Wednesday, March 29, 2017
My name is Morgan and I am a junior at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., where I am studying to become a teacher.
I am writing you because I need your help. For my Teaching Social Studies class my old-school professor would like us to learn about your town but without the use of the Internet.
If your readers take some time to send me letters, facts, pictures, etc., anything that would help me learn about your town, I’d really appreciate it. I’m interested in anything that makes your town unique either from the past, present or looking into the future.
Letters can be sent to me at the following address:, 700 Luther Dr., Mankato, MN 56001. Thank you.
Schizophrenia and murder
When people cry out for help and the issue is mental illness, it is seldom “heard.” This is the case of my dear friend Charlene Caldwell.
She was murdered last week, March 16, in The Dalles, allegedly by her grandson, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Now before you begin to judge and gasp, I want you to speculate how horrendous this tragedy is for her family and friends. An act that will impact all involved, until they too breathe their last breaths.
She needed help! And the only place she found a helping hand was at the end of her own arm!
We have to command attention to this crucial situation in our communities. Do you not see the amount of mentally impaired people that are wandering our streets? Where do they go? What do they do?
Please write our representative, Greg Walden, and ask for this problem to be addressed. (He too was born and raised in our area). I believe he will try his best to help. Mental illness has got to stop being pushed under the rug, and brought into the 21st century!
Please don’t let this loving grandmother’s death be in vain. I plead for your help with this issue.
May God bless us all.
RIP “Chal,” ‘til we meet again
Spring has come
Spring has come, no one knows how.
Today is still today, tomorrow
is always tomorrow. Memories:
the older I get, the smarter I was.
Memory is a grand invention,
glimpses, jumbles of
facts and reason, caressed and
alive, between living and dream.
When there is smoke, there might be a fire. There is significant evidence suggesting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the House Intelligence Committee began a public hearing this past Monday, March 20. It was apparent that the hearing was marred by partisan political agendas, which are incompatible with getting to the truth that impact our democracy. The committee called upon FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers to testify. Both intelligence leaders stated under oath that a classified investigation into connections between Russia and the Trump campaign began in late July. This adds weight to the mounting evidence that has come to light in recent months, including communications between the Russians and Jeff Sessions, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone.
During the hearing, however, Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy, and other congressmen used their time to focus on leaks to the press instead of the Russian interference into the election or the possibility of the Trump campaign having knowledge of their attempts. Their line of questioning during this crucial public hearing proves that political loyalty is their priority, not getting to the truth. This investigation can no longer remain dependent on partisan congressional committees. An independent 9/11-style special commission into Russia’s interference must be established. This is not a partisan matter; it is a critical matter of national security and protection of our democracy. Who would have thought that Russia would have potentially influenced our democratic election by working with American citizens? Where is Congressman Greg Walden on this critical issue? For more discussion and questions, come to the Constituent Town Hall on April 8 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Hood River Middle School. Rep.Walden has been invited, though he has not responded yet.
Attaching the word “care” to Paul Ryan’s name is just plain insulting. His so-called health care proposal will put the screws to tens of millions of low-income and older Americans. His American Health Care Act is cruel and heartless, there is no care in it. The only word attachable to Ryan gives us this: Ryanscrew.
The act shifts from income-based premiums to age-based credits that will not cover nearly the cost that current subsidies do (The Week, March 24, 2017). Rural counties will be hit the hardest (The Wall Street Journal). I wonder how Trump voters in all those counties across the nation will like that? One estimate from the WSJ figures an $18,000 annual income person in Nebraska will pay about $20,000 for healthcare under the House GOP plan. Worse yet is the six-figure tax break the GOP plan will give to high-income earners at the same time low and middle-income people lose health care coverage due to insufficient credits. The ACHA will hurt the elderly even more.
The United States of America used to be a great country. For me, Trump and the congressional Republican majorities are making us less great every day. Their health care plan is just one example.
Let’s Kick Butts
I am writing to you about Kick Butts day. On Kick Butts day, we wrote about tobacco on shirts. Second hand smoke kills about 50,000 people in the U.S. each year. It also kills dogs, cats, birds, and bunnies. Third-hand smoke hurts cats. Ninety percent of smokers start as teenagers.
Thank you for sharing this with Hood River.
Single payer time
Mr. Walden and his friends Paul Ryan and the president failed to eliminate the ACA today (March 23) and will try again tomorrow. I’d like to suggest to them and the rest of those in Congress who want to repeal or replace, go for it, replace it, as long as you put in place a single payer system alongside of it to compete with it. You could simply copy the French or British examples. It would be universal, cost less and almost everyone would opt for it. What are you waiting for, Mr. Walden?
We do need laws
I agree with a recent letter (John Dorsey, March 22) regarding following laws.
I think that laws made by our society need to be followed by all! I also think that flaunting your ignoring of these laws should be punished in a strong way.
Recent statements made by government officials that laws are not for the president are totally wrong. We can not have an individual or individuals in charge that have the right to flaunt laws when they want to.
Hood River needs to learn from the past. We need to stand with all of our citizens. If a person has spent many years in the U.S., they should not be treated as a criminal because of a traffic ticket. Veterans should not be deported because they are not citizens. Citizenship should be automatic if a person has served in the U.S. military.
