Take county back

It is ludicrous that the county is paying Franklin Drake and Mt. Hood Meadows $1.1 million dollars in this land trade. Money which could be used to take care of the present school funding shortage. I know, the money comes from a different account, but don't you juggle money in your household budget when there is an emergency? Is our current county finance system so inflexible that we can't make changes that would help our children become better educated citizens. I would consider that an emergency. Oh yeah, our commissioners don't do emergencies, they might get sued, and the corporations would rather have non-thinkers working for them. Let's just keep the status quo and line the pockets of a couple of rich developers with our children's education. Tell me, where did that money we are paying Meadows come from? Tell your kids their favorite teacher is being let go because our elected officials acted like most of the other elected officials in this country, who represent special interest groups and corporations, instead of the poor moms and dads trying to get their kids housed, clothed and fed. Now, you are going to have to educate your children also. Oh well, when we can't afford to fund our schools we can just send our kids to be slave labor at Meadows or Wal-Mart. They don't need an education for that besides they could help you pay your higher property taxes. (I'll save that for another letter.)

Citizens of Hood River Valley and everyone else interested, now is time to take our country back from the corporations and the politicians they own! Run for office and vote the corporate politicians out of office. Greed belongs with the patriarch and those that think of only of themselves and the profits above and beyond what is needed to sustain a lifestyle that everyone can enjoy not just the privileged few. Have a nice day.

Kathy Semmes

Mt. 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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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