Thursday, December 30, 2010
New lights disappoint
The Columbia Gorge Hotel is a historic asset of Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge. Each year I look forward to the hotel's beautiful Christmas light display as I am sure most Gorge Residents and holiday passers-by do.
This year I was very disappointed in the change of lights. The new red and white (with almost a blue glow) lights look out of place and mismatched. The hotel's Christmas lights in years past were traditional soft white lights that complemented the historical architecture of the historic property.
The hotel is a large draw for tourism for our city and is extremely visible by traffic from both directions of I-84; I would have hoped that the new owners of the hotel would have realized this and put more thought into their display so that it may reflect more positively on them, their historic property and our wonderful city.
I've been thinking about ObamaCare and I have no confidence in the government's ability to manage America's health care. Let's look at a much smaller project, the $3 billion "Cash for Clunkers" program to see how they did.
So let's start by examining Obama's gas savings math: A 15-mpg clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 800 gallons of gas a year. A 25-mpg vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 480 gallons a year. So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction reduced U.S. gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year. Great!
The Obama Administration claims that 700,000 clunkers were turned in, so that's 224 million gallons of gasoline saved per year. That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of crude oil.
Five million barrels is about 5 hours' worth of U.S. consumption, but forget that. More importantly, as of January 2011 crude oil is $89.82 a barrel. Five million barrels of crude oil at $89.82 per barrel costs about $450 million. So, the government paid out $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $450 million. We, the taxpayers spent $6.67 for every single dollar we saved. Perfect!
Don't worry though; I'm pretty sure Obama will do a great job with your health care. He won't be touching mine.
We Republicans need to repeal this stupidity called ObamaCare and replace it with a program that focuses on those people who need government health care and leaves the rest of us alone. This new year is the year to do it.
Recent letters by Mr. Randall (Dec. 22) and Mr. Curley (Dec. 18) bring up important topics about our ideologies and the way we live. Not being raised Christian, I can only base things on what I have learned as an adult through others' actions and my search for knowledge.
If I could summarize Christianity into one short statement, it would be the four letters on the bracelets worn by many people in this area which simply say WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) Wasn't the reason for his presence here to demonstrate proper behavior under ALL circumstances?
Mr. Curley has many valid points about how our nation conveniently chooses when to do as Jesus would and when it may not really be necessary; i.e. billions spent on defense, but cardboard boxes (I exaggerate here) for our children's classrooms, or top executives in finance making huge bonuses while simultaneously crashing the mortgage market and nearly our economy.
These aren't liberal or socialist ramblings. These things happened and there is ample proof, even on Fox Network. Mr. Randall cautions Mr. Curley about "lumping" people; suggesting all Christians are "wild-eyed bible thumpers." Mr. Curley, I am pretty sure a few of my Christian friends carry their Bibles lightly and noise-free.
Those who know me would certainly call me a liberal. I believe very few would say I have a socialist agenda. I also realize that not all Christians are bigots or gay-bashers. That said, I feel confident I could lump those attending a KKK rally into the categories of Christian, bigot and anti-gay.
In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone that the First Amendment was written by Christian men who fled a society of fellow Christians who were oppressing them. These same Christian men wrote the First Amendment to provide freedoms for people who might otherwise be oppressed.
So, is it What Would Jesus Do? - or What Would Jesus Do if conditions warranted it? (Notice the fine print the bottom.)
The American Legion Auxiliary, Hood River Unit 22, would like to thank everyone who bought tickets in our 50-50 Scholarship raffle. All the tickets were sold just in time for June Halliday to win $500 for Christmas.
The Auxiliary wins by having money to fund at least one $500 scholarship for a deserving senior from our local schools.
Again, thanks to everyone who participated.
Dorothy A. O'Dell
Hood River Unit 22
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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