Letters - Sept. 10

Continue Inn tours

I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of Cloud Cap Inn led by Ron Kikel and Jane Dooley of the Hood River Ranger Station. For years I have wanted to tour this historical treasure and I know members of the Crag Rats allow people passing through the area to come inside if they are at the Inn, which is a very generous offer. I was always hesitant of interrupting important Crag Rat business while hiking, snowshoeing or skiing nearby.

This is why I appreciated the organized tour led by Forest Service personnel who have studied the history and archaeology of the Inn and conducted interviews with Crag Rat members and others knowledgeable about the history of this location.

While not wanting to inundate the Inn or Crag Rats with a mob of visitors (the Forest Service limits the tour group size and number of hours) I encourage the Forest Service to continue these tours in the future so others can learn of the historical value of Cloud Cap Inn and the entire Tilly Jane area in order to preserve this section of the mountain in its undeveloped state for future generations.

Kathleen Welland


Blame Mom Nature

Karen Donahue (Our Readers Write, Sept. 7) is getting pretty upset when talking about the masses of humanity displaced, uprooted and left with everything they owned gone through the fury of the natural catastrophe we now call Katrina. I am sure we all are deeply saddened by the suffering of those living in the wake of this natural disaster. But let’s not make the mistake of looking for a scapegoat.

Suddenly everybody blames the hurricane on his/her opponent. Rep. (Nancy) Pelosi blames the Republicans, the Republicans blame the Democrats, Mrs. or Ms. Donahue blames the Christian Right, the Senator (Democrat) from Louisiana blames the President (Republican) and everybody, especially the press, blames FEMA.

Nobody, however, mentions Mother Nature, which is a very fickle woman with very unpredictable priorities. Mrs. or Ms. Donahue’s assertion is that the unavailability of abortion, a definite NO for the Christian Right, is to be blamed for the suffering of the masses. First of all, it is, in my unqualified opinion, immoral and definitely wrong to use abortion as a birth control method, and it is murder.

Secondly, with all the different birth-control devices and methods available, even or especially for the so-called poor, it is beyond me how anybody in his/her right mind can blame the suffering of the so-called poor and Mother Nature’s escapades on the lack of abortion possibilities.

Third, there always have been, from the beginning of time, poor, not so poor and rich people. And it will always be that way. Nothing will and can change that fact, no matter how idealistic a person intends to be.

Peter von Oppel

Hood River

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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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