Letters -- May 1

Avoiding ‘green’

I recently received a copy of this article, from the Wisconsin State Journal, and thought other readers might be interested:

“The city of Madison, Wis., is attempting to force Wal-Mart Stores to build what may be the “greenest” megastore in America. But the retail giant is trying to avoid setting a national precedent with its proposed 130,000-square-foot Sam’s Club on the city’s far East Side, city officials said. Wal-Mart is fighting an unprecedented requirement for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of the project by the U.S. Green Building Council and has offered the city $75,000, the cost of certification, to drop the requirement. The city’s Urban Design Commission, frustrated with the bland design and landscaping of “big-box” stores and concerned about nearby wetlands, narrowly endorsed but sought many concessions for the Sam’s Club. The commission wants special design features, almost 100 skylights and other natural light sources, energy efficiencies, landscaping to handle water runoff and more. Wal-Mart agrees to the requirements — except certification, Wal-Mart attorney Ron Trachtenberg said. The requirements, especially independent certification, are intended to set a national precedent, said architect and UDC member Lou Host-Jablonski. But Wal-Mart doesn’t want it known it will build a store to LEED standards, he said. (Wisconsin State Journal, March 14, 2002, by Dean Mosiman.)

Steve Winkle

Hood River

Lawn sign figures

It appears that County Commissioner John Arens believes that by posting enough lawn signs he can make people forget the legacy he is creating for us. Two hundred signs should erase the damage he has done to senior citizens and the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments. Three hundred wipes out the deliberate delay he introduced in our zoning process that allowed Wal-Mart to submit their application. Four hundred compensates for his dithering on the Casino proposal that may ruin what we all love about Hood River. And a final 500 to make up for selling out the Upper Valley to Mt. Hood Meadows and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars in the process.

Please join me in telling Mr. Arens that his signs are worthless by voting for Rodger Schock for County Commissioner.

Rich Garber


Re-elect Arens

John Arens cares about the future of Hood River County. Being born and raised here, he understands that the quality of life in a beautiful rural setting doesn’t get much better than this. He also understands that changes within the economy bring new opportunities for growth, which must be carefully thought out and diversified. He is a dedicated and committed leader, who does his homework and listens to both sides before reaching a decision. He cares about sustaining agriculture, where he spent many summers as a youth working in the orchards, and where his grandfather had made a living. He cares about small businesses, after all, he had a successful building and remodeling business for 18 years. Most importantly, John cares enough to want to give back to the community and to sustain a vitality of agriculture and recreation in this county. Please join me in reelecting John Arens as the Chair of the Hood River County Commission.

Gordon R. Sato


County needs Arens

I want to congratulate News staff writer RaeLynn Gill on her fair reporting on (the April 24) candidate forum. In particular, I want to point out the rational manner John Arens spoke about the three “emotional issues” facing this county: Wal-Mart relocation, an Indian tribal gambling casino and Mt. Hood Meadows’ destination resort in the Cooper Spur junction area.

Incumbent John Arens reminded those citizens present that it was important county officials followed correct legal processes, thus inspiring that each proposal was evaluated on its own merits.

John articulated the fact that Wal-Mart had to meet traffic, compatibility with streamside and wetland concerns — then the project would qualify for approval because the land was zoned for commercial use.

Further, John pointed out that it was premature to take a position on the possibility of a Mt. Hood Meadows destination resort until a proposal was issued. He further projected that a well-conceived plan could potentially bring one or two milion dollars of much-needed revenue to Hood River County. I believe that Hood River County needs native son John Arens’ low-key reasoning ability as our commission chair.

Rob Hukari

Hood River

Caldicott wrong

Mrs. Helen Caldicott may think she is provocative but she is just plain wrong (page A1, April 17.) George W. Bush is President of the United States. He won the electoral college vote which is the one that counts, not the popular vote. Her statement that the war against Afghanistan is so an oil pipeline could be built across the country is nothing but anti-capitalist propaganda. There is not evidence to back it up.

My company lost 295 innocent men and women in the attack on the World Trade Center. I deeply resent her anti-American remarks and the bookstore for inviting her.

William Smith

Indio, Calif.

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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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