Letters to the Editor for July 28, 2012

Public resource

My hat’s off to Jeff Hawkins for his July 21 letter. He’s absolutely right that the only restriction on legally accessible computer materials at the library should be to deny their accidental viewing by others. Period.

My July 3 suggestion for a vote by the library board should only even be considered for magazine publications, always keeping in mind that, as Jeff said, a library is a public resource.

Once, I was referred to a very informative article in an old Playboy magazine; it took me a long time to find a state legislator even willing to request the issue from the state library archives.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Bottled water

On July 21 I was invited to a party in Portland; while in route we were told to BYOW, “Bring Your Own Water.” Several of the party goers bought bottled water to drink along with a 2-gallon reusable bottle for washing hands, fruit and dishes as West Portland’s water supply was contaminated with E. coli! Bottled water was also given to a few homeless men, who were asking for it.

I am sure my story is not different from many other local private events that took place over the weekend.

The point I would like to make, is that I am from Cascade Locks where on Aug. 1 Portlanders and others will descend on our town for an anti-Nestlé rally, against bottled water. This weekend I was happy to have the opportunity to buy bottled water as I am sure many others were as well. While Portland and other towns are busy trying to ban bottled water maybe there needs to be some thought given to the benefits of it!

Debora Lorang

Cascade Locks

Mess was inherited

Some people keep pretending to the willfully ignorant that the eight-year Bush administration had nothing to do with the present deficit.

The George Bush Administration caused the mess we’re in: They took the surplus left by the Clinton administration and used it for tax cuts that benefited mainly the rich. And the Republicans also started two illegal, and unpaid for, wars.

Republicans are also responsible for the deregulation of banks, markets and entire industrial sectors. These deregulations caused the financial meltdown that required running up more debt to bale out the banks.

President Obama inherited this mess. Some of us haven’t forgotten. Mike Farmer states in his letter to the editor Saturday, July 12, that the Republicans want the government to start being sensible. But all this talk about the deficit is just that — talk.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously said, “Deficits don’t matter.” A staunch Republican, he was arguing against raising taxes on the rich.

But today Republicans seem to have forgotten this maxim. They are bent on stripping social programs, privatizing public assets, and gutting unions; all in the name of “deficit reduction.”

Because they have made a pledge to not raise taxes and to keep all the tax breaks and other perks for corporations, cutting social programs is the only alternative. They don’t seem to care what these cuts will do to the unemployed and to the very poor who depend on these programs for their very existence.

Anne Vance

Hood River

Romney a

Bush clone

It is difficult to see how Mitt Romney will be a good change for America if he is elected president. Listening to his interviews there are six things he says he will do as president.

One, he wants to deregulate the financial markets so business can have a free hand in doing their business. Two, he wants to maximize all energy sources — nuclear, coal, natural gas, oil. Three, he wants to increase military spending and cut back on domestic spending.

Four, he wants to cut the Federal budget. Five, he wants to continue the Bush tax cuts, including for those making $250,000 and up. Six, he wants to increase trade.

We already did this from 2000-08 with President Bush, and if Romney is elected he wants to follow the same strategies that got us into the worst financial mess since the Great Depression.

We don’t need another Bush clone. We are slowly but surely getting our economy back. We don’t need to abandon what has been accomplished and go back to the Bush tactics that have been tried and failed.

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

‘Sly of hand’

I want to vote for the best man for sheriff, but how do I sort out the “wheat from the chaff”? Listen to forum presentations, read reporters’ stories and the many “good ol’ boy” letters, or if he sounds good; do it.

Had our editor presented the choices to us, as were the port commission candidates who responded to a well-constructed questionnaire with the option of personal agenda, we would have had accurate facts for enabling an intelligent decision.

Also this would have put the sheriff candidates on the same financial turf. But!

What was fed to us via this news source was biased “bits and pieces” of information chosen from the forums, e.g., quoting a harmful statement made by one candidate while ignoring an angry response from another.

Warped news reporting also appeared in the June 16 “Trails rescuers…” article in such a way that my dad would have labeled it a “sly of hand” report. You used the name of a sheriff wan-a-be 13 times with hiker safety quotes when once would have been sufficient.

Not one rescuer’s name or quote was mentioned other than Sheriff Wampler. Kind of like that homicide case wherein the “real hero” was a John Q. Public member.

Furthermore, there were no photos showing that Matt English was even on site.

One more hiker warning comes from my “ol’ buddy” Humpty Dumpty who says, “like us eggheads who shouldn’t sit on walls, you hikers should stay back from the bank edges to prevent a great fall!”

Alan Winans

Hood River

Editor’s note: Hood River News covered four separate election forums last spring; since no forums for the port candidates were held, the candidates were provided questionnaires.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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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