Casino to Cascade Locks

Your editorial page comment on a casino in Cascade Locks was very timely and prompted me to write the following letter to Governor Kitzhaber.

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

I am a contributing member of No Casino, I have written my letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and I have attended meetings, all for the purpose of preventing a casino being built on top of the Mark Hatfield trail head in the Gorge Scenic Area.

Two things have happened this Saturday morning,

1. I received a letter from the BIA telling me pretty much that a casino is going to be built in Hood River and that while my input was appreciated, it wasn't going to change any minds, particularly about the rights of the tribe.

2. I read a piece on the editorial page of the Hood River News with the headline "Common Sense points casino to Cascade Locks." The article was written by the president of the Cascade Locks Business Association. I am sure you are familiar with the arguments.

Now, I have been very much in a dilemma on this casino issue.

Ethically, I am in favor of a better deal for Native Americans.

On the other hand, ethically, I deplore gambling, particularly when offered by a combination of government and private enterprise in cahoots.

And, also, and I realize how slimy this statement is, no casino in my backyard!

Both the BIA letter and the letter from the Business Association mention your reluctance to grant permission for a casino in Cascade Locks. Yet, both the tribe and the town of Cascade Locks seem to desire one there on Government Island.

Cascade Locks offers a way to solve the dilemma.

It seems the ethical issue of gambling and the expansion of gambling has been lost.

Since a casino will be built, please allow the tribe and the community to have a casino in Cascade Locks where both the tribe and town would like to see it.

Yours respectfully,

Richard Swart 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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