Letters to the editor for Jan. 29, 2011

Jan. 29, 2011

Tragedy could be averted

I hope the gunman who caused all that tragedy in Arizona gets the death sentence. He has no business getting behind that gun and injuring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing all those innocent people, especially that little girl. Why didn't his parents see their son needed help and get the help he needed? Maybe this tragedy in Arizona wouldn't have happened and lives wouldn't have been taken.

Pam Smiley


Walden wrong on health care

Who would have the audacity to vote for repealing affordable health care for 32 million Americans, while gladly accepting generous, federally subsidized insurance for themselves?

Our Representative Greg Walden, that's who!

On Wednesday Mr. Walden and other health care hypocrites voted to repeal The Health Care Bill without repealing the generous federal insurance benefits they receive and have worked so hard to deny others.

New poling indicates that the majority of we Americans want to keep or strengthen reforms that will provide affordable health care.

I have been living with the pre-existing condition of osteoporosis and look forward to the day when I would be able to get coverage.

Adie Jones

The Dalles

To serve

and profit?

(Monday) at the Cascade Locks council meeting five members of the council including the mayor raked the fire chief over the coals for nearly an hour because he wasn't able to show a profit in the operation of emergency services. I didn't even realize that fire and ambulance was a profit center and should be operated as a business. I always thought that police, fire and ambulance were there to protect and serve, not to make money for the town with the exception of speed traps.

I can't ever remember seeing such a disgusting display of avarice and greed. At least two members of the council are involved in tourism businesses, tourism invites people out to the Gorge to enjoy the sights and activities and spend money.

Now we know that when you're coming out here on I-84 you need to bring your insurance certificates and credit card, because our council wants to be able to bill the appropriate agencies so they can make money from your emergency.

Inviting tourists and not being prepared to willingly help them with or without making money when they are lost or hurt on trails or have an accident on the highway is irresponsible and callous. Does our council think that the police should only respond to calls when the party in need has a credit card ready? Should 9-1-1 check before sending the proper agency? I think the 5 members who were involved show a lack of knowledge of what governments function is and what it does.

Government is there to protect and provide for the common good, not make money from wrecks and carnage on the highway. So remember as you travel from Pendleton, The Dalles, Hood River, Portland and other points, the Cascade Locks City Council is there to help and protect you, as long as you have a credit card or proof of insurance.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

A negative change

Since its establishment 36 years ago this month, the Congressional Budget Office has increasingly established its reputation as the highly respected, non-partisan arbiter of the costs of proposed legislation. That is, until this month, when the Republicans took control of the House and didn't like the CBO's estimated negative fiscal impact of their desired changes in the new health reform law. Now, it appears that the Republicans are going to try to discredit the CBO and replace its analyses with their own "smoke and mirrors," i.e., propaganda. As our Representative and a leading Republican, Greg Walden owes us a clear statement of his position on the future of this agency as a highly-regarded group of neutral professionals.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Share your ride

As a resident of Hood River, I know that we lack public transportation, like our big city neighbors have. We drive our cars, get a ride, take a bike, or walk.

With it being wintertime in the Gorge, the first two choices of transportation are the most likely. Both are perfectly acceptable, but we live in one of the greenest communities around, so why aren't our transportation methods reflecting this?

Next time you are driving along in your car, check out the other drivers. Do they have passengers? In the most likely scenario, they are by themselves. Check your own car. You probably are, too.

Now, notice how many of those cars are going to the exact same place you are. Out of all those cars and people, there is a huge amount of opportunity to carpool.

We live in a relatively small town, a town where you are likely to know a person or two who would be willing to carpool to shared destinations. Take advantage of this! Share a car, a conversation, and each others company. Carpooling isn't just about helping the environment, it can also be a great time to get to know someone a little better.

So call up a friend or neighbor, and plan to carpool to the grocery store, instead of taking two separate cars.

Jessica Mont-Eton

Hood River

Good cartoon

The Jan. 26 editorial cartoon was well done and clever. It depicted Patrick Henry saying, instead of "Give me liberty or give me death", saying instead "Give me liberty or give me civility".

It was a subtle but wicked jibe at President Obama's effort to tone down the discourse between the two parties, especially after the tragic shootings in Tucson.

A more thoughtful caption would have been, "Give me liberty or give them death". But that would not have been civil, would it?

Anne Vance

Hood River

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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