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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 19



No on 97

Measure 97 (M97) should be defeated.

Funding in Oregon is a vexing issue, but one that will not be solved by the passage of M97. M97 has been written in such a way to only affect a small portion of corporations organized as C-corps (the ‘big corporations’) such as Walmart, Costco, etc., doing business in Oregon.

The measure was crafted this way for the specific purpose of rallying votes, i.e. “M97 only affects the big guys,” and “Big corporations should pay their fair share.” It is fairly easy to get yes votes when this is your rallying cry. What is missing in this discussion is the fact that most of the large C-corps doing business in Oregon are the most flexible and most likely to modify their tax status or organization to avoid the new tax should it be passed (note, I did not say these corps would flee the state, as some opponents have said. These large players will not likely leave), particularly if they are unable or unwilling to pass the cost on to consumers. Should it pass (and M97 become law), the revenue estimates are likely to fall short of the predicted mark because of tax status changes / reorganizations by the “big corps.” Our legislature will then be left with few options other than to come to the voters again to modify M97 or modify M97 in the legislative session. The likely modifications to a lower than expected revenue outcome due to the “big corps” modifying their tax liability in Oregon will be that our legislators will change the law to no longer exempt S-Corps, LLC’s and the other C-corps that make up the vast majority of our homegrown Oregon businesses.

Before you vote on M97, please realize that once on this slippery slope your local ice cream store, brewery, coffee shop or clothing store could become victims of this tax in the future. Solving our funding issues in Oregon is tough; laying this funding burden disproportionately on our employers is not the answer.

Nathan DeVol

Hood River

For Reynolds

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mark Reynolds at a meeting. He greatly impressed me with his common sense, judgment, and maturity. I think he would make a wonderful congressman, and I hope lots of people will vote for him.

Reynolds’s opponent, Mark Johnson, seems like a nice person. But he has really disappointed me in his lack of support for education in Oregon. Our schools are struggling.

In addition, he co-sponsored a bill to restrict abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. While I don’t personally believe in abortion, I do think that women should be able to make that difficult decision for themselves. In the mid-1800s, when ether was discovered, many women were told that they could not have ether or any pain meds during childbirth because the pain was “part of God’s judgment” against Eve. In 150 years, will women look back on our time and be amazed that they were not allowed to choose their own medical procedures?

Be sure to vote for Mark Reynolds. I do not think he will disappoint us!

Wendy Best

Parkdale

‘Eye-opener’

Back in the mid-1980s, I lived in Durango, Colo., a town almost identical to Hood River — beautiful, rural, skiing, lots of outdoor things to do.

The kids were smart, the girls gorgeous and everybody was happy and content. Somebody made a mistake and made me the News Director of the little TV station. Each day, shooting the video and holding the mike, I’d interview folks, cover accidents, fires, etc., and I’d visit with the radio news folks and swap stories. I never did a story on domestic abuse or even heard about one in spite of going to the sheriff’s office and the police department each day to ask what was going on.

I then volunteered to be on the district attorney’s Victims’ Compensation Board, an organization to compensate people who had been victimized in one way or the other with money confiscated from the bad guys, drug dealers etc. Almost every case was of a woman being beaten up. I learned that our beautiful little town was a cesspool of violence against women. Unbelievable violence. Some close to murder. Rape was common. What an eye opener. Beautiful little mountain towns have lots of secrets. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same here.

Al Brown

Hood River

Reynolds right choice

It is time for us to be represented by someone who truly believes in what we believe in. Mark Reynolds believes that a woman has the right to have access to affordable health care and make her own personal decisions without government intervention. He believes in investing in schools to reduce class size. Johnson has voted against these Oregon values. Johnson takes money from tobacco, the Koch brothers and corporations which don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes.

Just ask the Oregon Education Association who they support and you will know who the real education candidate is. Reynolds worked in our school system for 27 years helping our kids.

I urge you to vote for Mark Reynolds for Representative, District 52.

Susan Lannak

Hood River

Keep Johnson

I’ve been a Hood River resident for a long time and I’ve seen our city go through some major changes. As a pear packer, orchard owner, port commissioner and former school board member, I know the different challenges our city faces and I know the type of person we need in office finding solutions. Mark Johnson has worked hard to gain our trust as State Representative and from where I’m sitting, we should continue to have him work for us in Salem. I vote across the aisle for the best person on my ballot, and I trust Mark to do the same in the legislature.

He will help find real answers for real problems. Keep Mark in office!

Fred Duckwall

Hood River

Two words

The importance of this election is summarized in two words. Everything else in this election has a short term effect — a few years or so — as compared to these two words.

