Letters to the Editor for October 15, 2011

Legislators and our money, Our right to speach, redress, more...

Legislators and our money

Reading two articles (Oct. 12 )in the Hood River News and Oregonian reminded me of my pet political peeve. Three legislators are praised for saving funding for a public restroom and funding from the national forest. At the same time, the same legislators are calling for reduced government budgets.

I suggest that, for coming state and federal budgets, each political candidate (singly or in a group) be required to present a budget as detailed as the governor or president. No "efficiency savings" and any revenue decrease/increase amount must come from the appropriate budget agency.

In other words, let them put their mouths where our money is.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Our right to speech, redress

I see by the paper (Our readers write, Oct. 5) that Mr. Alan Winans considers it "Treason" for folks opposed to the senseless wars in the middle east to speak out about their opposition to the use of unmanned aircraft. Personally, I'd much rather a drone was shot down than a manned aircraft. I wish we'd had drones during the Korean fracas ... I packed up too many belongings of aircrew who didn't make it out of North Korean airspace.

As for Mr. Winans' outcry about treasonous talk, I suggest he consult a good dictionary (he'll find one in our library) and look up both "treason" and its cousin "sedition." He (and others with similar views) will then be equipped to read the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights whose First Amendment to our Constitution reads:

Amendment 1 Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I think that makes it pretty plain what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Even allows for peaceable demonstrations such as those recently in Portland and New York City, which I do applaud.

George W. Earley

Mount Hood

Horse v. Bike

I recently attended a Parks and Recreation presentation of future potential developments. Great leadership, well organized and good public input. I took issue with the take-over of the long ago established horse trails by the bicycle new comers. The how to pay issue: bonds on property - not license fees on bicycles. These people want "freebies."

Then I visit a long time user of the neighborhood Post Canyon horse trails, and boy did I get an "earfull." Following is my summary dialogue:

Bicycle: "Track - ding ding! Move over horse and stop dropping 'that stuff' on my bicycle trail - I'm coming through."

Horse: "Whoa there, newcomer, on my horse trail. My ancestors have been using these trails since before your ol' man was born - and when you gotta go, 'plop!'"

Bicycle: "Horse, have you no manners? That messy stuff stinks! Besides, haven't you heard that song, this land was made for you and me?"

Horse: "No! Besides, you mess up my serenity with all that dilapidated bicycle structural junk and you hard pack the ground, causing my hoofs to lose traction, then I fall."

Bicycle (losing patience): "Get out of my way. I'm coning through. Besides, there are more of us than your kind."

Horse: "Have you heard about the Saddle Club?"

Bicycle: "Don't go threatening me with a club! Just remember what white man did to Indian."

Horse: "Yes and look who outnumbers white man now in some areas. O.K.! So I must yield my 'right of way' to you. But please bear in mind that your quiet approach from behind spooks me and makes my rider nervous. And please clean up your ancestors' debris - then, get a horse!"

The foregoing was a play on words to make a point.

Alan Winans

Hood River

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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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