Friday, January 11, 2013
The Congressman drew a crowd Friday, with more than 150 people attending U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s town hall and filling the Hood River Valley Adult Center meeting room.
Walden said of the recent federal “fiscal cliff” debate that he was in the minority within his party in supporting the budget agreement reached last week.
“It did not have everything I would have liked to have, or what a lot of others would have liked, but I had to look what was in the proposal itself,” he said. “It preserved tax cuts for the middle class that I felt were really important.”
He called the fiscal cliff situation “another crisis in management in Washington on spending and tax policies.
“I heard from a lot of you about the push and pull of what you thought Congress should do,” Walden sad.
(Hood River News will have a detailed report on Walden’s comments in the Jan. 16 edition.)
Friday’s audience ranged from Cascade Locks Mayor-elect Tom Cramblett and State Rep. Mark Johnson to HRVHS senior Jack Patterson, who worked in Walden’s office last summer and wanted to catch up with Walden and his staff.
Belinda Ballah of Hood River said, “I just want to see his overall scope of what he has going for us and what he has to offer.” Ballah, who works in drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention for the Hood River County Commission on Children and Families, said she is also looking forward to meeting Walden when a Hood River delegation attends a national prevention convention starting Feb. 3. Ballah and Prevention Coordinator Maija Yasui will attend along with Donna Mohr from Cascade Locks.
Walden also honored Linda Hutson of Gorge Heroes Club.
“Her main concern is for troops and veterans and helping put together meals and troop care packages,” Walden said, presenting a surprised Hutson with a certificate of appreciation.
“She doesn’t do it for the recognition but I’d like to have you take a moment to recognize her,’ Walden said.
In his opening remarks, Walden acknowledged the “deep divide” in the country, and the general dissatisfaction the public has with its elected federal representatives. He joked that someone at a Mt. Vernon town hall told him that the approval rating of Congress “was below broccoli and brussels sprouts.”
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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