Editorial: After anger, well-timed reason in Cascade Locks

Two longtime Cascade Locks residents showed both anger and voices of reason in a City Council meeting Monday that proved both fractured and cathartic.

Two longtime Cascade Locks residents showed both anger and voices of reason in a City Council meeting Monday that proved both fractured and cathartic.

Council Member Tom Cramblett and citizen Bobby Walker definitely helped cooler heads to prevail. (Details on page A1.)

They showed that people can change their minds, even within moments of anger, and steer a course of decision the right way.

Cramblett, a four-year Cascade Locks council veteran, did a diplomatic turnaround Monday and Walker, the CLHS 1973 grad, found himself at the center of a storm not of his asking.

Cramblett acted in the right way at just the right moment, after first lamenting being "hammered" by his constituents and issuing a blustery diatribe against councilman Lance Masters for behavior he judged inappropriate (denied by Masters).

But in the heated meeting, as the council teetered at the controversial filling of one new vacancy, it was Cramblett's well-timed acknowledgement that others were right that led him to change his mind and vote against making the appointment.

Cramblett, initially disagreeing, stopped to listen to Masters and councilor Eva Zerfing support Bobby Walker's idea to set a town meeting to hear the views of all who are interested in being appointed.

On the notion of appointing Walker, Cramblett said, "This isn't the way to go about it."

Cramblett then went on to say, "Politics are an ugly thing, all over the country they're ugly, and they have certainly been ugly around here. I'd just like to make it the least ugly we can."

For his part, Walker showed a flash of anger at some members of the audience, and at Masters, when his name was first mentioned as the successor to Haight.

(All vacant positions would be up for election in November 2012.)

Walker even stepped out on the meeting at one point, with his candidacy for appointment still on the table, but returned, and took his name out of the running instead, adding a frank appraisal of what is facing the community. Combined with Cramblett's comments, it helped change the tenor of the discussion.

"This is a continuation of what has gone on here for 10 years," Walker said. "What we have in this town is one third on side, one third on the other, and the last third doesn't seem to care. We've got to find a way to work together."

He urged the city to consider a town meeting to hear from prospective council appointees - probably the best idea at this time for smoothing and clarifying the churning, turbid waters in Cascade Locks.

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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

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