Wednesday, December 7, 2011
It's about prices
Yes, we all like to hate Walmart. This is the reason I shop there occasionally:
I went to another local store to purchase a light bulb. It was $7.49. That seemed a little high, so I went to Walmart. It was $4.38. That is the reason people shop at Walmart.
Don't buy it!
Pundits claim our economy needs growth. So the good news: U.S. population grew by 60 percent and the world by 100 percent since 1960! Sing along with me: We're in the money; we're in the money; we're in the money now!
I agree with Mr. Burkhardt (letters, Nov. 23) that the Hood River News would serve its readers well by presenting the views of those who favor running coal-dust-spewing trains through the Gorge.
If the paper would send one of its reporters to interview me, I would gladly make something up. So far I have been unable to find someone who supports this juggernaut.
We recently found our car with a dead battery after an overnight stay at Hood River. Gordon Pillon, service manager of Expertec Automotive Repair Inc. on the Heights, came to our rescue. Remember, we had never even been in their office prior to this incident; but it didn't seem to change the way they greeted us and offered suggestions and finally a battery cable assist to start our car.
I would recommend that the good people of Hood River would be wise to support this business. They will be glad they did, I'm sure.
In a unique but in some ways fitting coincidence, the same issue (Nov. 23) of the Hood River News tells us of the death of Aileen Gaddy and the full-time reopening of the Hood River County Library.
Many of us owe Aileen a shelf full of "thank-yous" for her years of friendly and helpful service there. It's going to require a sturdy shelf.
Coal or bust?
The government sells leases for stripping coal from federal lands for almost nothing, which is then shipped hundreds of miles to the possible health detriment of people in the Gorge; then shipped thousands of miles to China to make steel and generate power which in turn fuels imports sold back to the U.S. at a substantial profit.
So, we give away our resources, pay higher medical costs, subsidize coal exports, allow China to undercut our domestic markets and then pay more for imports. Go figure.
Why don't we give away the coal for use ONLY in the U.S., pay for cleaner scrubbers on coal-fired energy plants, generate power to be used locally, subsidize makers of U.S. steel and take back the jobs we keep losing?
Let people vote
In looking at the Nov. 26 edition of the News, why am I not surprised at the protest and negative comments on the Walmart application for expansion? Some of these protesters are legitimate and some just like to be heard. Some, in this case, may be supported by outside interests.
After serving for 20 years on one elective body in our county, including president for more than one time and two appointed boards for the same length of time, I can attest to the fact that some would vote against "Motherhood and Apple Pie" just to be heard. Of course, our Constitution allows this.
By using the vote process this helps the body in charge to make their decisions. During this hearing process the opposition normally outnumbers the others and is used to appearing before boards/commissioners, etc., and is very articulate and convincing to the boards.
The majority of the people in most small towns are not in this category so are not represented. The only way to be represented is by the voting process when the issue is controversial.
My wife and I enjoy spending a few months in a warmer climate in the winter. In this small town where we reside the issue was the same and the pubic body charged with making the decision decided to have the people vote on the issue. Walmart won hands-down in this case.
We could do the same here. Unfortunately, I am not sure how the process works but I do know that only the local people would be involved. I do not know who paid the expenses of the election. I understand this has happened in other areas of our country, as well.
In the event this were tried in our town, Walmart would have to be involved as neither the county or city are well enough funded to do so in these lean economic times. The people would have to contribute time and money.
This procedure would solve the problem and the body having to make the decision would not be subjected to criticism for any decision that was made, as the people made the decision. This is how our system works when the people make the decision and the issue is normally not contested.
Am I in favor of Walmart? Not necessarily, as I would very much like to trade with the small Mom and Pop store rather than the large corporations. However, that is a change in our society that is here to stay. For the few items I have need for, and cannot find in town, I would hate to drive to The Dalles should this store close. Many employees would be affected, as well.
In the event this happened there would be an uproar that would be far and wide as, like them or not like them, the vast majority of people would be affected. Even in The Dalles, where many of their citizens are shoppers in our stores, including Walmart. To deny this permit would be ridiculous and just very poor business.
A noble act
It was such a great feeling to see Anthony do the "right thing" this weekend. I don't know Anthony's last name but Hood River should know what he did.
He alerted his mother that a woman's purse was left on a shelf in the pet department at Walmart. She immediately notified me of the find and the purse was returned to the rightful owner, who was still in the store.
Imagine her relief to see such a valuable item returned safe and secure. His correct thinking led him to the right decision and he took the right action.
Thanks Anthony, for making your family and us proud of you!
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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