Letters - July 23, 2005

An artist’s thanks

I was recently in the Hood River News because I placed first in the Congressional Art Competition. I wanted all who read this to know that without the help of Hood River Valley High School pincipal Steve Fisk, and art teachers Steve Labadie and Kathy Stever I would have never had this opportunity. I owe it all to them for pushing me, and adding that extra little nudge to get me motivated enough to enter the contest. I also want to dedicate my upcoming art show on Aug. 3 at Jean’s in their honor. Thank you.

Mariam Appel

Hood River

A Lions thank you

The Hood River Lions Club thank the people of the Mid Columbia area for their efforts in helping us, by recycling newspapers at our collection points, the paper trailers at Safeway and Rosauers.

During the past year, because of you, we have collected 237,596 pounds of paper and raised $9,245.35, all of which is spent for benefit of the community. Thanks again, you have done a great job.

Eileen Codino

Hood River

We are not alone

In a recent article in the Oregonian regarding newcomers moving into the state of Arizona these are quotes from residents of that state. “They come to a place because they like the small-town atmosphere, but then they want to change it.”

And this from a fourth-generation resident. “These guys move here because they wanted to get away from where they were and then as soon as they get here, they want to bring what they left.” How about that? It’s happening in other communities. We are not alone.

John Codino

Hood River

Law and meth

I read with great interest Greg Walden’s “‘Daunting’ meth fight” article in the July 20 edition. The number of Acts, proposals, ideas and millions of dollars and hours of discussion, deliberation and law-making spent on this topic seem to be taking us in circles.

I have yet to see a widely published study by a sociologist or behavioral psychologist which attempts to explain why our members of society continue to poison themselves daily with meth, alcohol, prescription and illicit drugs and cigarettes. Doesn’t this suggest there is a greater problem which needs to be addressed? Cultures for thousands of years have known about and used mild-altering substances for ceremonial purposes, yet there seems to be little to no recorded history about their societies being decimated by these drugs.

If anyone really believes another law or another $72 million awarded by the House of Representatives for “the fight against meth” will yield positive results, please look around. The problem got worse after the first tougher law was enacted as it did when the second one went into effect. That goes the same for our tax dollars.

Representative Walden, as a staunch Democrat I voted for you in the last election. Please use your influence in Washington and here in Oregon to get money spent to improve the quality of our and society’s lives so no one need consider using meth as a lifestyle choice instead of blowing millions on programs and law enforcement which have not resolved anything.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Dangerous current

While I was windsurfing Tuesday afternoon (July 19) at Marina Park I noticed an 11-year-old girl diving under the water and surfacing repeatedly for several minutes. She was about 40 yards offshore of the farthest northeast point of the sandbar at the park. I watched her carefully for any signs that she was in trouble as a windsurfer and kiter passed in close proximity, but she didn’t call for help or try to wave them down.

I cruised next to her, dropped the sail and asked her several times if she was okay. On the third time she quietly answered “no” (she appeared to be out of breath.) I told her to sit on top of the board and gave her my ski belt. A man on a jet ski was kind enough to take her back to the main beach (thank you) where she said her mom was.

After getting caught in the rip current the young girl apparently had resorted to trying to swim underwater in order to try and make it back to shore. Low water conditions on the Columbia River have made a large area of the sandbar accessible several hundred yards out from the main beach.

The northeast section of the sandbar has an inviting peninsula that attracts tourists, sunbathers and waders. What most don’t know is that just a few yards offshore there is a steep drop-off where the compact sandy bottom changes into the consistency of quicksand, and a strong current draws everything back into the main river. And unless you are an Olympic class swimmer, trying to swim against it is futile.

I believe there should be a sign out there to warn people of the imminent danger. I also read in a windcam chat room last week that another small girl had recently been trapped in an eddy near the kite spit.

Mike Kremer


Support Nordic

Teacup Lake Nordic Club had an entry in the Hood River Fourth of July parade! It was a pickup pulling a trailer which hauled a Pisten Bully snow-cat with trail grooming equipment. There were also five Teacup Nordic members roller-skiing around the float. Folks had questions about the roller skis and the kids really enjoyed the roller skiing action. The roller skis are used for training for cross-country skiing in the winter, but they are also safe, fun and a great way to keep in shape all spring, summer and fall.

The Teacup Nordic Club members (volunteers) have maintained 20 km of groomed trails at Teacup Lake for over 20 years. The club also provides events, racing, training, teaching and free coaching for kids and high school Nordic ski racers.

Hood River Valley High doesn’t have a Nordic ski team at this time. The OISRA Nordic Division Northern League is in place, and Hood River would have the same advantage as the Bend area high schools with its close proximity to groomed trails.

OISRA Nordic Division Northern League has information on their Web site at www.oisra.com on how high schools and high school students interested in free Nordic ski coaching to start a Hood River Team can contact Teacup Lake Nordic Club board member Jan Buschman at 1333 S.W. Freeman St., Portland, OR 97219.

We are also in the midst of raising funds to replace our old, worn construction trailer/warming hut with a day use cabin. We have selected a local Hood River building contractor, but we are still $10,000 short of funds for just the finished shell. With your donations (no amount is too small) we will build this summer. Please refer to www.teacupnordic.org for details. Hood River businesses have much to gain with further enhancements at Teacup Lake, as XC-skiers will be using your services for ski rental, equipment, food, lodging, etc. Teacup Lake was the only facility last winter to groom XC-ski trails on Mount Hood in spite of the low snow pack.

If you or your business can contribute, please send your tax-deductible donation to: Teacup Building Fund, c/o Dawn Holt, 11261 S.W. Pintail Loop, Beaverton, OR 97007. Thank you for your support to help even more people and youngsters pursue cross-country skiing as a healthful, lifelong activity.

Teresa Webb


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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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