Big enough

I went to the Hood River County Courthouse meeting on Monday night. Inside was standing room only, with 60-70 people milling about outside the court room, unable to hear a word since no one bothered to turn on the PA system.

The Wal-Mart we have is big enough for Hood River. Never have I seen the parking lot full, which to me means this existing store is already larger than what the entire Gorge population needs. We don't need a super-giant Wal-Mart, getting into the food business. Rosauers is a small (21 stores) chain. If Rosauers goes under, twice the number of people will be out of a job than what Wal-Mart plans to hire at half the wages. This is not a win-win situation. The only one that will win with a giant Wal-Mart, is corporate headquarters of Wal-Mart.

I personally would not buy any food items at Wal-Mart. Who needs irradiated, genetically engineered foods, processed junk food, milk with bovine hormones, etc. There's nothing healthy in what they have to offer.

I also want to remind everyone, Wal-Mart will not be buying and selling produce and fruit from out local farmers and orchardists. Wal-Mart will be buying the cheapest stuff, regardless of quality, and marking it up to whatever the market will bear. If you like to continue seeing the orchards and farms of the valley stay in business, say NO to the super size Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart we have is more than big enough for the entire Gorge.

The rumors that Wal-Mart will pull out totally if they don't get their big store are scare tactics -- a joke. They'll never give up a money maker, even if it's only a medium-sized one.

Joy H. von Buschow

Hood River

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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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