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Letters to the Editor for September 28, 2011

Thanks for yes votes, marijuana prohibition, shopping cart sense, more...

Thanks for voting yes

A big thank you to the citizens of Cascade Locks for giving our city a better future. Your votes did it. Now our city can grow and be the best ever. We do have great citizens that cared enough to vote yes.

Again, thank you.

Nancy Renault

Cascade Locks

Shades of

'Reefer Madness'

Prohibition revisited. Fear mongering. How can a simple marijuana growing operation segue into such a blatant propaganda piece? Front page news in a local rag ("Hunter stumbles on large marijuana grow site," Sept. 14).

OK, that is sort of reasonable. Not sure how reasonable it is that pot is illegal, but that is another letter.

Anyhow, I call bovine scat. "A growing problem"- when the last time was in 2004 by the article's own information? If that was a tongue-in-cheek, punny bit of license then I can let that one go.

A thousand plants and all of a sudden we are seeing part of a "DTO" (Drug Trafficking Organization)? Sorry folks, but that is a garden maybe the size of a suburban backyard - not exactly large-scale, given the quantity of pot I imagine is consumed even locally.

I really take exception to this kind of reporting where it seems apparent that someone's personal agenda shades the perspective of an article to the point of utter misrepresentation.

Please don't get me wrong; I respect the police/sheriff's department and understand that they have a job to do but personally, I would rather they were more worried about the still-abundant drivers on cellphones than sending 11 officers out to destroy a small pot-growing operation.

Hmmm, I am wondering which is more life-threatening (dripping with sarcasm)? Pretty heavily armed with that pellet gun. I bet this heavy armament was for some stoned squirrels or a red-eyed deer.

Yes, a pellet gun can be dangerous but to make the transition to a "demonstrated willingness to use deadly force…" is a stretch beyond news reporting. And that residential shelter - I am surprised it wasn't inflated to a bunkhouse, or better yet a barracks; or how about a munitions facility for all the land mines, booby traps, 50-caliber machine guns and mortar rounds?

Pretty ambiguous term for what was most likely a tent - but then again, how would I know, given the description?

Dan Baxter

Hood River

Tennis players grateful

One of my favorite childhood songs had the following refrain: "It only takes a spark to get a fire going and soon all those around can warm up in its glowing." Our community is blessed with many "sparks" and the one I'm grateful for today has a deep passion for increasing accessibility and promoting the sport of tennis.

Every spring the cracks and fissures that erupt on the Tsuruta outdoor courts make playing a safe and competitive game of tennis virtually impossible. After hosting multiple high school matches at our rapidly deteriorating courts, Leslie Kerr, the HRVHS girls tennis coach, has spearheaded a campaign to seek a remedy for resurfacing our community courts.

This past weekend, Leslie worked tirelessly to stage a fundraising tournament which, thanks to many community members and businesses, was extremely successful. With all of our government entities perennially cash-strapped, the support of our community is critical to the success of this venture.

Thank you to Leslie and all who have contributed toward ensuring the accessibility of tennis to all of our residents and toward achieving the goal of enabling our community courts to shine along with the rest of our town's remarkable assets.

The spark has been lit, fanning the flames and raising the necessary funds will take many committed individuals. Thank you.

Becki Barrett Rawson

Hood River

Looking at

big picture

Is President Obama responsible for the threat to close down Boeing's billion-dollar-plus plant in South Carolina? I wrote a letter to the editor (Sept. 14) giving the president credit for the administration's efforts to create jobs. Mr. Harold Marquis in his letter Sept. 24 challenged me to "look at the big picture" and to "think about it."

I have done a lot of research and have thought about it a lot also. He seems to blame the administration for the National Labor Relations Board's ruling that Boeing opened the plant in South Carolina as retaliation against the machinists union in Washington state. (South Carolina is a right-to-work state that doesn't even require the minimum wage). That fight will go on for years, probably; unless the two parties settle, which isn't likely.

But the most important facts are these:

1. No jobs have been lost in South Carolina or in Washington state. Both plants are still open and Boeing is still hiring in Washington state.

2. The NLRB is an independent agency established in 1934. The President of the United States cannot veto the board's decisions. The only control the president has is that he can make appointments to the board which must then be ratified by the Senate.

