Letters to the Editor for April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011

Understand permit rules

My name is Jason Smith and I am writing to apologize to SDS Lumber Company for an incident that occurred back in October. I would also like to inform your readers about the incident so that they do not end up in a similar situation.

Last October I set out to cut some firewood for personal use. I ended up on SDS Lumber Company property and began cutting wood. An Oregon State Police officer soon arrived and informed me of several problems with what I was doing.

First, the National Forest Service permit I had purchased did not allow me to cut wood in SDS Lumber Property. Second, I was operating my vehicle off the road, something my permit specifically prohibited. Finally, the tree I had cut was a wildlife tree that wasn't supposed to be removed in the first place. I was cited for unlawfully cutting special forest products, criminal trespass, and theft in the second degree.

Resolving these issues has taken months. I realize several steps I should have taken to avoid the incident. It is extremely important to know what property you are on when using various permits. I should have contacted the Forest Service to get detailed information. Not knowing is not an excuse.

It is also important to read and understand the terms of permits and to contact the issuing agency with any questions. I found I was doing several things that my permit specifically prohibited.

I want to thank SDS Lumber for working with me on resolving this matter. I assure them that this will not happen again. The company owns and manages over 70,000 acres of property between Oregon and Washington and employs nearly 350 people. Their property needs to be respected and back in October I failed to do so. For that I am truly sorry.

Jason Smith

Hood River

Keep trails open

There was a trail that was closed in Post Canyon. It was a popular trail for many mountain bikers. It was closed pending the sale of the land to a timber company. I ask, is that fair? I love to mountain bike and understand the frustration of these people when a favorite riding spot gets blocked for something not all that critical.

This lumber company is going to buy the land, take the trees and leave it bare, until they can replant some trees. But what is the point? By the time the trees that were replanted are grown they will be gone and replaced by another round of trees.

Why can't the lumber companies just buy their own plots of land without interfering with recreational trails, and then plant trees and harvest them and continue to do so in a cycle?

I think that lumber companies should not be permitted to buy land on property that serves a recreational purpose so then the land can remain pleasant for the bikers, hikers and runners. After all, we only have a few of our natural forest left, like the redwoods and sequoias in California; so shouldn't we preserve as much as we can?

Ana Lenoir

White Salmon, Wash.


a must

January 2011

The snow, thin, almost like sleet

And grey-white, the color of despair

Falls silently; gathers

In ragged drifts along the gutters.

And we, with hunched backs

Trudge our way

Leaving behind our hopes and aspirations

Once fueled by brave words

To be pushed aside by a snow plow of expediency.

I wrote those words in January in the "winter of our discontent"; mine especially. I want to share it with others and to explain my thinking when I wrote it.

Our hopes and aspirations were fueled by brave words "change" and "Yes, we can!" among others. We were so inspired by these words by a little-known young black man who helped us believe in the "audacity of hope."

But once he was in office, the reality was altogether different. He and the other Democrats in Congress found it necessary to compromise; to push aside most of the things we had hoped for, in order to pass a few core reforms. The affordable health care law is at the top of the list.

Now that law and other reforms are under attack by the new Republican majority in the house, and by a number of states who have sued in court to find the health care law unconstitutional.

I guess that many of us thought that what we hoped for was so right that everything would sail right through Congress without a fight. But other forces, with their own agenda and tons of money to spend, think differently.

Sadly, that is why compromise is so often necessary.

Anne Vance

Hood River

Great eye

What an asset you have in Adam Lapierre and his photos!

I moved from Hood River years ago but still check your site regularly to see what the photo will be.

Keep them coming, Adam; you have a great eye.

Andres Gilbar

Orlando, Fla.

Replace Walden

My real-life experience with recessions began in 1969 with the worst recession being in the early 1980s. Comparing then to now, consider:

In the early 1980s, while we had high gas prices, we had no wars; global economics was a benign concept; there were some Federal Reserve tools left to use; the economically developed countries were financially stable; and Jimmy Carter enjoyed bipartisan political support.

Today we have: high gas prices; three wars; U.S. companies are more likely to invest their sidelined capital overseas than in the U.S.; the Federal Reserve has no tools left in its kit; the third-leading economic nation, Japan, has been kicked in the stomach after its "lost decade" of growth; five of the European Union nations are teetering on bankruptcy; and federal politicians are committed to a frenzy of rabid sloganeering and grandstanding. They are more concerned about getting re-elected in 2012 than in solving the nation's problems.

Yes, deficit reduction is important, but if the recession bumps along the bottom for years or double-dips because of all of the problems above, the deficit problem won't get solved. Let's do our part and find someone who will replace super-partisan Rep. Greg Walden with someone who will work with members on both sides of the aisle.

Steve Burdick

Hood River


your dog

The Hood River Garbage Service has always made it a point, that if I am away or just forgotten, to pick up my garbage even if it is still by the house instead of the roadway. I was not surprised on the last pickup day to see the truck leaving without my garbage, as it was strewn across the yard.

This was the second time this had occurred; that some dog had gotten into the garbage can. I placed a trail camera and have pictures of the dog returning on two separate nights. Again this morning the garbage can was tipped over and a local crow was scattering papers around the neighborhood.

I do not blame the dog for doing this; but instead blame the owner for allowing their animals to become a nuisance.

I would hate to see your dog suffer or even die from ingesting broken glass or other harmful object mixed in with something that smells edible. Be responsible to your pets and your neighbors and look after your pets.

Roger Nelson

Hood River

HRVRC events

I have two comments:

1. I want to thank the Hood River Valley Residents Committee members and volunteers who helped on last Saturday's Earth Day Adopt-A-Highway cleanup at the north and south ends of Highway 35 through the Hood River Valley and on Dee Highway.

I also want to encourage other groups to adopt sections of our local highways. It is selfless community service that is satisfying; and in the words of Sen. Ron Wyden at his impressive town hall last Monday, "worth doing."

If you want to join us on our next highway pickup or learn more about the program visit www.HRVRC.org and look under the Adopt-A-Highway section.

2. For the last several years HRVRC has sponsored the spring bike Ride-around Our Valley, or ROV. This year the 44-mile ride will be Sunday, May 1, to catch the amazing lower valley blossoms and a very warm weather forecast.

We are adding a new name to this free ride: the Blossom Bike Ride. We will be riding early Sunday morning, starting from the Park and Ride across from China Gorge Restaurant at 8 a.m.; join us there or en-route.

More details are at www.HRVRC.org.

Peter Cornelison

HRVRC board president

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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