Letters - August 24

Proposal too far

The more I read about Peg Lalor’s latest endeavor, the more I wonder why she doesn’t just get a real estate license and start selling bridges.

With three impressive structures crossing the Columbia between The Dalles and Cascade Locks, she would have a better chance with them than she does selling her latest boondoggle to anyone in the Gorge. One of the first red flags in any potential business transaction is a short time frame in which to make a choice. This is a high-pressure sales tactic that is often intended to force a decision without adequate time to research the issue. Unfortunately for Ms. Lalor, e-mail and the telephone allow communications to take place very quickly, as evidenced by the denials received from two of the parties named as consultants to her proposed project.

On their Web site, Xventure.com, Peg and her “Dev Team” talk about launching a world wide chain of Xventure resorts by building the first one here in the Gorge. Perhaps they would be better off starting in France where no one knows them.

Don Stevens

Hood River

Speech squelched

In reading Bill Jones’ letter dated Aug. 13, regarding “yellow shirts” forcing people protesting the war in Iraq on First Friday to move on to other locations, I find a troubling parallel to the “Brown Shirts” of Nazi Germany.

These protestors were exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech. That these “yellow shirts” were evidently hired by downtown Hood River merchants and showed no other badge of authority leads me to believe that downtown Hood River is only for Hood River merchants and their customers.

That our government wishes to squelch dissent is bad enough, but that the Hood River merchants should attempt to do so is an indication that they don’t approve of free speech on “their day” and don’t deserve my business.

Terry Guisto

Hood River

Thanks to Macks

Andy and Jaime Mack deserve a giant “Thank you” for organizing the family and kids sailing night this past Thursday as well as this summer’s community education kid’s sailing clinics. The Macks selflessly borrowed and purchased boats, took on a project that had been jeopardized administratively, and ran a first rate “Intro to Sailing” class for ages five to 45.

Our 10-year-old son, Levi, found his stride early on Thursday evening, and he’s been talking up Optimist dinghies since then. It would have been impossible to ignore the bright outlook for Hood River’s future, when shouts and giggles propagated from an 8-foot sailboat. Manned only by three excited pre-teens, the craft overtook a slower vessel that swerved under the command of a 5-year-old. All this in 3 knots of wind and 85-degree sunshine.

Protected within the confines of the Marina and tempered by the light traffic that is characteristic of a small town, our community is fortunate to have the perfect venue for young sailors to flourish.

Thanks also to Mike Schend of Community Education and to the Port of Hood River, for helping to facilitate such a wonderful opportunity for our kids to expand their horizons.

Cory and Terese Roeseler

Hood River

Stop fight, be nice

I want to extend a thanks to David Duncombe and Kathy Thomas for organizing the candlelight vigil in White Salmon on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

For those who do not know, this was a nationwide event honoring Cindy Sheehan, mother of Army Specialist Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq, and has been holding a vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. She was recently joined by more moms who lost a child in Iraq and other military families. (Meanwhile President Bush continues his five-week vacation and pledged Thursday to keep U.S. troops in Iraq — meaning more moms will lose a child.)

Cindy had asked supporters to start candlelight vigils in their own communities to support her and call for an end to the war. So on the night of Aug. 17, there were 1,627 vigils together in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Well over 100,000 people attended. The vigils were simple and dignified. Together, participants acknowledged the sacrifices made by Cindy Sheehan, her son, Casey and the more than 1,800 brave American men and women who have given their lives in Iraq — and their moms and families.

Because I had to work that night, I could not attend the vigil in White Salmon, but my two daughters and grandaughter were among the 30-plus people in attendance. The purpose was to say what a lot of America is feeling: that we’re tired of the President’s distortions, and we want a real, responsible plan for exit from Iraq. Although at 2 years old, my granddaughter cannot understand the impact of war, it is my hope that her generation will be more peaceful and loving than those previous, who seek war and destruction as a means of problem solving. May she always hold in her heart the words she repeated at her first vigil: “Stop Fighting ... be nice to each other!”

Rishell Graves

White Salmon

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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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