Friday, March 23, 2012
Little People: "Can we have the Canadian oil pipeline? Please, Mr. President? It would bring lots of employment."
President: "That would be a no. In other words … your request is enthusiastically denied! Instead, save up to prepare for 10 to 12 bucks a gallon for gas. Or until you can afford a 'grandiose-green all-electric car.'
"And if you'll pardon the pun: I don't dig oil."
Let's allow developers to put up another building of 20-foot-wide and 60-foot-tall condos with nowhere to park, but stop Walmart expansion.
Or perhaps a cable park and an 88-room hotel with a 20,000-square-foot office. Seems logical to me.
Why repeat mistakes?
History repeats itself and every time the lesson increases in cost.
In 1928 the Republican Party with its bright star for the presidential election, Herbert Hoover, the world-renowned humanitarian, proposed to eliminate poverty during his presidency. Imagine!
Today people in poverty are invisible to the major political parties and the private corporations that rule them. There's no talk of poverty, other than by a minority of democrats, and pathetically little action for the middle class.
The Hoover administration actually started programs of what became known as the New Deal. Hoover was one of the most intelligent and compassionate presidents this country has ever seen, but was hamstrung by political and economic ideologies he could see past.
His responses to the Great Depression were too timid. His approach was to subsidize and encourage the economic wealthy to invest in jobs. The programs didn't significantly get down to the people who needed them. Sound familiar?
FDR came on much more boldly and rather than working from top down, his administration took programs straight to the people who needed them.
The critical piece missing in those years as well as today is ecological. Men of industry and commerce behaved then, as they do now, as if there was no end to Earth resources and ability to absorb our abuses and pollution. Do they believe Earth is flat and endless?
When thousands of scientists and local people with no buffer from Nature, around the world say we're in a serious predicament, corporatists and politicians with no credentials to utter a word, rule the information channels. The latter includes corporate scientists, with perverted vested interests not to acknowledge global conditions.
Research coming out of UC Berkley is finding humans are hardwired to care for each other. Strife is usually promoted by leaders who have a vested power and profit interest. Turns out we are our brother's keeper. Something many have known all along.
We wouldn't know it by the actions of the current Republican Party and many in the Democratic Party. The libertarian party is thinking in some century past, with no relevance to today's conditions.
Plans for the new hotel and "cable park" in Hood River have just been revealed and I was surprised at the size of the water park. It's a bad idea to have a hotel/commercial building at the river's edge and very inappropriate to add a cable park, infringing on salmon habitat and simpler kinds of water sports.
Certainly, such a "Disneyland"-type of installation will stand out like a sore thumb to locals and the thousands of visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy the natural beauty of the Columbia Gorge.
The first city planning commission meeting for the cable park is Monday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, 211 State St.
White Salmon, Wash.
Thanks to Kirby for his well-done coverage of the last Cascade Locks council meeting. There were several things he could have added; one, Gary Munkhoff and Larry Cramblett are both part of task force working on rebuilding the fire/EMS department. Making negative statements in a public forum on TV hardly helps in that effort.
There are many volunteers in the fire/EMS who were loyal to Chief Jeff Pricher and felt he was mistreated, the words uttered at the council meeting hardly do anything to heal the wounds left by the last council which was largely recalled.
I sat through council meetings in which Chief Pricher was ostracized and humiliated about things that were either beyond his control or were caused by the prior council cutting his hours and pay. Several times this went on for over half an hour.
Tom Cramblett was a willing participant; there were others from that council who had no idea that they were breaking human resource rules, or if the did, they didn't care. I'll forever be embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't say something at the time.
I'm also dismayed that the letter of apology to Chief Pricher was not read publicly; it should have been, those that caused the damage and acted in a divisive manner should have been exposed to it.
Jeff Pricher was an excellent chief who built a well-trained cadre of volunteers who dealt with structure fires, ambulance calls, highway fires, medical emergencies, trail rescues and wild fires; I and most of the people who knew him are sorry to lose him.
General Motors, one of the big auto firms bailed out by the taxpayers, helped the environment by phasing out the gas-guzzling Hummer and used the Chevy Volt (an electric car with electricity-producing gas generator) to power its comeback.
But now, leaked documents reveal that General Motors and other large corporations are funding the Heartland Institute, a leading climate change denial "think tank."
It is not hard to conclude that these climate change deniers try to debunk scientific evidence that proves the earth is undergoing a definite warming, and that it is man-made. And that they do so for the short-sighted pursuit of profits that oil and coal production provides.
I guess they will only admit the problem when we are all chin-deep in flood waters caused by melting glaciers around the world.
Thanks be to a special music-loving friend who invited me to join her to a world-class classical performance concert on March 9 at Hood River Middle School by two gifted ladies, Meredith Holcomb and Karen Eddleman, who would make any mayor proud to say, "They live in MY town." Absent music lovers really missed the "note."
Following each piece, they would compliment one another with a heartwarming smile and a mini applause. The audience responded with several standing ovations.
Thank you, Meredith and Karen, for your reverberating chandelier-shattering performance, "octaves" above any rendered in Hood River's famed music hall.
Hood River News writer Julie Raefield-Gobbo also is to be complimented on her March 3 "sweet" fascinating article telling how these two ladies discovered each other.
English for sheriff
This letter is my endorsement for Matt English for sheriff. Matt has a real commitment to this county that we live in and has many ideas and plans to improve law enforcement that are practical and realistic. He is budget-minded and will make positive changes within the financial confines that exist.
I have been impressed with Matt's integrity and ethics during the campaign process. He has worked hard to ensure that campaign procedures are followed.
Additionally, I have seen the commitment Matt has to his family, friends, co-workers and the community which I feel is essential for a leader; especially for a leader who is responsible to protect the people in our community.
We support John Sewell for District Attorney. He has done a great job for our community for over 20 years. Why would we want to change what's working so well?
John is honest, hard-working and committed. In the ER we see the co-ordination between him and other elements of our law enforcement, while he is on call for our community 24/7.
At church we see his commitment and integrity, as he volunteers for multiple committees.
We wholeheartedly support John for re-election!
Lou and Linda De Sitter
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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