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Letters to the Editor for June 12, 2014

Judges back Ostrye

We, all current or former Circuit Court judges of the Seventh Judicial District, applaud Gov. John Kitzhaber’s selection of Karen Ostrye as the next Circuit Court judge for this district. We welcome Karen to the bench and fully support her in the November general election.

Senior Judge Paul Crowley, Senior Judge Jim Donnell, Senior Judge Don Hull, United States Magistrate John Jelderks, Senior Judge John Kelly, Presiding Judge John Olson, Senior Judge Bernard Smith, Circuit Judge Janet Stauffer, Circuit Judge John Wolf

Even more ironic

I have witnessed the battle of Hood River v. the Naito Corp. over the proposed development at Nichols Landing since its inception. It consistently comes across like two toddlers fighting over a toy.

Originally a native Portlander, I know the history of the Naito family — its trials and triumphs. Historically, they represent a vast amount of money, resources and success.

I don’t believe they will ever give up the fight to develop that property, so long as they have money to burn. In the meantime, I have watched recent developments on the waterfront erupt like fungi, enough of them displeasingly “generic,” without so much as a public whimper from those who claim to have the protection of that area at heart. There seems to be a double standard at play. When local players are involved, Hood River ultimately makes way.

When an outsider volleys, it becomes an expensive, timeconsuming fight — in this case to an ongoing, agonizing stand-off. I’ve looked at the conceptual drawing of the proposed development. It appears more thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing than much of what I’ve seen constructed in that area over the past decade.

Do we really prefer overgrown weeds, potential underlying toxic waste, cyclone fencing, and a dilapidated building over an environmentally pleasing alternative — not to mention the free cleanup, taxes and commerce the development could provide? Have we thought of working with the Naitos to come to a consensus?

I really don’t have a pony in this race, and I admit, in part, that devil’s advocate is in play, but I deplore blatant ignorance and wasted resources. This absolutely requires further discussion.

Amy K. W. Heil

Mosier

Boat basin ‘mood ring’

Hood River is one of the most beautiful of the pure platinum settings along the Northwest chain of spectacular sites for hospitality amidst natural beauty.

This necklace includes Crater Lake Lodge on pure blue Crater Lake, Timberline Lodge on iconic Mount Hood, Old Faithful Inn near the Yellowstone Geyser, Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite Valley, Glacier Park Lodge which takes design cues from the historic Oregon Forestry Building.

Hood River could easily support such a riverside gem in our majestic Columbia River Gorge setting to host gatherings, weddings, conventions, and a stream of everyday tourism which could bring money and visitors to the area.

Why are we even considering a proposal for the hospitality industry’s equivalent of a Mood Ring on the Nichols Boat Works property?

A site in an area frequently called “world class,” even by its promoters, should hold out for a worthy project with solid funding, and not rush into mediocrity with a “Hampton Inn & Suites.”

John Wood

Hood River

Rights v. views

The Supreme Court has made another chink in the armor of contraceptive opportunities for employees. They saw the Constitution one way, but the women judges, who also believe in our Constitution, saw the issue differently.

Ironic that none of those men have been pregnant when they didn’t wish to be. It’s not a coincidence that the women were appointed by Democrat presidents. Columnist Mona Charen says this case was not about contraception, but about abortion. Sensibly, the more means of contraception available, the fewer abortions there will be!

No one wants to have an abortion; a heartrending decision. But those who don’t want to have one don’t have to! We must keep laws for that freedom of choice in each person’s private life, because only they know what is best in their situation. Having a baby is the most profound event in a woman’s life. How can they be forced to do this? People against abortion speak of emotional trauma to the woman. They never mention the lifetime heartbreak of relinquishing a baby for adoption.

We all cherish the right to our own religious views, but they should not be practiced in a way that curtails the rights of others.

Roz Luther

Spokane, Wash.

Recycle batteries

I recently phoned The Dalles Disposal and Hood River Garbage Service to enquire about small battery recycling (AAs, AAAs, Cs, Ds, etc.) I was told that batteries are not recyclable and I should “just throw them in the garbage.”

We have done some research and found that batteries are recyclable and there is an option for household battery recycling in Wasco, Sherman and Hood River counties, For more information go to tricountyrecycle. com or contact David Skakel, program director, Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Program, at 541-506-2632.

Please do your part in keeping batteries out of the landfill.

Ellen (Bailey) Harshbarger Carolyn (Bailey) Morrison

The Dalles

‘Urinetown’ a musical treat

Oh yeah! I just got back from the opening night performance of “Urinetown” (the musical) at the Columbia Center for the Arts CAST theatre.

What a treat!

Director Mark Steighner has knocked another one out of the park, along with his wonderful crew, orchestra, and cast of thousands. (Is “Urinetown” a yucky name for a musical? You bet! And the actors talk about that very fact on stage.)

The sold-out crowd was on its feet by the end. Metaphorical or metaphysical, lucid or ludicrous, all of the above — you decide when you go to see it this weekend or next — and you’ll have fun when you do. Earthy but never profane, full of jokes and tributes to other plays from Shakespeare to Sondheim, this is one not to miss.

“Urinetown” plays July 12 at 7:30, Sunday the 13th at 2 p.m., and again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the 17th through the 19th. Tina Castañares Odell Brilliant “Urinetown” — It doesn’t get any better!

Bravo, cast and crew! You are sensational. Beyond incredible! Thank you so much!

Judy Shuman

Hood River

Impact of WWI on Mid East

July 28, 2014, marks the 100-year anniversary of the official start of World War I.

A local newspaper reader asked me to write about World War I and the impact on the Middle East. The problem in doing this is complying with the typical 200-word limit of many newspapers, but I decided to do it anyway since I owed it to my wife’s father, Alton Jones, and her uncle William Howard Jones, both World War I Marines who fought in France and Belgium in Maj. Gen. Lejeune’s Second Marine Division.

They fought in many World War I battles, including Belleau Wood, the Verdun operations, and Aisne- Marne Offensive.

The Ottoman Turks, who were aligned with Germany and Austria during World War I, were defeated between 1915 and 1918 by the British and French and an Arab insurgency sparked by “Lawrence of Arabia.” In 1919 Britain and France carved up the former Ottoman Empire into various Middle East Arab countries based on geographic parameters and did not take into consideration religious, sectarian or ethnic preferences of the local populations.

The countries included Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Additionally, Great Britain enacted the Balfour Declaration which promised a homeland in the Middle East for Jewish people, which came to fruition with the formation of Israel in 1948. The current warfare and volatility in the Middle East reflects a history spanning almost 1,500 years.

The religious and sectarian conflicts have been going on in the Middle East since at least the Seventh century when the Prophet Muhammad died in 632. Some Muslims chose a close friend of Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr, to become Caliph, the leader of Islam, and they were titled Sunnis. Other Muslims chose to follow Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, and they were titled Shias, or Shiites.

The borders established by Great Britain and France after WWI did not reflect the wishes of the Middle East inhabitants and only inflamed their deep rooted animosities based on religious/sectarian and ethnic loyalties.

The current fighting in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and the current Palestinian territory, are a partial consequence of decisions made by European powers after WWI.

Donald A. Moskowitz

Londonderry, N.H.

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