Letters to the Editor for October 8, 2011

No more tax holiday, mind your own business on breastfeeding, Coal through HR a very bad idea, more...

No more

'tax holiday'

As citizens and residents of a democracy, we need to pay attention to what's happening in Washington, D.C. The most pressing issue is the well-being of children and families. That's why we need to tell Congress: No tax holiday for corporate tax-dodgers.

"Here's how it works: The tax laws say that companies can avoid paying taxes as long as they keep their profits overseas. Whenever that money comes back to the U.S., the companies have to pay taxes on it," writes news journalist Matt Taibbi.

"Only there's a catch: In 2004, the corporate lobby and major employers like Cisco and Apple and GE begged Congress to give them a 'one-time' tax holiday, arguing that they would use the savings to create jobs . . . a tax holiday was declared.

"Companies paid about 5 percent in taxes, instead of 35-40 percent. And, as you might guess, those jobs were never created, and CEO salaries and bonuses went sky-high."

No tax holiday for corporate tax cheats.

Mark S. Reynolds

Hood River

Mind your own business

Besides breastfeeding like a lady, whatever happened to "Mind your own business," or "What makes you think your opinion matters when it comes to my child's nutritional needs?" or one of my favorites, "Why don't you get a life?"

Seriously, do you really believe you need to opine on the manner in which a mother feeds her child, in public or otherwise? Reminds me of a "Married with Children" episode where Marcy recruits mothers for a breastfeeding sit-in at Al's shoe store. I guess a real lady should also know when to keep an opinion to herself.

Dallas Fridley

Hood River

Very bad idea

With coal-fired power plants shutting down across the country including two nearby in the Northwest, giant coal corporations like Peabody are scrambling for ways to get rid of the stuff. They think they have a solution; one that is usually only seen in Third World nations.

Rather than leave it in the ground and save it perhaps, for a day when America might need it - which they should considering that much of the stuff comes from public lands - they want to sell it to China. This means transporting it through the Gorge to a port on the Pacific.

What this translates to for the Gorge community is about 20 trains a day, each one made up with uncovered coal cars stretching over a mile and a half long.

To make matters worse, they will be carrying very poor-quality coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, which is extremely "friable" - read: crumbly and dusty.

Imagine what the mighty and regular Gorge winds will do as the trains come through nearly on the hour. Coal dust will be everywhere; not to mention a huge increase in diesel fumes, noise, blocked traffic and general ugliness.

Aside from the impact that coal trains would have on human health and quality of life here, China would, thanks to USA public lands and the corporations who have their claims on them, be burning the dirtiest of fossil fuels with the highest contribution to climate change.

It's an insane idea; one that could only be born in the brains of corporate scum who care nothing about human health impacts, future generations or the quality of life on Earth. Their only concern is squeezing out the highest short-term profit they can; everything else be damned.

This idea is not befitting of this country and the Gorge should play no part in allowing it to happen. Aside from a few railroad engineers and some dock workers, no jobs are being created here and even if they were, it would be a trade-off in extremely bad taste.

Please folks, if you love the Gorge, be on the lookout for how you can get involved in defending your community from Big Coal. In the meantime, please write or call your respective governors and tell them you won't stand for this very bad idea!

Daniel Dancer


Do your part

This is a note regarding the bottle return areas at many stores throughout Hood River:

When we go to those locations it should be done in the proper manner.

First rinse out all the containers and take their tops off. All the stores are not responsible for your/our trash disposal; take it back to your own trash container.

Don't curse and hit the machine and complain if the bottle or can will not read properly - how about all the dirt on the outside; that is the problem.

If you think it smells in the room maybe it's because you're bringing in all your rancid bottles and cans that have sat for who knows how long. Appreciate the fact that we have a place to bring them to.

Carol Horrmann

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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