Letters to the Editor for June 19

You might be drinking tea

Re: Mr. Dockham’s letter of June 12: You use the best example, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, for proving my point in a lame attempt to argue yours (“Gun safety revisited”).

The answer to your question of how legislation being passed to enact gun-free zones would guarantee there’d never be a law-abiding citizen around to stop a criminal from killing our kids, is a simple answer. If indeed you were concerned with an intelligent debate, and even an unbiased one, you would have found the answer to your question when reading my letter.

I did not write my letter to argue the Second Amendment’s first half, which guarantees each state in the union their right to have a well-regulated militia, because I don’t need to. It is already a right vested to my state: the great state of Washington — a state named after a man who did stand in his proverbial “doorway” with a gun and was successful at fighting off what was, up to that point, the most “well-equipped” and greatest army in the history of the world.

Thank God he did, or else you and your family would be serving the local magistrate their tea and crumpets every day at noon. Cheerio.

Kevin Herman

White Salmon, Wash.

Enjoy July 4 in White Salmon

Yes, the White Salmon Fourth of July Parade and Celebration in the Park is happening again this year! Come help celebrate our past, present and future — honoring our community’s veterans, our heritage, beauty and fun.

Last year’s was such a surprise as the first in memory — inspired by the garnering of the U.S. Navy Band. There are even more plans this year. The 133rd Army Reserve Dixie band “G7” will work the pre-parade route, along with our Ladies of the Elks handing out flags, followed by car after car of honored veterans.

Anyone who has served in military service at any time in any way is to be celebrated, and we look forward to hearing from you. We also want to celebrate our community businesses, churches, children, organizations — and any groups that come together just for this event.

Have you always wanted to be in a marching band? You can be! Do you have a convertible of any kind or do you know someone who does? We would like for every one of our veterans to have a seat in the parade. Do you have a garden full of flowers to wheel through the parade and decorate the park afterward?

There can never be enough clowns! Join children with decorated bikes or dance your way up the street.

Plan to spend your afternoon in our wonderful Rheingarten Park listening to Gorge Winds, White Salmon Jazz and G7. There will be hot dogs, cotton candy and Margaret’s snow cones for sale, but picnics are a wonderful idea, as well.

Plans are in the works for lots of games and activities for all ages throughout the afternoon. Bring your visitors and friends to enjoy what we all love about our community.

We’d love to answer your questions or help you to join in. Call Pam at 509-493-3362 or Peyt at 509-493-3525 or visit the Facebook page, “White Salmon 4th of July Parade and Celebration in the Park.”

Pam Morneault

White Salmon, Wash.

Kite curious?

Kites are attracting a growing crowd of spectators and new participants each year. The kiting community is happy to share the unique and wonderful experience of kiteboarding with all who show up at the beach.

As our sport grows it is creating crowded conditions at the beach and some spectators are unaware of the dangers they are exposed to. Additionally the growth of the sport is tempting new users to purchase equipment and attempt to learn to ride without instruction.

As a spectator, please be aware of the kiting boundaries at the Event Site. These boundary lines direct spectators to an upwind location where they can safely watch and learn about the sport.

If you venture out to the sandbar please give the kites room to operate. The lines between the kite and the operator are around 75 feet long and anything inside this perimeter is at risk. Also the sandbar has many less-experienced kiters who may not have full control of their equipment, they may become airborne and travel downwind toward you unexpectedly.

For those people who want to learn this sport: Take lessons! Imagine being connected to a ski boat and not being able to let go, or stop the boat. You can be dragged to your death and risk others’ lives as well.

I taught myself to downhill ski, to mountain bike, windsurf and to kayak in surf and whitewater; I did not and would not do the same with kiting. We have five local kite schools who can introduce you safely to the sport of kiting.

We have one of the most densely used waterfront areas and the safety of everyone there depends on people taking responsibility for their actions. Please be safe and get instruction before pursuing kiting at the Hood River waterfront.

Rich McBride

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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