Tuesday, May 27, 2003
HR is tops
Al Brown’s piece in the May 21 issue was wonderful. It’s always nice to read someone’s positive thoughts, but especially when they echo the feelings of so many. I share his views, but say it a little differently; I call it my 10 percent rule.
America is easily in the top 10 percent of places to live in the world. The Northwest is certainly in the top 10 percent of places to live in America. The Gorge is definitely in the top 10 percent of regions in the Northwest — and most certainly Hood River is in the top 10 percent of towns in the Gorge. Where does that put us? Pretty close to the top. I love Hood River too.
Acting vs. hunger
I got excited when I saw the headline in The Oregonian about Oregon’s high hunger rate. We had just learned about this in school. Oregon has been the hungriest state for many years now and it’s taken a long time for someone to finally try to do something about it. Then when I read the article in The Oregonian, I realized that instead of trying to help Oregon’s hunger problem most of the article was talking about how there could be errors in the ranking.
I know that when I first found out about the hunger rate in Oregon I wasn’t thinking that there could be errors in the ranking, I was thinking about what I could do help stop hunger. I thought that I could look to my elders for help, but maybe it is the other way around. I know that I am not going to just sit around and worry about errors in the ranking while people are dying in our state. I am going to do something about it! Stay tuned this fall for more news about what I am doing to stop hunger in “Hands Across The Gorge.”
Hood River Middle School
‘Box’ on the bridge
While I don’t care to touch the subject of super-stores or big-box-retailers, I would, however, like to comment on the path to progress.
It is difficult to understand the strong views coming from a White Salmon resident where the proposed expansion of a big-box-retailer in Hood River is concerned. If I lived in White Salmon, I don’t know how I would characterize my trips across a toll-bridge to purchase retail goods and services in Hood River.
On the one hand, I am avoiding a retail tax that my state levies on its residents to pay for essential services. I often can’t find what I need in White Salmon; maybe I’m unhappy with the selection or even the price. In reality Hood River residents should probably thank their White Salmon neighbors for leaving their cash here in Hood River where it will envision progress.
And the situation can only get better with a new bridge that doesn’t charge a toll! The solution: a combination bridge with big-long-box retail on top; now everyone is happy.
Very nice people
On May 17, my prom date and I were dining at the Crazy Pepper Restaurant. After we completed our meal, we asked for the check and were told that the bill had been taken care of. We asked who had paid our tab, but the server just told us that they were very nice people. We very much appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity that was shown. It was a very nice beginning for a wonderful evening.
Joining a ‘Ruckus’
Hundreds of progressive rural Oregonians attended the Rural Organizing Project’s “Barnyard Ruckus” at the Capitol. Some of the organizations that were involved included human dignity groups, friends of libraries and schools, peace and justice, and environmental groups. Our goal was to meet with our regional representatives to discuss issues of concern.
Some of those issues were a need to preserve our civil rights by asking for no changes with ORS 181.575 and ORS 181.850 which preserves Oregon’s model civil rights legislation which protects us from political spying and police profiling. We also demanded fair wages, which is everyone’s right. Progressives want funding for human rights, to include funding for K-12 schools; not tax breaks for the rich or corporate welfare. Full federal funding for special education, Head Start, Medicaid costs and housing assistance — not funding for Bush’s war.
Meeting appointments with our representatives were made several months ago, and while many were able to speak with their representatives, Patty Smith was a no-show, and Rick Metzger was there for a short meeting. The People’s Progress report, which evaluated our elected officials on their performance with economic justice, human rights, and civil liberties was given or left.
Since rural legislators are the majority in Oregon, rural progressive Oregonians have a lot of potential strength and a huge amount of responsibility. They truly represent the powerless, underserved and unheard.
This is in concern about development in the watershed on Mt. Hood. I called the federal safe water agency — they said for everyone to call the state at 503-731-4317, then they said a federal program to keep pure water pure (pristine) call Sherie Stuart 503-229-5413. I only called the 800 number. Others will have to call the other numbers. Good luck.
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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