Saturday, November 16, 2013
Bad to worse
It wasn’t bad enough the state highway department designed a dumb solution to fix a problem that did not exist, the City of Hood River had to make final result even worse: I’m talking about the Mt. Adams Ave./Wine Country Ave. mess re-routing Country Club Road.
First, the road naming: The city supposedly has a convention for street names, streets run north and south and avenues run east and west. This is fairly true except for all the exceptions, i.e. Rand Road. Now comes Mt. Adams Street — oops, I mean Mt. Adams Avenue, which runs north and south and at no intersection turns into Wine Country Avenue (east and west) which is an extension of Country Club Road.
Enough of the street naming mess and on to the absolutely asinine speed designations: Obviously no one in the city bothered to actually drive the new road before deciding speed limits on the road and curves. Twenty-five mph? Get real! Fifteen mph on the curves? Ridiculous!
Oh, wait a minute; the gentle west end curve is only 15 mph if you are traveling east. If you are going west that curve is marked 25 mph.
What a mess; two avenues running at right angles to each other and inappropriate speeds on curves and the road. If these two curves are really safe at only 15 mph then every 90-degree curve on Belmont “Drive” had better be marked as 15 mph too. All those corners are even sharper.
This whole new road system was an unnecessary waste of money and is a pain in the you-know-what.
A few weeks ago I arrived at Hood River specifically to visit your Aero Museum. I had never been “up on the hill”; always speeding down the highway. I never knew what a jewel of a community Hood River is.
What a wonderful time. We anxiously await our next visit and I can assure you others will follow after hearing from me. As the commercials go: “But wait, there is more!”
I am a Navy veteran and took part in a series of nuclear tests during 1956. I was assigned to a specially designed LST which was known as a Landing Ship Transport. There were 13 of us who sailed through radioactive fallout.
I always proudly wear my Navy cap and had it on when I visited Hood River. The first time, was at a restaurant when the waitress noticed. During the some four hours in Hood River a total of six people spoke to me of my service and of my hat. I don’t know how to place a photo into this special presentation, of my hat (actually two) but will do that on the Hood River Facebook page.
Anyway I served proudly on the USS Crook County LST 611. See you again.
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Are you a redneck?
Pop quiz: You might be a redneck if you’ve ever:
Gone to a family reunion to meet women;
Cut the grass in your yard and found a car;
Been watching the Beavers play the Ducks under that cozy blankie on a cloudy winter day and thought, “I should light up that burn pile.” But then thought, “Oh, already smoked that mother on that nice, clear fall day.” Then went back to TV thinking, “Boy, am I smart.”
Fellow Parkdale/Hood Valley custodians: Let’s be good neighbors to one another. Let’s respect everyone’s desire to enjoy and cherish the amazing view of Mount Hood on a clear day. Can we wait until a foggy wet day to take care of burn business and be smart ole rednecks?
Sincerely, a shy redneck who’s too bashful to display her IQ with smoke signals.
I can’t believe that six years into President Obama’s administration I am still seeing letters to the editor blaming President Bush for getting us into this mess!
Keep in mind: During President Obama’s first two years with Democrats in charge of everything, there was no budget completed; just CRs.
Guantanamo is still open. We still are at war in Afghanistan. The only government agency that listens to us is the NSA. Then-senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling because it was irresponsible.
The sky began to fall with a “partial” government and 17 percent should be (with a small business I would start with 17 percent less regulation). Again other parts of government were deemed “essential” at different times and put back to work.
The house did vote and pass 17-plus times to fund various parts of the government. All rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate with one stark exception: the “death gratuity.” That was quickly passed when the Democratic senate was embarrassed into funding that because we had military killed in action and no way to pay the families.
There was a conservative private group stepping up to the plate offering to pay with no expectation of reimbursement. It seems good bargaining faith should be a piece of the process; there were no Democratic counter-offers. Why?
The visible name-calling by President Obama and Harry Reid should have landed them in a “time-out.” That exhibition was no show of leadership. Leadership is President Clinton working with Congress during his crisis (well at least until he was caught with his pants down literally); President Bush working with Congress in “no child” left behind.
I do not agree with some of the Tea Party tactics; however, give them credit for standing up to their beliefs and offering a solution to address the problem. Still waiting to hear a “counter.”
There is plenty of responsibility in this for both parties. Stand up and take some ownership and present some leadership!
White Salmon, Wash.
Farmers support park
Farmers with acreage within a quarter-mile radius of Barrett Park have expressed support for the Parks and Rec development plan, subject to detailed conditions. These neighbors agree that it would not significantly affect the cost of their farming operations, that recreational park traffic would not impact their operations any differently than a farm would on those 31 acres. One farmer with acreage in the immediately surrounding area summed up the impact in a word: “zero.”
A vocal protestor, who grows fruit more than a mile away, claims that traffic where he farms (on Brookside Drive) would increase significantly if the park were to be developed; yet he proposes a new ball field site even closer to his farm. He has made his intentions clear: that he hopes to purchase Barrett Park for his own use. By appealing the park development, he aims to suppress the land price.
Perhaps the County Commission will finally see this protest for what it is. Perhaps the County will respect staff recommendations and the vote of the Planning Commission, whose majority twice voted to issue a permit to develop Barrett Park.
Many share credit
Today’s article (“CL port plans downtown, sports center projects,” Nov. 13) was flattering but undeserved. The new sports and recreation center were not my idea, but conceived of by the Port a decade ago. We just brought it back to life. With the Columbia Gorge Racing Association, Pacific Crest Trail and all the biking and hiking interests in the area, this possible development just makes sense. Will it be started in the spring; we can only hope.
And the development of the Brigham Fish Market, Jumpin’ Jax Java and Thunder Island Brewing in downtown are the product of a lot of hard work by the City and Port. The renewed commitment between the Cascade Locks City Council and the Port of Cascade Locks Commission to growing new businesses and jobs in Cascade Locks is a breath of fresh air. You can see it and feel it. With new businesses, new concepts, new ideas and new possibilities.
Just ask the port president, Jess Groves: “Anything is possible in Cascade Locks.”
Stay tuned there’s a lot happening. We’ve got a great team right now and great commissioners who deserve all the credit. I’m just fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
Gary Rains, economic
Port of Cascade Locks
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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