Be a voter

Washington has an important primary election coming up on Aug. 4. It is great that Washingtonians get to vote by mail. But it is important that you know if you are currently registered to vote. You can check your registration and register online at voter.votewa.gov until July 27, and in person any time up to election day at the courthouse in Goldendale.

Your vote matters. Your vote equalsvyour voice. Be a Voter.

Gigi Pomerantz

White Salmon

Rep. Corry is wrong

Mexican and sick and elderly lives matter, Mr. Corry.

I live in Klickitat County. Our Washington State Rep. Chris Corry (R-Yakima), Legislative District 14, sued our Gov. Jay Inslee in May along with three other legislators for Inslee’s March stay-at-home order for the COVID pandemic.

They claimed “other than the most vulnerable population-sick, elderly people in long term care,” that Inslee had not shown deaths would rise among any group if the stay-home order was lifted. That order was lifted May 31 and went to a county-by-county approach.

Inslee called the lawsuit’s claims “biologically ignorant and humanly heartless.” No kidding.

Considering Yakima County now has the highest infection rate of any county in Washington, Oregon or California, you would think Corry would have backed down. Instead, in a June 24 commentary in this newspaper, he is still justifying the lawsuit.

That 67 percent of the cases in Yakima are Mexicans may or may not have anything to do with his decision. He obviously doesn’t care about the sick and elderly at any rate. I do know that his action does not represent the views of anyone I know in our district.

It’s time for a representative with heart. I will be voting for Tracy Rushing, an ER doctor with a caring heart, who understands science.

Shelley Baxter

White Salmon

Harmful rhetoric

State Rep. Chris Corry’s June 24 column in this newspaper was more notable for what it didn’t include than for the feeble attempts he made to justify his disastrous judgment.

Specifically, he left out two tragic numbers: 6,607 and 149. That’s how many from Yakima County, Rep. Corry’s home, had been infected and who had died, respectively, as of June 25.

Sadly, by the time this letter reaches publication, those numbers will be much higher — in no small part because of the inept leadership of Corry and many others within the GOP.

Rep. Corry was one of a few state representatives to sue Gov. Inslee in order to prevent the governor from instituting COVID-19 safety measures recommended by health professionals. Most of his own Republican colleagues did not join him, placing him on the unreasonable, extreme side of his party, the place where Donald Trump resides.

His extreme position puts him in the ignominious company of politicians such as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who for weeks forbade local governments to issue safety measures such as mandating the wearing of masks, and whose state is now suffering miserably as a result.

Rep. Corry diminishes the danger of COVID-19 with specious reasoning such as it being “not nearly lethal as was smallpox” and “not as infectious as cholera.” Well, gee, getting in a car wreck isn’t nearly as lethal as being crushed by a thousand-pound boulder. Does that mean we should stop wearing seatbelts?

He asserts, “We need not fear the coronavirus. We need to fight it.” Well, duh. Of course, we should fight it. That’s why health professionals want us to wear masks.

Rhetoric that equates common-sense measures to defeat COVID-19 with fear is dangerous. It encourages reckless behavior. It causes more people to get sick and die. It prolongs economic misery.

Fortunately, we have a choice. Tracy Rushing, an ER physician, small farmer, and mother, is running for Rep. Corry’s seat. Ms. Rushing says, “Filing frivolous lawsuits ... puts us all at risk. I’d rather fight for families than intubate them.” She’s the one who’s getting my vote this year.

Rick George

White Salmon

‘HR Business Model’

I’ll start by saying that there are some wonderful businesses in Hood River and we will happily spend our money with them. They’re a minority.

I moved to Hood River in 1974, married my husband, and shortly thereafter began my frustrating attempts to avail myself of local vendors and craftsmen.

The earliest example is when my husband tried to buy me a gift at a local store (amazingly still in existence). He was informed that the store didn’t have that item in stock, it had to be ordered. He requested that it be ordered and this is where the “Hood River Business Model,” as we now call it, raised its ugly head. The clerk advised they didn’t like to do that because they had done it in the past and the buyer had reneged on the purchase. So my husband stated that he would be happy to pay in advance and, astonishingly, the clerk still declined. He then got in his car, drove to Portland and bought my present.

I could provide a laundry list of experiences we’ve had in the intervening 46 years with similar results, but you’d think I was making them up. They do, simply put, defy logic.

So we listen to the cries of “shop locally” and “support your local businesses” with wry smiles and think, "If only we could!"

Recently we started searching for someone to mend our cedar fence, but our efforts resulted in ignored messages and no-shows. We gave up on shopping locally and contacted a firm in Portland who came up two days later and made the necessary repairs.

Now we’re in the market for a front porch remodel and new entry walk which we hope to follow with a bathroom and kitchen remodel but it’s already looking like we’re headed down the oh so familiar path to the “Hood River Business Model” rabbit hole. So Monday I will be phoning Portland area contractors who historically have been more than willing to come to Hood River and remove our money from local circulation.

Kathy Evinger

Hood River

Beware ‘mobbism’

The widespread support of Black Lives Matter is an extreme but real example of foolishly judging a book by its cover. Only it’s worse than that. While with other “great titles,” all favorable presumptions may be stripped away by simply reading the text, in the case of The Book of BLM, the admirable premise in the title is held in front of the reader as a rose-colored lens for favorably skewing the entirety of its contents.

Since “black lives matter”— and only the worst of the worst would deny that — anything done in that name must be not just acceptable, but laudable.

