Letters to the Editor for Jan. 25

Be a CASA

I’m a CASA, a Court Appointed Special Advocate. I have been a CASA for six years, working with children in the Child Welfare System in the Gorge. I chose to become a CASA because I wanted to make a difference in the life of a child.

My role is to be a friend to the children, an advocate for them, and a neutral adult whose only role is to look out for their best interests. Children in state custody are often confused or frightened about what is happening to them. CASAs meet with their assigned child/children at least monthly, either in their homes, at school, or in another safe place.

CASAs work with other agencies, who are involved with the family. We attend court hearings and write reports for the court. The time commitment varies, but is usually only several hours per month and can fit into most schedules.

CASAs enjoy great support from the Columbia Gorge CASA staff who are always available to lend an ear, answer questions and help solve situations.

It has been a very rewarding experience to me. I’ve learned so much about the foster care system, the courts, and met some wonderful people.

Please consider becoming a CASA. There is a new training starting later this month.

Marilyn Richardson

The Dalles

Comments reworked

Rep. Greg Walden’s piece in the Hood River News last week (Jan. 18) about the accomplishments of the House of Representatives is sad. Should we be proud of the House for finally passing a bipartisan budget after shutting down the government for 16 days which cost taxpayers $24 billion and accomplished nothing?

Walden goes on to say the current budget is below the level of when President Obama took office. The Republicans inherited a budget surplus thanks to the Democrats and Clinton before Bush ran the deficit up to ridiculous levels. Obama also inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression caused by unregulated greed of Wall Street and the predatory mortgage lending practices.

Here is at least one person’s fantasy about “Walden’s Comments Reworked” on the budget:

  1. Addressed the growing inequality of wealth between the top 1 percent and the rest of us by creating jobs with living wages and benefits. Tax wealth, not income (which has stagnated since the 1970s for most workers). A 1 percent raise to the military after all their sacrifices? Can we do better?

  2. Increased the EPA funding to address the disasters waiting to increase pollution of our waters and air, the Hanford site which is very close to leaking radiation into the Columbia River and coal trains that send coal dust directly into the river now are examples. I bet the 300,000 West Virginians wish they had more oversight on the pollution of their rivers after chemicals poisoned their water supply.

  3. Save countless billions on healthcare costs in the nation by taking the Affordable Health Care Act and truly making it affordable for all. Instead of supporting the insurance companies and tech companies allow Americans to buy into the Medicare system which is already nationwide.

  4. Fund public health to address the huge problem of gun violence that is killing our youth and making schools, shopping malls and other public gatherings a target. Passing gun violence legislation would be a start!

We are stuck until we vote for representatives that put the people’s health and welfare first!

Sharon Guidera

Hood River

Gangsterized

In my opinion the following revision is a majority opinion:

When the truth of Watergate made the headline, Richard Nixon had to resign.

Now in 2014 hear “the awakened” shout: “It’s a gangsterized White House — Throw them all out.”

Bill Davis

Hood River

Health Media Club students speak out:

Hello, my name is Ciline Kasberger. I would like to tell you what I’ve learned about second- and third-hand smoke by being a part of HRMS H.E.A.L.T.H. Media Club.

Secondhand smoke is when you breathe in smoke from another person’s cigarette. Thirdhand smoke is when there is nicotine and other chemicals left on the indoor surfaces.

Studies show that smoke stays on hair, skin, clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, carpets, dust and vehicles. Try to quit smoking and don’t smoke indoors or around people.

Ciline Kasberger

Hood River Middle School

Smoking in general is bad; however there are repercussions for everybody else. Secondhand smoke is what happens when a bystander walks past someone smoking. It is the smoke the person breathes in.

Third-hand smoke is the residue left behind from where the smoker has sat or leaned on like a couch or table. I hope this letter has informed you.

Ben Kasberger

Hood River Middle School

H.E.A.L.T.H. Media Club

Secondhand smoke and third-hand smoke are both very dangerous. When you breathe in the smoke of someone else’s cigarette, this is called secondhand smoke. It is just as bad as if you were the one smoking and can cause respiratory symptoms.

Third-hand smoke is a bit different but can cause the same things. When someone smokes, the residue of the cigarette clings onto hair, clothes, furniture, and vehicles and can bring you the same dangers as if you were smoking.

Second- and third-hand smoke are both horrible and we should all be aware and stay alert!

Maggie Bertand

Hood River Middle School

H.E.A.L.T.H. Media Club

Hi, my name is Jihan and I would like to tell you what second- and third-hand smoke is. Second- and third-hand smoke affects children all around the world and that’s not a good way to start your life.

There are also a few solutions, but it can be quite hard to make them quit because it is very addicting.

Some of the ways you can help is by doing research on how it can affect you or pass the information down to your family members or anyone who smokes and keep passing the word.

Second- or third-hand smoke can cause cancer, ear infections and respiratory infections in children. Secondhand smoke is when you breathe in the air of the smoke or when you are around people who smoke. Third-hand smoke is the chemicals and nicotine that stay behind on furniture, on your skin, and vehicles. Also if you have asthma it can make it worse.

If you are ready to quit, please visit the site smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Jihan Ziada

Hood River

I really enjoyed you having us, the Wy’east Middle School H.E.A.L.T.H. Media Club at the Hood River News! Something I really enjoyed was the revolving door.

I learned that only certain lights can touch certain papers. Also I like all of the machinery that you have at the Hood River News. I really enjoyed getting a copy of the newspaper! Thank you again!

Lexi Burck

Hood River

Thank you so much for welcoming the Wy’east Middle School H.E.A.L.T.H. Media club to come into the Hood River News. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t make it, but I heard a ton of great “news” about it. I wish that I could have been there to see your offices, revolving door, and how you write the newspaper.

I love learning about how companies work. I hope someday I will be able to go and visit your company.

Khloe F. Sytsma

Hood River

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