomplishment.

I am acquainted with both candidates. In my mind, there is no question who is best equipped to represent HD 52 and be the leader we need in state policy decisions.

A balanced legislature equally representing all of our points of view made good progress in the 2010 session. It’s why I think the voters of District 52 should send Representative Mark Johnson back to Salem for another term.

David Buoy

Brightwood

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