Saturday, February 8, 2014
Michael Benedict, director
Mark Van Voast, building official
To whom it may concern — and it concerns us:
Cutting down trees to make a parking lot — cutting down trees in a prime orchard area to make a park and now putting a cellphone tower in my view of Mount Hood — where and when does it stop?
We moved to the Hood River Valley from San Jose. What brought us here? The trees, the small town.
Others are moving here and trying to make our valley into what and where they moved from. People — it is time to say stop ruining our valley. We have been here since 1969; bought our little piece of paradise on 5 acres — beautiful view of The Hood from my front window and in front of my garage, a full view of our mountain.
Please, please do not ruin our valley. Stop the craziness! I know money talks, but please, it has to stop! If folks don’t like the way it is, they can move again and ruin another area — don’t let them ruin our area.
The zoning on this property is exclusive farm use (EFU) high-value farm land and they want to put a cellphone tower on it — please stop this!
Jennifer (Jean) and Alan (Andy) Anderson
What Farm Bill does
Gary Fields continues his one-note samba of attacks on Congressman Greg Walden by claiming he is feeding the rich and starving the poor (Our Readers Write, Feb. 5).
In fact, the recently passed Farm Bill does reduce spending on welfare programs by reducing fraud and waste, not by reducing the number of participants in the SNAP program. Note that this bill was passed with a bipartisan vote of Republicans and Democrats.
More importantly, this bill saves taxpayer dollars by eliminating direct payments to farmers while strengthening crop insurance and providing livestock disaster assistance programs.
For more information you can go to the following URL: http://1.usa.gov/1eF09Rm.
Greg Walden serves the working families of his district on the farms and in the cities. I am proud to support a congressman who works across the aisle to help Oregonians and all Americans.
John F. Brennan
Stickers bump us
Recently viewed in the Columbia River Gorge a couple of rather thought-provoking “bumper stickers” (both of these bumpers were attached to four-wheel vehicles parked or in motion): “Don’t trust a promise from Barak Obamus.” Also: “Can we ever believe in Washington Deceive?” And finally, one I had on my car 35 years ago. It simply said: “Bumper Sticker,” but nevertheless awarded me an avalanche of accolades wherever I traveled.
Sense of Hood River
My take on the Sense of Place talk this evening:
I am an old guy who moved to Hood River 22 years ago. Now I am even older. Like many transplants, I saw Hood River faces as those of other people from other places as well, but having some claim to common identity as adding new skills to an up-and-coming community.
Randy Kiyokawa’s talk on farming in the valley Wednesday evening at the Columbia Art Center was an exposure to a ‘sense of place’ of Hood River that that extends much further back than wind surfing and the athletic enterprises that have been part of the later-day economic engine.
Mr. Kiyokawa’s narrative was about the settling of the valley for agriculture and the growth of the fruit orchards and processing as lived by his family: the journey from Japan to Oregon to relocation during World War II to return to the Valley. Warmly and with love and humor, he told of his grandfather and grandmother, his mom and dad, and his own family and the challenges they faced and how they weathered through them.
The adding of rules and regulations and the problems presented even to an environmentally aware farmer were outlined clearly and with concern by Kiyokawa. The overseas competition to the U.S. American farmer from countries with little or no regulations and a worker’s wage equal to single-digit dollars per day were discussed with great worry for the future of U.S. farming.
He carefully explained his business approach of going to market directly through farmers markets, sales to restaurants both here and in Portland, and direct sales to consumers through his farm stand and U-pick orchard, and the success of the approach.
Kiyokawa finished to a well-earned round of applause. I knew I had finally gained my first experience in 22 years of understanding the “sense of place” of Hood River.
More time needed
I am in full agreement with Ms. Kristine Wilhelm’s (Feb. 5) letter wherein she suggested to the county planning dept. and/or Hood River Planning Commission to increase the public response time to allow more people ample time to any planned projects. In the case of a rather large project effecting a large portion of the local population, such as the Dee proposal, even more time should be added.
Recently, I was notified, on Jan. 26, as to a rather small partition of a next-door property. No buildings, just a lot partition.
I have until Feb. 14 to respond, or about three weeks.
In the included paperwork, there was notice of a “Pre-Application conference” for a great many of the agencies that might or would have a say in the outcome. The date on this “pre-application” was May 14, 2013 — some seven months earlier.
My thought was similar to Ms. Wilhelm, in that, why can’t the public be appraised of any planned development at the same time as everyone else?
I think notices should go out to adjoining property owners along with the notices that go to the various agencies.
As to the potential Dee project, I don’t think one thin dime of public money should go to support this proposal, whether for infrastructure or whatever.
Glad for heads-up
While heading to work on an icy and dark morning, I noticed an ODOT truck was slowing down a half mile in front of me. I cautiously slowed and went to pass, when the driver came to a stop and alerted me to a herd of 30 or so elk threading its way across Dee Highway.
I have no doubt that without this driver’s help, I would have careened into the middle of this herd. Thank you, Steve Smith, for taking care of our roads and keeping us all safe. God Bless You!
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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