Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Check air facts
I was disappointed to read the Hood River News’ description of the ongoing pollution problem in the Gorge.
The tone of the article, intended or not, is that the Forest Service studies showing an alarming increase in acid rain/fog producing nitrogen in Gorge air are politically motivated and based on shoddy science. I’m concerned that the Hood River News seems to take unnamed “Mid-Columbia officials” assessment of the issue more seriously than the scientists who conducted the study. I’m not sure about anybody else, but I’m pretty suspect when a politician levels a charge of political motivation, particularly when that politician’s economic base perceives a threat.
The importance of Bachman’s and Geiger’s work is that their different techniques validated each other’s data. They show simply that the problem is bad and getting worse. They don’t point fingers, unlike those whose economic oxen may be gored.
Read the studies, check the facts.
Solve air problems
I have a problem with the idea that the recent Forest Service studies were engineered to stop business and residential growth.
I understand that there has to be a balanced approach to addressing air quality issues in the Gorge. This approach will take citizens, businesses and public officials at the state, county, and local levels to work together actively. But, there is a problem with air quality in the Gorge. Two main sources of pollution coming from the east especially in winter months have been identified: PGE’s coal-fired generating plant and the Three Mile Canyon Dairy.
What can be done now to start addressing the problems connected with these sources? Further studies should be continued in the meantime to document all sources of pollution and work to implement solutions actively. It will be an ongoing process to make decisions that balance environmental and economic issues.
These environmental issues and others are not just occurring in our area. We all know that they are worldwide. I, like many people, have a hard time with change. However, change is an ongoing part of living. To actively address air quality problems in the Gorge does not mean, however, that all aspects of civilization in the Gorge will be wiped out. Can we get on with active solutions to the air quality problem?
I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to each business and person who so generously gave to the Pine Grove Elementary Carnival this year.
As head of donations, I was truly amazed by the generosity of the local businesses and how much they care for our schools. They went above and beyond again this year and as a parent I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Please, if you see the names of these businesses in the “Thank-you” list from the Pine Grove PTO, remember to thank them through your patronage. It means a lot to this little school.
Accountability at top
Following the attacks of 9/11, the American people rallied around the president in support of his efforts to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism. They did so without regard to party affiliation and demanded the same from their elected representatives. The shared tragedy of 9/11 was a unique opportunity to bridge the political divides that have been pulling us apart as a nation.
Instead of using 9/11 to build national unity, Karl Rove used this tragedy to pursue a partisan agenda that has pulled us further apart. Instead of focusing on the very real threat from al-Qaeda, the Office of the Vice President used discredited intelligence reports and false linkages to 9/11 to build a rationale for launching an unnecessary war on Iraq — a war that neoconservatives had been advocating for years.
The post-9/11 support of the American people was betrayed by a political culture willing to use that support for partisan gains. The “ends justify the means” culture that we see from our political parties is corrosive to our democracy.
Americans understand that this culture is as much a threat to our nation as the world’s Bin Ladens. Karl Rove and Libby Scooter need to be accountable not just for the cover-up and outing of a CIA operative, but for breaking faith with the American people.
Wake up, America
Remember that scene in “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson is on the stand and Tom Cruise presses him for the TRUTH! Jack replied “You can’t handle the truth!”
I anticipate this scene playing out in real life. Scooter Libby doesn’t make orders; he follows them. Cheney ordered the Code Red.
Meanwhile, our armed forces and our country’s reputation continue to get battered.
And yet, people are still behind and believing in this administration. Wake up America! We need real leaders to stand up!
I wish to applaud Mike Brink (Our Readers Write, Oct. 29) regarding his respect and acknowledgement for the difficult and ever-dangerous job performed by our law enforcement officers here in the U.S.
I also acknowledge that virtually everyone (I humbly estimate more than 90 percent of Americans) agrees that our law enforcement officers are doing the right thing by enforcing our national and state constitutional rights and protecting us from violators.
Please, however, refrain from comparing loss of life in a war in which more than half of Americans either now or have always disagreed with in principle to law enforcement officers on our own soil dying in the act of duty.
I have yet to learn of anyone I know directly or indirectly being happy that since their loved one died in Iraq only .3 others died that day. Death of any person in their 20s or 30s is a tragedy no matter the cause, be it illness, accident or violence on our soil or abroad.
Confusing politics and grateful acknowledgement for officers doing their sworn, paid duty seems to minimize and color the nature of the praise.
I believe anyone who has fought in a war or has loved ones fighting now has an opinion worth hearing. At the same time, there is rarely one side to any story. Mr. Brink recommends “we should be thankful the count, (a mere 2,000 young Americans and countless thousands of foreigners) isn’t higher.”
Since he does not mention the death count of non-Americans, I can only assume their lives are of no concern to him or us? I choose to hold other explanations and opinions regarding the politics of our government and how it relates to the role we play in trade, war, world affairs and who remains in power throughout the world.
In the meantime, I will be forever grateful to anyone willing to place their safety in harm’s way to protect the life and liberty of my family. I support any of you praising our minimal death count in Iraq with my tax dollars to pay your way to the Middle East.
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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