Letters - July 17

What to pass on?

I continue to hear that the senior citizens of this community want the giant Wal-Mart that has been proposed. Has anyone asked the seniors?

I am one of the majority of Hood River’s seniors that live on or near the Heights. I shop at Rosauers and Hi-School Pharmacy because they are close and convenient. Many seniors who no longer drive live within walking distance of these stores that carry everything they need and provide personal, friendly service. Those who drive are usually able to park close to the front doors, which is impossible to do even at the current “smaller” Wal-Mart. One can park at Hi-School Pharmacy, pick up a prescription, and return to the car with fewer steps than required just to get in Wal-Mart’s front door. What are the seniors going to do if a mega Wal-Mart forces the Heights’ stores to close?

I am not eagerly awaiting a Wal-Mart complex the size of eight football fields. I am not willing to give up the convenience and character of our community for the sake of possibly cheaper margarine. Previous generations have passed on a senior-friendly Hood River. What will this generation pass on?

Virgina Johnson

Hood River

Keep town’s scale

There are many areas of concern about the compatibility of the proposed super Wal-Mart. My concern is for visual compatibility with our existing buildings and established sense of place.

In order to submit a responsible statement for the public record, I went around the county and city taking pictures and put together 10 pages of photos with some suggestions on compatibility. These are views the county commissioners might consider re: points 8 and 9 of the 11 criteria for judging the Wal-Mart proposal — compatibility and visual interest.

Here is what I saw (and I guess you can see my photo album at the Court House.) Our county and town are characterized by buildings built to a small and human scale, in a variety of styles with interesting details and for a variety of uses. Buildings are used and reused for new purposes adding to a sense of continuity and of local place. And retail and commercial establishments are clustered rather than freestanding, with amenities for shoppers like benches and parks.

I find it difficult to believe that the commissioners will approve a gigantic block of 185,000 square feet to be built on the west hilltop greeting visitors and residents to Hood River.

Commissioners, please don’t let this welcoming wooded height be topped by a cinder block, prison-like Wal-Catraz!

Dick Swart

Hood River

Pledging allegiance

In response to the letter written by Rick de le Tour (Our Readers Write, July 10). First of all, the United States is a Christian nation to some people, although I see it rapidly declining as “We the People” attempt to exclude the existence of God at every opportunity.

What makes Mr. de la Tour think there is no God? Why does he so readily accept the opinions of a couple of doubting Thomases (pardon the pun) completely lacking in substantial evidence and based merely on personal theories?

In reading the content of his letter I can see that Mr. de la Tour is intelligent and probably well educated although a little narrow minded in regard to the Christian population. I am a Christian. I am not paranoid, nor do I seek to terrify, enslave mankind or monopolize power and profit. Could it be that Mr. de la Tour has developed a “religious intolerance” of his own?

It disturbs me when people paint such an unseemly picture of the Christian people. I have found most of them to be loving, caring and compassionate.

I for one intend to keep “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, whether anyone else does or not! I guess I’m dancing to the beat of a different drum but I know there is a God and I’ll shout “under God!” from the rooftops while Mr. de la Tour is welcome to remain silent in honor of diversity.

Connie Wheat

Hood River

Some Spirit

I stopped in at Hi-School Pharmacy to get a prescription filled to alleviate the pain from a fractured femur. In my haste to get in out of the heat, I failed to place my handicapped parking permit in the windshield. Upon my return to my car I noticed a note under my windshield wiper. Quote: “I hope you get ticketed sometime soon for taking my disability space. Just laziness. Signed, The Great Spirit.”

I’m sorry that I failed to display my disabled permit and raised the ire of “The Great Spirit.”

Rob Hukari

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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