No one-store town

I have a question for the people in favor of a super size Wal-Mart. Many of you have suggested to people opposed to a new super store to just not shop there. We that oppose to a big box super store have more concerns than simply choosing where and where not to shop. Wal-Mart neither sells parts nor offers repair service on the prepackaged items they sell. If stores like Franz Hardware close, where will any of us go to order replacement parts or accessories? Where will I have to travel to shop when my choices of local small businesses are forced to close? Where will I have to go to buy merchandise not made in China or in third world sweatshops?

To be viable a community must have a mix of commercial store types. Wal-Mart does not compete (yet) in the windsurfing trade. Is every Hood River heights and downtown store vacated because of a super store to become another narrow segment business, i.e. windsurfing related?

Opposition to Wal-Mart plans for a four acre store is much more than choice of shopping location. It involves real and important concerns for the health and livability of our Mid-Columbia community. Please don't over simplify this issue. Please think beyond your own personal desire to buy everything at a single location. Be aware of the future of our area. Think about the long term effects of a one store community. Think about where even you will have to got for service, accessories or for that one-of-a-kind item you need. A superstore will not be an option. We currently have numerous options throughout the Mid-Columbia area for all the products Wal-Mart wants to sell in a super store. How many of theses businesses will be forced out of business by a super store? Maybe you don't care; many of us do.

Gary J. Fields

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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