Letters to the Editor for Sept 21, 2011

Why no 9/11 coverage?, enough noise, a tiny sting and more

Heroes before trails

Can someone please tell myself and all your readers why you decided to have a story about a trail opening more significant than the planned 9/11 memorial services of Hood River County on the front page of the Hood River News on Sept. 10?

If you had printed the article, which was written and sent to you way in advance, your readers would have known about the opportunity to come and say "thank you" to the local Hood River County firefighters - something these brave heroes greatly deserve.

As a proud mother of a firefighter/EMT, you will not find more dedicated individuals who run INTO danger and bravely risk their lives for us 24/7 to keep us protected. That was never more evident than on 9/11.

Most of our Hood River County firefighters are volunteers. They spend a huge portion of their free time making sure their gear and apparatus are ready-to-roll at a moments notice. When the snow flies, they immediately head to the station to make sure the fire trucks and engines are prepared for any harsh conditions they may face. When the wildfires rage, they are ready to do battle and often assist other counties or agencies with mutual aid.

Many of these dedicated firefighters camp out at the station 24/7 so they are ready to protect those they serve. That is true dedication! Something that should be bring "tears of joy" to the residents of Hood River County, in knowing these loyal firefighters have our backs in our time of need.

During the Sunday, Sept. 11 tribute to Hood River County firefighters the Gorge Heroes Club presented each county fire department with a certificate from Congressman Greg Walden that reads, "Flag flown over the United States Capitol. The flag has been dedicated in your honor because you have stepped forward to protect and serve American citizens in continuance of the tradition of heroism exhibited by firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001, and military personnel in the decade since that tragedy."

The flag that will be presented to them in a few weeks was flown over the United States Capitol on Sept. 11, 2011. This honor, which very few fire departments in the nation received, is a tremendous recognition of their hard work and dedication.

Also, as a gift to the Hood River County firefighters the Gorge Heroes Club produced a tribute video that features the lives of our county firefighters as well as a 'Thanks" to them from some of the deployed military hometown heroes they help support. The video can be viewed at: www.gorgeheroesclub.blogspot.com.

In the future, I would hope that you as editor, the one who picks and chooses what does and doesn't appear in the paper, will be more considerate in recognition of those who serve proudly to protect us.

Terri Hansen

Hood River

Editor's Note: Articles about the Gorge Heroes Club event ran inside the Aug. 24 edition, and on Sept. 7. An editorial on Sept. 7 encouraged people to attend any of three events planned on Sept. 11. Effective Sept. 6, the Hood River News online edition also included the Gorge Heroes Club event. The Sept. 10 edition noted the memorial events and featured retrospective coverage about Sept. 11, 2001. Hood River News reporters attended all three Sept. 11 events, and that report ran in the Sept. 14 edition.

Enough noise

We live along a Klickitat County Highway with a lot of log truck traffic. The traffic begins around 3 a.m. and continues until about 3 p.m. While the majority of drivers pass by fairly quietly, there are some who jake-brake every time they go by, going both up and down the road. Recently jake-brakers have gone by every 5-15 minutes.

I have lived here more than 25 years and have said nothing all this time for fear that the jaking would increase in response. But at this point the noise couldn't be must worse. We are senior citizens with some health issues which noise can aggravate.

People I know in White Salmon and BZ Corner have complained about the jake-brake noise there, as well. It is a bit like living right next door to a busy airport.

One of our long truck driver friends once told us that using jake brakes was an unnecessary option. Klickitat County has a lot of rural residents who prefer quiet to a lot of noise day and night.

The companies these drivers work for might consider requesting a more courteous attitude of their drivers. Most businesses try to be courteous and respectful to their residential neighbors. Treating neighbors well increases positive feelings about a business in one's neighborhood.

I would like to thank those kind drivers who pass by quietly where there are homes.

We look forward to 3 p.m. each weekday, weekends and winter, when the jake-brake noise stops.

Laurie Cross

Rural Klickitat County

Just a tiny sting

I would like to disagree with Adrian Fields just a tiny sting.

Let a terrorist kill one of yours and let you feel the sting; know anyone who fought the fires or tended the wounded and are now dying of cancer. Tell them it's OK; it's just a tiny sting; you won't feel it for long, once you're dead.

Tell it to their wives, husbands and children; it won't hurt that much, it's just a tiny sting. It's such a small sting we shouldn't have even mentioned it until they kill forty thousand.

Jim Burdick


Request denied

I have been approached by the "Gorge Society for Exhausting Detail and Paragraphs Galore" to join this elite letter writing fraternity. The request was denied.

Now imagine this cartoon: Uncle Sam behind the wheel of a famous limo. He looks into the rear view mirror: "Where to, Mr. President?" "Nowhere! And step on it!"

W.H. Davis Jr.

Hood River

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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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