Letters to the Editor for March 15

We are all humans

I appreciate the recent cartoon of the ball and chain of “residual racism” on the Viewpoint page. It reminds us all of the need to be vigilant. Scientists have found that there is a tendency among us all to consider those outside our group to be less human than ourselves.

A tendency toward racism and dehumanizing others is universal. We all need to watch for it in ourselves.

Prejudices affect how we think and act toward others — we are less likely to help or forgive, more likely to bully and think of “them” as being less thoughtful or moral. Studies also show that this is easily triggered. Political leaders know this, and some use it to lead us astray, to split the world into “us” and “them.”

As an antidote, I try to reach out and interact with people in other groups. When I do, I am almost always pleasantly surprised. Plus, I feel more human! I recommend it. We all sing the same national anthem.

We are all Americans. Indeed, we are all humans together on this fragile planet Earth. Let’s remember this.

Lawrence Jones

Hood River

Core credibility

I have viewed data from several reputable sources to compare our schools to several other areas of the country. The consensus from each source is that we are near the bottom regarding achievement.

The people paid to monitor our state’s education system apparently have concerns about the data as well. Their response has led to the introduction of the core curriculum. The data suggests most children living in other areas have attained more knowledge than ours. If those children can achieve such standards, certainly our teachers and children can work toward a higher standard.

For decades American children have been educated under a system in which we sat quietly while the teacher presented information for learning. We learned a lot and did so without water bottles, snacks, or cellphones.

Today our children are granted parties for behaving in a manner which used to be the only acceptable one for students.

I encourage all parents to consider whether their child is prepared for a day of learning when they leave the home. Did they stay up until 11 p.m. texting friends? Do they know they are supposed to remain quiet when the teacher is speaking? Do they understand the purpose of school and how to respect their teachers? Do they have appropriate manners?

I hope we can quickly get past how fun school is supposed to be for our children and realize what they are missing by settling for low standards of behavior and academic achievement. Let’s give the teachers a break and help them help our children. It is our job to have them truly prepared each and every day for learning.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Be kind to Marty

Let’s welcome Marty Morgan!

Over the years, I’ve heard little but negativity toward our previous Community Service Officer, Dave Phelps. I’ve even said negative things.

I’m sorry Dave, you were not thanked enough.

It’s hard when I get a ticket; so I get angry, and the most logical person to get angry at is the guy giving me a ticket. Jerk. But that’s childish, and I know it. The child responds with anger and blames others when they are in the wrong because they haven’t matured enough to take responsibility for their own actions.

I don’t want to act like a petulant child, so I’m making a public statement that I will take responsibility. I will treat Marty with kindness and dignity. I’ll even thank him for doing his job when I get a ticket — because that’s nobody’s fault but my own.

I hope everyone else will be kind to Marty too, because that’s the community I want to live in.

Welcome aboard, Marty. Thank you for being brave enough to take a job you’re likely to be vilified for.

I’ll wave and say “hi” every time I see you. I hope others will, too.

John Metta

Hood River

See play at HRVHS

Please take the time out and go see the high school performance, “Does My Head Look Big In This?” The play tackles the tough issue of bullying and religious freedom in schools.

It’s challenging but rewarding to stand up for your beliefs and that’s a great message for all of us. Tons of food for thought wrapped up in this intriguing play. You don’t want to miss it!

Ruth Berkowitz

Hood River

Speaking for ‘locals’

In regards to “Locals only” in the March 12 Hood River News:

The name “Local” was given to us by those that moved to our area. We didn’t choose this title but we carry it with pride. Most of us were born and raised here.

Us locals don’t have a problem with new people moving here. We truly welcome all of you. What we don’t welcome is the higher cost of living.

Just because new people can afford to over-pay for property doesn’t mean we all can. What it does mean is those locals that have been here all their lives can no longer afford to live here.

My mother, who gave birth to me right here in Hood River 42 years ago, can’t pay $1,200 a month rent for a one-bedroom apartment that anywhere else would rent for $600.

Just because the new people choose to over-pay to up keep a household doesn’t mean a local can. New people don’t want Walmart but for us locals struggling to keep our homes on minimum pay we need to save every way we can.

Just because someone new doesn’t want new business/employment opportunities doesn’t mean a local doesn’t desperately need them. New people curse new companies or old ones that want to expand but those companies employ us locals that the new people choose to ignore when we turn in our resumes.

We’re not screaming because new people came here. We’re screaming because all the new people made changes that only benefit new people. We welcome all new people. We don’t welcome you dictating how we should live.

Terina Neal

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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