Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26

Problems made worse

Regarding the changes to Country Club Road: After the modification of Country Club Road, we now have a single road in Hood River with wide turns and no distinct junctions. Yet arbitrarily this road is called either “Mt. Adams” or “Wine Country” or “Country Club,” depending on how far along it you drive.

And the first of these wide turns as one heads east from Frankton, is tilted outward as if we are trying to dump cars into the other lane or off the road. I’m tempted to joke about how this will play in winter, but this may be deadly serious. It is not funny.

And when the bulldozers were running and it would have been trivial and inexpensive to level the area, no one thought it would be a good idea to use material from the high points to fill in the low points so that the road would be safer and more manageable in the winter.

And all of this was done to simply move a point of congestion about a quarter-mile down the road, to an area with reduced visibility and a more cramped northern shoulder. Heading west on Cascade or turning, the congestion is now worse.

Most seriously, though, the road is now far more dangerous. Previously it was comfortably safe at the posted 45 mph speed limit most of the way to Cascade Avenue. Now the combination of ill-designed road angle, the slope, and poor visibility due to the rocky embankment make this a head-on collision waiting to happen.

The new 25 mph speed limit will not help a driver heading west when someone coming the other way either misses or ignores the surprise speed limit sign.

Jeff Hawkins

Hood River

Rights for all

Mr. Nevin, your Oct. 23 letter “Long live Tea Party” strengthens many Americans’ view and criticism of the Tea Party. The group continues to be concerned only with its narrow agenda and unwillingness to acknowledge it represents a very small portion of our citizens.

I do wish to thank the Tea Party for forcing the shutdown which demonstrated their inability to play well with others.

The same Supreme Court which supports your right to bear arms and protects your right to speak openly as a member of the Tea Party has determined that Congress does have the right to regulate trade and uses taxes as a means to do so.

We should be grateful we have a system in our country which permits laws and rights to be scrutinized by highly educated and well-read people.

The Supreme Court is made up of a diverse group of people with a wide range of political and personal views. If you review the votes related to the Affordable Healthcare Act, you will see they were not separated with conservatives on one side and liberals on the other.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Protect our green space

As a frequent user of the trail that runs adjacent to the proposed site of the cell tower at the south end of Rocky Road, I stand united with those who are opposed to the absurdity of such an obvious eye sore being erected in that location.

Having read several arguments in opposition, I see that a common thread is related to the issue of aesthetics in the area, and I completely concur that this issue alone is sufficient to reject such a project.

I would only add that there are several reasons to be concerned about effects to human health due to emitted microwave radiation for those who recreate along the trail, those that live nearby, and the students and staff who work and spend their days at the local elementary school mere feet away from the proposed location.

I am certain that I will no longer use that trail as a means of walking to work should this project come to pass, due to health concerns and aesthetic irritation.

Finally, in the spirit of community sustainability, decisions such as this one that only serve to line the pocketbooks of a select few against the will of the community at large should be swiftly rejected.

When purely economic interests smell an opportunity, it is up to the community to stand up and protect this beautiful town’s green spaces for those enjoying it now and living nearby in addition to those who will be here generations from now.

Nathan Smith

Hood River

Praise for Bob Francis

Thank you, Bob Francis, for helping to keep Ryan’s Juice in Hood River.

Why is it the people who work the hardest and make things happen get vilified? When you break the shackles of lazy and greedy big government, it seems you become a target.

David did the right thing by hiring you. I would think most people in Hood River can see what is really going on. A witch hunt. With a chip on their shoulder.

Sean M. Palmieri

Hood River

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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

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