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Letters to the Editor for Sept. 2

Out of touch

I am unclear if the Aug. 30 letter “Newsworthy, too” by Ms. Burgess was meant to be serious or a tongue-in-cheek affirmation that the GOP remains out of touch with average Americans.

One of the biggest issues facing Americans today is healthcare. POTUS, the self-proclaimed master negotiator, promised “Repeal and Replace on Day One.” For more than eight years, the GOP has repeatedly denigrated the Affordable Care Act while constantly stating how much better they could do. Even with majorities in the House and Senate for several years, the GOP has not provided a better system.

Job creation has also been a manipulation of statistics and facts. We have been under Obama’s budget for months, but POTUS has taken credit for every single job and dollar brought into the economy. His job creation strategy focuses on slashing restrictions on the amount of harmful byproducts manufacturers may dump into our land and water. This does nothing more than free up businesses from environmental responsibility while maximizing profit for a few.

We should also not forget those dangerous, cancer-causing coal mining jobs he guaranteed, which many industry and economic experts said could never happen because of the market for coal in 2017. If the industry was booming, certainly Fox News would showcase this positive legislation by the GOP.

Reaffirming the FDA again reaffirms the convoluted relationship between politicians and big business. Pharmaceutical companies donate ridiculous amounts of money to politicians on both sides to further their agendas. The FDA was kind enough to authorize use of many safe drugs including Thalidomide and Phen-Phen, which have proven to cause profound birth defects and death, respectively. Meanwhile, a simple life-saving Epi pen, which truly does save lives, has mysteriously tripled in cost overnight. What does it say Congressman Walden’s Energy and Commerce Committee is doing about that on his website?

I will not bother to digress about the recent approval to allow a Canadian mining company to do exploratory drilling just outside Mount St. Helens Monument adjacent to a volcano with a long and recent history of seismic activity.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Walden and the wall

I am disgusted that Rep. Greg Walden supports the 2018 federal budget proposal for Trump’s border wall. You remember, this is the wall Trump promised Mexico would pay for. It was a dumb idea then — impractical, inflammatory, unnecessary — and it’s a dumb idea now. But now he’s proposing spending my valuable, hard-earned tax money on it, a whopping $1.6 billion, and Walden is all in favor (as per his staffer Melissa at 541-776-4646).

Trump’s proposed 2018 budget is a vicious attack on critical programs like education, environmental protection, and healthcare, but pours billions into immigrant hate projects such as “the wall,” even at a time when unauthorized border crossings are at record lows. The proposed $1.6 billion could, by contrast, fund one million uninsured children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Let’s see … which do you think would be a better long-term investment for the U.S.?

Mr. Walden should take more seriously his fiduciary responsibility to us taxpayers, and NOT FUND THE WALL, even in the face of Trump’s threat of a government shutdown.

Cindy Allen

Hood River

Fitness for duty

I was wrong about how many police are shot by their own guns (Our Readers Write, Aug. 16). The figure is from our gun safety class from a policeman. His point: Anyone might fail to pull the trigger, even with advantage.

And I’m sorry I gave any impression these problems are with local police. I’ve had a number of students in the department and have reason to think they all have done honorable jobs.

Police should come home safe. “Putting it in headlines” is unnecessary and doing so elevates it above “protect and serve.”

All risky jobs should be paid accordingly, but protect and serve should be the only goal we ever stress; good reflexes and desire to live should be enough to cover maximum self-protection. Something has gone very wrong, and we need to find out what and how to fix it. At least some cops have been terrorized and it’s not by the Supreme Court.

It is obvious that some police have shot people who are not criminals or were not dangerous. It is also obvious that shots are sometimes fired furiously even after downing.

My point is that good judgement is not present in some who were recruited to the ranks. Some have poor reflexes and some are just blindingly terrified for some reason we should seek to discover. We obviously do not pay our police enough, and I wonder if fewer police might do if they were capable enough to require fewer.

But I stand by my point that we are sending young people out on police shifts when some are not talented enough, trained well enough, calm enough to have good judgment … are not right for this job, hardly to mention few but influential power drunk sadists.

Let’s not argue about details when we should uncover what is behind patterns phone cameras have made impossible to deny. Being undisturbed by the obvious is a sign of a fortress mentality we cannot tolerate. It does not help that some “leaders” loudly promote elevating terror of different races above overcoming our fear filled ignorance of them.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Plan for floods

I hope that city planners are paying attention to the unfolding flooding disaster in Texas. One contributing factor for the extreme flooding is overdevelopment, the proliferation of large paved housing subdivisions, and the subsequent loss of soil, grasses, and trees that absorb rainwater. I saw the effect here in my backyard almost 20 years ago when a neighboring orchard was removed. Even though bare land remained, portions of the road flooded for the first time ever when our winter rains came. The water runoff was extreme. Every organic absorbent layer that we lose contributes to events of this nature. I hope the folks championing the Westside expansion plan have considered this consequence of blacktopping our green spaces.

Kristin Daly

Hood River

Wonders

I read with interest the Aug. 23 article regarding the county seeking new revenue options. Of course, there is the usual suspect, “dwindling federal timber payments,” and we know that revenue is needed to cover expenses. I wonder what expense/expenses have grown so much to be so disruptive to this year’s budget and projected to next year’s budget? If the Hood River News did investigative reporting, I wonder if they might uncover a couple of stories that would be of real interest to Hood River County residents?

Steve Nybroten

White Salmon, Wash.

Shop ‘thrift’

Wow. You will be glad to do this! I know (Hood River News) made lists of millions of great things to do when there’s “nuttin’to do,” but if this does not beat all …

I’ll tell you what and then I’ll tell you why — want me to? (Smile.)

Okay, if you do this, you’ll be glad! Drive over to Sterling Place: turn right off 12th and Tucker Road and turn right again. There’s a small sign saying, “Thrift Store” … go on down the little hill to the “Thrift Store.”

Beautiful stuff from estate sales and so on in there; already great bargains and they may also be bargain-able. They’re happy to make us happy, I was told sincerely, but also come back and come back again — because every dollar goes to feed hungry seniors who can’t get out of their homes: Meals on Wheels.

Donna J. Gray-Davis

Hood River

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