Letters to the Editor for May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011

Superstore would help

Walmart has recently been approved for a 30,000-square-foot expansion, allowing more retail space. Expanding Walmart is great, but what about building a Super Walmart in Hood River?

I think residents in our area, and most likely residents from surrounding areas, would benefit from a super center. If a one-shop store opened in Hood River it would provide job openings to many unemployed. Along with a job offer, employees would be eligible for benefits, such as medical insurance.

As good as it might sound, I'm aware that not everybody approves it. The main concern about a Super Walmart in the area is the negative effect on small business. Rather than being threatened by Walmart's "everyday low prices," local business should get competitive. Lower prices would actually benefit us, the shopper.

I know there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration in order for a new store to be built in the area, but I certainly think a super center in Hood River would benefit the community.

Marcela Castro

Hood River

Ghosts of

Pine Grove

I've been the librarian at Pine Grove School for the last 12 years. My three children all went to Pine Grove.

I stopped by the other evening to pick up something and just stood for a few moments in the empty hallway. Although there wasn't a sound, I could hear the echoes of the thousands of children who have gone to school here over the last 120-plus years.

Classrooms buzzed with the sounds of learning as teachers encouraged and helped their students. The gym still resonated with hundreds of school programs and assemblies. The stairways still vibrated with the thunder of generations of children hurrying up and down. I held the same handrail that my children and thousands of others have held onto over the years.

The closing of Pine Grove signals the passing of "the good old days." As I walked across the playground to my car, the ghosts of laughing, happy kids playing ball and jumping rope echoed across time. And in my mind I could hear the old Pine Grove bell ringing, calling out to all those who have loved our little school.

Marg Guth

Hood River

Invest in U.S.

America's economy is struggling and many do not realize that we hold the power to help improve our economy, increase jobs and improve the morale of our citizens. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of America and it is important that people recognize the importance of supporting local businesses in Hood River.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and employ just over half of all private sector employees. We cannot do much to change unfair tax laws or compete against high-paid lobbyists, but each of us CAN affect change daily through our buying power.

TAP America (www.tapam-erica.org) is reaching out to educate both consumers and small businesses about the benefits of purchasing and stocking products made in the U.S.A. Each dollar going back into our economy sends a message that we are taking individual responsibility to keep our local communities and our nation prosperous.

Recent reports indicate that if each American spent an extra $1 on U.S.-made goods each day, this alone would create 1 million new jobs.

When you go shopping for groceries, clothing, sports goods or home goods, start locally, buy American and keep our jobs here. Even if it means shelling out a couple extra dollars, supporting Americans who want to work and our local businesses is the only way we can keep our community and our nation strong.

Please visit our website at: www.tapamerica.org for ways to get involved, volunteer and make a difference.

Stephanie Adams

Chief operating officer

TAP America

Hood River

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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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