Letters to the Editor for Feb. 15

Cell facts

Many thanks to Ben Mitchell for the article on Hood River’s newest cell tower in the Feb. 8 edition of the Hood River News. For the past year proposals to build cell towers in the Hood River neighborhoods have angered and upset residents.

Presently a tower is proposed for Multnomah Road. The response period, however, is only three weeks. Hardly enough time for adequate independent study about cellular coverage and to advocate for more friendly solutions.

The real truth that providers don’t want us to know is that cell towers are old technology and not needed to assure good cell coverage and provide for streaming data. Presently, DAS (distributed antennae systems) can provide coverage while hardly being noticeable.

DAS consists of low-power, slender, 2-foot antennae on existing telephone poles.

If the antennae are in a right-of-way, municipalities may receive fees from the cellular carrier. This can make DAS a win-win for the City, although not the County.

Neighborhoods would not be blighted with giant cell towers.

So, if DAS is so great, why wouldn’t the cellular companies offer us this option? Profit.

Cell towers are cheaper than DAS. In addition, the company that builds the tower can rent to other providers. Since cell companies answer to shareholders, profit motive is strong.

Municipalities have responsibility to obtain coverage solutions that are fair to residents and don’t destroy property values. FCC regulations require that a cellular provider be allowed to have continuous service in its coverage area, and do not mandate how that coverage be provided.

I urge the County to take an independent look at what coverage is truly required to meet FCC regulations, and not take the cellular companies’ word for it. I also urge the county commissioners to get back to work on the “Wireless Communication Ordinance” that was dropped when planners were laid off in 2009.

Antiquated cell towers have no place in a community like ours. No matter the scare tactics or self-serving data cell companies use, the County is not required to maximize the profits of these corporations at the expense of your property values and Hood River’s desirability as a beautiful place to live and work.

Steffen Lunding

Hood River

Support ORU4M

With how complex humans are, there are so many colors, sizes, shapes, personalities, opinions and feelings that we can have.

This applies to love and attraction as well; it is not simply black and white. There are so many different combinations of how people feel about other people of the same gender or the opposite gender. It’s even found in other animal species.

If I could really choose whom I was attracted to, wouldn’t that be a difficult decision? How would I even know what to choose? When I hit puberty, it was just there; I liked boys and that was that.

When did you choose to be straight? It’s a tough question to answer, but yet we ask people who identify as gay the same exact question.

Please join me in supporting Oregon United for Marriage (ORU4M) and giving something to Oregon residents that they can chose: to marry the person they love.

Katie Paul

The Dalles

First step

I’m writing to urge our Hood River state legislators to support the Toxics Disclosure for Health Kids Act, a bill being considered in Salem. Too many household products contain chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive problems, and our kids are most at risk.

This bill would require companies to disclose whether the products they sell to children contain harmful chemicals, thus allowing us to better track and where and how our kids are being exposed.

As an expectant mother, I know how important it is that we take this first step toward reducing chemical exposure. As a biologist and water quality expert with Columbia Riverkeeper, I also know that these chemicals are ending up in the river.

I urge the legislature to pass the bill, a first step to protecting our kids and the river from toxic pollution.

Lorri Epstein

Water quality director,

Columbia Riverkeeper

Hood River

Walden lovers

I feel rather sorry for the people who don’t like my letters pointing out truths about Greg Walden and his votes in congress. It is kind of sad when belief is more important than facts and truth. But little or nothing will ever change that. The more facts and reason presented, to these people, only entrenches their beliefs.

I have a suggestion for those of you who don’t like my letters to the editor — don’t read them! When you open the Our Readers Write page of the Hood River News, scan the bottom of all the letters to see who wrote them. When you see my name, skip that letter. That way you won’t get upset by truths and facts.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Kudos to road crews

I know people who would complain that you had not refined the gold for them if you gave them gold nuggets. Those same people complain that Hood River city and county roads are not plowed as they used to be.

For my part, I think that the city, county and state highway departments and workers are to be commended and deeply appreciated for the great job they did in keeping roads open and safe during the most recent heavy snows.

Peter Frothingham


Job well done

To all the dedicated, hardy souls who kept our roads open, lights on, informed of problems, were there for our need, a great big thank you!

I’m sure they would say, “I was just doing my job.” You did a job well done.

Nellie J. Hjaltalin

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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