Letters - August 7

Expand Wal-Mart

As senior citizens on a fixed income and lifetime residents of Hood River County, we support the new super Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart provides everyone with quality merchandise at affordable prices, and to anyone on a fixed and/or low income that savings is invaluable. Wal-Mart has already been established in this area for years and any negative effects have had that time to be absorbed. Progress and development are inevitable in every community in this country.

Many local shopping areas have become almost completely focused on the tourist industry and seasonal populations, which has not left much to offer the year-round residents. Parking meter costs and inadequate parking spaces available in completely congested areas make it a constant frustration and can be especially taxing on a senior citizen. We feel that is precisely why so many local residents avoid doing business in those areas. Wal-Mart provides its customers plenty of parking without requiring them to search for change and pay for the privilege.

We feel the addition of space and services the new Super Wal-Mart will provide will translate to even greater savings of money and time for the hard-working people of this community by providing one place to shop for all of our basic needs. Another large grocery store in Hood River could reduce the congestion we encounter daily at the existing stores. Grocery prices can always use a little healthy competition. We can feed, clothe and educate a child in another country for a mere $15 a month donation, yet that same amount here wouldn’t even begin to fill an average local grocery bag.

We strongly support the new Wal-Mart superstore. This community’s citizens, especially those on fixed and low incomes, need affordable options that aid us in supporting our families in this difficult age.

Arthur J. and Violet Hobbs

Hood River

One big dent

There are no body and fender men any more. It’s replacement men nowadays. A pickup had a small damage. A body and fenderman would have had it taken care of within one hour at the cost of $38-40.

That same fender was replaced with a new one. Cost — $1,864.38. That’s why our auto insurance is so high.

M.D. Castle

Hood River

Bigger Wal-Mart

My wife and I wish to add our voices to the many in Hood River that are in support of the proposed new Wal-Mart Supercenter. Most of the noise so far has come from the vocal minority but we assure you, there is a silent majority who look forward to the benefits of an expanded Wal-Mart store.

The Hood River area has a blue-collar population. Our folks need to get the most for their dollars, whether buying clothes or groceries. Most of our local businesses would not be affected because they cater to the tourist trade. Wal-Mart serves the local buyer.

Some very negative things have been said about Wal-Mart’s business practices and ethics. But as one who has had the opportunity to sell apples and pears to Wal-Mart, I can truthfully say that they are very good business partners. Why does every major apple shipper in the state of Washington want to sell to this company? Because they buy large volumes and pay above-average prices.

We must ask ourselves, why do so many people nationally shop at Wal-Mart, Costco or Sam’s Club stores? Because they receive the best value for their money. The fine people of Hood River deserve to have this option. Wal-Mart has said that if we do not want them here, they will leave. If that happens, where do we go: The Dalles, Gresham or Vancouver? We will go wherever we can get the best value and our community will be the poorer.

Gerry and Bobbie Jessup

Mt. Hood

Know who gives

My husband and I are no strangers to the dealings of the environmental community in Hood River, the same people objecting to the construction of a bigger Wal-Mart in Hood River. They are the same who wrote letters, testified against us when we tried to get a building permit to build on our property. I name the Hood River Residence Committee and etc. as some of the “NO” crowd who are front and center with their objections.

We feel the same now as we did in our dealings. Is it legal, have they followed the rules and regulations? Have they jumped through all the hoops you are asking them to do? Have they crossed all their “t’s” and dotted all their “i’s”? From all that we read Wal-Mart has done this and more. We understand there were petitions taken; the folks wanting to see a new Wal-Mart built out-number those who don’t. Last time we looked, this is a democracy and the majority rules. What is the problem?

It is very difficult to read some of the remarks in the “Letters to the Editor” section of the local paper and the opposition to the Wal-Mart being built. Some of the letters are absolutely ridiculous as the facts are so unfounded and absurd in their content.

Wal-Mart brings a service to this community. They bring employment to this community. They give back to the community.

I volunteer in the local school. Two summers ago I wrote a letter to be published in the Hood River News asking for volunteers to read to our kids in the elementary grades. One hour was suggested out of a week. I spoke on the radio to send out the same plea for volunteers. I received not one reply. Our children are our future. Yet, the “NO” crowd and the “NIMBY” (not in my back yard) group are there protesting a big box theory and the children in this community are not even noticed. Go figure.

Doris I. and Thomas J. Dodd

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

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