Letters to the Editor for March 30

Porn is not free speech

To put or not to put; that is the question: Should pornography filters be installed on our public/tax-supported library’s computers; sparing its patrons of these multimillion websites’ billion-dollar industry provided by Google, et al, search engines?

However, on the “flip” side, they do offer vast amounts of knowledge at the “touch of a key.” But, do filters, when installed, violate a patron’s “freedom of view”?

If our Founding Fathers (those who coined the phrase “In God We Trust”) were aware as to how their adopted “freedom” statues have been exposed to forms of mockery, they would —thump! Thump! Thump! What’s that noise? Oh no, I must have said it too loud.

Now again to an understanding of Mrs. Holste’s recent letter (March 23) and applying an “icon quote of an old radio icon who often remarked, ‘What a revolting development this is.’” Now go online; enter TBRDR.com; check search; right side of screen, click on: What every woman should (ignore the image); scan down to the four entries of Nov. 14, 2009.

Excerpts from the aforementioned website:

If a pipe were spewing untreated sewage into our streets, we would stop it.

Hard-core porn is antihuman. It is hate!

An addiction to pornography is identical to a heroin addiction.

An addict is an addict is a “junkie.” Goodbye career, family, etc.

Pornography acts upon the brain just as a chemical drug does.

There is nothing about this that is “free speech.” It is purely a profit industry that “hooks the unwitting and brainwashed souls”

Hmmm, I wonder where these library board candidates stand in this “sewage”?

Alan Winans

Hood River

Calm the porn storm

Regarding “Porn at the library?” (March 23 letters) and “Computers not a right” (March 27):

“Every time I have taken my grandchildren to the library in the past year there have been men watching porn on computers. Upon asking, ‘What! How can this be?’ I was told that it was part of ‘freedom of speech.’” (Janet Holste, March 23); “What if all moms and dads and the taxpayers who don’t want porn allowed in the library get together and get rid of the problem or the computers? There is nothing in the First Amendment right that says we have to provide computers.” (Carl Wilson, March 27)

What?! Blindly accepting anecdotal evidence and subjective over-generalization as point of fact to justify a then sweeping knee-jerk reaction is not even close to a responsible way to approach or solve a problem. It’s absurd nonsense.

When we start talking about taking a valuable (I would argue necessary) public resource away just because someone was offended by something they think they saw, I would strongly urge skepticism and a more rational approach to the issue.

Censorship begets ignorance. I mean, have either of you ever watched Footloose? Kevin Bacon could teach you a thing or two.

Nic Richards

Hood River

Call before you dig

Spring is in the air, and Hood River gardeners will soon roll up their sleeves to get started on long-awaited yard work. If that work includes digging, NW Natural wants to remind you to call 811 — the Utility Notification Center — to locate underground gas and other underground utility lines.

This is a free service, and it’s not only a smart thing to do to help prevent damage: It’s the law.

Once you call, a technician will visit the property within two business days to locate your gas and utility lines.

If a gas line has been accidentally damaged, remember these tips: Smell. Go. Let us know. If you smell rotten eggs or hear a hissing sound, immediately leave the area on foot and then call NW Natural’s 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Be safe this spring and be sure to call before you dig.

Tonya Brumley

Community affairs manager, NW Natural

The Dalles

Truck-less summer

Call me naïve but it has never entered my mind to secure the children’s outside toys at Rachel’s Corner Childcare. Our toys have sat on the concrete patio without event for nearly eight years. The only thing to ever touch the trucks, cars and tricycles, other than our kids, was maybe a curious squirrel or a hungry raccoon.

That all changed on Saturday, March 16: We were victim to theft. Someone trespassed onto our property and stole two of our favorite toy riding trucks. As a result, we had to explain crime to very sad toddlers.

The yellow truck was one of the children’s favorite outside toys. It has developed lots of leg muscles and gross motor skills over the years. The other truck was enjoyed by many over the years, as well.

Whoever stole these toys could learn a lesson from the tykes we care for. All of our 3-year-olds agree: “It is not right to take toys that don’t belong to you!”

It makes us all very sad to think of a summer without our yellow truck.

Rachel Goddin

Hood River

Word to consider

While Carl Wilson is in the library disposing of the computers (March 27 letters, Hood River News), why not a book burning, too? I’m sure there are some with dirty words and pictures — and ideas that some of us disagree with, too!

However, before he sets fire to the encyclopedias, he might want to look up “Nazism.”

Dave Dockham

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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