Letters to the Editor: July 7, 2012

Parade was big success

Thank You, Tom Yates! I wish to extend my heartfelt thank you to Tom Yates, the Lions Clubs and Hood River Heights Business Association for a fabulous Fourth of July parade.

The parade honored the delegates visiting from our Sister City of Tsuruta, Japan, as grand marshals, all riding in the beautiful antique cars from WAAAM; our Latino community; and inspired such a sense of pride with the Navy and Army marching bands, F-15 flyover, and the antique planes, again from WAAAM.

Who does not get misty-eyed at local floats recognizing our youth, community members, agencies, and small businesses?

Thank you to the various fire departments for your participation and providing a sense of safety and service. A parade has to have equestrians and the various clubs and groups were striking.

Again, thank you, Tom, for all your work so we can celebrate our country’s freedom in such a representative way in Hood River.

Susan J. Wolff

Hood River

Hiking etiquette

After reading the article “Dog rescued on Eagle Creek” in the June 30 edition of the Hood River News, I felt compelled to comment.

It is unfortunate that Bodie was injured and I wish this pooch a speedy, albeit an expensive recovery. This injury was preventable and put rescuers safety at risk, too.

National forest guidelines require that dogs be on a 6-foot leash at all times when in developed recreation areas and on interpretive trails. There are no leash requirements in general forest areas.

Dog owners are responsible for the safety of their animal. There are many hazards to humans and dogs alike. Some of these hazards are physical such as cliffs and other challenging terrain; poisonous plants, i.e. poison oak/ivy; giardia-infected water or an encounter with dangerous wildlife such as snakes, bear or cougar.

Be considerate of other trail users. When meeting any other hikers, both you and Fido must yield the right of way stepping clear of the trail to allow other users to pass. Do not allow your dog to approach other hikers or their dogs unless welcomed. Other dogs hiking the trail may act aggressively toward your dog. Also, not everyone appreciates getting sniffed, licked or jumped on. Even if your dog is well-behaved, it might still frighten other hikers, especially children.

Equestrians are also our co-users on designated trails. Hikers always yield to horses. A dog running ahead on the trail may startle an equestrian and cause the rider to be thrown before you have a chance to intervene. My horse is very trail-experienced, but accidents can happen. I attempt to get off trail when approaching hikers if safely possible.

In conclusion, many people love their canine friends and want to take them everywhere they go, but responsible owners will keep their dog leashed. A leashed dog is unlikely to become injured, lost, or ill. A leashed dog can be prevented from frightening other hikers, horses and wildlife.

Many of our trails in the Mount Hood and Columbia River areas are heavily used by hikers, bike riders and equestrians alike. Be considerate and keep the canines harnessed and leashed.

Victoria Masters-Konopasek


Smoking reminder

Tobacco is something that can’t be eliminated, but if we at least let people know that smoking tobacco can be helped it could set a different perspective in their mind.

Tobacco isn’t just affecting the smoker but the people around them too. Secondhand smoke has been ruining public parks and kids’ environments in our community.

So please help us (Hood River Middle School Health Media Club) get more signs and put them up in all of our community parks. Let’s set a good example and have a healthy environment for our community.

Adal Martinez, seventh-grade

Hood River Health

Media Club

Ownership clarified

I am commenting on the “Not so clear-cut clearcut” article in your June 30 edition. The land in question does not belong to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The land belongs to members of a family from the Yakama Tribe who insisted, to the Tribal Councils of both Yakama and Warm Springs Reservation, that they wanted the burned timber to be harvested.

The legal regulatory authority for the land and timber harvest is vested in the BIA. A lawsuit was settled that required the Confederated Tribes to assume some of the BIA’s on-the-ground responsibilities under a contractual relationship. Warm Springs Natural Resources staff questioned the logic and economic benefit that would result from the salvage harvest, with no success.

Charles R. Calica


Warm Springs

Not always ‘waste’

As we celebrate and congratulate our politicians for extending federal roads and schools aid for another year, this is a good time to also reflect on our consistent talk about federal budget “waste.”

There are tens of thousands of communities and programs also dependent upon those same types of federal funding. Percentage-wise, there’s probably no more so-called “waste” in those monies than there is if each of us submitted our own personal expenditures (for beer, movies, restaurant meals, candy, etc.) to the review of everybody else in town.

We don’t need generalities like “cut all taxes” or “cut all programs x percent.” We need thoughtful analysis and, as occurs in every family and group, compromise.

Dave Dockham

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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