Wednesday, December 7, 2011/lk
True trickle-down effect
Walmart does support this valley.
Someone wrote in that Moore Packing sells a lot of fruit to Walmart; so does Duckwall-Pooley and they have a lot of growers, and that pays the people working at Duckwall, the people who picked the fruit, the spray company, trucking and on down the line.
So the people in turn spend most of the money right here in Hood River, and that supports all of us.
Let people decide
This is in response to Percy Jensen's letter of Wednesday, Nov. 30, concerning the Walmart expansion.
I have lived in Hood River since 1954 - have lived through the hate the Japanese, hate the Californians, hate the windsurfers, hate the Mexicans and now we continue with the hate Walmart faction.
Surely it's high time we put the expansion to the vote of the people - let's settle this and put it behind us without further cost to the city, county and Walmart.
No real gain
Lewis County, Wash., did a study in the 1990s when a super Walmart with groceries was proposed in Chehalis. They found that the amount of money spent on groceries in the county wouldn't increase; just get siphoned from other grocery stores; and that family-wage jobs would decrease over time.
The proposed addition exaggerates an already contentiously sized building. It would be an obvious disjunction; wouldn't fit.
What would you expect as a tax-paying citizen if in the middle of the night you heard someone breaking into your home? You call 9-1-1 and tell them someone has broken into your home, you pick up an 18-inch steel wood screw to use as a weapon and go into your living room.
The man is already inside, you confront him. He is drunk and belligerent, you are a single woman alone and terrified, but know you must get him out of your home.
After what seems like an eternity you finally get him out. He continues to pound on your door and yell at you until the police arrive and take him away. Still scared, you wait for the police to return or call. Too frightened to return to bed, you wait. Sleep is out of the question, so you wait.
The night passes as you wait. The morning dawns and the police never returned, nor did they call. The next day you call the police to find out what happened; you learn from dispatch that the man who broke into your home was released by Officer Pulido and Office Baker a half block away from your home, shortly after they picked him up that night.
You leave a message for the officer to call you back, needing an explanation. Officer Pulido calls back when he comes on duty that evening and tells you he did, in fact, release the man who broke into your home; the officer was unaware he had entered your home; Officer Pulido tells you the police had two prior calls relating to this individual the same night. But since they did not know he physically was in your home they released him.
What happened to the 9-1-1 call? Why didn't anyone return to see if you were OK? Why didn't anyone contact you? Is this what you would expect from your police department?
Wanting further explanation, you call, your landlord calls, and a friend calls, all leaving messages for Chief of Police Neal Holste. When Chief Holste returns your call he is polite, but dismissive, interrupts and doesn't listen to your concerns.
A family member had also called the district attorney's office and was told to have a report filed, but Chief Holste does not offer to file a report. He lets the entire matter drop.
This woman deserved more from our police department. Common courtesy would require someone to check on a victim after a break-in; is our city police department that negligent?
Chief Holste is running for sheriff; will he get your vote? He won't get ours. Sign us very disappointed citizens,
Jim and Mimi Williford
Editor's Note: Chief Holste stated that his officers had not been informed the suspect had entered the home. He added that officers not in every case make contact after the fact.
Help HRVHS food drive
Hi, my name is Tessa Mendez and I'm a senior at Hood River Valley High School. I am writing on behalf of my AP English class.
Every year the high school has a canned food drive and donates all the money and cans to FISH Food Bank. I was told that last year we raised enough to feed 14,000 people in the Hood River Valley, and that we kept the food bank stocked for four months!
I'm proud of what my school does, but we can't do it without the support of our community.
I'm writing to any members of the community who want to help. FISH can get deals where $1 can buy six cans, so every donation helps!
If you give up a morning coffee and donate the $3 to our food drive, that will buy 18 cans - 18 cans that will be given to those in need.
If you have a relative at HRVHS, talk to them about donating. If you don't have a relative, you can still help!
The most important thing is that we help others in our community, but there is a competition between second-period classes to raise the most money and cans and it would be awesome if you donated to Mr. Lorenzen's AP English class.
Remember, every dollar helps. Please help us help the community. Thank you for your support.
Several recent articles or letters in the Hood River News (probably other publications as well) have referred to the $42,000 monthly PERS payments made to a former coach at the University of Oregon, Mike Bellotti.
To those who are not aware, PERS does not set monthly pension amounts for its retirees on a whim. Those who receive more in a month than I will receive in a year and a half, Mr. Bellotti, for example, made substantial incomes (Overinflated? Probably.) prior to retirement.
What I object to is another dig, hopefully unintentional, at PERS retirees making big bucks off the citizens of the state of Oregon. It's a popular, unfair and overused mantra.
We are not responsible for what the University of Oregon, or any other employer, chooses to pay its employees. Is it really necessary to use such a poor example of a PERS pension payment in a manner that suggests it makes these kinds of payments on a regular basis?
There are far, far more of us regular folks out here than there are Mike Bellottis.
End fictional personhood
Since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling of 2010 equated money with speech, the term "corporate personhood" has continued to grow in public awareness.
In Hood River in June, former presidential candidate David Cobb related how corporate personhood came to be and how Move To Amend has been galvanizing communities across the country to pass resolutions and legal ordinances challenging corporate rule.
The movement aims to amend the U.S. Constitution to state that no "fictional persons," only "natural persons," have constitutional human rights.
We all see the signs of corporate rule. The politicians who spend the most money win the office and this money comes from corporations.
Bank foreclosures and evictions sweep the nation. We bailed out the banks, they gave bonuses to their top executives and we got sold out.
The proposal for a major increase in coal trains through the Gorge is another example of corporate greed. Foreign corporations want to transport American coal through the Gorge and western ports to Asia, at dirt-cheap prices. They would put foreign profits above our health and environment.
Giant multinational corporations like Walmart have outsourced millions of jobs. These big-box stores act as if they are above the laws of nations and localities. They exploit the world's poor and the environment and put countless small businesses out of business.
Occupiers in big cities across the country have been pepper-sprayed, evicted and imprisoned for asserting their First Amendment rights as per their convictions. Campers in lines outside giant big-box stores waiting to give money to these superstores for super sales have received no such treatment.
When will this end? When enough of us across the entire country get angry and focused enough to turn the tide and revoke corporate personhood, we will begin to rebuild our democracy.
Occupy the Gorge passes the torch from Mosier to Hood River for another all-ages camp in Jackson Park this weekend. Lively camp discussions on what we can do to end corporate personhood will continue.
And on Monday, speaker, educator, writer and activist Paul Cienfuegos will host a workshop (Hood River County Library at 7 p.m.) on corporate constitutional rights and what we can all do to reclaim our human rights.