3. The unemployment rate is still above 9 percent, so Mr. Obama has proposed a jobs bill that he says will put millions of people back to work, including teachers and health care workers who lost their jobs because of the cuts to government programs to reduce the deficit.

4. The GOP will find ways to oppose this bill, though they had previously endorsed its provisions.

Mr. Marquis, the more I look at the big picture the better I can see that big companies like Boeing are determined to do all they can to make the most money they can for their CEOs and stockholders. That's how they stay in business. And workers, if they want to have and keep livable wages, must organize and fight back. Big unions have been the best way they have to do this.

The Republican Party is supported by big business; the Democratic Party by the unions. Which side represents your interests?

Anne Vance

Hood River

Tourney helpful

Thank you to many individuals and businesses that made last Saturday's benefit golf tournament and auction for Patti Ludwig possible! The community response was phenomenal and touched us to the core.

Amazingly, we netted almost $20,000 which will go a long way to help with Patti's medical care as she recovers from debilitating brain injury.

We've tried to list everyone who helped on Patti's website, where you can also read more about Patti's recovery and see photos from Saturday's event. Please visit pattiludwig.org, and again THANK YOU!

Bruce Ludwig and Jessica Metta, tournament directors

Hood River

Breastfeeding not offensive

On the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 22, I was asked to cover up while nursing my daughter in a local grocery store. I was sitting in the cafe area when I lifted my shirt and moved my bra aside to latch my daughter onto my breast.

I happened to be sitting next to one of the managers having lunch with his wife. After he asked me to cover up, I countered that I have the right to feed my baby in public and his wife defended that they have the right to ask me to cover myself while nursing. I was so embarrassed and insulted that I picked up my belongings and left the store.

I am not accepting his excuse of "there are other children nearby." I believe that this is a reflection of his personal beliefs or comfort level with the amount of flesh that may have been briefly in view. I was completely within my legal rights to breastfeed my baby in public with any exposure of breast and/or nipple incidental to nursing.

Forty-five states, including Oregon, have a law in place that allows a breastfeeding mother to nurse in any public place, OR Rev. Stat. 109.001 (1999).

Also, from the Oregon Department of Public Health on the State of Oregon website: "Women have a right to breastfeed in public, anywhere that they have a right to be. It's the law! Breastfeeding deserves protection since many women have been asked to stop breastfeeding or leave when in a public place. Such situations make women feel embarrassed and fearful of being stigmatized by people around them. Embarrassment remains a formidable barrier to breastfeeding..."

I believe that I was discriminated against and will be making a formal complaint the store's corporate offices against this manager. I hope that the company will take a stand and educate its management and employees about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Not only is it a legal right, it is also in the best interest of public health as a large employer and provider of medical insurance.

My family will also be voting with our wallet when it comes to grocery shopping here in Hood River.

Kimberly Buffington

Hood River

Put your

cart away

Have you ever had a grocery cart attack you? Probably not, because you can see them.

Put yourself in the shoes of a blind/visually impaired person. That person can't see the cart that a lazy customer left on the sidewalk. A sidewalk that is too narrow for a blind person and his guide dog to walk safely on. A sidewalk where a wheelchair user can't travel because there is a gauntlet of carts on it.

That person has to wheel themselves behind parked cars with the danger of being backed over by cars of lazy customers who can't seem to take their carts into the store or to a cart corral.

Someday someone's mother or grandmother in a wheelchair is going to get more seriously hurt or killed just because lazy customers left their carts in the way.

In August, I, the blind person, fell because a cart was left on the narrow sidewalk. The insurance company for the store blamed my guide dog, "Harold," for causing me to fall. That is a low blow; a guide dog that was doing an excellent job to be blamed.

To solve this problem, the grocery store needs to follow the lead of other local stores, which have a fire zone in the front of the store with no parking. They will probably use the excuse of "code" requires them to have parking there. If that's the case then explain why other stores can have fire zones and user-friendly sidewalks. The place in question is a narrow sidewalk.

I appreciate the non-lazy customers for using the cart corrals or their returning the carts to the store. I challenge the lazy customers to wear a sleep shade blindfold for a day to do their everyday tasks. See how many things you run into - including grocery carts.

Don't jeopardize the physical well-being of the wheelchair-bound people or the blind/visually impaired. And especially don't blame a guide dog for the blind for your mistake in putting a narrow sidewalk in front of your store to begin with.

Bill Caldwell

Hood River

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