Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Follow City's lead
I am so impressed with the City of Hood River for making the difficult decisions and tightening their budget to allow them to dig themselves out of a debt over the last four years. Now, moving forward, they have put us in such a better position; even if hard times continue.
It is such a great example to set for our nation, individuals and governments alike to follow. We need to all face the hard, cold facts and realize that there is simply not the money at times to continue certain programs in the same way (i.e. Social Security, PERS, etc.) and adjust and move forward with a plan that can actually be sustained for the future of our society's needs.
America is in trouble. We need to look at the whole picture and buckle down and get creative.
Take care of caregivers
National Family Caregivers Month, observed every November, is a nationally recognized month that seeks to draw attention to the many challenges facing family caregivers, advocate for stronger public policy to address family care-giving issues and raise awareness about community programs that support family caregivers.
It has been said that there are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.
Unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, more than 65 million people are family caregivers in any given year, providing care-giving services valued at $375 billion annually for those caring for older adults.
A family caregiver is defined as someone who cares for a chronically ill, disabled or elderly loved one.
During National Family Caregivers Month, reach out to a family caregiver you know, whether a neighbor, relative, co-worker or friend, and offer them a helping hand. Offer a ride to church, a nourishing meal or a free afternoon. Just a little bit of help makes a big difference for a family caregiver.
For information on services and help for family caregivers, including the National Family Caregiver Support Program, contact your local Area Agency on Aging at 541-298-4101 or 888-316-1362.
William Larson, director,
and staff Mary Martinez,
Jean Hockman, Linda Carroll, Marilyn Buchanan
Area Agency on Aging
Attitude check needed
I took my family into Walmart the other evening to pick out Halloween costumes. When we found the Halloween area, we found three aisles of complete chaos. Costumes both packaged and unpackaged were strewn about the floor. Like my mom would say, it looked like a pack of wild animals had come through.
As my kids and I tried to clean up the aisle, I was mad. Mad at the sense of entitlement that people would think it was okay to abuse what they hadn't even paid for.
Maybe it's not the economy that's bad; maybe it's our attitudes. If you've got student loans, pay them. If you're not paying your mortgage, get out of your house. If you can't pay your bills, then get the first job you can find and pay them. If you don't know where to turn, then ask God to help you out. You may be pleasantly surprised at the answers.
If you want your kids to have integrity, then live with integrity. If you want your kids to have dignity, then show a little dignity. Step up, folks.
I am a social worker at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. In my daily work, I have many opportunities to collaborate with community organizations regarding patients' needs upon discharge.
I would like to praise the staff at Helping Hands Against Violence for their support of our patients at risk due to domestic violence. Without fail, they respond in a timely fashion to assist patients and their families with emotional support, education and housing needs.
Our community has an opportunity to give back to an organization that gives a lot and on a shoestring budget. Please extend a helping hand to the victims of domestic violence and support Helping Hands by attending a fundraising benefit Saturday, Nov. 5, from 6-9 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery.
Do homework on Nestlé
I urge everyone to voice their concerns at the Nestlé Waters Town Hall Meeting, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Cascade Locks Port Pavilion, 355 WaNaPa St.
Nestlé is not in the Gorge to do us any favors. Research the company's track record for yourself. Mecosta County, Mich., is a good place to start. Another place would be http://www.scribd.com/doc/9739406/All-Bottled-Up-Nestles-Pursuit-of-Community-Water.
Friends of the Gorge
In Rob Brostoff's letter titled "Living in the Gorge" (Oct. 26) it was refreshing to read about his concern for the health and quality of life of Gorge communities. Friends of the Columbia Gorge (Friends) shares his concerns.
Whether it's the proposal for a mega-casino resort in the heart of the Gorge, potential transport of millions of tons of coal by rail through our communities for export to Asia or the construction of two large, polluting power plants near the boundary of the scenic area in Troutdale, Friends is actively engaged to ensure that Gorge communities and the outstanding natural resources of the Gorge are protected.
The PGE Boardman coal power plant is a significant source of air pollution affecting air quality in Gorge communities. Friends of the Columbia Gorge and its allies recently got Portland General Electric to agree to reduce its pollution emissions from the Boardman coal-fired power plant to levels below what is required under state law. Friends also got PGE to agree to a court-enforceable order to close the Boardman coal plant by 2020 and to provide $2.5 million in environmental restoration funds, with $1 million earmarked for the Gorge.
To avoid any appearance of self-dealing, we insisted that the agreement with PGE include a clause that prohibits Friends and its allies from using any of these funds.
Friends has consistently advocated for protecting air quality in the Gorge from air pollution sources outside the Gorge. Unfortunately, the Oregon DEQ and the Gorge Commission recently agreed to allow new sources of air pollution to pollute Gorge communities without any additional protections. We are currently considering legal options to compel the Oregon DEQ and the Gorge Commission to enforce laws that protect our communities from new sources of air pollution.
If you would like more information about Friends' efforts to ensure that the Gorge is a safe place to live, work and raise a family, please contact us at 541-386-5268 or visit www.gorgefriends.org.
Peter Cornelison, field representative
Friends of the Columbia Gorge
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge