Repeat attacks Control and respect are needed

Hood River News Editorial

May 14, 2005

Developments happened this week concerning two recent violations of community places.

The hospital flag is back, and an other animal attack happened at the high school.

The flag’s return, in time for Memorial Day on May 30, was a sweet reunion Thursday for the Providence Memorial Hospital Staff. Last month, someone stole the 15-by-25-foot flag from the hospital’s property on the southeast corner of 12th and May.

Despite the prominent location and the difficulty of stealing the securely hung, massive piece of patriotic cloth, someone — probably several people — succeeded in stealing it. An anonymous tip to police Thursday brought the flag back home, apparently undamaged. It was found in a garbage bag at the hospital construction site. The flag was the one for which local Cub Scouts and others raised money to buy in 2001 — after the original flag was stolen from the same spot.

Certainly we hope there will never be a recurrence of this theft, or that of any other flag. It would be too easy to simply recommend more vigilance, given how busy the corner is. Lack of respect for private property is at the heart of this crime. Yet the flag is also the city’s best-known banner, making the thefts one of community concern.

Fortunately, the hospital plans to take specific action that could involve hanging the flag from a cable rather than a rope. The anonymity of the tip that led police to the flag needs to be respected, but anyone with any knowledge of the theft should know it is not too late to inform the authorities.

Vigilance is the main answer to the discouragingly repetitious dog attacks at the livestock lab at Hood River Valley High School.

Sometime Wednesday night, a goat owned by FFA leader Michelle McCafferty was injured inside the pen at the facility on the west side of the HRVHS campus. It comes just two weeks after two ewes were killed and numerous lambs injured by two or more dogs, in a neighboring pen. It is the third attack in less than a year.

Animal control officer Casey DePriest got right on the case, and she has worked hard to try to find the culprit canines in the earlier intrusion, to no avail. The case is just part of her many duties.

But it is all but certain that the dog owners — and it is humans who are responsible — know if it was their dogs that killed or hurt the HRV animals.

Some dogs roam widely, but how many dogs go farther than a mile or two from home?

Owners of dogs in a two-mile radius of the high school, particularly on the west side facing the livestock lab, should take a close look at the dogs and make sure they are in compliance with county law, which requires pet owners to keep canines under control at all times — day and night.

The fact is, whoever owns the dogs probably knows if their dogs did the attacking.

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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



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