These two words could determine what you say, do, think, eat, where you live, all the things you believe you have the right to decide for yourself. These two words could possibly turn this country into one you would not recognize. These two words are “supreme” and “court.”

We who have registered to vote have the opportunity to vote for one of the persons running for the office of president who, when elected, will nominate a person to fill the vacant position on the supreme court and the senate will either approve or reject this nomination. The Supreme Court is the final authority about what law or parts of the law and the action done under the law are constitutional.

Your vote is your decision for which you are responsible. May you sleep well years from now.

Ned Chestnut

Hood River

For 97

I grew up in an Oregon with good schools, no homeless people on the roads and sleeping under bridges, an expanding highway system and Republican administrations that regularly passed progressive legislation.

Today we have much bigger problems — underfunded schools, a rapidly changing climate, ground water depletion, income inequality … you fill in the blanks. For the most part, none of us can solve these problems individually. Our only option is smart, accountable government. Instead, our hatred of government has gotten in the way of solutions. With our current unstable tax income, we will not be making much progress on anything.

Measure 97 offers us a needed, more stable source of funds, especially for our education system. By taxing large corporations, we also give some advantage to our smaller businesses. But we are being fooled by the $19.8 million of negative ads funded by the big guys. If this measly 2.5 percent tax on sales above the first $25,000,000 were just a hidden sales tax, why would they bother to spend that kind of money to defeat it? Do you think these corporations care about us? A recent check of prices of goods at Costco, Safeway and Walmart in our neighboring states that already tax these corporations at a higher rate showed these same goods were exactly the same price. What more proof do you need? Do you really think this legislature will find any additional state income to address our problems if this doesn’t pass? Vote yes on 97.

Jeff Hunter

Hood River

Well said

Jerry Petrico, Steve Kaplin: What you said on Viewpoint (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 15) could not have been said any better than how you both said it.

Uh rah.

Warren Wols

USMC, retired

Hood River

Greedy

There’s a corporation in Oregon with 347,324 millionaires. Their slogan is “We Love Oregon.”

Oregonians made them millionaires. They’re at risk of losing their millionaire status. Forecasts show they’re $21,800,000,000 short.

Yikes, they may have heart attacks!

Don’t fret!

They got 88,184 members to sign a petition to create Measure 97. It asks fellow Oregonians to give $2,500,000,000 per year more. Next, they hired an advertising agency for $8,200,000 to spin their predicament into an important cause!

“Evil corporations should make up the difference.” Next, claim kids, health care and old people need money! But we have Obamacare? Oh, don’t think about that. This “corporation” is PERS, our public employee retirement system.

Imagine a father inviting his football buddies over Sunday afternoon to vote on what the family should watch on TV. If every PERS member votes for 97 and gets friends and family to vote for 97, they win. There are 3,011,224 Oregonians over 18. So it won’t be hard for PERS to get 1,000,000 yes votes. Are people in your neighborhood with Yes 97 signs PERS members? How about the flier sent out from Oregon Economists? PERS recipients! What about the extra $600 per year Oregon family’s will spend to help?

Look at our Governor. Yep, PERS. Look at your mayor. Yep, PERS. Look them up here: gov.oregonlive.com/pers/browse. Should they be able to vote for this? Should this be on the ballot? If you talk to them about their millions, they’ll push back. The average PERS recipient receives $2,347 per month for life while average American families have only $5,000 for retirement.

If your savings pays 2 percent, you’ll need $1,408,200 to live like them. If I had $1,408,200 in the bank and was making $2347 per month from it, I’d be a millionaire.

PERS people sincerely believe Oregonians are stupid. Our governor and mayors are con artists. Don’t be stupid. Defeat Measure 97. Imagine if we give them another $2,500,000,000 per year. They truly will be the political elite. Watch out for their next move!

Jon Nigbor

Hood River

For Johnson

Mark Johnson is a Hood River native. He graduated from Hood River High School. He is the father of three children who, also graduated from Hood River High School.

He works tirelessly to improve the education of children and young people. He works for the the betterment of his district. He works across party lines to improve his district.

Join me in reelecting Mark Johnson.

Wanda Taylor

Hood River

Invitation

Gorge Cohousing is hosting a public presentation on cohousing, its benefits, and how to go about creating it with authors and architects Charles Durrett and Katie McCamant at Springhouse Cellars this Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

Cohousing developments are residential neighborhoods designed, with professional assistance, by and for the people who will live in them. They are arranged to support and encourage more social interaction than a typical neighborhood does, and typically include extensive shared facilities. Shared amenities and activities, secure play areas for kids, and just hanging out with neighbors and friends right outside your door are just a few of the benefits of living in cohousing. Extensive common facilities also make living in cohousing more economical and more sustainable, as families find they don’t need as large or well-equipped a home as they otherwise would.

