Monday, July 7, 2003
Hooray for 4th
Hooray, hooray for the Fourth of July. Over the years we have been fortunate to have a proactive group of dedicated citizens that have generously given of their time and energy to “grow” a first class Fourth of July celebration in Hood River.
One of the most enjoyable events for many in the Gorge area has been the hometown parade with its local flavor. In recent years the decible level of many entrants, with their noise making devices, has far exceeded the comfort zone for many spectators.
Hooray for the Parade Committee that has instituted some long overdue restrictions and safety regulations. I look forward, with enthusiasm, to another celebration of our Independence Day with the hope and wish that all will be safe and out of harm’s way.
Peter A. Jubitz
Savor pear savvy
As my well nourished little kids and I hurried out the door this morning, I took pleasure knowing that I, too, was going to get a good breakfast. In one hand a water bottle, in the other, my trusty Clif Bar and a new friend, a Pear Bar. I have frequently joked, “Gee, I wish I would have invented Clif and Luna Bars,” but nowadays I am frequently exclaiming, “I just love these Pear Bars! Could live on them!” Being the dried fruit freak that I am, a non-carb counter, and one that has no problem replacing a meal or snack with a cleverly packaged dried, dehydrated bundle of good food, I think these little bars are great. Thank you, Gorge Delights, for your delicious, high fiber and totally pear savvy creation. What a convenient and tasty way to feed our bodies and our kids’ bodies, get closer to the thirty grams of daily fiber that we all should strive for, and utilize our valley’s most abundant resource. We all look forward to watching you grow and growing fruit for you.
Don’t malign Guard
Oregon has a terrific National and Air Guard. These men and women take their commitment to provide security and emergency services to the state very seriously.
I read a letter in the May 7 edition by a Mr. (Gerry) Jenson who spoke about the Oregon National Guard. I believe that it slanders The Oregon National Guard name to compare George W. Bush’s brief stint in the Texas Air Guard in the early seventies with the outstanding service and professionalism of the Oregon Guard.
I can’t believe that the Oregon Guard would allow the son of a congressman to skip a year-and-a-half waiting list to get a pilot’s slot in order to avoid the draft as Texas did for Bush.
Hopefully the Oregon Guard would not give a fighter-pilot slot to an applicant who scored in the lowest 25th percentile of the pilot aptitude test in a time when there were so many more qualified candidates. Would the Oregon Guard accept such a substandard candidate when this person wrote on the application that he “did NOT volunteer for service overseas” during a time of war? I doubt it.
I am sure that after spending millions of dollars in pilot training the Oregon Guard would not permit a pilot to disqualify himself for flight by refusing an annual pilot medical exam. In April 1972 the DOD announced drug screenings. In August of that year Bush let his flight medical certification lapse. There were no consequences.
I know that if an Oregon Guard service person decided that halfway through a six-year commitment that they had had enough and would not show up for drill for the next 17 months it would be called being AWOL and there would be consequences.
There are so many more details and comparisons. The ample and certified record speaks for itself. Suffice it to say that the men and women of the Oregon Air Guard and Oregon National Guard deserve better than to be compared in such a way.
Shop and compare
I’ve heard rumors that Wal-Mart may be closing their Monster-Megalith, their One Big Solid Block of Everything, right here in lucky Hood River. But before final decisions are reached, I urge the powers that be to consider a factor little discussed thus far: the question of employee service, as well as general service to the community.
It’s long been the rule at our local Safeway, for example, that every customer is a celebrity. The people at Safeway bend over backwards for each person who comes through the door, and the checkstands are manned by prompt and well-trained staff.
Let’s compare this to Wal-Mart. I’m not berating any particular employee because under the strained circumstances I’m sure they do the best they can. But until just recently, the premises were woefully understaffed. Checkout lines were too slow and crowded, and you needed a bloodhound to track down any help in other parts of the store. I believe that only an effort at better public relations has improved that situation just very lately.
It’s obvious there’s a big turnover in talent on the Wal-Mart roster on a regular basis, and we all know why. Their hiring and pay practices are infamously clever. Perhaps the newspaper could update us on various Wal-Mart scandals and lawsuits that erupted over the last few years in different sections of the country. Their illegal maltreatment of workers alone should give one pause about the motivations of this company.
Are we really going to kick Safeway and Rosauers in the teeth for the sake of this behemoth? Are we really going to let the new bully on the block push the community into compliance the way they have so many others — just because they have the resources to keep throwing lawyers at us?
Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart and because of a recent move to a new home I’ve been there several times lately. But they don’t own this kid, not me. Too much of the American economy is being assimilated into massive takeovers of production, services and media information, by such giants as Wal-Mart, Disney, Time-Warner and General Electric. These people want to rule the world and they will if you let them. We all enjoy a good game of Monopoly, but let’s remember that corporate wolves like Bill Gates and the Walton clan are playing for keeps.
This 4th of July Americans across the country will participate in the time-honored traditions of picnics, barbecues and fireworks, as we proudly join together in celebration of our nation’s birthday. This Independence Day, why not engage your family in the most patriotic act of all. Share our “land of the free” by hosting a young student from abroad.
By opening your heart and home, you will help make the American Dream possible for an EF Foundation for Foreign Study high school exchange student. I have a Swiss student who would love to come to the Hood River area.
Our volunteer host are proud of America and want to share it with others. In fact, our host families’ friendliness and open-mindedness, their curiosity and understanding exemplify the very best of America. In return for room, board and a loving environment, host families gain an international friendship and a lifetime of fond memories. This year, nearly 3,000 high school foreign exchange students from 33 countries will arrive in America. These young ambassadors are eager to be part of your family and experience the American high school spirit for a semester or an academic year.
EF Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to international student exchange and education. EF students participate in an extensive application and interview process, and are selected based on their academic achievement, maturity and adaptability. Students accepted to the EF Foundation program are fully insured, speak English, and bring their own spending money.
Today our efforts to promote peace and understanding are more important than ever before.
Help us improve cultural awareness and break down barriers one student at a time. To learn how to host a foreign exchange student and share your America, please contact me at 386-2323 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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