Letters to the Editor for Feb. 1, 2012

Where is the uproar? Sickening, sad scary, use trained tree pruner, more...

Where is

the uproar?

Congress recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which nullify the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments (Bill of Rights) and section 9 of the Constitution. This bill authorizes the military to take United States citizens into indefinite custody solely at the discretion of the executive branch of our government. The public outcry to this is underwhelming.

Members of our armed forces take an oath to protect the Constitution. The president, senators and representatives, as well as state officials, take a similar oath. This bill voids habeas corpus, search warrant requirements, due process and the right to a speedy and public trial.

As yet, there is no public uproar. Oaths seem to have become meaningless. Where are the Tea Party patriots, active military, American Legion, veterans and the press?

To their credit, our Senators (Wyden and Merkley) were among the few who voted against the NDAA. However, our 2nd district congressman, Greg Walden, who also took the oath to protect the Constitution, voted for this draconian affront to democracy.

Bill R. Jones

The Dalles

Sickening, sad, scary

As I "did" my 20 minutes at the treadmill this morning watching MSNBC, after receiving yet another recorded message on behalf of Greg Walden much earlier, I'm so befuddled at the "choices" the Republican party have for president - even when there were eight or more, I thought to myself, "How are they going to choose between eight losers?"

It's so unfortunate, though no fault of their own, G.W. left such a mess at the behest of Cheney et al. To watch these poor souls in Michigan, Iowa and South Carolina swallowing the lies being told - Cain's affair, Perry's ineptness, Michelle's dream - and what are the Republicans left with?

Nothing in Gingrich's past is left to doubt about - his wealth, wives, and how he got it all - and Romney's glaring loss of memory on which way he voted on what he spoke for and then against.

I'll be 90 in June - a born Republican till Reagan was out of office - but I read a lot and watch a lot. My question to all the anti-Obama people: Have you all forgotten the mess, the debt, and wars he was left with?

All these "good men" stand at their podiums (or soap boxes) talking about Obama as if he were the enemy. Is it really because he's black (even though half)? How could any Democrat do anything Boehner et al would be behind and vote aye to help the U.S.?

It's sickening. And sad. Does anyone remember in this photo op with custom-made jackets and bullhorn, and the U.S. Ship "Mission Accomplished" banner?

If Santorum weren't such a straight-arrow, he'd try to change the abortion law, with help from W's Supreme Court, but at least he's honorable.

Just hard to relate to the diehards who continue to knock Obama and try to decide which Republican to vote for. It's so sad - and scary.

Jerry Lynn

Hood River

Use trained tree pruner

As an arborist I was a little dismayed to see your articles on trees and pruning on the front page of the paper. I feel that it was inaccurate to say "trees that were pruned regularly suffered less damage."

To prevent damage to many trees from this storm we would have had to excessively or improperly prune many trees. Referencing the orchard trees as an example for pruning for trees is a recipe for a lot of bad pruning practices, which will ruin trees and make them more dangerous in the end.

I hope that people remember that this was an extraordinary storm and that we shouldn't make knee-jerk reactions like removing trees out of fear. What I am most afraid of is that your article could get people to try to tackle jobs that a professional should handle.

I hope that people will choose to use a certified arborist or licensed, bonded and insured companies with experience in the field of tree work to help with their tree needs. Their safety and the health of their trees are worth it.

Ryan Cafferky

A Life With Trees L.L.C.

Hood River

Endorse

Aaron for DA

We have known Brian Aaron for more than a decade. He is an excellent attorney and loyal friend.

We have witnessed firsthand his availability and dedication as an advocate for so many in our community. He has provided legal services for our family and he is always available to discuss issues and concerns. We have come to rely on his sound advice. He is the first friend that I consider talking to when important decisions are being made.

Without hesitation we highly recommend him as the counties next district attorney. We think he has would make a proactive district attorney.

Ron and Kim Harris

Underwood, Wash.

A level playing field

If a Hood River Walmart grocery store competed on a level with our Rosauers and Safeway stores it might not be too bad to have in our community. But Walmart doesn't have to, doesn't need to and won't.

Rosauers has 17 stores in four western states. Safeway has 1,500 stores in the U.S., mostly in the west. Walmart has 4,400 stores and Sam's Clubs in the U.S. and over 10,000 worldwide.

Rosauers operates at about an overall profit margin of 10 percent and I assume Safeway does, too. Walmart can and will underwrite groceries with profit margins from sales in home furnishings and appliance, apparel, automotive products, health and beauty products, toys, lawn and garden, hardware, sporting goods, pet supplies and household items from all 10,000 stores.

Walmart can and will sell groceries below cost until they drive Rosauers and Safeway out of Hood River. Then you can be sure all their grocery prices will jump significantly when they are the only game in town. Then we will all be paying more for groceries than we are now.

Then those of us who refuse to spend a dime at any Walmart store will be traveling outside the area to shop for food. Gone with our grocery stores will be all the jobs they now provide. Sam Walton's kids have only one goal - to make the biggest profit possible and they will do it at our expense.

And speaking of level playing fields, here is a question to ponder: If a city building permit is requested for a three-story house and the permit is granted for only a two stories, does it mean 10 year later the owner has grandfathered permission to add a story irrespective of the stipulations of the original permit?

Do you think the Hood River City Council would go along with that scenario? Apparently it fits for Walmart.

Gary Fields

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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