Letters to the Editor for March 12


Please get out and see the Hood River Valley High School production of “Does My Head Look Big In This?” Spoiler alert: Her head looks great in hijab!

Cayla Sacre and the rest of the cast and crew are great in this clever and charming look at the life of a young Muslim girl in America and her cadre of multinational friends.

Watch HRVHS put on the first-ever performances of this unique play, 7 p.m. Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, and then it’s gone!

Jules Burton

Hood River

Great production

Mark your calendars now for next weekend’s final performances of the HRVHS world premiere of “Does My Head Look Big in This?” Told through the eyes of a young Muslim teenager, this modern play tackles the prickly issue of religious freedom in the face of post-9/11prejudice of the Muslim faith.

The play is beautifully staged and choreographed, and tackles a tough topic with brevity and humor. Family-friendly, the play can spark a good conversation with your kids about tolerance and diversity in our society.

The actors do a great job covering a controversial subject and the audience will leave entertained, informed, and once again in awe of the talent and dedication of this small town’s teachers and students. Don’t miss the final curtains on Friday and Saturday night.

Gretchen Newcomb

Hood River

Locals only

What does it mean to be a “local?” Is it a family that’s lived here for a few short generations? Is it a windsurfer that moved here 35 years ago? Is it a hiker that lives in Portland but comes out to enjoy the beauty of the Gorge on a regular basis? Is it a descendent from a Native American tribe that has called this area home for thousands of years? Or might you consider everyone a local on this tiny planet in a universe that is billions of light years in size?

America was not founded on the idea that you have to be a specific type of “local” to get admitted and share in its bounty and freedom. However, at times it seems we forget that essentially all of us living here now could have been defined as an “outsider” at some point in the past.

Does it help us build a vibrant community if self-described “locals” view “outsiders” as a nuisance because they want to follow in our same tracks by recreating, visiting or moving to the Gorge?

How many of us considered what our impact was going to be on the “local” people or environment before we moved here? How many of us consider the impact we have on “locals” in other areas when we travel outside of our home area?

How many of us consider if purchasing a product in our local store causes a negative impact in a local community in another part of the world? How many of us locals complain about “outsiders” yet want the local economies to keep growing?

We are all connected in many ways that impact each other and the earth that supports us. How we treat each other and our resources matters.

Defining and dividing ourselves as “outsiders” or “locals” does not serve to build a stronger community; only a more divisive one. If we stop, listen, and truly work together we just might find that we have more in common than we think.

Mike Gundlach

White Salmon, Wash.

Dangers of ‘done’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted an alarming increase in deaths related to opioid and other painkillers since the 1990s. According to the CDC, 16,651 people in the United States died from using painkillers in 2010, compared to 4,030 deaths in 1999. These deaths are directly related to the sales of legal, prescription pain meds such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone.

Notice the words all end with what? The word “done.”

Dozens of experts and health care agencies sent a letter urging that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoke its approval of the supercharged painkiller Zohydro. It is 100 percent hydrocodone! In essence, they have removed the acetaminophen from Vicodin and left only the hydrocodone.

Individuals who are addicted to Oxycodone and other opiates will be able to break open/crush the capsules and snort the powder since the manufacturer has not made it tamper-resistant. They say it may take another three years to correct this problem. Why not wait?

In the petition sent to the FDA 10 days ago, more than 40 consumer watchdog groups, addiction treatment groups and others noted that the drug was approved despite significant resistance from the FDA’s own advisory committee, which voted 11-2 against allowing Zohydro to be sold. The consumer advocate group Public Citizen issued its own news release on the issue, warning that a single dose of Zohydro could kill a child.

Having worked in a pharmacy, it really is troubling to see that the FDA chose to approve this drug against its own advisory committee’s recommendation not to approve it. Then, one must ask, why have an advisory committee in the first place?

Death by prescription is not a joke. Caveat emptor.

Scott Haanstad

Hood River


I always try to appreciate a politician who takes a firm position, indicating his or her priorities. But Gov. Rick Perry went overboard when he advocated that the government get out of the health care business and education but continue Saturday mail delivery.

One minor problem I foresee: In a while, there may not be enough educated and healthy mailpersons still able to accurately deliver the mail any day of the week! But, then, that may not be a problem — if we can’t read, either.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Support marriage equality

Oregonians have a wonderful opportunity to affirm the right for each of us to marry the person we love.

In a way, we Oregonians are in the position of catching up to the 17 states which already have marriage equality. We also have an opportunity to be leaders for those states which have not yet granted marriage equality for all.

Those who seek same-sex marriage are whole persons, our sisters, mothers, brothers, fathers, our children. Who we want to marry is only one aspect of the whole person each person is. It is the whole person who should receive equal rights, not the lesbian or gay aspects of who each is.

To quote Dr. King, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Support United for Marriage Equality in Oregon. Sign the petition to put this issue on the next ballot and then vote for it!

Lani Roberts

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

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