Letters to the Editor for November 14, 2012

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Where were the flags?

Upon arriving at Pine Grove Cemetery Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, I anticipated seeing a few flowers and small flags of our nation waving in the slight breeze. How disappointed I was to see only one small flag other than my own and my small red, white and blue bouquet.

This day dedicated to honoring our veterans who have served us well, seemed to go by unnoticed by many.

We celebrate July 4 with parades, fireworks, picnics and family gatherings on Independence Day, which is all well and good. But wait a minute — wake up, America — without our past veterans who have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice, their lives and limbs to protect the rest of us, there would be no Independence Day — or any of the many other amenities we all routinely take for granted.

Time to count your blessings folks, and thank your veterans for the many sacrifices they make for you, your families and generations to follow.

Lois Neufeldt

Hood River

Will keep our community safe

I am glad Matt English is our sheriff now and am glad he won. He will keep our community of Hood River a safe place to live. And if we need his help he will be there to help us.

I am glad I voted for Matt English.

Pam Smiley

Hood River

Scheduling wasn’t easy

If it is necessary for me to explain why candidates night for Cascade Locks residents was scheduled as it was, I’ll start by saying it isn’t easy to schedule 10 city candidates — two mayor, six councilor and two county sheriff candidates, including the camera operator.

Studying the calendar for other scheduled city events Parks and Rec night was overlooked, but we were fortunate Karen Peck, director, agreed to finish early and the children volunteered to help set up tables and chairs.

It was felt a one-month notice was necessary for candidates to schedule time, appointments or substitute speakers, as two did but did not notify me the date didn’t fit their schedule. Time was running short before the election for candidates to check their schedules and voters to make decisions.

As Lions we are not political, but try to do what we can to inform and enhance the community. If foresight were possible, I suppose everyone would be happy.

You can satisfy some people some of the time, but not all people all of the time.

Pat Hesgard, President

Columbia Gorge Lions

Cascade Locks

Keeping us gun-safe

It seems that the more guns that are around us the more shootings there are — shooting suicides, shooting accidents and shooting murders.

The “original intent” majority on the Supreme Court applied the Constitution’s gun rights amendment to hobbies and hunting rather than only to the need for a militia as had the Constitution’s authors. Now, media is reporting efforts to make secret the concealed gun permit files and efforts to make liberal gun laws go with a visitor to another state and override that state’s laws.

I have enjoyed the bit of target and varmint shooting I have done across the years, but I don’t think it worth insisting on my right to bear arms if it results in more shootings in homes, work places, schools, theaters and on the streets.

I would have been glad to have a gun rights advocate, with his Constitution-guaranteed weapon, take the place of my grandson in Afghanistan. In a just world the shootings would be happening at gun shows, shooting ranges and National Rifle Association meetings instead of where and to whom they are happening. I wish politicians would advocate public safety over gun rights.

The emotional connection between a man, his gun and his manhood accounts for strong reactions in some folks to any perceived threat to gun rights. And, I suppose, any gun rights restriction advocate (including judges) may be more subject to assassination by an unstable gun advocate.

Nevertheless, our people need protection from high-capacity guns. Otherwise, we will just have to get used to more and more shootings so those who want no significant restrictions to their “gun rights” will be satisfied. Instead, let’s consider how to have safe guns.

John Ihle

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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