Letters - Jan. 18

Casino hypocrisy

It is amazing to me when hearing from the various faith-based groups that oppose the casino in Cascade Locks. You hear about the evils of gambling and the adverse effects it has on families and humanity in general, but you never hear them speak of “Church Bingo” in the same context. If gambling is such an epidemic then why aren’t they trying to save themselves?

Jonathan Blake

White Salmon, Wash.

‘Bogus’ stuff

I was disturbed when I read about Mrs. Lila Draper’s land issues (Jan. 14). Why does our government not just leave people the heck alone! When I am finally blessed to purchase land, you can bet that I will do whatever I want to with it. Property owners have to pay all kinds of fees, taxes, and pay for coding, etc. Why must they always be bothered with bogus stuff? I guess nobody really owns anything, do they?

Good luck and God bless, Mrs. Draper.

Kimberly Garner

The Dalles

Build awareness

I recently attended the memorial for Jennifer Smith, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Shortly after Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer I saw her at the softball field. I believe the first words out of her after I said hello were, “Have you had a mammogram?”

I was fortunate to have a positive response, because, had I said no, I believe she would have driven me down to get one then and there!

Jennifer had many passions but one that she was forced to have was cancer awareness and early detection. Mammography is the single most effective method of early detection. It can identify cancer several years before physical symptoms develop.

The American Cancer Society states, “A woman’s best overall preventative health strategy is to reduce her known risk factors as much as possible by avoiding obesity and weight gain, increasing physical activity and minimizing alcohol intake.”

Guidelines for early detection of breast cancer:

Age 40 and older

Annual mammogram

Annual clinical breast exam

Monthly breast self exam (optional)

Age 20 to 39

Clinical breast exam every three years

Monthly breast self exam (optional)

There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, which is why regular mammograms are critical.

This was Jennifer Smith’s message to me. I am passing it on to all those who think, “It can’t happen to me,” or “I’ll take care of it soon.” Don’t procrastinate; schedule your mammogram now and say a little thanks to a brave lady.

Pam Jacobson

Hood River

Teach health choices

I am writing in response to an article in your paper dated Jan. 7, titled, “A problem for all ages.” If the goal is to “urge parental leadership to foster healthy lifestyles for youth,” you have to expand your definition — not just focus solely on abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

I have several thoughts: These are just my thoughts, not at all expert advice.

1) Adults drinking in moderation and/or one parent may have a drink but the other does not, in order to role model the designated driver theory, would make much more of an impact than the total “abstain from” message which is not most people’s reality.

2) Alcohol at First Friday. It is a “business and local artist” promotional event. Vineyards are an important part of our community and First Friday is an opportunity for these vital businesses, along with the downtown stores which supply the wine to promote their goods. It is the adults who are purchasing from these folks.

If people don’t want their kids exposed, they can choose not to attend.

3) Most importantly. If you’re going to claim “healthy lifestyles” you cannot exclude diet and exercise. (It is known that obesity in children is on the rise.) There would be more credibility in a message about “healthy lifestyles” if the message included not only language, but role modeling of an entire package around moderation in diet, exercise, alcohol (if they choose once of age) and drug-free choices.

Because when all is said and done, what it really boils down to is, we as parents (which I am) are accountable for teaching and role modeling to our children how to make responsible, healthy lifestyle choices. Parenting — it’s an exciting journey!

Jacque Johnston

Hood River

Dealing fabrication

It appears that some in the pro casino circle in Cascade Locks are attempting (again) to insinuate that No Gorge Casino! is being funded by the Grande Ronde tribe. As co-chair of No Gorge Casino! I can say with absolute certainty that these rumors are complete fabrication.

The Coalition for Oregon’s Future does own the domain name nogorge-casino.com, but they owned that domain long before the combining of Hood River No Casino and Cascade Locks No Casino and concerned Washington State citizens into one group, No Gorge Casino!

There will be two domain names for the new group, nogorgecasinos.com (notice the plural) and columbiagorgeno-casino.com. Both domains have been purchased by the group (without any assistance from, or ties to, the Grand Rhonde tribe) and we are currently reviewing hosting options, but both sites will be up and operational shortly.

To simply put it, No Gorge Casino! is not funded by the Coalition for Oregon’s Future in any way, nor do we have any ties, financial or otherwise, with the Grand Ronde tribe. Instead of dealing in deception and innuendo, maybe casino supporters could try to talk about the actual issues surrounding the location of a 500,000 square foot casino in the heart of a National Scenic Area, and the negative effects it would have on Columbia Gorge communities.

John Randall

Cascade Locks

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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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