Letters to the Editor for Jan. 8

Changing times

This letter is in response to “Mercantile hoggishness” written by Frank Goheen (Our Readers Write, Jan. 1). While I agree with Frank on the issue of Christmas becoming so commercialized, the rest of his letter is just so much “hogwash.”

UPS and FedEx do have their share of issues but considering the amount of packages they handle, in my opinion, they do a really good job. I think they underestimated the volume of packages this year because of a few other things that have occurred.

The economy and gas prices make shopping online very desirable. Some online deals are better priced than in-store and you don’t have to drive an hour to pick it up; not to mention using up your whole day shopping for it in the first place.

Shopping online has become less scary, much easier, and more secure every year that goes by. More seniors have discovered the simplicity of online shopping and are getting braver about using the internet.

In the coming years, we are going to see more online purchases and less in-store. That’s the trend. FedEx and UPS will become better prepared.

There’s so much less stress, saves money and time, and you can do it while you are sitting at your kitchen table, sipping coffee in your pj’s.

Kathy Mussi

Hood River

How ironic

In his letter of Jan. 4 in response to Gary Young’s (Dec. 18) letter about righting a wrong by marrying two women in Washington state 10 years after he wasn’t allowed to, Jim Johnson states that “6,000 years ago God told Moses in Leviticus (whoever that was) 18:22 and 20:13 that the act by two same-sex couples coming together is wrong and is a sin.”

Actually, I think the quote is that they should be stoned. How delightfully ironic that all has come full circle. Now in Washington state a woman can marry a woman and a man a man and both can be legally stoned.

Al Brown

Hood River

Beliefs vs. rights

The recent letter by Jim Johnson (“Wrong then, wrong now,” Jan. 4) has once again brought up the issue of personal beliefs versus legal rights.

You, Mr. Johnson, choose to believe in God. You choose to believe in your version of God. You are able to share those beliefs because as a citizen of the United States of America you have that right. Our First Amendment grants us freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

But, our constitution also works to establish justice, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to all of us. As long as any group of peoples is discriminated against then we do not have justice, our general welfare suffers and we do not have liberty.

Your church can choose to perform same-sex marriages or not (belief).

Our government can’t. Oregon, and all states, must legalize same-sex marriages if we are truly to be free (right).

Amy Wheeler

Hood River

Snowden not forgiven

Lord’s Prayer: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Many believe we should ignore the First Amendment and let public schoolchildren say the Lord’s Prayer. Politicians and others are condemning even the thought of a pardon for Edward Snowden who relinquished his citizenship so those same schoolchildren could exercise their rights under the Fourth Amendment.

The Lord commands forgiving Snowden. But, who really pays attention in third grade?

George Selleck


Passage overdue

It has been my pleasure to gather petition signatures for an amendment to the Oregon constitution which recognizes marriage between couples of the same gender, while protecting clergy/religious institutions’ refusal to perform marriages. In most cases, people were respectful whether they were willing to sign or not.

Our committee will continue to collect signatures downtown from time to time. I ask that you look for us, sign the petition if you wish and give us a thumbs-up if you have already signed.

I know many couples who are eagerly awaiting first-class citizenship status when this amendment passes. My son and his partner have been together for more than 30 years. Passage of this amendment will have many benefits for them. Let’s not wait any longer.

ElVida J. Walrod-Frothingham

Hood River

Equality must prevail

Regarding Jim Johnson’s (Jan. 4) response to my letter to the editor a couple of weeks back, encouraging voters to support Oregon United for Marriage’s proposed Constitutional change and extend the right to marry to same gender partners:

Mr. Johnson’s religious beliefs are his to hold. His church, congregation and ministers are free, within the contexts of their religious affiliation, to follow those beliefs.

But, we do not live in a theocracy, where all must follow the beliefs of one particular religion and point of view. We live in a diverse and pluralistic democracy, bound together by a mutual belief that equality must prevail. America’s journey is one of inclusion. At every step of the way we have — although not very easily at times — held to the course. We must continue to do so.

Mr. Johnson’s words do injustice to gay and lesbian people who work in our communities, serve in our military, teach in our schools, care for our elderly, sit at our family tables, raise children, stand in line with us at the grocery store, attend our houses of worship, pay taxes and offer a needed hand. They are our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors and our good friends.

Extending to same-gender couples in Oregon the freedom to legally marry will, I believe, right an overdue wrong — just as it did in Mr. Johnson’s adopted state of Hawaii where same-gender marriage became legal last year.

Gary Young

Hood River

Questions welcome

In response to a recent letter to the editor critical of our company (“Water and our future,” Dec. 25), I wish to re-emphasize that Nestlé Waters continues to be a good corporate neighbor in Cascade Locks and in Oregon as a whole.

Since 2008, we’ve held six town hall-style public meetings and have been working with residents and other stakeholders to ensure they’re involved and informed along every step of the process of siting a potential plant in the city.

I hold regular office hours in Cascade Locks, where I enjoy the opportunity to discuss our proposal and the progress of our project with community members and others who are interested. I welcome and encourage dialogue, questions and feedback.

You can find a great deal more information on Nestlé Waters and the proposed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) plant, including my next scheduled office hours in Cascade Locks, on our website at nestlewaterspnw.com. Please don’t hesitate to stop by!

David Palais

Redding, Calif.

Needs for bottled H2O

I would like to respond to a recent letter to the editor regarding Nestlé building a water plant in Cascade Locks (“Water and our future,” Dec. 25).

I have lived here nine years and continue to see the need for jobs. So many of our citizens are unemployed, and the whole state pays for those unemployed people. I also see the need for bottled water; several metro cities in the past year have had contaminated water problems, including contaminated water in the Hood River area. With ongoing disasters around the world, we are happy to share our local water as it might be used to save lives.

The water Nestlé would be buying is currently going into the Columbia River and out to the sea; so much for “fresh water”! This amount of water is immeasurable when it comes to the volume of the river.

Bottling water from an area that gets 85 inches of rain a year doesn’t hurt or take away from anyone, but that water could come in handy in a disaster or if someone would prefer to drink bottled water instead of bottled pop on a road trip or after a run.

Debora Lorang

Cascade Locks

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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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