Those who accept and laud are virtuous allies of the admirable premise. Those who don’t are vicious enemies, demonized by the mob as racist and inhuman, deserving of social punishment or worse.

Nevermind that they simply rejected the lens in the title for what they believed to be a more honest one — one they better trusted for more critically evaluating the book — and, resultantly, feel that they’ve judged the book by its true content. Nevermind that.

That itself is somehow worthy of enmity. Somehow a racist act, according to the book, according to its provided lens.

Thus, all those who use the lens are in solidarity against those who don’t. It is a dangerous, dangerous kind of mobbism — religious extremism! — as history has proven time and again.

Yet, here we are, repeating it.

Charlie Bittmer

Cascade Locks

Beyond ‘All lives’

Regarding Dr. Donald Rose’s letter of June 24:

Upon reading your recent letter to the editor, entitled “All lives matter,” I felt the need to respond to your statements regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. While I respect your opinion on this issue and agree with your assertion that yes, all lives do indeed matter, it is contradictory to and misinformed about the message at the heart of the BLM movement.

The goal of this campaign is not to “play favorites,” as you say, but rather to point public attention toward a segment of the population that is suffering disproportionately.

A common analogy you may or may not have heard goes like this: When one house is on fire, we don’t send fire trucks to the entire neighborhood. The burning house is clearly of urgent priority.

This doesn’t negate the importance of the other homes — and more importantly, the people within — but is only addressing the one that needs help. I have no doubt that you can appreciate this point.

I understand the defensive and indignant reaction to the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” However, we have to move past that negative gut reaction. BLM is purely a necessary response to the epidemic of violence leveled upon black bodies across our country.

It is not a suggestion that other lives are any less important.

To infer this incorrect message is a mistake, and the time has long passed to stop doing so. If we can all agree that all lives are created equal, then we must recognize that this ideology is woefully misrepresented in actual practice.

I recommend you research more about the Black Lives Matter movement to educate yourself about its actual pretense and intentions. There are resources at your disposal that will explain this far better than I can — I recommend BlackLivesMatter.com and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book “Between the World and Me.” I will gladly support and join you in the continuous work we must do, both as individuals and as one, to create a society of higher equanimity and mutual respect.

Delaney Rea

Hood River

Masks at all times

I wear my mask to protect and encourage others. Indoors and out. A mask is like a diaper; it keeps your (stuff) out of the environment.

Tim Stone

White Salmon

Comment on plan

The Gorge Commission is updating the National Scenic Area’s 10 year plan (NSA). Public input is being accepted through the end of June.

This is our opportunity to participate in the process and protect our beautiful gorge. Please email comments to Gorge2020@gorgecommission.org. Talking points can be found at the Friends of the Columbia Gorge’s website (gorgefriends.org/protect-the-gorge/gorge-management-plan-review.

Topics to address include restricting expansion of urban growth boundaries (do we want more development and urban sprawl?); prohibit commercial logging (stop clear-cutting in the NSA); implementing a new chapter on climate change; allow science to dictate natural recovery of forests impacted by fire (prohibit post fire logging); increase protective buffers for streams; preservations of natural resources and others.

Please take action today!

David Michalek

Hood River

Whose scorn?

What type of man scorns and lies about an U.S. Congresswoman a week after she loses her father to the coronavirus? You know who I mean.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘Heartbeat Committee’

Here we sit with churches closed and casinos open.

Life-saving liver transplants are declared non-essential surgery, while abortion remains essential.

I hope you are as appalled as I am.

If you want to save the lives of 223 unborn babies per day, get moving.

When our heart stops beating, we die. Then it must follow when it starts our life begins.

There is an initiative out there, I-1698, commonly called a heartbeat bill, which requires an ultrasound, and when a steady heartbeat is detected protects the life of the unborn child by limiting abortions to medical necessities.

All churches in Washington have been sent petitions. Ask to sign them.

If you care, act. If able, collect signatures, to see how you can help even more go to www.i1596wa.com or ‘heartbeat committee’ on face book.

Maureen McGoldrick

Vancouver

Swampy politics

Mark Twain wrote that a man who acts in one direction for six days a week is unlikely to behave differently on the seventh. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has championed unfettered abortion, yoked school kids, parents, and civil society to LGBTQ militancy and given convicted criminals the keys to their own jail cell at the expense of past and future victims. Yet suddenly he a good idea to make us safe by demolishing the economy. The political "swamp" exists in both political parties and within all levels of government and the liberal Republican establishment is comfortable to stand aside and hold Inslee's coat.

Republicans might return to America in its originalist sense, based on natural law as recognized in our Declaration, whose ideas were transmitted to the principles in our Constitution. The critical first step is that our individual liberties come our Creator and not from man.

When government assumes it creates or defines rights, it will always arbitrarily remove them by whim.

Where our Founding Fathers rang the bell was that people, not government, have rights and its main purpose is to protect those liberties people are born with. In this arrangement, government is necessarily in a distant and inferior third place. It is on this imperative that all else hangs but this has been obliterated by politicians of both parties.

Historian Paul Johnson wrote that the greatest "menace" to world humanity over the last century was [and is] posed by the professional politician.

It's worthy to note that all elected officials swear an oath to the Constitution and not to other politicians who took the same oath or to a political party and that this promise requires them to defend it when fellow politicians threaten it.

Mike Goodpaster

Goldendale

Community Peace

I think it would be good if we changed the name of the Police Department to "Community Peace Coalition."

As long as they are seen as law enFORCEment it will be difficult to change the paradigm.

David Bullock

The Dalles

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