Letters to the Editor for March 24, 2012

Recycle, don't burn, Lat starts equal rested kids, more...


don't burn

We are the environmental club at Columbia Gorge Community College and we want to remind our community of a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of lawn debris.

After the powerful ice storm we had this winter, there are a lot of branches on the ground that need to be cleaned up. The Hood River Garbage facility will accept lawn debris which they will turn into reusable bark chips for no charge on Wednesdays. The garbage facility is located at 3440 Guignard Drive, Hood River, right off Tucker Road.

We strongly encourage you to dispose of your lawn debris there instead of burning it. Thank you for keeping the community green! CGCC Environmental Club

Maggie Sholar

Hood River

Late starts, rested kids

In a recent news topic "Key changes proposed for school calendar," the board discussed some alterations for the Hood River County public school calendar. Some of the changes included having a full week off for Thanksgiving, and either one-hour late start or one-hour early release on Mondays.

Although these ideas seem reasonable, why start one hour late on Monday only? The fact is that the school calendar isn't the problem! The problem is the outrageous time we have to be at school, in our classes, and ready to work every day of the week!

To begin with, children (teens in particular) need at least eight to 12 hours of sleep every night but with after-school activities, homework and early mornings students are getting only around five to six hours a night. This is just not enough sleep to support a growing and changing body!

Have you noticed memory impairment, poor decision-making, lack of enthusiasm, difficulty focusing, moodiness, depression or just plain-out exhaustion from your child? Because these are all symptoms of sleep deprivation! Your child is not getting enough sleep for his/her body to function the way it should!

Secondly, starting school later would not only be a healthier thing for the kids but would also give the teachers time to simply relax and prepare for their l-o-n-g day ahead.

Do your kids complain that their teacher is boring, unenthusiastic, moody and/or distracted? This is because they are exhausted! Starting school later would give them that time they need to be ready for the day and enjoy their job.

The fact is, we all need a good night's sleep - even more than we need whole-week vacations. Starting school an hour later every day would benefit both students and teachers. So, don't think early release - think S-L-E-E-P for happier, healthier and stronger kids! Sincerely, S.L.E.E.P.Y.

Hannah Blaine

Hood River

Donate to

local charity

Recently I went through my closet, and I wanted to give some used clothes to a local charity - not a group in Portland. I also wanted the clothes to go to our Hispanic neighbors in the valley, and for free - no charge at all. It turned out to be pretty hard to find a place for all that.

But with a friend's help, I found the Community Service Center in Hood River. It's sponsored by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and it's located at 1090 22nd St., just north of the Mid-Columbia Adventist School. They draw a mostly Hispanic clientele, they give away clothes for free to needy persons, and they were happy to receive mine.

If you have some good used clothing, you might want to consider them as an option. You can stop by any Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30. Even better, you could help renovate one of their rooms into a clothes shop. Right now they're painting and putting in shelves and racks, so people can find clothes in a store-like setting, instead of having to look through boxes on the floor. It's a nice space, and with a little more work, it should be open before too long.

Mike Hendricks

Hood River

Keep boat basin open

I am writing concerning the proposed cable park in Hood River. We travel to Hood River in the summer on a regular basis. I have two children that are learning to wind surf and this is the only place where it is calm and not too windy. I also enjoy stand-up paddle boarding in this area.

I believe if put a cable park in this area it will make it very busy and leave no place for beginners to learn to wind surf.

Diana Nold

Gig Harbor, Wash.

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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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