Letters to Editor for February 11, 2012

Give cyclists wide berth, I-84 needs better markings, more...

Friendly reminder

Give bicyclists wide berth, please!

As an avid biker, I pedal daily to work, to run errands, to attend local events or just as a healthy workout. Perhaps you've seen me about town on these frigid winter mornings or pedaling home in the pouring rain?

I have had several harrowing close encounters with vehicles speeding past within inches of me, so I thought this friendly reminder may prove useful.

Oregon law stipulates: "The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. A 'safe distance' means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver's lane of traffic." (ORS 811.065)

I do my part to make myself visible to motorists by wearing reflective gear, blinking lights and using a head light. I ride as far to the right as is safely possible, given that many of the road shoulders in this community contain broken glass, potholes, gravel or other hazards, forcing me to pedal closer to traffic than desired.

Thank you for your part in keeping Hood River a safe and healthy community for biking families. And the next time you feel impatient with the biker ahead of you on the road, perhaps it would be of benefit to reflect on how that bike-commuter is helping to preserve the pristine beauty and air quality that we all wish to enjoy in this awesome town!

Lynne Davidson

Hood River

I-84 needs markings

So I have a problem with the lack of reflective markings on I-84. I do not feel safe on the freeway while driving at night and/or when it's raining. I'd like to see more reflective markers and clearer lanes on both sides of I-84, between Hood River and Troutdale.

I have ridden cars and buses in countries like China, Albania and the former Soviet-occupied country of Georgia. The stretch of freeway from Troutdale to Hood River in certain conditions is some of the scariest road I have seen.

Given that we live in the Northwest, not every day will be sunny and clear. It would be wonderful if ODOT took the proactive role of making sure we are safe when driving on this stretch of highway, which I am grateful for the opportunity to use.

Avery W. Hoyt

White Salmon, Wash.

See 'Private Eyes' at CAST

"Private Eyes" (CAST production at the Columbia Center for the Arts) uses a delightful blend of humor and drama to explore the human condition of love and honesty. The cast, under the brilliant direction of Tom Burns, has found its pace and delivers the story seamlessly.

A delectable fusing of raw talent and clever writing into a suspense-packed show… (insert sound of needle scratching across vinyl grooves). OK. Cut the hype. Seriously. This show is fun. Funny. Clever. Dramatic. And it will catch the audience off guard at nearly every turn.

Go see it! Hurry. Last show is Feb. 18.

Bruce Ludwig

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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