Letters to the Editor for Jan. 15

Eat for planet health

It’s obvious our ignorance and greed have created an environmental mess of our planet. We want to clean up but we don’t know what to change. It’s easy to blame the rich and the government, but what can one person do to reduce the demand on limited resources?

Consider your food. The United Nations concluded animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world combined.

Over half of the water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food. The EPA reports that waste from meat, egg and dairy farms pollutes more water sources than all other industries combined. Eighty percent of the agricultural land and 70 percent of the grains in the U.S. are used to raise farmed animals. In many countries, eating animals is a major driver of rainforest destruction and extinction of wildlife species.

One thing we each have control over is what goes into our own mouth. Choosing to eat a healthy plant-based diet contributes to saving the planet as well as improving one’s health. Be the change you want to see and others will follow.

Melba Gohl

White Salmon, Wash.

Sign petition

The young people of Hood River need to see that our community is willing to recognize that there are many good people in our town, our state and all over our country, who grow up knowing they are gay, and wanting to have families like other people.

As a counselor in Hood River for 20 years I have witnessed that when the acceptance of this reality is not clearly given, many teens grow up agonizing about their own attractions to people of their own gender, or friends who appear headed that way, or a parent who is coming out of the closet.

On the other hand, I have known good parents who somehow manage explain and demonstrate to their children that theirs is just another way of loving in a committed relationship, and the family thrives.

It will be so much easier when Oregon sanctions gay marriage, giving those couples the same rights as any other married team.

The Oregon United for Family Equality needs your signature so that this issue will appear on the ballot this fall. Look for petitions to sign outside the post office in the next couple of weeks.

Alison McDonald

Hood River

Path logic

I would like to inform the public that the Indian Creek Golf Course is for the use of golfers.

Last Friday in the frigid wind and cold, three of us golfers were golfing on the 14th hole at Indian Creek. This hole goes parallel to a trail that goes through the forest and heads to the high school.

As I was teeing off, a couple and their dog (off-leash) were walking on the cart path on the golf course heading toward the 14th green. I waited and decided to tee off; knowing I never hit it straight and always fade my drive. Well, as luck would have it, I hit the best drive of the day straight, and I guess it landed a few feet behind those walkers.

As I drove up to my ball, the walkers walked back to me and confronted me, saying didn’t I see them and why was I aiming at them — also threatening to toss my ball into the woods (which is where most of my balls end up anyway).

I apologized for hitting my best shot of the day, but also told them that this cart path was on the golf course and not for public hiking — which they acknowledged they knew; but were still upset I hit the ball toward them.

The cart paths are paved and the hiking paths are kind of muddy, but people should use the hiking path and not the cart paths to walk on. So to the guy who threatened to throw my ball into the woods: Next time maybe you can use the path in the woods and see if you can find some of my errant balls and toss it back to the golf course.

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

Support gun safety bill

Speak up on upcoming gun safety legislation: Hood River is a key swing district for upcoming gun safety legislation in Oregon. Legislation to require universal background checks on gun sales will be introduced in the February short session.

Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River (District 52), is one of three key swing votes in the state that are needed to get this bill to the floor so it can be passed.

Numerous polls over the last year show that the overwhelming majority of Americans, and even the majority of NRA members, favor background checks to help curb rampant gun violence. The February short session moves very fast, so contacts are especially helpful before the session opens.

The background check bill is scheduled for hearing on Friday, Jan. 17. Call Rep. Mark Johnson now and make your voice heard: 503-986-1452.

Bonnie New

Hood River

Phone scam

I just turned down $10 million!

A man with a Mid-Eastern accent called me on the phone. He said my late husband had won the money in a lottery. Before he could say more, I told him I wasn’t buying his scam and hung up.

He called right back and again I said no sale and hung up on him again. He called a third time and became verbally abusive. I said, okay; send me the information in the mail. I’ll take it to my lawyer and get back to you.

It’s been more than a week and I haven’t heard from him. I’m not holding my breath.

Anne Vance

Hood River

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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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