Letters to the Editor for Feb. 1

Davis Trail?

I was very sad to learn that my old friend Carroll Davis has passed on.

If you do posthumous “Unsung Heroes of the Gorge” articles, Carroll sure deserves one. He was, among other admirable accomplishments, the longtime president of the Columbia Gorge Coalition, the local group that started the campaign for a Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

Carroll was modest and shunned publicity, but he played a major role in protecting Wells Island, the White Salmon River, Indian Heaven Wilderness, Catherine Creek, and other Gorge gems that our urban friends ignored.

Using his extensive knowledge of conservation history, which was probably unmatched in the Gorge, he wrote a Coalition position paper for Gorge protection that played a critical role in the National Scenic Area legislation.

And, as a Hood River science teacher and hike leader, Carroll introduced many young people to the outdoors and environmental activism.

Carroll deserves to at least have a major trail named after him.

Chuck Williams

The Dalles

Sign petition

Stable relationships are good for us all. Committed relationships not only promote public and economic health but more importantly enhance the mental health of our community as a whole.

Stable and committed relationships allow us to bring love and commitment openly and honestly to the work of our daily lives. Please support Oregon United for Marriage by signing the petition to get the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative placed on the November 2014 ballot.

James E. MacMillan Jr., M.D.

Mount Hood-Parkdale

Right idea, wrong business

As a Dee resident, I am very concerned about the article written about the proposed music venue. The article seemed to miss one important piece of the puzzle: how such a venue will affect those who live here as well as how it will affect the tourism and traffic already in this area for the summer.

I am frustrated that Dee residents weren’t notified or consulted for a project of this scope. If you are not a Dee resident then a music venue sounds like a great idea. However, consider the amount of traffic 3,000-5,000 cars would generate on our rural roads.

Most venues of this size are near a major road/interstate to diffuse the traffic. In this case, concert goers, Fruit Loop tourists, Lost Lake travelers, cyclists, and locals will all be sharing the same 12 miles of two-lane highway.

What if there is a forest fire or local emergency? Lost Lake Road is the sole inlet and outlet for this neighborhood, and Highway 281 is the only viable route to Hood River. The potential for congestion is tremendous, and will disrupt the daily commutes of residents.

Furthermore, it creates a bottleneck at the turn-off for Lost Lake Road, one of the busiest junctions in the summer already. Imagine Lost Lake traffic getting stuck in concert traffic! I think the traffic will be more harmful for the tourism industry than beneficial.

Because Jason Taylor is an owner of Lost Lake Resort, I would like to believe that he understands the natural beauty of the area, as well as the peace and serenity it gives. That is why we moved to Dee. Since we live less than a mile from where the proposed venue will stand, it is hard not to consider the noise issue, and how it will disrupt the quiet lives that we have built here.

I am not against music venues, but Dee isn’t the right place for one. I would love to see a business in that location, but something that doesn’t require 5,000 people at once would be much more appropriate.

Maria Eby

Dee

Comment on DeeTour

If you have concerns about the recent proposal to construct an outdoor music venue at the former Dee Mill site please send your comments to the Hood River Planning Department by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3. While you’re at it, ask them to extend the comment time.

The comment period is surprisingly short because the DeeTour music venue proposed is an outright permitted use on the property zoned for industrial and commercial uses.

The county is not required to open up such an application for public comment. However, the scope of this proposal is huge, with expected attendance for some concerts ranging from 3,000-5,000. Plans include the construction of a 8,589-square-foot concert pavilion and three parking lots totaling 3,095 spaces.

As the Hood River Valley’s local volunteer land use group, the Residents Committee works to protect farm and forest land and promote livability in our rural and urban communities. Here are some of the issues that we are concerned with regarding this proposal:

The impact on traffic through town and into our rural farming community, particularly on weekends, along the narrow Dee Hwy from Hood River and Parkdale would be substantial.

Environmental impacts on water and fish habitat from runoff due to the clean-up of a polluted site and the construction of parking areas so close to the river need thorough review. We must also consider the extra stress that higher noise levels, “altered” drivers and increased fire danger would put on our sheriff, fire, and emergency medical services in dealing with 3,000 to 5,000-plus person gatherings.

Email comments to: eric.walker@co.hood-river.or.us or at this point drop them by the County Planning Dept., second floor, 601 State St., Hood River, OR 97031 by 5 p.m. Feb. 3.

Polly Wood, president

Hood River Valley Residents Committee

Respect opinions

I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night (Tuesday, Jan. 28) to see what his plans were for the remainder of his term as President of the United States. I even took notes, calling out what I took to be important issues and to hear what his plans for each item was.

Sadly, I felt it was much ado about nothing as he made similar claims as he has for over five years now, with very little substance and even less significant detailed plans.

I tried to give President Obama a little space though, to see the reaction from others on numerous television stations, as they nearly always have people with differing viewpoints give their analysis after the conclusion of the SOTU. Most stations had both Democrat, Libertarian and Republican representatives available for comment and it was interesting to see how varied each opinion was.

I probably caught as many as five or six different stations before I dropped in on MSNBC. At first glance, I thought I had changed to NBC, where there was a new episode of “Saturday Night Live” airing. I even went so far as to check the station on the remote to make sure I hadn’t struck the incorrect buttons. MSNBC is now MSLSD in my mind for what I witnessed.

No mention was made of the president’s speech. Rather, the time slot was filled with a panel of far left-wingers spewing the most divisive, spiteful and hateful vitriol attacking and demonizing any person who had any view other than those as preached by the president.

The bobble-head puppets on stage must work for the most isolating and intolerant company in this country for the garbage that crossed their lips. Poisonous remarks like those stated on MSLSD only perpetuate continued hatred and alienate others.

Not one other TV station I viewed including C-Span, CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, etc. chose to attack those with opposing viewpoints as was the case on MSLSD.

Everyone has the right to his or her opinion and to have a differing opinion is one thing, but at least be respectful of those who have beliefs counter to yours. I long for days past when we saw and heard fact reporting on the evening news and we were allowed to make our own decisions as to who we may agree or disagree with. I miss Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

Roger Neufeldt

Mount Hood-Parkdale

Gorge Towns to Trails

There has been much talk the previous few months concerning an expanded trail system in the Lyle area. Most of the conversations have focused on how an expanded trail system will affect private landowners as well as land being taken off of the tax rolls.

At each of the meetings that I have attended, Friends of the Gorge representatives have assured attendees that private land and tax rolls will not be affected.

Evidence would indeed suggest otherwise! While browsing the Friends of the Gorge website I noticed that has already occurred with the purchase of Mount Ulka west of The Dalles. This was purchased solely to connect trails. In addition, Friends of the Gorge “want Mount Ulka to be public land as soon as possible.”

In order to achieve this goal and not have to pay the cost of maintenance, FOG is actively soliciting support to use Land Water Conservation Funds to have the Forest Service purchase the land.

I oppose the GT2T vision and this type of land grab. Actions speak much louder than words. This has the potential to occur throughout the Gorge in order for the GT2T system to come to fruition.

Visit gorgefriends.org to see for yourself.

Dan Smith

Lyle, Wash.

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