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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 14

‘I am afraid’

I am typing this because I’m tired of not being able to sleep. I am tired of being afraid.

My voice must be heard.

I am a DACA student currently attending Columbia Gorge Community College. With Donald Trump being the next president, most of you may have already heard of what DACA is. Unfortunately, immigrants are on the verge of losing this program. Many may argue with me saying that he has a plan by deporting us and making us reenter legally. There is a major problem with this. Similarly, like many others in the program, I was brought and raised into this country. I do not know Mexico. I do not know anyone over there. Sure, I know I have relatives, but I do not know them. Hood River has been my home for over 10 years.

I do not break the law. I pay taxes. I am attending college.

I am not asking for any special treatment. I want reassurance. I want to know that my studies won’t be hauled to a stop. I want to know that I will be able to maintain my job to sustain myself financially. I just want to live a normal and fair life along with my peers. I want to live the “American Dream.” I don’t want to spend nights worrying about what is possibly going to happen to me. With this in mind, I’m still trying my best in school, and I’m still working hard in my job. It is currently 1:06 a.m.as I type this. I have tears in my eyes because I am afraid.

Although you may not have to worry about this, you may have relatives or friends who do. Take their lives, including mine, into consideration.

One voice is not enough for change.

Yureli Cuevas

Hood River

Rep. Walden can make a difference

I was extremely interested in seeing the front page Dec. 7 coverage that U.S. Rep. Greg Walden has been selected as Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the Department of Health.

I am truly hoping and praying that our congressman will make further improvements to national health care and insurance programs and not cut them, as major areas in dental health care still exist. This is especially important with our aging population. A large factor in our high death rate is due to the poor dental health of many elderly Americans whose dental problems started when they were young. According to the 2016 Scientific American special publication “The Future of Oral Health,” we know that almost a third of persons aged 65 – 75 years of age in our country have none of their original teeth. Additionally, the American Dental Association reports that 25 percent of all adults avoid smiling because of the state of their mouth.

Even if you only read the graphics of the Scientific American article, you’ll quickly understand why former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher ranked improved dental care as the number one way that medicine could impact the health of the largest numbers of persons in our country. A study by the organization known as Global Clinic rates only four U.S. dental clinics in the top 100 of the world, ranking them at numbers 11, 33, 59, and 91, behind clinics in countries such as Hungary, Poland, India, Mexico and Croatia. With an aging population, America’s dental problems will only increase unless we increase studies of geriatric and preventative dental care.

Greg Walden is in a unique position to help millions of U.S. persons have a better and healthier life. I sincerely hope everyone will urge Greg Walden to step up to this important plate.

Rick McBee

Hood River

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