Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Target equals goal
Guy Tauscher's letter of Jan. 15 blaming recent violence on anyone from the right who's in opposition to the liberal "agenda" is just so much hogwash.
Crazy people from both the right and the left exist in this country. Saying that Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or Sarah Palin incite this crazy behavior is wishful thinking on the part of the radical left.
Contentious POLICY incites this violence. The left is simply using these heinous criminal events as political currency. Since the late 1990s the liberal left has had an obsession with slamming President Bush. Movies were made about his assassination, paper targets of him were shot at by a nationally known leftist mouthpiece.
Crosshairs were put over his face on national TV. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC ran vitriolic smear campaigns, masquerading as "mainstream" news media. Bush was the butt of jokes nightly by the likes of Whoopie Goldberg, Joy Behar, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Now, for some reason, the left figures that we on the right should afford Obama a level of respect never shown to George Bush. Wrong.
Personally, I agree with what Jim Drennan Sr. wrote in the Jan. 8 Hood River News. Obama lacks the common sense of a groundhog. But my saying so, or calling Obama a clown doesn't incite NORMAL people to any level of violence. Nor did all of the venom spouted by the left toward President Bush. The left needs to quit crying and tone down the likes of Behar, Olbermann and the rest of those scum. And I agree that Beck and O'Reilly should lighten up also. But for simple civility.
For Tauscher to blame Sarah Palin for anything illustrates his ignorance. During recent campaigns Reid and other prominent Democrats used the crosshair symbol to illustrate their goals. Crosshairs represent a point of focus, not a firearm. My guess is that Palin took down her webpage because she's far more politically correct than I am. Slavering liberals don't need another reason to ridicule her, no matter how petty.
I would have left the website up because it meant nothing beyond targeting a goal.
Stop the drain
Last year it was the library; this year it is the school district.
While some may point fingers at what we should have done, the reality is that most of the causes of our current economic crisis are not at the local level. They are spread across the U.S. with a large portion in New York City and Washington, D.C. We cannot fix those causes on an individual or community level.
The Oregonian ran a series last fall detailing the state of the economy in Oregon now and for the next 10 years. The outlook is not good. If we don't change something, we will be meeting again next year to decide what else to cut.
An analogy that might help is that of a bathtub filled with floaty toys. There is a leak and a lot of water is going down the drain, crowding the toys closer and closer together. As they bump into each other, some rest on top of others. What can we do?
We could toss some toys out - there goes the library; there goes music in the schools; there goes a police officer or public works employee, etc. However, I don't think tossing things that we value is the answer.
There are several actions that we personally can take to help our community:
First, at the state level, we can support the creation of a state bank. North Dakota has had one for over 90 years. I won't go into all of the details about a state bank here; that is for another letter.
Briefly, they use the same Federal Reserve notes that you have in your pocket right now; but instead of the profits going to a handful of bank owners, they are reinvested in the state through the state treasury. Oregon (and Washington) both now have bills being introduced to create a state bank. Check out the information online and then tell everyone you know to encourage the state representatives to pass the bill.
Another action that you can take is to shop locally. GO! (or Gorge Owned Business Network) is a network of local businesses, nonprofits and individuals who work together to keep our money here, circulating through local stores. Their mission is to build a sustainable and prosperous community in the Columbia Gorge. Check out their website at gorgeowned.org.
Finally, you can start using our local currency, RiverHOURS. While shopping local keeps money in the community, using local currency adds more cash to the economy. Since this cash can't leave our community, it just moves around getting work done and goods from one person to another.
Gorge Local Currency Cooperative is currently transferring RiverHOURS to an online format instead of the paper trade directory that was used for the first few years. Check it out.
To return to the bathtub analogy, shopping local would be starting to plug up that leak in the bathtub. Having a state bank would also be plugging that leak from the state level. Using RH is adding more liquid, a different color perhaps, but still able to raise the water level and float some toys.
All three of these actions are easy for us to take and would empower us to improve the community we live in. We don't need to wait for someone on a "white horse" to save us. We can save ourselves.
Meters hurt business
What's the big deal with the parking meters? Imagine the meter man slyly snagging his ticket book from his back pocket like a dueling cowboy in a western movie. Behind him you see a local Hood Riverite running out of Dog River Coffee screaming "WAIT!" Since working at the Ruddy Duck two years ago, I have seen this happen a few times.
Everybody loves Hood River. The people, the food, the scenery, everything. One of the only problems in this town is the parking meters. The meters hurt the downtown businesses drastically.
Every day I see the meter patrol man trudging up and down the streets, continuously writing in his book. Sometimes I feel like he sits next to our cars waiting for our meter to run out of time. It's like he's out to get us.
Along with the meter man watching our meters like a hawk, the meters often do not work. I occasionally notice that half of the meters say, "failed," or in other words, "go find another parking spot." Since there is minimal parking in the downtown area, finding a new spot can be difficult.
After such bad experiences, our customers do not even want to visit our downtown area anymore. Is this the way to treat our locals, or welcome our visitors? We are trying to urge them to shop locally rather than push them away.
I know that we can't just end the parking meters. They bring in too much revenue for the city. Last year alone, the parking meters brought in $370,150 according to Hoodriverbizzbuzz.com.
My proposition is this: we should just run the meters in the spring and summer months. If you think about it, who really parks in the winter? Employees and locals, that's who. In the spring and summertime there are enough events in the downtown area to incur most of the yearly meter revenue; there aren't any events in the winter.
In order to keep our local businesses around, we need to start somewhere. This is my solution, what's yours?
Maree Jo Kettenring
I wanted to compliment Adam Lapierre for bringing the loveliness of what he sees, to people's hearts. Besides doing lots of online therapy, I have a Facebook page where people bring all kinds of things.
I want to compliment Adam so I thought it would be a moment of comfort and peace to share how a couple of my people responded to his "Colorful End to Thursday Evening" (Photo of the Day, Jan. 28).
Sara Lassiter Giroux wrote: Absolutely Gorgeous and Uplifting ... "cotton candy clouds"....How can one not experience at least a moment of happiness viewing such beauty? ... Jeanne Cygnus: Really beautiful!!
So you see, Adam, what you did? Uplifted Sara Lassiter Giroux there is constantly in great pain from her physical operations, but looks like you've given her all the moments of happiness she can use, viewing your beauty, as often as she'd like.
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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