Chuck and Katie discovered cohousing in Denmark, where its popularity is quite large and still growing, and brought it here over 30 years ago. They have since authored several books on the topic and have been involved in helping to create dozens of these communities, including the one in which they live in the Sierra foothills. Their presentation, “An Introduction to Cohousing,” will draw on their extensive experience to show some of the variety of different cohousing communities and describe how they differ from the typical neighborhoods familiar to us all, as well as how to go about creating cohousing. At the end of the talk, they will be available to answer questions.

Gorge Cohousing is a group of local residents out to create cohousing in our area. In addition to the presentation, members of the group will be participating in “Getting It Built,” a hands-on workshop led by Chuck and Katie this weekend. You can contact Gorge Cohousing at gorgecohousing@gmail.com or www.gorgecohousing.com.

Please join us at Springhouse Cellars on Friday to learn more about this fascinating approach to housing ourselves.

Jack and Janet Lerner, Nashira Reisch,

Jim Miller, Ruth Tsu, JoElla Anglin

and members of Gorge Cohousing

Keep park

A beautiful vision was shared with me the other day to make Hood River even more incredible than it is already. It is this: link the west end of Hood River to The Hook via a bike and walking bridge over the railroad which would begin at Morrison Park. This would be the perfect west-east link for the waterfront trail system, thus providing a corridor that could connect all the magic of the waterfront to the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Hood River resident Jim Klass noted in a recent letter to this paper that Morrison Park would be the perfect place for a community center that would be a strategic hub for a completed trail system.

Morrison Park is split in two halves by the freeway, with access between them via the frontage road tunnel. The south half has been a disc golf course for 10 years and is now being considered for rezoning and high-density housing. This would be a huge mistake! A 2015 Hood River housing study showed that the city already has enough land for housing without resorting to the rezoning of precious green space.

Parks are precious. Who would not agree that there is a direct correlation between parks and the health and vitality of a community? Why eliminate one? Once it is gone, it cannot be replaced.

I believe the wealth and health of a community can be judged by what it can afford to leave alone: green, open, natural. I urge the planning commission to reject the rezoning proposal for Morrison Park.

Daniel Dancer

Hood River

No tax

For all the mathematically challenged, here’s how Measure 97 only affects you the customer and not the intended victims:

• Old price for milk from producer: $1 a gallon plus 2.5 percent tax = new price $1.025

• Old price from wholesaler: $1.50 a gallon plus 2.5 percent tax = new price $1.60.

• Old price from store: $3 a gallon plus 2.5 percent tax = new price $3.30.

This is true of every can of paint, every gallon of gas, electricity, natural gas, herbicide, fertilizer, shoes, clothing, everything you buy.

Measure 97 targets giant corporations who simply pass on the cost to everyone else. Moral of the story: Don’t be fooled by the slick advertisements. If passed, this will cost every Oregon citizen an additional $600 a year and the big corporations nothing.

Now, the claim the government will spend it only on schools, fire, and police. This statement is intentionally misleading. Existing money in the general fund pays for this now. The corrupt politicians will just pay it with the new tax money and take the existing money and waste it on more state government spending.

Oregon doesn’t need more tax Income, they need a balanced budget, be fiscally responsible and to stop over spending.

Vote no on Measure 97.

Fritz Reuter

Hood River

Habib will represent all

What does a lieutenant governor do and why should I care? It turns out the lieutenant governor presides over the state senate and sits on the rules committee, which helps determine which legislation moves forward. That makes it a very important position as Washington has a divided government. Democrats hold the governorship and a one-seat majority in the state house. Republicans hold a one-seat majority in the state senate. That’s why I’m supporting Cyrus Habib, a popular state representative who was then elected to the state senate by a 65 percent to 35 percent margin in 2014.

As state senator for the Redmond district near Seattle, he has supported paid sick leave, allowing public testimony by video, better political representation for minorities, regulating ride-share companies, and improving education access for students with disabilities. He believes guns should be banned in the entire Capitol, including the senate chambers. He has an 100 percent rating by Washington Conservation voters, who are endorsing him along with the Washington Education Association, the Washington State Labor Council and others.

Washington State Republicans have been wasting time on anti-choice, anti-trans legislation, dragging their feet on education funding, and abruptly firing the state’s pro-transit transportation secretary because they were mad about toll lanes.

Habib’s opponent Marty McClendon is a far-right conservative who offers untenable Tea Party platform solutions such as eliminating the IRS, shutting down the Affordable Care Act, and pursuing energy exploration without regard to the environment.

It’s important we support a lieutenant governor that represents the values of Washingtonians. Vote Habib in November.

Deborah K. Olson

White Salmon, Wash.



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