Letters to the Editor for Sept. 7

Parents as role models

School is back in session and twice this morning I saw a parent driving their child towards the high school and talking on their cellphones.

Please be a role model to your child. Don’t talk and drive, as it is against the law. If your child sees you doing it, then they will think it is OK for them to do it as well when they become drivers.

Instead, spend those few precious moments and talk with your child. Plan what is for dinner that night or what special things you will be doing on the weekend or what activities they are involved in. Just be a role model!

Carolyn Van Orden

Hood River

Question ‘truthers’

I love how conspiracy theorists love to flaunt the “over 2000 architects and engineers” who doubt the official story of 9/11. In America alone there are 1.7 million architects and engineers. So technically what they are saying is: “1,697,000 architects and engineers disagree with us and think we’re being ridiculous.”

If a few (people) want to believe in holographic planes and laser beams from space (two widely held theories by “truthers”), that is their right. However, it is an ill-informed decision based on bad information, paranoid delusions, and outright lies.

Let me ask them this: If the attack was made up, why did the U.S. government say 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia? They are an ally. If it was all made up why didn’t they say they were from Iraq?

Or even from Iraq, Iran and North Korea? They were making it up anyways, right? Why didn’t they make up they were from countries we wanted to invade, rather than an ally?

How do you plan for two planes to hit two buildings without disrupting the explosives that had to be wired on multiple floors? Flight 93 went down before it reached its target; where was that building? Was it also laced with explosives or targeted by a space laser? If so, did they remove the explosives after the plane crashed? Are the explosives still there?

“Truthers” love to quote the latest facts and figures they get from YouTube; yes, that YouTube, the same thing your kids use to watch Fred videos, cats playing pianos, and people falling off their skateboards and getting hit in the crotch.

That’s where they get their information.

Sounds legit to me.

Jason Carpenter

Hood River

Twin Tower conspiracy?

Phil Wolfinger’s Wednesday letter indicates that a willful “controlled demolition” took down the Twin Towers on 9/11. I don’t know who his “experts” are, but these are the facts.

The towers used new technology for skyscraper construction and thus required some waivers from the old codes. However, the changes resulted in lighter, stronger buildings that set new standards for tall structures by exceeding previous static and dynamic load requirements, including wind loads.

The plane impacts and explosions did not bring down the towers, and neither did a conventional fire. However, the extreme temperatures from the jet fuel conflagration consuming the entire impact floors created extreme temperatures that heated the steel support beams well beyond their design safety margins. So, they failed.

As far as the way it collapsed, it was exactly how such buildings should and are designed to fall: floor by floor into their own footprint. The alternative would be to fall into surrounding buildings and create even more damage and loss of life.

Lessons learned from the Twin Tower incident are not structure-related, but address communication, backup power and other safety and evacuation issues.

The only sinister acts that day were executed by the hijackers.

Russ Hurlbert


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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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