Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I watched where Ohio executed Dennis McGuire, who murdered a pregnant woman 25 years ago. They said he suffered for 20 minutes and his lawyers are crying boo-hoo. I say he didn’t suffer long enough.
He got to live 25 years; the mother suffered and baby never saw the light of day and now he gets national attention for his 20 minutes of suffering.
Something is wrong here; he didn’t suffer long enough.
Losing a friend is difficult; fortunately a proper good-bye took place before I knew Carroll Davis was so ill. We met in July 2003 — then 74, he guided a hike I participated in to Elk Meadow. He’d encouraged me to “go for it!” although just six months out from my second THR.
Carroll said he enjoyed that particular hike “like no other,” yet hung back with me when we came to the infamous rock-slide. The others went on while we enjoyed the scenery, lunch and I had a personal biology/horticulture lesson; I truly wished at the time for a recorder.
Last fall I gave him one of my irregular calls to ask his opinion about outdoor books for my family, having only “Curious Gorge” at the time. He recommended “Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge,” by R. Jolley; “Trees & Shrubs of Washington State,” by Lyons and “Hiking in the Columbia Gorge,” by Schneider. He further advised to buy used and as a result I found three of each for an average of $4! One from an Arizona library was only $1!
Reporting back, Carroll was genuinely as pleased as me. He was that kind of man.
Say hello to your Lorraine for me, will you, my inspirational, young-at-heart friend?
Still have a dream
Last week I was deeply moved by OPB’s “American Experience,” which focused on the summer of 1964. What I found so moving was the dedication and devotion people felt about the need for equality — among races and genders.
Forty years later, and we’re still wrestling with equality, this time in the issue of same-sex marriage. I realize that for some, the issue is one of religion. As a local clergy person, I understand this; but I am also called to respect the dignity of every human being.
How are we respecting the dignity of every human being if we deny some the opportunity to have their loving, committed relationships recognized by the state?
While we reflect on the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week, I think we are invited to also reflect on equality for all — not just for some.
I, too, have a dream for a more equal society.
Raising minimum wage
In response to “Question for workers” (Our Readers Write, Anne Vance, Jan. 18): Not all Republicans are bad and not all Democrats are good. There are pros and cons to raising minimum wage and both sides have legitimate arguments.
One thing for sure though: Somebody new to the job market (teens) will have even a harder time finding work as employers will search even harder for experienced workers.
And let’s not forget that in 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time workers will be required to provide a package of “essential health benefits” or pay a penalty. This government-mandated package will add a whopping $1.79 an hour to the cost of hiring an employee.
Maybe that’s affordable when you’re hiring lawyers or bankers, but not for hiring unskilled first-time workers.
The federal tax burden is the lowest it’s been since World War II.
Taxes are going down, not up!
Check the facts on the Office of Management and Budget website for yourself (http://1.usa.gov/KuoxK4, Table 2.3 Receipts by Source as Percentage of GDP 1934-2018).
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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