Letters to the Editor for December 28, 2011

More people, more traffic, Right Decision on Casino, Lights delights, more...

More people, more traffic

As I read the recent article in the Hood River News regarding the intersection at Rand and Cascade ("Cascade-Rand project in limbo," Dec. 21) I wondered to myself again when the City of Hood River and the citizens therein will finally pull their heads out of the sand and realize that it is not the business that is causing the traffic, it is the number of inhabitants.

Walmart was in Hood River when I moved here in 2001. I live off of Country Club Road. In the first few years that I lived here, I could run along the narrow shoulders of that road and there was not much traffic. Now there is a steady stream, regardless of the time of day.

I have a friend who lives in a new subdivision off of May Street that was not there when I moved here. I have another friend who lives in a new subdivision below May Street off of 30th Avenue; again, not there 12 years ago. I could go on but I think you must get my point.

The population of Hood River has grown. All those people drive cars, usually more than one per household. Can we really go on blaming Walmart for all our woes?

It is time for our beloved city to face its growing pains and address the issues of that growth, one of which is increased traffic. If we cannot afford to support the infrastructure, than let's put a cap on the growth.

Teresa Burrows

Hood River

Right decision

The decision by the present Board of Commissioners for the Port of Cascade Locks not to extend the land-use contract for a destination resort with the Warm Springs Confederated Tribes was the right decision.

I was closely involved with this project for 12 years as a Port of Cascade Locks commissioner and president of the commission for six years. It was a great project with lots of hope and envisioned prosperity for both communities. Tremendous effort and cost were utilized by both parties during the long political process.

The decision to approve the project by the Secretary of Interior came very close to happening last December. Under the present federal administration, the approval was not going to happen. The present governor of Oregon has voiced his non-approval as well.

The Warm Springs Confederated Tribes were forced to go "all in" with the negative decisions and build their new casino at Warm Springs in order to increase their much-needed annual revenue.

The parent contract between the Port of Cascade Locks and the Warm Springs Confederated Tribes expires Jan. 05, 2012. The probability that the project would be approved now or in the future with these political climates is very low. It was time to let the project run its legal contract course.

The decision by the Commission was the right one for the community of Cascade Locks and the Port of Cascade Locks. It removes the cloud of uncertainty due to the un-controllable political impacts of the project.

The Port of Cascade Locks is now able to offer prime industrial land in the heart of the Gorge to potential users, such as Nestlé or other industrial users, for immediate availability. It was a tough, important decision for the new Board of Commissioners, but it was the right one.

Timothy P. Lee

Cascade Locks

Lights delighted

I wanted to thank the City of Hood River for the wonderful display of lights downtown. I took my little granddaughter for a drive the other night. This is the first year she could see out the window from her car seat. She said that the lights were beautiful.

We also drove to the Columbia Gorge Hotel to see their lights. As I drove through the area, she said it was the most wonderful thing she had ever seen. She asked if we could drive around again - which, of course, we did.

It was fantastic to hear the excitement and enchantment in her little voice. You all helped make this Christmas very special for me and my grandchild. Thank You.

Vicki White


Watch EA performances

All Hood River Valley High School students must complete an extended applications project in order to graduate. This project must express an interest or a career option that the student would like to consider pursuing.

Many students have chosen to do performing arts-based projects, and these will be presented on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the HRVHS Bowe Theater at 7 p.m. These projects range from original singer-songwriter performances, dance, choral arrangements and more.

There is a $5 donation suggested, and proceeds go back into the performing arts department at the high school. Come support the local talent and enjoy a night of original performances!

Jacob Mears

Hood River

Rules are needed

I don't know where to begin in regards to Tracy Hollister's pro-dog-off-leash, anti-enforcement opinion of the waterfront. I'll start by saying, as a dog owner, I like dogs. Unfortunately Tracy, in this big land of ours, not everyone behaves responsibly. That's why we have rules, that HRPD should be enforcing no matter how petty the offense.

Many people in this town, me included, have the right to use any public space and expect the local rules to be obeyed and enforced. Don't like the law? Either try to change it or simply go where others aren't affected by your irresponsible, selfish behavior.

To say that off-leash dogs have never been a problem is not only a bold statement, but it's simply not true. Twice, while running, a dog chased me. One of the owners stated, "Sorry. He's never does that." The second time it happened, I defended myself with pepper spray. She apologized and realized I was in the right.

Lastly, Tracy, you can have your dog off-leash along the waterfront -around sunrise and sunset. Please look up the rules.

Lyndon Garrish

Hood River

Faith in man restored

Two days before Christmas I went to Safeway to buy the ham and turkey for dinner. When I was checking out I realized I didn't have enough money. I was embarrassed but stepped around my shopping cart to remove some of the items.

The cashier said "That's okay, Ma'am; I've got it." He pulled out his wallet and paid the difference for me.

I was moved to tears by his generosity. His kindness was one of four things that happened that week that renewed my faith in mankind. There are wonderful, kind, generous, loving, caring people in this world!

Thank you, Vinnie; I will never forget you.

Wanda Smiley

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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