`Scare tactics'

I deplore the tribal spokesperson, Mr. Greg Leo's scare tactics regarding the "inevitability" of a casino in Hood River. And that is what they are -- simply scare tactics.

The Warm Springs Tribal Council has begun an intensive ad campaign to persuade their members to vote for a Hood River casino instead of a reservation casino; and to instill fear in the citizens of Hood River that an eastside casino is inevitable; therefore, citizens should lobby for a Cascade Locks site, as our only hope. (I don't believe for a minute that the Cascade Locks issue is dead or that it is the only alternative.) The Tribal Council ads, like Mr. Leo's statements, are filled with misinformation.

Numerous government entities and the public have strongly opposed the fee-to-trust land transfer of the Tribe's newly acquired land and have effectively bottlenecked that process by moving the decision to Washington DC. The Tribal Council is now "putting the cart before the horse" in mis-informing their members and Hood River citizens that they have an inalienable right to build a casino on their 40-acre trust parcel.

The Oregon tribal gaming compacts are uniquely site-specific. Moving the Indian Head Casino to Hood River would require PRIOR State and BIA approval and would trigger numerous State and Federal compliance laws, (e.g. NEPA including a full EIS, National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Air and Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act). Even with sovereign nation and trust status, the Tribe is NOT exempt from these laws, and it is highly unlikely they can come into compliance.

The Tribe did not follow proper procedures in their fee-to-trust application. They have now built an illegal road on non-trust land. It is the duty and obligation of both the State and the BIA to require the Tribe to follow State and Federal laws and to insist that they refrain from printing and stating misleading and inaccurate information. Please write Governor Kitzhaber and ask him to deliver this long overdue message to the Tribe. A casino in the Gorge is NOT inevitable.

Toni Vakos

No Casino coordinator, 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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