Letters to the Editor for December 26, 2012

Guns give protection

In response to a letter from Wendy and Richard Best (Letters, Dec. 19), I’d like to say that the United States is unique in the fact that our government gives us no freedoms. The Constitution simply limits the government’s ability to remove the freedoms we have been given by our Creator.

The Constitution is simply written, stating that we can say what we want, we can print what we want, we can worship how we choose, and we can be armed to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property. The Bests say “Second Amendment? So what!”

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion. Look around the world. Wherever there is a lack of Second Amendment protection, there is usually a lack of First Amendment protection.

Wendy and Richard are right in saying that we all need protection. But a piece of paper signed by the president will not give us any protection. Only our God-given right to bear arms will give us protection. When worse comes to worst, seconds count when the police are minutes away.

Lately there have been some truly sad and barbaric happenings. What we really need is to stop reducing the mental health budget where we save a few thousand dollars in treating someone only to spend many times that to keep them in jail later, after something really bad happens.

We need to secure our schools with something more that a “weapon-free zone” sign. If Sandy Hook Elementary School had an undercover armed guard, maybe 26 people who are being mourned could be enjoying Christmas this year.

Finally, as a person who is supportive of his Second Amendment rights, I’d like to thank President Obama. No one in American history deserves more credit for selling guns and ammunition than him.

Mike Farmer

Hood River

Holiday spirit, on/offstage

Columbia Center for the Arts was honored to hold a pay-what-you-can performance of “A Christmas Carol” on Sunday, Dec. 16. This special performance was underwritten by a generous grant from the Boeing Company.

Our holiday wish was to make the magic of live theater accessible to all local residents — and that wish came true.

We are so grateful to all of the nonprofits who helped to spread the word about the performance, to the wonderful audience who attended and to the actors and crew of “A Christmas Carol” who gave their time to make this performance possible. Thank you all!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season filled with art, music, joy and laughter.

Kyle A. DeVaul, executive director, and the staff of Columbia Center for the Arts

Hood River

Snow safety

As the snow has descended upon us I would like to send out a “Thank you” to the men and women driving the plows and gravel trucks clearing the roads and making them safer for me to drive on.

I would also like to say “Thank you” to law enforcement and that it is nice to see them out on the snowy highway reminding people to slow down and take it easy on the ice- and snow-covered road.

I live up by Parkdale and have to drive very early in the morning to get to work and then back up the hill to get home. My work does not care that it has snowed so I really appreciate everything that crews are doing to take care of our highway.

Everyone that is driving Highway 35 please give the other cars around you plenty of room; if you are a slow driver pull over and let cars pass. If you are a daredevil and fast driver in the snow and ice, slow down; the mountain will still be there in an extra 15 minutes.

Have a safe and happy Holiday!

Samantha Plante

Mt. Hood-Parkdale


Remember the children.

Remember the grown-ups.

Remember the principal.

Remember the teachers.

Remember all who have lost their lives to this kind of senseless violence.

Now is the time to face these events head on.

And do something to stop them from happening again, and again, and again.

Let us not forget.

We owe it to them all.

Especially the children.

What will you do?

David Gross


Don’t give away rights

Like all of you, my wife and I are shocked and saddened by the recent horrific events in Clackamas and Sandy Hook. I was very concerned that evil events such as these have a way of bringing out those among us that are happy to give away civil rights hoping that criminals will somehow now begin to obey written law. This is so silly and will always beg a response from me.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevail here in Hood River and we don’t all take the lemming approach and scream for our government to fix the issue. (As if they could!)

I am certain that we all want someone to answer for these horrible murders and callous disregard for human life, but make no mistake: The government cannot protect you and if legislation were the answer, these crimes would never occur in the first place.

The letter from Dick and Wendy Best (Dec. 19) states “This sort of gun-created mayhem makes the U.S. look like a Third World country,” so I’m curious about how an inanimate object can create anything? These acts of insanity are perpetuated by uncaring and soulless people, not firearms!

Did we blame rental vans or fertilizer for the murder of adults and children in the bombing of the Murrah Building? Did we blame “evil” aircraft after the awful events of September 11? It is fertilizer to believe that firearms are the culprit here and that banning them will stop anything.

Further, I believe that if the liberal mass-media would stop reporting every grisly detail over and over, we may not see quite as many copy-cat events when these unspeakable acts occur.

The Second Amendment is intact and is my individual right and the Supreme Court has concurred. Personal security in this life is just that: personal. Please don’t allow your fears to stampede you into giving away the civil rights that thousands of Americans have died defending!

Step up, grow up and be responsible!

Ralph K. Lane Jr.

Hood River

Cell tower no big deal

We used to live near three 600-plus-foot towers. We saw their lights from 100 miles away and knew we were almost home. A little 160-foot tower in Hood River will hardly be seen and is needed to bring communication to Hood River.

Seems everybody wants cellphones but not the towers to make it work. Sounds like all the people who say buy local, then prevent local business.

One solution would be to put a small but powerful tower on Mount Hood.

Paul Nevin

Hood River

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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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