Community `Day of Discussion' welcomes Afghani speaker,former Congresswoman Furse, peace activists

The "Making War, Waging Peace" forum is Nov. 3 at Hood River Valley Christian Church. The secular event is free, with donations accepted. Seating capacity is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 9 a.m. A photo exhibit of Afghanistan will be on display.


10 a.m. "Why Do They Hate Us?"

Professor Zaher Wahab from Lewis & Clark College is a native of Afghanistan who has traveled to his homeland twice in the past year. He will talk about his country and the current crisis. Professor Laurie Mercier from Washington State University, Vancouver, will discuss the historical context of U.S. interventions around the world during the 20th century. Professor Jon Mandaville, director of the Middle Eastern Studies Center at Portland State University, will address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


11:45 a.m. "Islam"

Professor Jon Mandaville will offer an overview of Islam -- a religion that is practiced by one out of every six people in the world. Intisar Azzuz, president of the American-Muslim Council, Oregon chapter, will talk about Islam as it relates to current events. Shahriar Ahmed, president of the Bilal Mosque in Beaverton and member of a number of American-Muslim associations, will speak about how American Muslims are trying to integrate themselves into U.S. society. A time for questions, answers and dialogue will follow each panel.


1 p.m. Lunch will be provided for attendees.


2 p.m. Keynote address by former U.S. congresswoman Elizabeth Furse.


3:15 p.m. "Making War, Waging Peace"

Dr. Catherine Thomasson, president of the Oregon chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will talk about the U.S. militarization of the Mideast, and the proposed missile defense shield as an acceleration of the arms race. Professor Courtney Campbell, director of the Program for Ethics, Science and the Environment at Oregon State University, will discuss ways in which the U.S. has dealt with terrorism in the past, and how the U.S. can respond to it more successfully now. Peter Bergel, Executive Director of Oregon PeaceWorks and founding editor of the Oregon Peaceworker newspaper, will address the importance of standing in solidarity with Middle Easterners targeted for hate crimes here in the U.S. He will also speak about "war fever" and caution against the erosion of civil liberties in a time of war.


Event organizers encourage people to carpool to the church, which is located at 975 Indian Creek Road. There is limited on-site childcare at the event, with reservations taken through Community Ed at 386-2055. More information about the event can also be obtained through Community Ed.

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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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