Letters to the Editor for September 10, 2011

September 10, 2011

'The deal is'

Years ago a fellow I knew would say "the deal is" when he had something to say. So here I go.

The deal is, until we get someone in Washington, D.C., with enough guts to stand up to the top-heavy federal agencies they have created and regulate them the way they should be, we will suffer the consequences.

It seems nowadays all they can do is appoint a group of people to study the problem. Problem is most of the time this group of people have their own axe to grind so nothing really gets done.

So many of these agencies have too many queen bees and not enough worker bees. It is time we got rid of some of these agencies and regulated the rest.

I hope that Sen. Wyden and Rep. Walden get to read this letter.

Jerry Petricko

Hood River

You can 'opt out'

High school students: The military wants YOU!

Students and parents: Recruiters are in HRVHS with appealing advertizing and empty promises, and are gathering students' private contact information and confidential records from school registration records - this is before students are even old enough to "join up"!

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the military can have as much, or more, of a presence in high schools as colleges and prospective employers.

To prevent recruiters from making a statistic out of our youth, students and parents can choose to "opt out" of multiple data-mining avenues that the recruiters use to wrangle students. Tell your Gorge-area high school, by the last week in September, that you want to opt-out of ALL of the following:

1. The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test, usually administered sophomore year

2. The JAMRS (Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Office) survey. This Pentagon-hired private company aims to collect student information from ages 16-25.

This does NOT mean colleges won't contact students. Schools should provide opt-out forms in Spanish, as well. If they don't, insist that they do.

The bloody operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are approaching their 10-year anniversary, with no end in sight. Public money spent on the war (far beyond $1 trillion) easily would have covered the cost of a true universal health care system. And sadly, five times as many Oregon Guard soldiers have died by suicide than have died in combat since 2007, and many more are coming home with PTSD.

Not our children! Inform your peers about OPT-OUT!

Corie Lahr


Can't have it both ways

Like everyone else, I am disappointed in seeing our beloved mountain being ravaged again by fire. I am surprised to hear so many people question the initial response to the fire.

We complain about the size of our government, so we cut the funds and personnel. Then we complain that they don't get everything done in a timely manner. It is always so easy to point out the problems after the fact.

I have also heard folks who had advocated for more wilderness areas complain about the air quality during the fire. Fire is part of that natural environment and usually comes with the territory, so to speak. Limiting the type of response that we have available to deal with the natural conditions is part of the rules of being designated a wilderness.

We can't have it both ways, reduce the government, then reduce the services they provide and what we should expect. Restrict areas from management options, let nature run its course. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

I'm just sayin'.

Rick Ragan

Retired USFS

Hood River

Where are

our seagulls?

The Tea Party's pledge to "take our government back" still has me wondering what they meant. I thought they meant a government of the people, by the people, for the people; yet they have moved in lock-step with the Republican party to make it a government of the corporations, for the corporations, by the corporations.

The Republican Supreme Court decided that, as Mit Romney put it, "Corporations are people too" and now allow them to pour unlimited, unaccountable amounts of money into the political process through PACs.

It's not enough that they enrich our politicians through campaign funds and free corporate-sponsored trips and events, they can now pour as much as they can spend into PACs in support of the mega-corporations and far-right agendas.

Unregulated multi-national and mega corporations behaviors are no different from a horde of locusts, they move across the globe stripping the areas of resources, polluting everything around them and destroying the lives of the people depending upon them and those resources.

When the people or government in any of these areas has had enough of their destruction, they leave for another area with lower wages, fewer worker and environmental protections. In the USA, that is why we created the EPA, Social Security and unemployment; corporations have always behaved this way. That is why there are so many superfund sites and ghost towns across the country.

Now their whining cry about over-regulation hurts my ears. They are trying to turn back the clock to the good old days when corporations could pay their employees nothing, give them no retirement and pollute as they liked.

The so-called "job creators" would make their profits off the unfettered corporations while destroying our society. They would create a society of enslaved employees with poisoned air, water and food.

Once they've ground the American people to dust, they will take flight to another area leaving a gutted, polluted country behind. Locusts until the end.

The seagulls saved the Mormons from the locusts; where are our seagulls?

Gregg Morris

Hood River

Don't pollute

Please don't idle. If you're waiting in a construction zone, save fumes and turn off your engine.

Beth McCullough

Husum, Wash.

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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