Saturday, November 2, 2013
I do it for the kids
One of my life missions is to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults. Here in the Gorge, so many children are struggling and I wish I could fill all of their needs. Every child deserves a safe, loving, and permanent home.
One important way I do help children is by serving on the board of directors for Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA advocates make a huge difference in the lives of children in foster care and the passion that the advocates and staff have for these kids is an inspiration. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.
As a board member I help to maintain a thriving organization so that we can recruit and support enough volunteers so every child in foster care can have a CASA advocating on their behalf. Our whole community benefits from these efforts.
CASA is looking for a few engaged and committed individuals to join the board and I passionately encourage others in my community to consider this opportunity. By giving just a few hours of your time and talent per month, you can help make a difference in the lives of foster kids.
Applications are available at gorgecasa.org or via email at email@example.com.
The editorial page of Oct. 23 included a very revealing scenario of the political climate of the day.
A lady, in a letter to the editor (“Say it ain’t so, Greg”), recounted in detail, a recent experience with our elected congressional representative, in which she felt deceived by him, and questioned his honesty.
An op-ed writer, who was identified as speaking on behalf of the Hood River County Republican Central Committee, accepted and defended this chicanery with glib and over-used sound bites (“Another voice”).
We should expect much more from those we elect to represent us, but it has been stated in numerous ways, this dysfunctional Congress is nothing more than a mirror image of the electorate.
Parents giving their kids a toy gun need to educate them to the fact: You point a gun at anyone, you may get shot, especially a law enforcement officer.
These bleeding hearts who think an officer must make sure a gun is real or a toy before defending him or herself is insane; they are under fire 24/7.
Go to a toy store and look: If I were pointing one at you, could you tell before I shoot you? I think not.
If we are going to require an officer to wait until fired upon we had better be prepared to pay them a whole lot more or go without and protect ourselves.
I support officers protecting themselves first so they can then protect us.
Kick his can
Rep. Walden voted to shut the government down; this has cost the taxpayers $25,000,000,000 and counting. He voted for it because he did not like the ACA (Obamacare), though he has not explained what part he did not like; was it one of following?
Extending health care for children to the age of 25 on their parents’ policy.
Reining in the excess profits of insurance companies and returning some of the profits to the rate payers.
Allowing people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance.
Reining in the snake oil health insurance companies, and make them provide what they say they are going to. (This provision is why some companies are no longer writing insurance.)
Closing the donut hole in Medicare.
Did not want the 10,000-plus people in Oregon who signed up for insurance under the ACA in the first couple of weeks to get insurance.
Making people who only use the emergency room for their health care to share some of the expense and end the subsidy that the insured have to pay in today’s environment.
Reduce the insurance rates for the majority of people as per preliminary studies. (Yes, you can find some examples in the Oregon rates such as a increase of premiums for a single 40-year-old of 22 percent, but this does not reflect that he will have increased coverage and how much it would increase without ACA.)
Reduce the deficit by $100,000,000,000 over 10 years as per OMB.
Walden also noted that he voted against raising the debt limit because he did not want to “kick the can down the road.” In other words, he did not want to pay the debt from the run-up of the deficit during the eight years of the Bush administration, when there was not a spending bill that Walden did not like and vote for.
He also wanted to stop Social Security and veterans payments, place the world economy into a meltdown. This could have removed the U.S. dollar from the world standard and increased the deficit beyond any speculations.
Don’t you think that in the next election, it will be time to “kick Walden’s can down the road”?
Take a stand
The Oct. 23 Hood River News has two rational, well-thought-out letters to the editor, one criticizing Rep. Walden for voting against a budget settlement and the other praising him for voting for it later.
Meanwhile, we get another editorial supporting fire safety. Or was it driver safety? Or pedestrian safety?
They’re all important matters, but once in a while it would be nice if we got editorials taking reasoned stands on important local, state and national issues. It might even stimulate further political involvement.
And, in that there is no other local newspaper, I don’t think the publisher need really worry about losing many subscribers. In fact, it might encourage more subscribers — and voters.
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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