Thursday, April 26, 2012
My fellow citizens, here we go again, another chance at an economic boost to our local area being squandered by yet another group of "CAVE people - Citizens Against Virtually Everything, as we call them - a lot of whom do not even live in our local area.
Since moving here in the 1960s I've seen many lost opportunities, starting with a tramway here in Cascade Locks, going to the top of Ruckle Butte and since then, a world-class destination ski resort at Cooper Spur, a Walmart super store, a Nestlé bottling plant, a wind mill farm, a Warm Springs Indian casino-resort and a water recreation cable park resort and many more that escape my memory, I'm sure.
Best of all, these projects would come from private money with no government stimulus.
I can't help but think how much better our place here in paradise would be if we would encourage, promote and welcome these types of economic developments. These missed opportunities in my opinion would have been clean and green (in more ways than one).
I remember 40 years or so ago when the Port of Cascade Locks tried to build a tramway to the top of Ruckle Butte; just imagine the jobs and the economic boost to our area, not to mention the millions of memories that would have been created if just this one project hadn't been scrapped due to the environmental groups.
Just what damage would this project have done, I ask? Gondolas and trams operate in some of the most pristine sensitive locations safely throughout the world; heck even Portland has one!
I have a vision of a county where our schools are fully funded, emergency services and fire departments do not face the budget ax annually, libraries that are open and fully staffed, our roads safe and maintained, plowed and graveled, children and senior services for those in need, parks that are clean/safe/well-maintained and kids that don't have to catch a bus at 6:30 a.m. to travel across our county to go to school every day. A place where people don't have to commute to work 50-100 miles a day to support their families.
But this vision I have is literally being blocked by these CAVE people. If agriculture and tourism are going to be the driving force of our local economic activity here, we all need to unite and get aboard this train before it leaves the station - again!
I can't help but believe the economic climate would be different if these mentioned businesses were here now and the thousands of jobs were enjoyed by all of us. Millions (or billions?) in economic activity and revenue tax dollars.
We need new businesses so our children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to stay, work, live and enjoy our piece of paradise for generations to come just as we have and not find themselves all living in caves somewhere.
Marvin Hansen Jr. lives in Cascade Locks.
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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