Letters to the Editor for July 24



Grace follows tragedy

The comments of Trayvon Martin’s parents in reaction to President Obama’s July 19 informal remarks reminded me just how nice it is to have such wonderful people in our world. Trayvon was a very lucky young man, at least in that regard. It’s unfortunate that the rest of us will not have the benefit of his adulthood.

I hope that we all make use of this tragedy to search our own hearts and minds and work to make this a better world.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Jenga challenge

The History Museum of Hood River County hosted a Free Family Day event last Saturday, July 20, from 11-4. It was sponsored by Faith Connections. Volunteers helped with the games and craft stations (which was a good thing because I don’t remember the rules of croquet!).

Thank you, Connie and Carly! It was a wonderful event for all — especially with free hot dog lunches from the Hood River Volunteer Fire Department.

I hope it happens every year and more people will visit The History Museum, come play games and volunteer in our community. Open challenge to any other family for a large-sized Jenga game!

Kate Dougherty

Hood River

Damage can’t be undone

What the (blankety-blank) is wrong with the Hood River Parks Department? I took my son out to the skate park last week and it was as gray and dull as the winter skies.

Hood River is a vibrant, artistic town teeming with color, and some of that was evident at the skate park; most notably the structure that was covered in memorial messages to Forrest Andrews — brutal, honest emotion expressed by his peers. A place that caused visitors to ask about Forrest so his memories could be shared by teens who often don’t get to share their honest emotions. What an honor!

What a shame that the Parks Department sloppily painted over it and all other artwork, thus making it a wide-open canvas for new, less tasteful graffiti, followed by a new sloppy coat of paint, followed by more distasteful graffiti ...

The worst part is that the damage cannot be undone; the walls cannot be unpainted, the art, and the handprints, and the heartfelt comments cannot be replicated.

The skate park is about the kids who use it and, yes, the few isolated areas of profanity should be regularly dealt with (and they are, thank you), but the unwritten rule is that no one messes with the artwork. As a parent, my advice is:

  1. Pick your battles (especially when spending taxpayers’ money); and
  2. Respect is a two-way street.

Lisa Evans

White Salmon, Wash.

Dog as copilot?

Driving with a small dog in your lap. Really? I see it at least once a week around town. Really?

Talking on a cellphone while operating a vehicle is illegal. Texting while driving is also illegal. Is driving with a small dog in your lap any safer?

Mark Hudon

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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