Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Ballots for the May 20 primary election should be in all our hands, and the same is said for what happens next.
We have the ballots: time to mark them.
Ballots are due May 20 at Hood River County Elections Division. Mail them by May 16, or hand-deliver them to the County Building (there is a drop box accessible from the sidewalk) or at Cascade Locks City Hall.
Remember: Fill out and sign for your own ballot, but only your own ballot; signing someone else’s ballot could invalidate the vote, or at the very least add an expensive and time-consuming step in the process. It is up to the county elections workers and trained volunteers to ensure that every ballot is processed correctly, and any ballot with a questionable signature must be set aside for individual attention. None of that needs to happen; the directions are clearly spelled out.
The primary may feel to some like a minor league affair, but there are choices to be made on this ballot, even if you look upon it as spring training for the big league this fall. The primary is an important election, in part because we all have a voice in the next governor’s and Second District U.S. House of Representatives races. Meanwhile, Cascade Locks voters are asked to weigh in on a new fee, paid via utility bills, to fund emergency services.
Sure, there are plenty of unopposed races on the ballot, but their prevalence is itself no reason not to cast a ballot. This is true for at least two reasons: First, casting ballots is a way to recognize those who have agreed to serve, and to affirm them if you like the work they are doing. The corollary is that if enough people disagree with an incumbent and leave the box next to their name unchecked, there is a comment to be found in the difference between total votes cast and the number registered for that race.
But there’s no way to show such a disparity if you don’t vote at all.
The second good reason to vote: If anything, it’s good practice for November.
Learn about dyslexia
It’s a misunderstood condition, subject to jokes about reading words backwards: dyslexia. On May 8, a group of local moms, who each have a child who is dyslexic, is bringing a film to Hood River, called “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” at Andrew’s Pizza at 6:15 p.m. with a discussion to follow. (Details on page A3.)
This is an opportunity to learn about dyslexia and local efforts to raise awareness of the condition and how it manifests as a learning disability for many children.
Support your local farmer
Gorge Grown Farmers Market and Saturday Market are back, as of last week. The two groups are now united, and putting a renewed emphasis on local, as in Gorge-produced, fruits, vegetables and products. The markets are 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at Hood River Middle School and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the city parking lot on Columbia Street. Shopping can be an enjoyable experience, and it’s rewarding to meet the very people who till the soil, plant the seeds and nurture the harvest.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge