Involve, or unwrap

I am concerned that we are wrapping ourselves in the American Flag and calling ourselves Proud Patriotic Americans. The events of the last few years require us to dive deeper than just pasting or flying the flag on our cars. We have to get involved in our community on any level we can. The events happening outside our valley reflect exactly what is happening within our own community. NAFTA, Enron, Casino, Super Wal-Mart and Mt. Hood Meadows.

Corporate profits are becoming more important than the quality of lives for the residents of this world and this valley. If you want to see your children slaves to the corporations you can just sit back in that barko lounger and do nothing. If you care about the future for your children and grandchildren you have to get involved in your community, whether that just means starting a home recycling center, boycotting cancerous corporations that profit off child labor and those that profit off the natural resources of the Earth with total disregard for the concerns and health of its citizens.

If you care, I urge you to attend the County Commission Planning meeting on February 13 at 7:30 p.m. to voice your opinion for or against the future development at Cooper Spur. This will affect you because everything flows downhill (except money).

All I am asking for is honesty and communication from Mt. Hood Meadows about the future development at Cooper Spur. We have all chosen to live in this valley so we should all have a voice about its development. If you don't get involved or vote then you should unwrap yourself from that flag and just flush it down the toilet because it won't be worth anything if we don't stand up to the few with money.

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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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