Letters to the editor for July 21, 2012

Lifeguards were amazing

On Tuesday, July 17, a homeschooling group that I am involved with brought our young people to the pool for Open Swim. On this day, close to 5 p.m., the lifeguard’s whistle blew.

Instinctively, I looked at our young people to see if all was alright. Then I glanced at the lifeguard, who was already off of his chair and moving across the pool. I didn’t realize what was going on but by the quick response of this lifeguard I could tell that it was of vital importance.

I rushed to where the majority of the children were in the pool and started telling them to get out of the pool. After just a few seconds I looked back over my shoulder, in the direction that the lifeguard had ran, and to my utter horror I saw lifeguards pulling a lifeless body, of what appeared to be a teenage boy, out of the pool.

This poor boy had already aspirated the last remaining contents of his lungs and he was non-responsive. The lifeguards impressed me with their rapid response to the crisis. Three lifeguards started administering CPR promptly and efficiently. From my viewpoint, there was no hesitation, no second-guessing and no failure to perform the necessary lifesaving techniques that they had been taught. They checked vitals, did the compressions and air on cue.

These guards were steadfast in their mission to help this young man to the fullest of their ability. Upon the EMTs’ arrival they found the young man breathing on his own.

A fourth lifeguard held the small sister of the victim. The little girl was so emotional, justifiably, and the guard so kind, compassionate, and reassuring to her. This is a day that will always be remembered by this small child, and though there will be horrible memories, there will always be that comforting touch, those caring words that will also be there.

To say that these lifeguards were professional would not do them justice. To say they were dedicated individuals would only be a vague description. These lifeguards were loyal to their duty, caring and controlled in their actions. They did an absolutely amazing job, and all of them are a credit to your city, and to your pool.

Great job lifeguards! Your performance did not go unnoticed. We appreciate your willingness to serve, to protect, and to care for all the swimmers.

Brenda Baska

The Dalles

Discourage cable park

The Port of Hood River should not support or approve exclusive-use rights to operate a cable park in the Nichols Boat Basin. I believe this portion of the proposed Nichols Landing Development is not consistent with the public interest, is not a sustainable business model and would bring significant negative environmental and visual impacts to Hood River’s Waterfront.

Please encourage the city, the port and your fellow citizens to support efforts that ensure a waterfront development which reflects and serves Hood River’s “world-class” asset in a lower-impact fashion.

Mike Stroud

Hood River

More focus on food

My husband and I just finished a(nother) great vacation in the Gorge. We were first enticed by the wind, but have realized there is much more to keep us coming back.

As outdoors enthusiasts, the pickings are endless. As a personal chef, the food scene delights with every visit. I am not talking Portland; I mean Hood River, Mosier, White Salmon, Bingen and the Fruit Loop.

Even though your ground freezes each winter, folks seem overwhelmingly committed to supporting and promoting local farmers and food producers. It’s impressive to see four-plus weekly farmers markets in this small population center.

The myriad of (affordable!) restaurants crafting dishes to feature local items and detailing ingredient sources is mouth-watering. Plus all the beer, wine and ciders!

Where I live, local produce abounds year round; yet too many folks are sadly unaware. Thus I savor even more this vibrant “eat local/Gorge-grown” ethic.

I am surprised that the enthusiasm on the streets is not mirrored in the food section of local papers. You really have something special going on and I think that your subscribers (and us vacationers) would appreciate more emphasis on this broad-ranging and delicious subject.

Marianne McCarroll

Stockton, Calif.

Discreet viewing

On pornography, censorship and the appropriate use of public resources: First, don’t believe everything you read. One person’s shocking pornography is another person’s Calvin Klein ad.

Just because someone said they saw a person openly viewing porn on library computers doesn’t mean it really happened. Most of the time, it is probably someone viewing a clip from “Game of Thrones” or something similar. Would you consider that porn?

But that is beside the point. The library is a public resource, intended to give public access to the widest range of legally published works possible. Any restriction placed on legal publications must be done with extreme deference to the opinions of the person wishing to access that material.

If a publication is legal for someone who owns an iPad to access on a public bus, then it should be allowed for someone who does not own an iPad to access at a library computer. If you are offended by seeing what someone else is reading, the solution is not to restrict their choice.

The solution is to make it so you can’t accidentally stumble into what they are seeing. Just place the computer screens so someone would have to intentionally look, as opposed to being in open view. Then if you see it or if you let your kids look over other people’s shoulders, there would be no one to blame but yourself.

Jeff Hawkins

Hood River

Farewell Seven Streams

Many Hood Riverites know and love Post Canyon’s Seven Streams Trail which will be clearcut next week, “for forest health reasons” we are told by the county.

As I rode along the trail one last time today I apologized to the lovely second-growth forest ecosystem for the antiquated way of forest management our county is stuck in. I heard your song, hermit thrush, many times along the way. You will be missed; as of course, you will not frequent the area again for decades.

The county is giving the stream a 60-foot rather than the required 50-foot buffer — no big cause for celebration as it won’t, in reality, protect the old trees therein for long. As soon as the next big weather event blows in — next year or in five or 10 — the trees along the stream will start falling down, unprotected and vulnerable as they will be with barren, stump-covered hillsides surrounding them.

How unfortunate that this gem of a trail so close to Hood River will no longer amaze out-of-towners (not to mention locals). Now their first impression of Hood River mountain biking will be clearcutville.

What an opportunity lost to showcase an enlightened eco-forestry management style that the county has been urged to adopt for years by local conservationists — one that focuses on long-term forest health and beauty — and plenty of dollars with a little patience.

Instead, just another clearcut.

Yeah, I know, “dream on, buddy — it’s just the way of things.” The fate of the little forest in question, as most things, all comes down to quick money and an industrial model as stated plainly by the forest manager.

Such a style of management, however, is not sustainable. It may seem so from the perspective of our puny human life spans but truly, it is not. No forest has ever been cut three times and grown back. The soil and the land is ruined.

The capitalistic rut that grips the wheels of the world is extremely tough to pull out of but clearly we must if we want a viable future for our grandchildren. Nature won’t abide our short-sighted approach to her much longer. The signs are all around us and do we listen? We should, as Nature bats last.

Daniel Dancer

Mosier

Dose needed

Responding to Guy Tauscher (Our readers write, July 11): Fox News definitely has a conservative slant, but not any more so than liberal media have a liberal slant. I have opinions about our President that don’t come from Fox News. I simply don’t trust someone who has gone to great lengths to hide much of his past.

What is he hiding? We all need to know.

Also, just because Fox News reports it, and your media of choice doesn’t, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. In my opinion, anybody who can’t think of a single negative thing about Obama, could definitely use a good dose of the other side.

Joyce Weseman

Parkdale

Logging will save taxes

Last Wednesday (July 18) there was a front page story and a letter to the editor concerning the clearcut of forest land in the Post Canyon area. That timber is a crop to be harvested. It is no different than harvesting a field of corn.

That forest was not put there for the amusement of the “tens of thousands” of card-swiping tourists. Hood River County needs the funds from this operation. We have major expenses to pay. If we take the entire $536,000 and only pay our librarian it will last over eight years.

I’m really glad the county has found a revenue source besides my property taxes.

Mike Farmer

Hood River

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