Letters to the Editor for July 25, 2012

Respect flag

The Hood River Lions Fourth of July parade is over and a piece of history. Myself and other Hood River Lions were placed along the parade route just to “keep an eye” on things.

One thing did catch my eye. Flag etiquette seems to be a thing of the past. I noticed grown men not bothering to remove their hat nor place their hand over their heart as our American flag passed by.

We seem to forget that this is Independence Day and not just a day for getting free candy, barbecues, etc. Think of all the Independence days gone by and let’s please show some respect for “Old Glory” when she passes by.

Judy Judd

Hood River

Port made

for business

Is this a joke? People from Portland and Arizona plus so called “Friends of the Hood River Waterfront” are filling a lawsuit against our city for the Nichols Boat Basin being an endangered area for salmon? Do they have any idea what used to be there? And what is in the water?

I know. I moved here in 1994 and worked at the boat works for over two years. I remember the talk with Bobby Nichols that the port raised the rent of the dock wall area to $5,000 a month which he said was to get the boat works out of there for the last motel that never got built.

That being said, after I was laid off after building four 300-foot grain barges with them, Nichols was not awarded a bid to build 10 more smaller grain barges and folded. I decided to stay here and became a licensed contractor so I could do the work when it started.

Now 16 years later, it looks like I still have to wait. Is not the port area manmade for business? I can see someone wanting to paddle board in there as I used to jet ski in it myself. But what a joke to bring up the endangered species act.

You might save some carp. I’ve seen them in there. But come on, friends. Call a spade a spade and just be up-front with what you really want and not make a joke out of it. And let’s just hope the storm that brought us the new acreage also buried everything else that was in there.

Sean M. Palmieri

Hood River

Don’t think?

“Texas GOP Pounds Education with a Board” so might read a news headline. Columnist Leonard Pitt Jr. of the Miami Herald reported this wording of a plank from the 2012 Texas GOP political platform: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order thinking skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education which focus on behavior modification and undermining parental authority.”

“Holy wow” is right, Mr. Pitt. Just think — oops, wrong idea — if parents are bigots, so should be their kids. Likewise for racism, homophobia and any number of narrow mindsets. Heaven forbid anyone telling children there are other ways to think about a subject, idea or fact.

It is no wonder our political system, country, environment and world is so screwed up.

Gary Fields

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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