Letters to the Editor for October 30, 2011

Follow city's lead, Take care of caregivers, Attitude check needed, more...

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.

Leslie Kerr

Hood River

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.

Lisa Evans

Hood River

Support HHAV

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.

Christine Meade

Hood River

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.

Robert Pelletier

Hood River

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

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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