Letters - June 5

Right of citizens

The lack of voter participation in the recent election caused me to reflect on being an American and living in the U.S.

Recently, a copy of the Constitution was given to me. Reading the Constitution, especially the first paragraph thereof, showed me that even though we as citizens don’t make the laws we are governed by, we elect those who do. We also get to vote on how and where some of our tax money goes. What a shame if we don’t participate in perserving those blessings of liberty called out in the first paragraph of our Constitution. And what could be easier than at our own convenience, mailing in our ballot?

It’s hard to believe that after 9-11 and all the patriotic hype, flags, etc., that less than 50 percent of patriots mailed in our ballots.

Read our Constitution and know that after that first paragraph and all the procedures for the branches of Government come the Amendments so important for our individual freedom and liberty. Those freedoms can and have been taken away for our lack of voting in legislators that respect those liberties. Take part in being a citizen. It’s our right to do so.

Chuck Evans

Mt. Hood

Small sizing

Smaller is better. Shoppers are becoming weary of shopping big box warehouses, preferring intimate and less, opposed to the over-whelming abundance available in the big-box jungles. Daniel McGinn (Newsweek, June 3, 2002), reports that Wal-Mart is in the lead among big-box retailers who are small sizing. “They have opened 31 smaller Neighborhood Market stores in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama and opening as many as 20 more this year.”

Is Wal-Mart planning with its left hand while at the same time not knowing what the right hand is doing? Or is the West looked upon as an under-developed part of the country with wide open spaces to accommodate their bigger-than-big-box merchandising? But then again, Hood River is notorious for its many physical recreational opportunities and a bigger box could add to the variety. Surely, sprinting through a store the size of an airplane hangar will keep these athletes in condition.

Wal-Mart corporate representatives will soon find, if they haven’t already, that Hood River is not in the wide open spaces of Texas. Its land is scarce and its people are well educated, well informed and well equipped to block any permit application to expand, through its current land use regulations.

Betty Foxley

Hood River

Support the small

I sometimes shop for a wheelchair-bound neighbor. Because she is unable to get out, she missed the sale date on some soda at one of Hood River’s older and well-established businesses.

Because she is a regular customer there and it was a special situation the manager agreed to extend the sale date just for her so she could buy soda for her daughter’s wedding.

Can you picture Wal-Mart extending a sale date for a valued customer? In your dreams! Let’s appreciate our local smaller businesses and support them whenever we can.

Wendy Best

Parkdale

A PE check-up

Dear parents and guardians,

The Hood River County School District will be adopting the updated K-12 health curriculum and health textbooks at the June 26 Board Meeting at the district office, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The curriculum is very similar to the one we adopted in 1996, with a few revisions. The health curriculum is aligned to the National Health Education Standards, as well as the Oregon Department of Education’s Common Curriculum Goals. The curriculum process has occurred with input from local teachers, parents, the Hood River County Health Department, and the Oregon Department of Education.

The five health education common curriculum goals are to 1) understand and integrate concepts of physical, mental, and emotional health; 2) apply prevention and risk reduction concepts to health-related problems; 3) explain safe physical, social, and emotional environments for individuals, families, schools, and communities; 4) analyze health information, products, and services while considering media, technological and cultural influences; and 5) understand and apply interpersonal communication skills to enhance health.

The proposed curriculum (aligned to Oregon State Standards), the proposed general health education textbooks (approved by the Oregon Department of Education) and the proposed tobacco prevention and also sexuality education materials (approved by the Center for Disease Control for Best Practices) will be available for public review and written comment. These materials will be located at the Hood River County School District Office at 1020 Montello, June 6-20. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

If you have any questions, please contact Janet Warren, Curriculum Specialist at 387-5029; Rick McBee, Tobacco Prevention Specialist at 387-5352; or Rick Eggers, Assistant Superintendent, 387-5016.

Janet L. Warren

Curriculum Specialist

Hood River County School District

Hood River

Why expand?

Like the Warm Springs tribe and their casino, Sam Walton promised that his stores would not go where they were not wanted.

While I am not surprised that present management is regularly breaking old Sam’s promise, I am surprised they are still pushing a mega-store here in the face of their own policy change which has seen them begin to downsize stores in less-populated locations such as ours.

It’s all part of a trend by many “big box” mega-chains, as Newsweek points out in its June 3, 2002 issue, pages 36-7.

Now — will Wal-Mart spokesperson Amy Hill please tell us why a mega-store is still planned for Hood River?

George W. Earley

Mount Hood

Latest stories

Latest video:

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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