The president needs to be charged every time that he ignores these laws. Congress, if they do not try to enforce these laws, needs to be charged. We need to have a watch dog that is not influenced by politics. Politics has no right to decide which laws should be enforced, who is exempt, who should be punished, and when the law should be ignored. It is either a law or it is not a law.
When we give the right to an individual (or enforcement group) to decide which laws they want to enforce and when they want to enforce them, we are headed to a dictatorship.
Death by Waldencare
Compare insurance costs under the ACA and projected costs under the new health care act, and you will be alarmed, amazed, flabbergasted, and even more so if you happen to be poor and rural and a senior. In nine eastern counties of Walden’s district, a 60-year-old with a $20,000 income will pay $14,810 more for insurance after the tax credit is applied. That’s a whopping 1,546 percent increase in premium, going from 5 percent of income under ACA to 79 percent of income under AHCA. Wait — 79 percent of income? What will this person live on? How will he pay for housing (“affordable” is 30 percent of income)? How will he eat? And that’s just the insurance premium. What about deductible, copays, prescriptions, and other out of pocket costs. Needless to say, that would bring him to well over 100 percent of his meager income. Mr. Walden, you will have just killed this person.
This data applies equally to Baker, Crook, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Wallowa, Umatilla, and Union counties. (This area, coincidentally, is where Mr. Walden feels his electoral strength is highest.) In all other counties in Oregon, the premium increase for this indigent 60-year-old would increase from 42-78 percent. For all counties in all states in the U.S., premium cost for this person was no more than 5 percent of income under the ACA.
It has been made clear that Rep. Greg Walden is seeking greener pastures, his main interest being the future he hopes for with his new best friend Donald Trump.
The verbal and written concerns submitted by hundreds of Oregonians have not been acknowledged, resulting in pleas for recognition and being even further denied. It is apparent Mr. Walden seeks only the approval of President Trump, backing proposed reforms leaving choices for women, an improved Health Care plan and the necessity of the EPA off his agenda.
The Walden staff now tells us there will be an appearance by Mr. Walden in Hood River, offering citizens the opportunity to verbally express their many concerns and frustration. Having made his positions clear and refusing to hear his constituents, Greg Walden must be removed from the list when citizens are seeking valid representation.
Take ‘McCall Way’
In correspondence with our Congressional Representative, I continually urged Rep. Walden to follow lead of progressive Republican Oregon Gov. Tom McCall, to no avail. McCall’s primary focus always put the long-term needs of Oregon’s people above short-term financial gain. An agenda accomplished by building broad diverse political coalitions. Sadly, Rep. Walden in his attempts at healthcare reform, did not choose the “McCall tradition.”
The wreckage we are left with is seven years of railing against the Obama administration and a shabby and shameful piece of proposed legislation, which fortunately did not see the light of day. We now have a Republican majority that can’t “shoot straight” (read: govern), and a damaged representative who, as the bill’s co-sponsor, watched his political stock at the White House and Speakers office plummet to sub-tertian depths.
In reality, progressive Republicans and progressive Democrats share much — most importantly, care for all residents of Oregon. Perhaps these two spheres could chart a “McCall” course along the “road less traveled” and offer to the citizens of the Second Congressional District a profound choice for congressional representative. It would be worth the effort.
Dear Greg Walden,
This week, the president told us that we will all be badly affected when the ACA implodes in the near future. He told us that it was a big mistake that the Republican bill failed. He then mentioned a future phase 2 and phase 3 legislation that would be enacted so everyone would benefit and we all could live happily ever after.
My problem is that I am so uninformed about this. I’ve not heard about this phase 2 and 3 until I heard his bitter rage against Congress.
Now I’m wondering why you have not come around to let us know about this good news. After all, every time I turned the TV on this last week, I saw my Oregon Representative holding hands with President Trump. Surely he had time to whisper in your ear how great it was going to be.
I am so grateful I have not directly needed the ACA personally. I do have family and friends who have. After you took care of the billionaires, do you honestly think we could settle for this bill? It took your party seven years to have this golden opportunity. Me thinks you blew it.
On the next order of business, can I be assured that after you take care of the billionaires on tax reform, you might care about my interests? I guess I’ll not know, because you will never come around till the next election.
Medicare for all
I keep hearing conservative politicians talk about the horrors of the government getting between patients and their doctors. It sounds terrible — who would want some behemoth, impersonal organization getting between you and your doctor? But insurance companies do exactly that, every time any of us has a medical need. They decide what doctors we can see, what kind of care we get, and they turn a profit every time they deny coverage — it’s how they make their money.
How did we get to a place where giant, for-profit companies run by people with no medical training make life and death decisions about our health care? What if we just got rid of them, and moved to a single payer system? There would be no more preferred providers and no more in-network vs. out-of-network differences in cost. There would be no more denials of care so that billionaire CEOs can make more billions, while regular people go bankrupt paying for their health care. It’s time to get rid of for-profit insurance companies and join the rest of the developed world. Our politicians won’t do this on their own — we need to call them up and tell them it’s time. Medicare for all!
Smoking is a big deal! Around 50,000 people in the U.S. die each year from second hand smoke. Second hand smoke also kills dogs, cats, birds and bunnies.
There are many chemicals in cigarettes that are bad for you. For example: rat poison, lead batteries, rubber cement, and nail polish remover.
These chemicals can cause lung cancer, asthma, COPD and even death.
Thank you very much for listening to me!