Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I voted this morning. I’m trying to convince myself that it makes a difference.
Dr. Monica Wehby is not just good at being the target of complaints for harassing former lovers; she is also expert at using innuendo in an attempt to hurt her political opponent. She has now said that she will leave Sen. Merkley’s personal life’s mistakes out of the campaign if he leaves hers out of his, thereby implying that he has made some equally “juicy” ones without really saying anything at all.
To me such a cheap shot indicates a serious character flaw that should never represent Oregon in the U.S. Senate.
Regarding Another Voice, “Morrow Pacific environmentally responsible,” May 24:
It’s frustrating to see Al Knapp, project manager for the Morrow Pacific Project, given space to write a puff piece for Ambre Energy’s pet project. Ambre is said to be in financial trouble in Australia, hardly a company to be allowed to promote an expensive project in an environmentally sensitive area.
Mr. Knapp did not want to mention that out of the three main fossil fuels, coal is the most problematic and is environmentally the dirtiest. It creates far more pollution when burned than oil or gas, one of the reasons power plants are being converted to gas along with cost.
Some of the pollutants are CO2 and sulfur, which can become sulfuric acid when it meets moisture in the air. When burned coal emits arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead, zinc and radioactive particles. Burning coal is a leading source of smog and acid rain.
Every environmental organization and all the tribes I can think of, including tribal fisheries, have taken a stand against the proposed shipments of coal, along with most cities and ports along the river.
Mr. Knapp is a paid employee promoting an irresponsible project. It would have been more even-handed for the paper to have given equal space to an advocate from the other side of this issue in the same edition.
Too many people
In the 1990s I sold jewelry at the Hood River Saturday Market. A couple bought a pair of salmon earrings and our conversation turned to human efforts to save wild salmon. I offered that the decrease of salmon came with the increase of humans; the man objected: “It’s not too many people; it’s a management problem.”
Take your favorite social problems: racism, hunger, homelessness, extinction, pollution, slavery, depletion. Is managing these social problems made easier as our population grows?
Imagine our world population at 10 billion people or 10 thousand people and you quickly understand how population growth hurts families and defeats the best-laid plans of politicians (except those leaders who seek power through chaos and terror).
I am sad to see Connie Nice depart The History Museum of Hood River County, but not at all surprised. What the county put Connie, board members, volunteers, museum supporters and even her supervisor through, is shameful.
The county had years to work with the museum staff and board to implement a standard credit card payment system that would have been a boon to the newly renovated and refurbished museum. Instead, year after year, the excuse offered was that more time or staff was required or that it was a lot of work to accomplish this. For some time the board accepted these excuses, but after four years — this could not be achieved, really?
The museum was encouraged by the county administrator to become a nonprofit entity. Being a 501(c)(3) would provide a mechanism for the museum to raise funds and protect artifacts. The museum board (of which I was a member at the time) completed the steps necessary to do this.
Interestingly, the county, which gave little guidance or attention to the museum as a general rule, suddenly did an about-face and a relationship that was already tense, worsened. County personnel arrived last summer and shut down the museum after becoming “concerned” about financial practices.
After an investigation, it was concluded that there were no discrepancies or actions of wrongdoing by staff or volunteers.
There had been no communication to the board from the county prior to this very serious action. For nearly one year, the museum has been unable to collect fees, to sell merchandise and to demonstrate to its full ability what a gem the new building and its exhibits are.
It would be helpful, if the time comes, when the county has no hand in the museum given its past performance; it is an impediment with outmoded practices and a lack of leadership. One has to wonder if the county will actually fulfill its agreement to the museum to hire a new coordinator given past behavior.
All of the people who contributed in a myriad of ways to make this museum what it is and what it can become deserve a better stewardship than what we have had.
New health care standard?
As a retired military officer and advocate for military veterans, I am “mad as hell” about the Veterans Administration’s treatment for our deserving men and women who are responsible for our freedom.
As we continue to see this disturbing story unfold at the federal level, it is my opinion that some workers at VA medical centers in fact purposely delayed services for our honorable veterans. It appears many died waiting for medical care.
I also strongly oppose Gov. John Kitzhaber transferring Oregonians’ health insurance exchange to the federal government without the input or approval of our state Legislature, the individuals who represent Oregonians. Many Oregon legislators voted to have a state insurance exchange because they did not want the federal government in charge. Many of our questions about the failed Oregon exchange remain unanswered.
Despite differing legal opinions regarding the governor’s authority to transfer the exchange, the governor used his executive power to move forward with the transfer. Why did Kitzhaber rush to take executive action without legislative input on an issue on which previously he had worked hard on to get bipartisan support? Some may argue that the governor needed this $248 million issue off his plate before the 2014 November election.
Given the troubling VA system that is failing our nation’s veterans, can Oregonians really trust the federal government to competently oversee our own health care enrollments and treatment? If they cannot provide quality and timely health care for our 20 million military veterans, how will they provide it for 317 million Americans?
State Rep., HD 53
Rep. Whisnant (R-Sunriver), serving in his sixth term in the Oregon House of Representatives, is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel who served in Vietnam, Germany, Yugoslavia and the Pentagon.
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Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest 2016
Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge