The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

LETTERS FROM THE COMMUNITY

 

January 24, 2018



The time has come

Those who know me realize I do not think Trump should be involved in our local political discussions, however the time has come for every elected leader to either speak out against our sexist, racist president or risk being an enabler.

I am also not one to make these accusations lightly. The last thing I ever wanted was to have a person as president who is both things. Any objective analysis of his history leads one to this conclusion. He started his real estate empire being found guilty of discriminatory practices. He championed the birther movement. There was his non-prepared reaction to Charlottesville. He acts with such disdain (such as with NFL players) towards those only speaking out for racial injustice. His the latest foul-language comment (the proverbial straw for me) is the latest in this clear pattern with too many other examples to list. His pattern of sexism is equally clear, starting with how he treated his first wife, his many public statements denigrating women, his treatment of the Irish reporter whose only crime was being attractive in his eyes, and of course the infamous Access Hollywood tape, and so much more.

I would much rather have a discussion of policy to solve our many problems, but this is such an easy fix. Every elected official needs to come out with a public strongly worded statement condemning this behavior; anything less is being complicit. I will be asking this in person or via phone/email of all my elected officials in the coming weeks. It takes little effort and would mean a lot for the soul of our great country.

Michael Oldfather

White Salmon

An explanation

The Sentinel article on the parting of ways between the Goldendale Food Bank (GFB) and the

Washington Gorge Action Programs (WGAP) contained misinformation that I would like to correct.

Most importantly, the article references a “taunting email” that I allegedly sent. I did send an e-mail that I thought was directed to WGAP board members only. That email expressed my satisfaction that we had received a letter from the Goldendale Food Bank (GFB) in which they appeared willing to cooperate with the transfer of food bank services from GFB to WGAP.

Since there had been animosity in some of our recent dealings, I was happy that GFB had put the needs of Goldendale recipients of food ahead of lingering feelings of hostility that they no doubt felt. I was also glad that some volunteers from GFB who wished to keep volunteering for WGAP felt free to do so. Yes, I also expressed relief that we would not have to continue to try to work with people with whom we did not seem to be able to find any common ground.

I understand why my email seemed to the unintended recipients more like triumphilism than like an appreciation of the long service of the GFB volunteers and their no doubt difficult decision to cooperate with an orderly transition. Because I do respect the GFB volunteers and believe that their service to the community was a genuine expression of their desire to serve, and of their religious faith, I am truly sorry to have sent the email. It was not, however, a taunt, since I did not intend it to send it to the people that I am accused of taunting.

The second inaccuracy of the article is that I did not apologize for sending the email. I received an email from a GFB board member complaining about my attitude as expressed in my email. Since he did not copy his email to others, I responded only to him in my apology. I do not know who, if anyone, he shared the email with, so I assume that the person reporting that I did not apologize was unaware of this correspondence.

I am deeply disturbed that my admittedly ill-conceived email is now apparently being used as justification for attacking WGAP and keeping it from successfully providing food bank and other services in Goldendale. I call on the GFB to return to their earlier position of putting the needs of the community first. If it helps to attack me personally, feel free to do so either publicly or privately, but please do not try to poison the Goldendale community against WGAP which, like you, is doing its best to serve.

Roger Gadway

White Salmon

Editor’s note: “Taunting” was the word chosen to describe the email in question as a reflection of comments we heard from people who read it when we sought reaction to the email for our story, a necessary part of the reportorial process. Response to the email, particularly its tone, was universal in considering it taunting, though different people used additional words to express the same sentiment. Based on that response, the term was, and is, deemed journalistically accurate.

The Sentinel continues to receive significant reader response to our story on WGAP and the GFB. We will have follow-up in the near future.

 

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