Letters to the Editor for June 12, 2013

Gun safety revisited, rescue the elephents, danger and disrespect

Gun safety revisited

I agree with Mr. Herman (June 5 Another Voice) that gun control does not equal gun safety. But, it may equal safety from guns for many innocent people, like the children at Sandy Hook.

I hope that, as he matures, Mr. Herman will recognize that there is another element of our population that could be greatly affected by gun licensure: persons who are mentally ill.

Also, I would suggest that he consult the original purpose of the Second Amendment, which is concisely summarized in its opening clause: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state ...”

Today, the idea of the usefulness of a true citizen militia is as ludicrous as the thought of someone standing in their doorway with a gun or even an AR15 to fight off a modern, well-equipped army and air force organized by a federal government gone crazy.

One question for Mr. Herman: How does legislation for gun licensure “guarantee that there’d never be a law-abiding citizen to stop a criminal from killing our kids?” I would suggest that intelligent discussion and debate is not helped by gross exaggeration.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Rescue the elephants

Let me preface this letter by thanking the Gorge White House and Hood Valley Hard Cider. Despite limited space, both local establishments have graciously offered me shelf space at little to no expense to promote my pet passion, CraftsForElephants.

Now think back to what you were doing 10 years ago. Does it seem just like yesterday? It’s projected at current kill rates, the African elephant will be gone in 10 years.

Time is of the essence. A total ban on ivory is necessary, public pressure needed and the long traditional and cultural use of ivory, particularly among Asian peoples, stopped.

Detailed information on this criminal activity using AK-47s and grenade launchers, plus compassionate stories of recuing orphaned calves, educating local children, veterinary field work, etc., can be found online. Visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Save the Elephants; donations needed.

I’m crafting elephant-motif aprons, stepping stones, gourd birdhouses and more to raise awareness, with all proceeds going to these two organizations who are on the frontlines in Africa addressing the poaching crisis, which is indeed criminal, fueled by extremists and ivory money to buy weapons, not unlike the drug cartel.

Summer is here. Stop by The Gorge White House on Highway 35, and Hood River Valley Hard Cider in Parkdale to taste, sip, browse and relax. You’ll be glad you did.

Ricki Duckwall


Danger and disrespect

I hope the adult male who (along with two boys) crossed Highway 35 illegally on Sunday, June 2, by walking on the railroad trestle, causing the Mount Hood Railroad scenic train to come to a complete stop, knows the last boy flipped off the engineer when he blew the horn to warn them.

To that boy: You are disrespectful and immature. You didn’t impress anyone aboard the train. You simply looked as pathetic as your actions. And whoever you all are, I hope you read this letter and realize that: All train tracks are private property. It is illegal trespass (as well as highly dangerous) to walk on them.

Unless you are at a public crossing, walking on or beside the tracks is trespassing.

Yes, the Mount Hood Railroad scenic train travels slowly (lucky for you). But the average locomotive weighs 200-plus tons and, at 55 mph, takes more than a mile to stop. And trains have the right of way 100 percent of the time.

Adults: Please learn the rules. Parents: Please read this letter to your kids. Teach them, keep them safe — and while you’re at it, please reinforce the meaning of respect for others. Thank you.

Betty Osborne

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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