Letters to the Editor for Jan. 11

No thanks!

Do we really want to privatize our liquor sales? What are the benefits if we do? We really need to think about this before we vote it in.

There’s a good chance that more than 1,200 people could lose their jobs.

These are people who are contributing to Oregon’s revenue but will become dependent on the state if we give them the pink slip.

There are 249 store owners who could lose their businesses. They own these stores, contribute to the economy, and provide revenue. This is unlike Washington, where the liquor stores were owned and operated by the state of Washington.

Oregon would lose more than $380 million in revenues. This is money that is used to support schools, public safety and healthcare. This is revenue that will need to be made up through other sources, namely increased taxes.

Washington was promised lower prices and an economic improvement, but instead they lost small businesses and the price of liquor increased.

Research proved that the cost of a bottle (1/5 size) increased by $3.

That is just for the run-of-the-mill brands. If you prefer the higher-end brands, then the cost increase becomes much higher.

And then we come to the question of “where will they put it all?” Well, they’ll not be able to stock everything that’s available because of shelf space limitations. Grocery store shelves are already crowded. Adding liquor means something else has to go. And there’s no guarantee they’ll carry your favorite brands of liquor.

The liquor store here in Hood River is conveniently located close to Safeway. It has a great inventory. You have to be 21 to visit it. The people who work there are friendly and helpful. I don’t want to lose our store.

When you vote on this, just remember what has happened to Washington in the past: They ended up with a sales tax; they have to pump their own gas and still pay the same as we do; they pay more for their liquor than they did before privatization.

Just say “no thanks!

Kathy Mussi

Hood River

Water and jobs

The Nestlé bottled water plant has been an interesting debate. We all know local jobs are good. We also know many people need fresh water to drink. Maybe there is an obvious solution combining the best of the Gorge.

The local Subaru dealership sells cars they claim are built in a zero landfill plant. Americans create a tremendous amount of plastic waste which ends up in places we don’t want or need it to be.

I challenge Nestlé to convince Gorge residents that building a water bottling plant which will feature compostable bottles instead of those which take 200 years to begin to break down will be to everyone’s benefit. I am sure the Port of Cascade Locks would love to lease additional space to permit Nestlé to fabricate these environmentally friendly bottles and create even more jobs.

How does that sound, Mr. Palais? (“Questions welcome,” Jan. 8)

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Latest stories

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


AlbertBrooks says...

Ms Mussi has a few facts wrong in her letter. Employment in the liquor industry tripled after Washington Privatized. One warehouse alone hired more people then were let go and only half the stores were owned by the state, the rest were contract stores.

Why she thinks that Oregon would lose $380 million in revenues I can't say, it isn't like liquor taxes are going to be repealed with privatization and with the increase in convenience there will be an increase in sales and therefore more taxes collected.

According to the Washington State Department of Revenue the average price of a bottle has increased by 10% and that can be somewhat traced back to the new fees that were added on and not privatization per se. As with any other consumer good there is no guarantee that any store will stock what you want but you will have the ability to shop for it and the public through supply and demand will decide what those are and not the state.

Like any other legislation the people really do need to think about whatever proposal comes before them and make a decision based on the real facts.

Posted 11 January 2014, 5:16 a.m. Suggest removal

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