Casino CaseTribe should not ignore key opposition points

The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs have remained mum on the issue of a casino east of Hood River ever since Tribe spokesman Rudy Clements' salvo last winter that they were coming whether the people of Hood River wanted it or not.

No one from the Tribe responded to any of this newspaper's requests for comment until Greg Leo, the Warm Springs' paid public relations spokesman, met with reporters last month. Then on Wednesday a column by Dennis Karnopp, the Tribe's attorney, appeared on this page.

Leo said the Tribe has refrained from comment because it is still answering "technical questions" and because the Tribal members have yet not been presented with a formal casino proposal.

Yet the Tribe must understand that "big picture" issues already loom large and that as far as Hood River County residents are concerned, the proposal is a real one.

The Tribe deserves credit for wishing to get its information straight and follow a process of consensus. Karnopp brought out valid points; foremost is that the culture and values of the Tribe are more than deserving of respect.

Also, Karnopp is right in noting that the Tribe should be free to pursue economic development, especially given the political and environmental actions over the past century that have greatly affected the Tribe, often negatively so.

And, as a lawyer, Karnopp can correctly say that the Tribe has every right to build a casino on land it can verify is Trust land.

Doubtless the Tribe would build an admirable facility and manage it effectively. It is quite possible that construction and operation could be done with minimal negative effect on the land surrounding it.

But that does not make it an appropriate place for a casino -- or any other development of such scale.

Moreover, despite his eloquence on tribal history and future needs, Karnopp ignored a key issue. He did not comment on the realm of infrastructural and social impacts on the Hood River area that would come with development of a gaming facility.

Environmental effects of any development on the land in question is one of the main concerns of Hood River casino opponents. But it is not the only concern.

The Tribe must acknowledge that the opposition fears are based on the grave social impacts of a casino in our midst, along with the effects on traffic, congestion, noise, and other quality of life degradations that will not be limited to the hilltop east of town.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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