Letters - June 21

Enough already

You are either for Wal-Mart or against Wal-Mart; however bashing them with what you hear in the media is not right. I respect the opinions of all who disagree with the new Wal-Mart store coming to Hood River; however let me give you a few first hand facts.

As a new peak time Wal-Mart employee (temporary) I was able to get health benefits the first day I started working, at a cost of $150 less a month than my last employer, where I worked full time. As for other benefits, they offer the best I have seen in years: 401K, profit sharing, etc. Many of my co-workers are making wages that equal or surpass the wages I was making as a Hanel Lumber employee. There are endless possibilities for advancement for all Wal-Mart employees who want to further their career with the company; not many of the companies in Hood River can offer that.

Wal-Mart does not displace other stores’ employees; it creates needed jobs in an economically depressed region (I am living proof), with the opportunity for advancement. They are not the evil in America, they are what America is all about: free enterprise. As for the new store, they have bent over backwards to accomodate the wants of the community they are now firmly part of, proud of and attached to. From listening to the customers who come from all parts of the U.S., the new Wal-Mart store is going to be the nicest one in the country, not just a Big Box. As for the old building, I have heard that it may become anything from a warehouse to an extension for the Columbia Gorge Community College, which in turn will create even more jobs.

In closing, all I can tell you is Wal-Mart has given me the best opportunity I have had in three years go get back on my feet, get my bills paid, keep my family healthy, put food in the house, and to be happy. Wal-Mart is not your enemy, and I am very proud to be part of their team.

George Mohun

Hood River

Park on Lot 6

After reading the latest article in the Hood River News about the waterfront, I felt compelled to write. I have walked many times on Lot 6 and it has to be the perfect place for a park. Maybe other people think so, too. The Parks and Recreation department recently distributed a master survey to see what people wanted in Hood River and you guessed it, the number one request was for a waterfront park! But alas, the Port says that they can’t afford it.

Port director Dave Harlan and the Port Commissioners quote the figure of $1.2 million to build a park and $78,000 to maintain. This seems unrealistic since the national average for maintenance of parks is only $7,000 per acre.

The cost of a park also appears to be quite inflated. A few years ago, the Port was offered assistance to make Lot 6 level and green. This would have cost the Port nothing. Not one dime. And the Port refused. I don’t understand why they would do this?

This would have enabled all of us to enjoy the waterfront on this park setting NOW — enjoying the view of Mt. Adams, the bridge over the Lower White Salmon, the hills of Washington and the mighty Columbia. Families could fly kites, kids could play ball, and picnic. This offer would have helped to make this particular area beautiful while the Port continued to try to develop the rest of the waterfront.

Now another option to pay for the building of the park might be similar to the Children’s Park, a very successful endeavor to build a wonderful park. This park was built for $80,000 with the labor donated by the community. It is widely used by residents of all ages. This could be done on Lot 6, too — a great way to get people together and have a wonderful park, without spending much money. Please save Lot 6 for a park — and let’s all work together to do this, while maintaining the more industrial areas for job creation.

Charlie Cannon

Hood River

Thanks, firefighters

My husband and I had an experience on May 28 for which we would like to publicly express our gratitude. That Wednesday, our house in Parkdale caught fire and if it were not for the wonderful job of the fire department, our story would be very different.

We are very lucky, both my husband and I and our cats are okay. We have learned that with a fire, minutes count for everything. The response time was outstanding and we know that is why we still have a house standing. You are our heroes! If it were not for you, the outcome would have been very different.

That night our whole life was turned upside down, yet we learned so much that night. Fire is a very wicked thing with a mind of its own; something that we do not think can truly be understood until you experience it. Yet you all gladly came to help, mostly volunteers, but all from your hearts.

How kind, caring and compassionate you were to us. You had your jobs to do, but you also made our priorities yours. It did not look good when you first arrived, looked like it would be a total loss. But because of all of you, we are all okay, and the wonderful bonus you gifted us is our house is still standing.

So many people showed up to help, we saw the power of our community at its best. We have been told that other departments showed up to assist Parkdale; Odell, Pine Grove and Dee. To all of you, thank you, you surely made a difference in our lives.

We would love to thank everyone, but honestly would not know most of you if you walked by, that night is still a blur. But you will know us and we would love it if you would stop and say hi. We cannot ever thank you enough or express how truly grateful we are to you, we appreciate you so much. You all will forever be our heroes.

Life is good, thank you for standing by us.

Lynden and Scott Hollowell

Parkdale

Check drug terms

Crank is not a derivitive of cocaine.

I would suggest that in general, the dispersal of misinformation (you state in a recent news article that “crank” is a derivative of cocaine) undermines the credibility that is so desperately needed when educating our children as to the dangers of drug abuse. Having been in high school during the drug-saturated 1960s I remember how laughably misinformed the “adults” who were warning of the dangers of pot and other drugs. The very fact that they knew so little factually about that which they were preaching undercut any value they might have imparted. Children are extremely sophisticated when if comes to flushing-out inaccuracies in information, especially when an adult attempting to educate is so totally off-base regarding the basic facts of the issue at hand. For the record: crank and cocaine are two entirely separate substances. Both insidious but not derivative as you stated in your article.

Kevin Donald

Hood River

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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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