Letters to the Editor for Dec. 18

Grateful for response

We are very fortunate!

To live in a community with outstanding fire response teams. The diligent efforts put forth by the fire departments and their fire personnel that responded to our bin lot fire on Nov. 25 are the reason our loss is limited to bins, when it could have been much worse. Their quick response and the professional manner the fire personnel attacked and controlled this very hot fire kept the surrounding houses and our own facilities from experiencing more damage.

I can personally attest to all the hard work these individuals have accomplished after the fire was put out. Since this was a crime scene they kept personnel on the scene throughout the night as well as they have continued to monitor and control this area. They have patiently worked with all the various state agencies and our insurance carriers through the investigation process thus far.

Diamond Fruit Growers would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to all fire personnel and law officials that responded on the night of Nov. 25 and for their continued effort seeing the investigation to completion.

David Garcia


Diamond Fruit Growers Inc.

Sorry for inconvenience

On the first Saturday of every month, the Hood River Leos Club collects refundable bottles and cans to raise money for local projects and community organizations. For more than four years, the club has coordinated this volunteer effort to raise funds for FISH Food Bank, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Hood River Warming Shelter, Adopt A Dog and many others.

With the returnable bottles and cans (nickels) donated by hundreds of community members, we have contributed more than $6,000 to local charities this year alone. In wind and rain and heat of summer, the Leos have been at Rosauers parking lot without fail accepting and sorting thousands of containers every month.

Unfortunately, Saturday, Dec. 7, broke that streak. With the coldest temperatures in more than 20 years and subzero wind chill factor, we made the call that it was unreasonable to ask the Leos students to be out in the bitter cold for four hours sorting cans and bottles with little protection from the wind. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

The good news is, Leos will be back at Rosauers on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (barring any unforeseen extremely DRASTIC weather events) collecting returnable containers.

We sure appreciate receiving rinsed containers, sorted by type: glass bottles, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Please don’t bring anything but deposit (returnable) containers: No Snapple, tea, coffee, Gatorade or Powerade containers, or wine bottles.

We look forward to seeing you next month. Thank you for your support!

Kristin Reese

Leos advisor

Hood River

Greatness or greed?

Watching everything being said about Nelson Mandela makes me wonder, is going down in history as a true patriot for all people as rewarding, or what you gained through greed.

Greed will last only so long and run out (really); fame will last forever, something that has escaped the leaders of our country.

What would you want to be remembered for, your greatness or your greed?

Jim Burdick


Tory after all

Kevin Herman (“Tea Party mission,” Dec. 11) schooled me on my ignorance on the three mission goals of the Tea Party; let’s taking the first, he stated: “restore America’s founding principles of fiscal responsibility.”

Which founders expressed them? Where are they written? When were they lost?

George Selleck


Best little pageant

There is a wonderful play for the entire family at the Columbia Center for the Arts. It will give you warm and fuzzy feelings and you will also laugh a lot.

The children are delightful. I encourage everyone to treat yourselves to this clever seasonal play, which is in the theater through Dec. 21.

Debbie Olson

White Salmon, Wash.

Teach respect for flag

Once again, the annual tradition of hot chocolate, Christmas parade, and tree lighting reminded me of how much, and why, I love this community.

There was one thing I saw in the parade that bothered me enough that I felt the need to write this letter, though. As one of the local Boy Scout troops went by, I couldn’t help but notice the little guy carrying the American flag struggling to hold it up, and sure enough, before he got past us, the flag was dragging on the ground.

Now I don’t blame the young boy who was doing his best to carry the flag, and I’m sure he considered it an honor to do so; but I do wonder what the troop leaders who were walking in front of the flag were thinking when choosing who was to carry the flag. They were walking in front, completely unaware of the fact that the flag so many of our men and women have died fighting for was being dragged along the ground.

I hope that in the future the Scout leaders would be more attentive in teaching their young Scouts the proper way to respect our flag.

Gary Lindemyer

Hood River

Lincoln and Walden

“Four score and seven years ago ...” so said America’s first and most famous Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.

Both President Lincoln and Congressman Greg Walden have experienced similar “woes.”

President Lincoln once said, “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business.”

Both men have: prayed to, feared and received wisdom from the one and only true God (as embossed on our currency: “In God We Trust”).

But! Some to think, “It’s wrong to be right”; “Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm” — Abraham Lincoln

Hats off to Congressman Greg Walden, our lone Oregon voter who “stood firm” for fiscal responsibility.

Alan Winans

Hood River

Right a wrong

Twenty-five years ago my cousin Patty, who lives in Washington state, asked me to be the celebrant at the commitment ceremony she and her life partner, Rosemary, were planning. Such unions were not recognized by the religious denomination I served as an ordained person; therefore permission from my church could not and would not be granted. Also, 25 years ago, that simple commitment ceremony would have no legal status.

Patty often said that because their union did not have “legal” recognition it was always suspect by some and abhorrent in the eyes of others. For my own part, I always felt a deep sadness that I was not able to officially affirm their union. In the ensuing years, Patty and Rosemary have raised two fine boys, pursued their careers, paid their taxes, and held high moral standards for their relationship.

When same-gender unions became legal in Washington this year, Patty called and asked — again — if I would officiate at their official, legal marriage. This time I enthusiastically agreed. I performed the ceremony, signed the document and asked the 200 people present if they would “do all in their power to support and uphold Patty and Rosemary in their marriage” — to which there was a resounding, “WE WILL!”

Now, it is Oregon’s turn — and your turn — to right a wrong by adding your name to the petition to place a referendum on November 2014 ballot changing the Oregon constitution to recognize marriage between couples of same gender. Signature gatherers will be in downtown Hood River, every day from 3:30-5 p.m., until Dec. 23.

I urge your support and action. Thank you.

Gary Young

Hood River

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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