Letters welcome: Getting your view into print

Letters are a focal point of any newspaper.

In every issue of the Hood River News, the “Our Readers Write” column is a vital part of the community forum.

If you have never written before, here are the guidelines for “Our Readers Write.”

If it’s 350 words or less your letter stands a good chance of getting printed.

Letters critical of this newspaper are fair game, as are those calling public officials or public figures to task. We even allow writers to question the content of other letter writers, though we have also been known to ask the “dueling writers” to get together for a cup of coffee and talk it over.

No letter is eliminated based on topic or point of view; we do not “choose” the letters that run. If it’s within 350 words and meets the guidelines, it will be published, and we always try to open up as much space for letters as we can. However, we do reserve the right to select from similar letters on a given topic, for space reasons.

Hood River News reminds writers that shorter is better. Concise letters are not only better-read, they are more likely to be published when space is limited. We limit letters on a subject when we feel it has been thoroughly aired, to the point of letters becoming repetitive.

Almost any point can be made in 350 words or fewer, so this is set as an upper level for length.

Thank-you letters are in nearly every case placed in the Neighbors column.

We do not print unsigned or “name withheld by request” letters, nor those signed with fictitious signatures. Copied letters sent to public officials also are not published.

Also rejected are letters that are libelous, in bad taste or personal attacks on individuals or private businesses. Writers must include addresses and telephone numbers. These are for identification purposes only, and will not be published.

Meanwhile, we’re compiling our annual list of all the year’s letter writers, for publication in late December; the more the merrier.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses