Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Pleased with kids
To the parents of children attending Hood River public schools:
I am one of the senior citizens who was invited to Westside Elementary School on May 1. As I understand it all of us were asked to visit the classes as they worked and then have lunch with them. Since my daughter is a teacher at that school, I have been there many times but never have I watched a class work or have I ever attended a lunch with them. How lucky you parents are! The class I was with is first grade. Several of the kids sat at a desk with me and read a book. There is no way I can read out loud like they did. When I was a kid only the girls could, or would, do this. Shortly thereafter we went to lunch. I was surprised at how many kids were there. I watched the other classes to see how they acted. It was all the same, little ladies and gentlemen. One kid spilled his tray; nobody got up and made fun of him. Later everyone finished and cleaned up their trays and walked out. But the thing that impressed me the most was how they seemed to all be just boys and girls being together as one. Oh, yes, the teacher at our lunch table did have to get after one person, me. I promise that I won’t steal anyone’s milk again.
C.B. “Larry” Young
I am one of the unfortunate residents on May Street between 22nd and 27th. The West Side Fire Department issued a permit for a controlled burn of brush and large tree stumps on land being cleared at May and 27th. The burn was going full blast on Friday. I got home from work to find smoke permeating my home. It was warm on Friday, I could not even open my windows and my grandchildren, who live next door, could not go outside to play.
The smoke was so bad I had to leave my home for a few hours just to breathe. According to the West Side Fire Department there was nothing that could be done because a permit was issued for the burn. (Why a permit was issued for such a large burn in a residential area in the first place, I’ll never know!) A fire department employee did come and check on the burn, but it continued burning. My problem with the smoke was probably minor compared to what the residents of Parkhurst House were going through. I know there are lots of pets in the neighborhood also that were stuck outside in all that smoke.
In my oppinion, the stuff that was burned should have been hauled away. It seems to me that for a burn of that size the neighborhood should be fore-warned to make other plans for the elderly, pets and people with breathing problems.
It is now Monday and I can still feel the effects of the smoke. The burn pile smouldered all night, making it impossible to have my windows open. Smoke was visible most of the day Saturday. Fortunately the wind finally came up and blew most of it away. There is still a pile of stumps and brush laying there waiting to be burned.
I sure hope another permit is not issued to continue this health hazzard.
A great teacher
I know this letter may be late, but I know longer live in the area and sometimes news takes awhile to get to Colorado. I was devastated to hear of the passing of Peter Geist. I had him as a teacher his first year at Hood River Middle School (1984). He is the reason I read so much today. He taught me that books were not just for school but also personal enjoyment. I know I am not the only student he taught this to. He had a way of getting ideas across to students who usually were not interested in reading (i.e. me).
It is a great loss for his family and the community. My deepest sympathy goes to his family. God bless.
Ft. Collins, Colo.
‘Man on a horse’
What’s wrong with this picture?
While our health system sickens, while our public education is degraded, while unemployment lays us off, while oil-based construction companies fatten when the economy is in famine, an ambiguously-elected, National Guard-serving President takes to the air for the photo-op equivalent of an imperial “man on a horse” statue.
Well, maybe some part of the horse is accurate.
No one needs reminding that from the personal level to international crisis, conflict fills our world. We may find it hard to remember that most of the time people resolve their own conflicts. Problems at work, at home, with neighbors and family are usually handled in a way that puts a premium on communication and enables us to move ahead effectively.
Occasionally, however, there are those disputes where communication breaks down and the situation becomes overwhelming and makes our lives miserable. Friendships are lost, businesses suffer, and families split up. Perhaps it is a good time to re-think how we deal with our seemingly irreconcilable disputes. Mediation can make a difference.
Resolving problems in a confidential, safe atmosphere, with the help of a neutral third party, is a way to tackle thorny problems. If you come up against a dispute that defies resolution, Six Rivers Community Mediation Services encourages you to give mediation a try.
Did you ever consider that one reason voter turnout may be low is that unless a position(s) is contested there is no information provided on the candidates. Speaking for myself, I really don’t want to vote for individuals I know nothing about. I feel badly that my ballot for the May 20 election will only be partially completed due to that.
A faulty deal
Will Carey (Hood River County Attorney) gloated that now Hood River taxpayers won’t have to foot an expensive bill for a trial on the merits of a case against the land trade. That’s really great news for Will Carey, because if the case were tried on its merits, Carey, the commissioners and planners, Meadows, and even Judge Hull would have big black eyes when the details of the backroom sweetheart deal the commissioners and planners gave Meadows along with over a million dollars hit this newspaper. The Oregonian already ran this piece but locally there has been no mention that back in early 2001, the commissioners and Meadows had been writing each other and meeting while planning a destination resort together, and pretending to be unaware of those plans when they valued and traded the land. The evidence here is like a thief caught on video. In court it is pretty hard to find for the thief. From the beginning, the strategy of Meadows and the County has been to keep this case out of the courtroom where it will lose (and coincide with the will of Hood River county voters). So now Hood River residents have to buy a $5 million filter instead of a $20 million trial. And then there are the ongoing costs of running the filtration plant. Is this job creation? The case is being kept out of the courtroom on a technicality about how the challengers went about it in the wrong fashion, or on legal standing, or other farcical legal grounds. If the suit was so faulty that it was tossed out, why is the faulty method of the county land trade so heavily defended? Is the County so embarrassed to have left such a trail that they would harm our economy to keep it hidden? Don’t forget this on Election Day.
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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