Letters to the Editor for Oct. 2

Book not unbiased

In his letter of Sept. 25, Bill Davis recommends the book “Collusion: How the media stole the 2012 election and …” written by conservative Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. He implies it shows explicitly how the mainstream media refrained from including negative remarks about President Obama during the campaign.

Before I was tempted to look at the book, I wanted to find out about the author and the MRC organization. What I found out is this organization is a very conservative, far-right and biased, as is Mr. Bozell.

There is extensive analysis of the media’s treatment of Obama during both the 2008 and 2012 election campaigns to be found on the website of Journalism.org. The figures presented there do not add up to any media “stealing the election.”

From Aug. 27 to Oct. 21 mainstream media gave a 19 percent favorable coverage of Obama, 30 percent unfavorable and 51 percent mixed reporting. After the first debate with Romney those figures changed to 13 percent favorable, 36 percent unfavorable and 50 percent mixed reporting. Social media was even harsher on Obama.

The Better Business Bureau gave failing marks to MRC in two areas: the lack of board of directors’ oversight on the output of MRC and on its hiding of donor and patron contributions. This second “F” grade should make any thoughtful, analytical and through person suspect of the truthfulness and objectivity of this organization and its founder.

Any person should realize a far Right or Left organization will slant their reporting to try to make you believe everything they tell you is factual and the truth.

Look up Journalism.org and examine the facts about media coverage of the last presidential election campaign. Don’t rely on one biased author’s book to give you all the truths and facts.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Roundabout would help

I would like to second the suggestions put forth by Jennifer Larson (How about a roundabout) and Melanie Ochoa (Crosswalk needed) in Viewpoint dated Wednesday, Sept. 25. I agree with Jennifer’s comments that the new road to connect Cascade to Country Club has done nothing to correct the problem; it has, in my opinion, made it even worse for traffic headed eastbound on Cascade Avenue.

I have seen roundabouts work to control traffic on many roads and major thoroughfares and do not know why it was not considered as a solution to the Country Club/Cascade traffic issues. Now we have a road with three different names and no actual turn from one to another. Imagine the confusion for those folks visiting our town.

The need for crosswalks is also a real concern. With additional living space created on Cascade, there was no additional infrastructure to support the people living there. We need to start paying attention to all the building that goes on in this town and the need for walker/biker safety.

Teresa Earle

Hood River

Open mind?

Regarding Mr. Davis’ letter “Book for open minds” (Sept. 25): How odd that he should only recommend a conservative-bent book to those of us who listen thoughtfully, etc., to both liberal and conservative sides of the issues.

I suggest equal time be spent reading “The Obama Hate Machine: The Lies, Distortions and Personal Attacks on the President — and Who is Behind Them,” by Bill Press. I’ll read his book if he’ll read mine. Two sets of spin doctors will undoubtedly cancel each other out.

The Right’s sour grapes are getting quite moldy after 11 months. Perhaps we should focus on a future in which our elected “representatives” stop treating legislating as a team sport and give their constituents some consideration.

Toward that goal I recommend one more book, “Democrips and Rebloodlicans,” by Jesse Ventura. Yes, “The Body,” but also a former governor. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I have finally found someone who voices my long-held belief that government should be about reason and responsibility, not party loyalty.

Tom Hart

Hood River

Protect farmers

As Hood River County Farm Bureau president I want to share with you how important the passage of the farmer protection parts of the governor’s “Grand Bargain” are to all family farms in Oregon.

Passage of “seed pre-emption” will ensure that farmers won’t have 36 different counties regulating seed production in different ways. Seed production regulation would remain at the state and federal levels where there are the resources and scientific expertise to make good public policy.

Oregon’s Right to Farm laws are intended to protect farmers’ right to choose the best crops, tools and technologies to meet the needs of the markets we serve. Allowing a hodge-podge of different regulations from county to county makes no sense. Even the Association of Oregon Counties agrees that’s a bad idea and supports seed pre-emption.

There is a lot of hype regarding this from the opposition but please look at the harm that all of us producers face if regulated by people not working the land and trying to make a living or having the complete understanding of agriculture.

One state, one set of rules for family farms!

Randy Kiyokawa


ACA or no ACA?

I do not think that the major problem with our government is passage or non-passage of the ACA legislation.

I think that the major problem that we have is the refusal of one party to negotiate. When a given party continually says that it is my way or the highway, they need to be replaced.

In case there is any confusion, I am speaking of the refusal of the Republican Party to compromise. They seem to think that their thinking is the only way to think. This is not correct. By the way, a compromise is only a compromise when both parties give some.

When our representative continually votes the party line, then he/she no longer represents us. They are now the tools of whoever pushes the party agenda.

In case there is any confusion, much of the Republican agenda is funded by the ultra-rich. Notice the continued tax breaks for the rich. Tax breaks that are pushed by the Republicans.

If the ACA legislation is so bad, why does it work in Massachusetts? Of course, the fact that this health legislation was pushed by Romney, was important. Notice that this ancestor of the ACA legislation is not mentioned by the Republicans.

The fact that the Affordable Care Act has a much more favorable rating that the same act, when referred to as Obama Care, says a lot about our society.

Leonard Hickman

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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