Letters to the Editor

Fair treatment for all

People have asked me why I’m gathering signatures for the petition to put marriage equality on the 2014 Oregon ballot. They say: “You aren’t gay!” That’s true. But, like many of us, I have close family, friends and coworkers who are.

We live in a world that includes people with a different sexual orientation than ours. And, we live in a world with people who have different religious beliefs, and different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

We are all different and yet so much alike. We all want to be loved, to have family, to be emotionally and financially secure, to be an integral part of our community, to be accepted, to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity. The Marriage Equality initiative promotes all of these.

Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Marriage is a secular/civil institution which should not be limited by religious objections to gay marriage. In fact, under the Marriage Equality initiative, the existing right of clergy and religious institutions to refuse to perform a marriage would continue to be protected.

To sign the petition, go to oregonunitedformarriage.org, click on “Take Action,” and download an e-petition which you can print, sign and send in.

Colin Wood

Hood River

Liquor is value-added

So the Northwest Grocery association is planning to privatize the liquor business in Oregon with a proposed ballot measure.

I have a surprise for them. In Oregon there are now 249 small private business-owned liquor stores with over 1,000 employees and biannual sales around $350 million with almost all of its value-added going into the local economies.

If the grocery association wins this disingenuous ballot measure, a good share of the value-added dollars ends up outside the local economies in places like Texas corporate headquarters, where CEOs and stockholders pocket much of the otherwise local value-added growth.

Also Washington’s newly privatized liquor business has been a bonanza for Hood River’s privately owned liquor store with over a 30 percent increase in business in spite of a $2 round-trip bridge toll. There are two reasons; not only is there a significant increase in Washington’s liquor prices, but also selections are limited.

Nancy Moller

Hood River

Privatizing liquor sales

Obviously this follows the successful campaign to privatize liquor sales in Washington.

The results of this passing in Washington: Prices actually increased for liquor. Sales increased in Oregon because many Washington residents started buying in Oregon.

Other problems abound.

We will lose our workers at the local liquor outlets.

Potential closures of many local distillers. After all, how can they compete with the large corporations?

For locals, this would include the potential loss of jobs at Hood River Distillers. If this closed, then we would lose many local jobs.

Gains would be primarily at larger outlets. In effect, we would be presenting out of state companies with a monopoly on liquor sales.

All you have to do is check who is sponsoring and paying for this campaign to see who the winners would be!

Leonard Hickman

Hood River

Touchdown dance

After years of relentless hollering conservative ideology, Democrats made concessions with Republicans and 47 million citizens celebrated Christmas by eating less.

The uber-wealthy Koch brothers are longtime libertarians and believe in minimal social services for the needy. No self-respecting demagogue would question them. Politicians pander and many citizens bobble their heads in a touchdown dance of glee to see someone else suffer — C-SPAN, the ultimate reality show.

We the citizens, not government, are responsible for this act of selfishness to others.

After the November election we will elect the same politicians. Show your patriotism, this time, and dance to “Born in the USA (Springsteen)” and wave a flag reading “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Try not to overexert yourself; your health care my not cover selfishness and a cold heart.

George Selleck


Accidents happen

Train collision in North Dakota sets oil rail cars ablaze — Reuters, Dec. 30, 2013

Fiery explosions as train carrying crude oil derails — San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 31, 2013

Huge N.D. oil spill burns into second day; weather shift threatens Casselton —The Associated Press, Casselton, N.D., Dec 31, 2013

Accidents happen. If we stop the oil and coal trains, at least these catastrophes won’t happen on our beautiful Columbia River.

Stop the oil and coal trains.

David Michalek

Hood River

Sense of community

I want to thank the Hood River News, and especially writer Trisha Walker, for their “A look back: Slice of Local Life,” in the recent Kaleidoscope.

I enjoyed reading about the people, from all walks of life, who make our community what it is. It gives you a fine sense of solidarity, of community.

Lawrence Jones

Hood River Wrong then, wrong now

This letter is in response to a letter written by Gary Young in the Dec. 18 issue. (I know this is late in responding but living in Maui I don’t get the paper in a timely manner.)

Being a resident of Hood River for almost 50 years before moving to Maui I must respond to the letter titled “Right a wrong,” having to do with same-sex unions and marriage.

First of all, the writer stated that a “wrong” needed to be corrected on the issue of same-sex unions and marriage of same-gender couples. Over 6,000 years ago God told man through Moses in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 that the act by two same-sex couples coming together is wrong and it is a sin.

It was wrong then and it was still wrong when Jesus came into the world over 2,000 years ago and said He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. And it is still wrong today and it will continue to be wrong when Jesus returns and deals with those who call His Word “wrong.”

The Apostle Paul also confirmed this as being a wrongful act in Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11.

God’s Word can’t be changed by any legislature, any supreme court or by any vote of the people. God’s Word is unchangeable and no matter how much we want our loved ones to be happy, changing or compromising God’s Word will only lead to destruction.

We as a society instead of signing a petition to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot legalizing same gender marriage, should open up God’s word to those and show them how God loves them and we need to pray for them.

Same-sex unions and same-sex marriages are and will always be a wrong choice and a sin in God’s eyes.

Jim Johnson

Lahaina, Hawaii

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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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