Letters to the Editor for July 31

The truth can hurt

If a man were murdered and a news story blamed the murderer for his death, would that dishonor the murdered man? I think not.

A recent story in the Hood River News brought up the connection between our recent devastating forest fires and global warming. Did this dishonor the brave firemen who lost their lives in one such fire? One reader thought so, and the writer graciously apologized.

It seems to me that the reader is one of those people who just can’t bear to hear unpleasant truths.

Anne Vance

Hood River

Speaking out of turn

Here in Cascade Locks we have an appointed councilman, Richard Randall, who has taken it upon himself to speak as a citizen and a councilman, thus assuming the mantle of the council while making a personal attack on a citizen, Rob Brostoff. Mr. Brostoff spoke out about the council’s claim of full funding; the council has a balanced budget but like most governments these days is not fully funded.

Let me list the problems with this:

Randall is trying to have it both ways; writing as a citizen and assuming the mantle of a council member as though speaking for the council.

Councils put out releases as a group; Randall doesn’t reference any other members.

The council brought up the issue of being fully funded; it’s still incorrect: There’s no money for an ambulance, or to fix the water system estimated to cost $3 million; hardly fully funded.

Randall says let’s settle this at the polls; he’s correct: He should wait until he’s elected rather than politically appointed to write for the council.

It’s citizens’ responsibility to point out false and incorrect statements made by council; council shows poor form and judgments attacking individuals when they do so.

Please do remember this at the polls in November.

This is the result of not using any known form of governance by the council, Roberts Rules of Order, or some variant.

Nancy Ina Renault

Cascade Locks

Help for Guard kids

It’s back-to-school time for many children of our Oregon National Guard.

The families of many of our deployed soldiers have made a significant financial sacrifice. It can be difficult for them to provide their children with school clothes and supplies. The citizens of our state can help, and at the same time say thank you to our soldier’s families.

Purchase a gift card for any amount from stores that sell school supplies and clothing. Send the gift cards to the Oregon National Guard. The gift cards are distributed to the neediest of the Guard families around Oregon.

Send gift cards to: Dave Ferre, Oregon National Guard, P.O. Box 14350, Salem, OR 97309.

Becky Cartier

Lake Oswego

Menacing coal dust

About 8:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 21, I was about to enter Washington Highway 14 from Cook-Underwood Road. Before I turned I looked east and saw a black, menacing tornado-like cloud moving toward me. I didn’t know what it was at first, but as it drew closer I realized it was a coal train headed west on the tracks that closely parallel Highway 14 through the Narrow Columbia River Gorge.

The fast-moving railcars loaded with coal and the reported 25-30 mph southwest winds created a forceful energy to lift large globs of coal dust from the loaded railcars into the air, obscuring visibility on the adjacent highway and rendering driving dangerous.

It took some time for the large clouds of coal dust to settle everywhere, including the White Salmon River estuary. The coal dust invaded my car, made my eyes sore and ruined the rest of my day.

Joe Csizmazia

Underwood, Wash.

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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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