Letters to the Editor for January 9, 2013



Coach kudos

Phil Hukari, thank you. My son and many other boys on the Wy’east Middle School basketball team had the luck and privilege of being coached by you this year. Your skills, experience and overall positive attitude are really appreciated.

From what I read you have tirelessly done this for years! Thank you so much from a dad and the boys on the team.

Nigel Longland

Hood River

Ads are bad influence

“Drive like it’s 72 degrees and sunny” proclaims a Subaru ad header in large letters in a current local magazine. The car, with skis in the roof rack, is depicted with blurred wheels (think speed!) and blurred winter mountain highway scenery resembling Highway 35.

Given the two recent fatalities on this highway, and one of them involving a 19-year-old driving a Subaru (Hood River News, Dec. 29), this ad’s incredible disconnect with reality really stands out.

Surely Subaru can create ads that don’t imply that symmetrical all-wheel-drive can make the car handle as if the snow and ice were not there and without urging violation of the Basic Rule Law: “You must drive at a speed that is reasonable and cautious for existing conditions.”

Sadly, I see the Basic Rule Law violated just about every time I drive Highway 35 when snow and ice are on the road. I would bet many readers have observed the same.

Unfortunately, fatalities happen every year, especially in the winter, despite repeated articles on winter driving and letters in the Hood River News, such as Ricki Duckwall’s Dec. 19 “Hwy. 35 alert” and Trooper Ocheskey’s “Please slow down” plea in the Dec. 29 editorial. Educating winter drivers is a hard enough task without irresponsible and dangerous behavior-inducing advertisements.

Hugh B. McMahan

Mount Hood

Vietnam vets low priority

The 113th Congress is now seated. The 112th Congress failed to recognize veterans of the Vietnam War by restoring the Agent Orange Equity Act, which did not make it out of committee. These bills (House Bill HR-3612 and Senate Bill S.1629) probably are dead and must be reintroduced.

Only 126 representatives co-sponsored the House bill and only 14 senators co-sponsored the Senate bill. What does this say about the legislators who ignored the bills?

Veterans of the Vietnam War are low priority. We have become a liability for budget dollars, and our quality of life means little to our Congress.

What is the life of a veteran who honorably served country and flag worth?

Freedom is not free.

Every day, another veteran falls ill to a disease attributed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange. Every week 400 to 500 sick Vietnam veterans die.

The legacy we leave behind is our government does not care.

Advocates for Vietnam veterans must start over to convince our legislators to do what is right. Volunteers help sick veterans gather evidence required by Veterans Affairs for submission of claims; we do the legwork, we meet with members of Congress in support of veterans. Our only reward is knowing we helped a veteran.

What we do is not enough unless we have support from Congress. We ask all Americans to urge our legislators to pass laws to provide equitable VA health care and compensation for sick Vietnam veterans for better quality of life.

John J. Bury

U.S. Navy, retired,

Vietnam War veteran

Media, Pa.

Gas price puzzle

The week before Christmas gas in The Dalles: $3.23 a gallon; Hood River Valley: $3.31 a gallon; Wood Village: $3.03 a gallon.

Is there a reason for this? Maybe someone knows why. I’m curious as to the difference in prices.

Ken Ashbaugh


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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