Letters to the Editor for February 25, 2012

Don't allow cable park, A failed test, more...

Don't allow cable park

The Nichols boat basin is public waterway managed by the Port of Hood River. It is used by beginning windsurfers, paddle boarders, fishermen, kayakers and folks just trying to enjoy the river out of the wind.

It has also been identified as important fish habitat. It is presently a public resource open to everyone for free.

There is a proposal to use the area for a "cable park." This is a privately owned, for-profit recreational structure which requires floats over parts of the water and access limited to the sandbar area on the river side.

If you use this area or know someone who does, now is the time to contact the Port of Hood River at 541-386-1645 or www.portofhoodriver.com, and the Hood River Board of County Commissioners at 541-386-3970 or www.co.hood-river.or.us. Attend the City of Hood River Planning Department's March 5 hearings. Don't wait until it's too late.

Laurie Balmuth

Hood River

Failed test

So my old friend Bill Davis thinks the only person praising President Obama is the President himself (Our readers write, Feb. 18). Bill must be watching different news than me, because I haven't seen it.

Some people must like him. In all the presidential polls, no matter what candidate he's up against, he comes out on top. Even those coming from conservative pollsters. His approval rating is at 50 percent. Not great, but the rating for Congress is 10 percent. I can guess who is praising him.

Maybe the millions more people who will receive health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Not everybody will be covered, but many more will. How about those of us with pre-existing conditions who the health insurance companies can't drop now just because we're sick?

How about the unemployed? There have been 23 straight months of job gains. Not everyone has a job, but I bet the people who have gotten new jobs appreciate his efforts. Remember how he fought for extensions for those unemployed while the Republicans just wanted to cut them loose? That's after the Republicans campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs and haven't offered one bill yet.

I bet the gays in the military are praising him. The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" allows them to serve honorably and heroically while not having to lie about who they are. They are in harm's way protecting everybody's liberty and freedom, including Bill's.

Maybe the tens of thousands of troops out of Iraq would praise him. Some may end up in Afghanistan, but he didn't start either war.

But you know who will be praising him the loudest as the year rolls on? WOMEN. The Republicans have become the anti-female party. Trying to reduce low-cost contraceptives, Rick Santorum stating that women in the workforce are destroying American families, trying to get past Roe v Wade with a "Personhood Bill," which could stop abortions and completely outlaw contraceptives for all women.

All four Republican candidates remaining have endorsed the "Personhood Bill," which is so extreme that the voters in the liberal bastion of Mississippi turned it down by 16 percent. The party supposedly against big government and government mandates still wants to mandate what a woman can do with her body.

And just this week, Santorum has come out against prenatal testing and care because it may lead to more abortions. Any thinking person realizes that the more low-cost contraceptives are available, the fewer abortions will be performed.

So Bill, maybe you better study a little more, because you failed this test miserably.

Jeff Skye

Hood River

Bad idea

The headlines about the realignment project and the picture inside the paper showing the proposed route is a nightmare to people who will be using this route.

Why spend millions of dollars of money in this tight economy time to put a road where it is not wanted or needed? Would not it be much less expensive to widen the present access road to Country Club from Cascade Street and put in a stop sign?

I think this needs to go back to the drawing board and not ram something down our throats that is not convenient for those who travel Country Club Road.

Wanda Taylor

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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