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I work with young children. We sing a lot. One of the lullabies we've been singing lately goes like this: May there always be sunshine, May there always be blue skies, May there always be Mama, May there always be Papa, May there always be me. The kids love it. Think about it, let it sink in. As we sing this, I look into the eyes of each child and see not only them but children around the world. This little song came to be by a Russian schoolchild, gathered here by Pete Seeger.

There isn't a day go by that I haven't felt deep grief and empathy for the children, families and friends of those who perished on 9/11. Actually my grief goes way further back than 9/11. Many of us grieve for all the environmental holocaust, misery and death around the world as a result of love of selfish power and wealth. It grieves me that my country, the country of my fathers and mothers back to the early 1600s, has spawned corporations that benetfit, either directly or indirectly, from the deaths of a conservative estimate of 8 million peoples, mostly civilians, around the world, since world war II.

Most agree that the USA is the only super power in the world today. I hear the rest of the world looks to us to grow up, and use our position maturely. Instead of immature super power business-as-usual war of greed, misery and death, why not a vision for corporate power and governments to bring truly positive and lasting actions around the world? All of us, too, are being negatively impacted by souless entities. Imagine multinational corporations and governments working for sustainability: like clean water for everyone, like clothing and shelter, like positive medical care, like mediators for conflict resolution, like actually promoting democracy where there is an opening, like not plundering our land and other people's lands for their resources. I dare say these actions would be a whole lot less expensive in every way, than b-a-u, and a whole lot more rewarding and happy in every way. Isn¹t an once of prevention worth a pound of cure?

On Saturday, November 3, from 9 to 5, at the Hood River Valley Chistian Church, on Indian Creek Road, we have an awesome opportunity to learn a great deal about the Middle East, Islam, and Making War, Waging Peace from some highly experienced and educated people. Let's be there.


Keith Harding

Mount Hood

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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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