Letters to the editor for April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011

Let's be proactive

Sometimes the best strategy in an unwise war is simply to "muddle through" instead of radically changing course; especially if that change may result in greater loss of life in the long run.

Having made some poor decisions in the past, it does not follow that there is a better way out today. The window of opportunity for righting these wrongs may have passed us by. We seem to have painted ourselves into a corner with no way of extracting ourselves without doing greater harm to ourselves and to those we would help.

This may sound like a fatalistic approach to our present situation in the Middle East, and in a sense it is. But hopefully we have learned a lesson from all of this.

Our job now is to start doing what we should have begun 30 to 50 years ago, i.e. acting out of generosity and compassion instead of "national interest" to other nations and peoples. Had we done so, I doubt seriously whether we would be mired in the Middle East today.

In the long run, a moral foreign policy is the best foreign policy. From here on, let's be proactive, not reactive.

David C. Duncombe

White Salmon, Wash.

Other fruits?

I am curious to know why grapes and blueberries were not included in charting Hood River fruit for 2009. It seems to me that these additional crops have appeared in our valley in greater numbers in recent years. Does anyone keep those records?

Gale Arnold

Hood River

Concerned parent

What has happened to the strength and concerns that used to be addressed in our county schools, which are the wonderful citizens of our teaching community? Teachers used to have a heart and an expressive want and dedicated soul to care about our youngsters and our next generation.

Children should be the concern of our teaching community and their success should be on the top of the list. Lately the county school district has been under duress about budget cuts.

Budget cuts are an ongoing concern to our family, but lately the last few months we have quite another list of ongoing dilemmas, situations that should be of concern to any parent; that's why I as a parent have been constantly lurking for answers.

Grades that fail should be a concerning factor to faculty and teaching staff; we constantly have, "She's doing good; it's only one or two classes." How about school bullies? How about teachers telling students out loud they're not good enough, and to go away?

What about being under fire for the whole school year to approve a medical plan for your child that could be life-changing and life-altering if they only listened?

We are still lurking and as well known parents we will still lurk until our children need and get what they are entitled to: fair education and a clean, pure educational environment. Honestly, who should have to say, ask, hold meeting after meeting, have grown staff point their fingers, pretend they don't hear you, and then who would feel comfortable in the end?

In the end my good, honest, truthful statement would be never, ever stop until - well, just never give up, stop nor break a sweat. Your child, like our children, are our future.

JoAnn Rothe

Hood River

Why the silence?

Recently I heard a very intriguing story on NPR on the dearth of war protests since President Obama was elected to office. It made me stop and think about our own Hood River before and after the president's election.

What has happened to the local war protests nearly every weekend? The peace vigils? The signs tallying war deaths? The constant letters to the editor calling for the president's impeachment?

President Obama has maintained the Iraq war, escalated the war in Afghanistan and involved us in a new war in Libya with less justification and approval from Congress and the American people than either of Bush's wars. Why is it so silent? Was it all about politics? The hypocrisy is deafening.

Brian Albiston

Hood River

Save lives, jobs

The Japanese are suffering the devastating effects of the recent earthquakes. Our federal government normally sends money to aid governments like Japan, to assist people in their rebuilding effort after disasters.

Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart is trying to move an idea forward to help both the people of Japan as well as the people here in the United States. His idea; instead of giving money, why doesn't our government purchase goods here in the United States, then send those goods to aid Japan?

We in the Northwest have a tremendous amount of wood fiber (timber) locked up via lawsuits on BLM and U.S. Forest Service land. Our folks in Washington, D.C., have the power to allow forest management on federal land.

By allowing timber harvest on federal land this could create 30,000 jobs here in the Northwest and provide a humanitarian effort to rebuild Japan.

In order to make this work: 1) it would need to be a five-year effort so mills could afford to tool up; 2) harvest timber from our federal forests at a level indicated in the Clinton Forest plan; 3) evaluate the consequence of forest management after five years.

The results would be a healthy forest, economy and a rebuild of Japan.

Charles J. Hurliman

Tillamook county


Check for ticks

You don't want Lyme disease. My husband got it from a tick bite while doing yard work on the Heights in Hood River.

Do a tick check after hiking or walking in tall grass. Save yourself from this virulent and preventable disease.

Beth McCullough

Husum, Wash.

Need more 'Benjamins'

I really enjoyed your article on "Benjamin" ("Dreams and politics fuel tuition debate," April 9). It was very educational and pointed out very important views on the children who are hungry for a better future and education. The article has been one of the best that I have read.

Thank you, for sharing this amazing story to all of us. He is a very good example of a hard-working young man, wanting to better his future. Our community needs more "Benjamins."

Leticia Marquez

Hood River

Team up

for Relay

Relay for Life of the Columbia Gorge is quickly approaching. Teams are forming and fundraisers are under way. We currently have 26 of our 36-team goal and are well along toward raising $120,000 for 2011.

We are still in need of event volunteers, activity prizes, sponsors and team members. For more information on how to participate in the 2011 Relay, please visit our website at www.RelayForLife.org/Columbiagorgeor or contact:

Veronica Moline, team development chair, rjmoline@live.com or 541-490-1722

Lorrie Wingerd, event co-chair, lorrie@gorge.net or 541-490-4041

Kathie Alley, event co-chair, kathsrelay@gorge.net or 541-386-3184

Bob Reeves

Media chair, RFL

Latest stories

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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