Letters to the Editor for April 3

Library policies re: porn

The board and staff of the Hood River County Library District share people’s concerns about children inadvertently seeing pornographic materials. Recent letters to the editor suggest that this is a problem at Hood River Library.

In light of these concerns, I checked with Hood River Library staff to see if they had seen or received any complaints about what might reasonably be considered pornography on library computers or networks. No staff members recall any such incidents or complaints except for one individual at Parkdale Library, who has been formally warned.

When this issue arose in August 2012, our board implemented several measures to mitigate the potential problem including clarifying our Internet and computer use policy to forbid explicitly “viewing pornographic material in areas where minors are likely to see it” and installing privacy screens on computers.

We also created new enforcement measures to handle patrons who violate library policies, including revoking computer privileges and/or being ejected from the facilities.

We encourage patrons to inform us immediately if they see something of concern; we take our role in creating safe, welcoming community spaces very seriously. If anybody has any such concerns, please feel free to tell a staff member or contact me directly at buzzy@hoodriverlibrary.org or 541-387-7062.

In addition, the library board will be happy to hear citizen concerns during its meetings or individually. The board will meet at the Cascade Locks Library on April 16 at 7 p.m. Board member names, phone numbers and emails are available on the Library District’s website at http://bit.ly/10vP36m.

Buzzy Nielsen

Director, HRC Library District

Hood River

Something of value

A man slaps a torn piece of canvas on his wall, dabs a bit of paint at random on it, and calls it art. An eccentric billionaire buys it — or, more likely “collects” it without paying much for it and stores it away in a warehouse — and it immediately becomes something of great value. This makes the “artist” famous and rich.

Another man spends his life in the study of painting, in perfecting his own work, and in teaching others to appreciate the art of painting. A few learn from him how to see, and thus, how to paint. Over a life time he sells a few paintings, but never enough to pay for all his work and materials, much less to earn a living.

But those few who have a painting of his find joy in living with it every day.

Of the two men, which one has really created something of value?

Anne Vance

Hood River

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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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