Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Parents, speak out
I’m writing in behalf of all mothers and fathers with children. As many of you understand budget cuts will affect our children now and in the future. What so many don’t understand is the children are our future. I and many parents are in the middle of crisis right now and education is being affected. Last week Head Start Parents joined me in the fight to try to protect our low income special education facilities. We acted and wrote letters to our Congress and beyond. I hope I do speak for many parents to continue to fight for our next generation.
JoAnn Brooks, President
Pine Grove Head Start
Hood River County Commissioners’ consideration of the Cooper Spur expansion shows how easily our system is manipulated. A destination resort at Cooper Spur is an intrusion into one of the last wild sections of the mountain, thereby stressing an already badgered wildlife population.
Easier access to the mountain means only one thing; more human intrusions into an area that would otherwise require more planning, forethought, physical fortitude and spiritual respect.
Encouraging humans to use these areas also sends another message that the Hood River County Commissioners cannot help but to realize; Hood River is inadequate to attract the sort of clientele that purporters of this plan wish to attract. By considering it, they condemn Hood River to second class status.
Oregon is full of recreational activities and lodging opportunities; what is missing is respect for the reverence that prior Oregonians have had for the wild places in our state and pride in our special way of doing things.
Hood River County Commissioners need to remember global warming and resist the urge to contribute, and think of the consequences of putting a white elephant on our mountain. Purporters of this plan need to be reminded that although past history suggests it, in no way does the Constitution guarantee them a profit.
I am a life-long resident of this valley. I have seen lots of changes over the years, some good, some bad. One of the bad changes I have seen is the way the Hood River News seems to be losing its compassion for the people of this valley. Why has it become necessary for “sensationalism” in our little paper. That is something you would expect in a big city, but not Hood River. I am speaking most recently of the Garcia family. It was most distressing to me to see a picture of the grieving family just after their loss. Even if they did consent to the picture, why would you even ASK permission to take it? This is beyond me. I whole-heartedly agree with Barbara Ritoch, letters to the editor Feb. 19, when she said the story could have been presented equally well without pictures.
I would like to commend the Hood River Police Department, and especially Aaron Jubitz, for the prompt way they handled and located the missing 16-year-old girl. Her family is most grateful and had been so worried about her. Thank you so much!
As I watch the anti-war protesters on TV and Fridays at our post office, I am sad to see so many cowards willing to show themselves in public and in print. I am also reminded of how those of us who served felt upon our return home from the military during the Vietnam era. Shame on all of you.
Perhaps some of you may recall 9/11? Our country is at a greater risk today than ever before. This is a time for a “call to action,” not whining and back-biting.
No one who thinks rationally wants war; however, “both” sides must want peace to make it all work. Yes, civilians as well as soldiers are injured and die, but sometimes it comes down to “them or us.” Surrender if you must, but I for one have no intention of wearing a cloth on my head nor do I care which direction Mecca may be from here.
All of you protesters can philosophize about war/peace, etc., but when it is all said and done will there be “Peace on Earth” until Jesus returns to make it happen? In the meantime you folks better hope that men and women like me who understand that “Freedom is Not Free” will still be there to put it all on the line so you will still be able to march around with your little signs and write letters to the editor.
Cardinal can cost
Mr. Maddox’s letter regarding the “coming” of Cardinal Glass Company to the former Hanel Lumber location in Odell (Feb. 19) brought to mind several items of interest.
While all would certainly agree that the siting of new industrial and/or manufacturing businesses in Hood River county is something that is surely needed in order to generate new “family wage” jobs and produce an increased flow of capital, I wonder what price is necessary for the citizens of the county to pay to bring this to the county.
In an earlier article in your paper, it was noted that it would be necessary for the County to approve a land use or zoning variance in order to bring sanitary sewer service to the site — and also that Cardinal Glass was insisting that it would be necessary for the County to create an “Enterprise Zone” before they would bring their operation to the Odell site. Is it not true that at the present time, the Odell Sanitary District treatment facility is operating at full capacity? If this is so, then who will pay for the needed expansion of the treatment plant in order to add the Cardinal Glass operation to the district?
In addition, the “cost” to the County and its citizens to create an “Enterprise Zone” means that Cardinal Glass will not pay any property taxes for a minimum of three years, and possibly for five years. Is this really the “modest” tax advantage to which Mr. Maddox refers?
If Cardinal Glass is willing to bear the cost of the expansion of the Odell Sewer Treatment facility and can assure us that after the “sweetheart” deal of no taxes for five years passes they continue to stay in Odell and become good tax-paying members of the county business community, then I say, bring them on! But without these assurances, I say to all citizens of the county — beware!
James E. Thompson
War is overdue
I do not like violence or bloodshed. I do not think anyone likes the idea of war; war is scary and ugly. But, I do not believe that U.S. citizens or any other persons in this world should have to live in fear of terrorist, unstable leaders like Saddam or bin Laden.
I was raised on the belief being an American meant freedom. Our freedom has been jeopardized and these terrorist leaders are trying to take it away. I believe we need to stand united and strong, just as the many soldiers and veterans who have fought or died for our freedom and independence. U.S. citizens need to support the friends and family members that are being deployed to protect our rights and freedom.
The people who rally for peace and anti-war protest do not realize there will never be peace with leaders like Saddam and bin Ladin running free. These terrorists stole a piece of all American citizens on 9/11. They not only took innocent lives without remorse or concern, but they took from us peace of mind, some of our rights, and some of our freedom. They have made us prisoners of fear, of future attacks and the unknown terror they are capable of inflicting upon us and our children and loved ones.
There can never be peace in the world until the bullies on the playground are stood up to and put in their place. There can never be peace or security in our lives until these terrorists realize they cannot get away with destroying others and are brought to justice.
It is not a time to hide, but a time to stand tall, proud, and strong and to take a stand. It is time to take our freedom back. I will not be a prisoner in my own free country. I will not live in fear to go into Portland, to a shopping mall, fly across the country to see relatives, or attend a large community activity. I will not hide in darkness in my home behind plastic and duct tape with a false sense of security. I want to look out my windows, breathe fresh air, and not live in fear to live my life.
I support a war which is overdue to put these terrorist punks in their place and show that the United States will not stand down to threats. We will not live in fear. We will not hide or let them take control of our lives. I am proud to be an American and live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Re: Feb. 15 Hood River News, page A4
H.R.V.H.S. Earth Club — “Tip of the Week”
Hey kids! When you’re in the middle of the forest, you can’t focus on the real picture — which tree is of greater value.
You pointed to the water “tree” when your concerns should be concentrating on the “by-products/side effects” of your excessive use of the gas and oil products; spilling onto the roads and polluting our air.
Solution: Park your car and ride the bus to school!
And take a shower, too.
The people of Hood River Valley need our leaders to protect and preserve our water supplies. Now. If people don’t have clean drinking water they are deprived of a vital necessity. No amount of economic development can make up for such a deprivation.
Crystal Springs Water District supplies Pine Grove and Wy’east Middle schools. It supplies another 5,000-plus people. Mt. Hood Meadows Inc. is attempting to obtain approval to develop lands in the Cooper Spur area. Most of these lands are within the Crystal Springs Zone of Contribution.
Geologists characterize as highly permeable the volcanic materials that underlie most of the lands Mt. Hood Meadows Inc. wants to develop. Highly permeable means any contaminant — from petroleum to fertilizers, pesticides to bacteria and nitrates from septic tanks and drain fields — will readily percolate down through this material. They will contaminate Crystal Springs water. Certainly, the contamination of this vital aquifer will not happen overnight. But, just as certainly, it will happen if new development is permitted.
A perfect example of what would happen to the Crystal Springs aquifer lies across the river in Washington. The community of Carson sits atop volcanic material that is nearly identical to that which underlies most of the Crystal Springs Zone of Contribution. Bacteria from drain fields and septic tanks have contaminated the aquifer underlying Carson community. A well drilled into that aquifer in 1986 was, and continues to be, unusable.
Dealing with a contaminated aquifer, e.g. testing water, treating contaminated water or even developing a new source are extremely expensive propositions for the people dependent on Crystal Springs water. The long term service jobs and business tax income the Mt. Hood Meadows development could create are just not enough to balance out the costs that the people of the Hood River Valley will have to bear when their water supply becomes contaminated.
I urge our leaders to show foresight and consideration for the people of the Hood River Valley. Please, promote the conservation and preservation of Crystal Springs for perpetuity. Do not permit any new development within the Crystal Springs Zone of Contribution.